Some SEOs and internet marketers forget the human side of the business. I don't mean the old "for people not search engines" thing. I mean the actual people whose lives are impacted by the work you do.Jobs are created and lost based on what we do. Real people. Livelihoods.
And it isn't just the cheap fly by night "rank number one for everything overnight" scams, but well known companies that just don't seem to care that a small business has to downsize because their "top notch" SEO was little more than a Fiverr social bookmarking blast and a poorly made blog. Or maybe they have no clue that they are failing their clients.They can just blame Google. "Oh, Google changed the algorithm. It hit EVERYONE. Google is now favoring big brands... bla bla bla".
No, it isn't everyone. Maybe all of YOUR clients, but not everyone.
Nobody is perfect, and nobody can be 100% right all the time. But some SEOs and online marketers should think about whether or not they can really do this work well enough to actually sell it to others. Failures happen. Sometimes link building doesn't go as well as expected, or a content strategy just doesn't take hold like you thought it would. And sometimes mistakes are made.
What do you do when this happens? Fudge the numbers and hope nobody notices? Blame Google? Blame "negative SEO"? Blame the client? Sometimes those are valid, but our clients count on us to adapt and steer them through the icebergs, not stay the course and abandon ship when it goes wrong.
I know I have had a few campaigns where I underestimated the competition, over estimated the value of the content, or overlooked a weird technical on-page problem for much longer than was acceptable. Did I just run the reports, shrug and move on? No. I did the additional work to get to where I thought we should be, sometimes reaching out to others for help in areas where I was apparently not quite up to the task. Sometimes it took weeks, sometimes months of working for nothing but my pride, integrity, and my clients' best interests. That last one is the most important.
What do you do when you fail your clients?
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