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  1. #1
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    All Clients Are Liars

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    Now don’t get me wrong, I love all of our clients. This isn’t going to be a standard SEO complaint piece about how clients are idiots, and obstructionists and all the other things that we hear SEO’s say about client. At Local SEO Guide we pride ourselves on the lost art of client whispering. This is about how client lies, particularly lies of omission, are out of naivety and can seriously impact an engagement. One of the things that I think people forget most in this space is to empathize with their clients. They don’t get SEO, so what? That’s what they pay you for. Helping them navigate and win at this complicated channel is literally your job.

    So come, gather round the fire as I tell you a little story that happened to me recently. We just started working a local SEO engagement for a client that is a multi-national steel and metal distributor. I know, sexiest vertical ever. Anyway, this client's business is old and they have been at some of their locations since WWII. Because of this, they insisted that they have always and forever only had 1 set of NAP information for these locations. Even after a couple of follow ups they still insisted, their NAP was as tried and true.... as steel.

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    So rather than argue with them I had an analyst do a quick audit of some of their local data, and shocker there was more there than they realized. Now, we are working to get these issues resolved, and then end result for the client will likely be better off because of it.

    Takeaways

    Don’t take a client at their word. If you can double check and verify something for yourself, then do it. Your clients likely don’t know what they don’t know, so you should just assume that you need to dive under the hood for almost everything.

    Client expectations are critical in an SEO engagement and one of the most important things you can do with a client is set their expectations early in the engagement. Preferably during the sales process. We constantly tell clients that an SEO engagement is a process of discovery, and we may find things that no one realized and that they are going to have to have some trust in us to figure out this complicated channel for them.
    Dan Leibson
    Vice President of Local & Product
    Local SEO Guide Inc.
    @danleibson
    + Dan Leibson
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  2. #2
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    Re: All Clients Are Liars

    Awesome story Dan! A similar example we often experience is related to when a client tells you "I have no idea where my GMB lisitng is claimed or if I ever claimed it to begin with". After repeated poking and prodding, it often turns up in an old e-mail that they don't use anymore, or in their wife's account. This used to be a much larger problem back in the day of Google Places before there was phone support and Owner/Manager designations.
    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
    Vice President, Local Search at Sterling Sky
    Connect on Google + and Twitter
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  3. #3
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    Re: All Clients Are Liars

    Great topic to kick off the new featured articles forum.

    Thanks Dan!

    Again, we all love our clients but as Dan said you just can't take their word for everything, and always need to double check.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

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    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".
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  4. #4
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    Re: All Clients Are Liars

    Quote Originally Posted by Colan Nielsen View Post
    Awesome story Dan! A similar example we often experience is related to when a client tells you "I have no idea where my GMB listing is claimed or if I ever claimed it to begin with". After repeated poking and prodding, it often turns up in an old e-mail that they don't use anymore, or in their wife's account. This used to be a much larger problem back in the day of Google Places before there was phone support and Owner/Manager designations.
    Colin you're right! Back in the Places days that was such a nightmare!

    Some of you may have heard me say... what I used to do if they swore they've looked everywhere and they didn't know who created the account... I'd tell them that unfortunately I'd need to charge them for the additional labor because it could take a couple hours to get around the problem.
    AMAZING how fast they could get me the log in info then!
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".
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  5. #5
    Member Since
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    Re: All Clients Are Liars

    Quote Originally Posted by Linda Buquet View Post
    Colin you're right! Back in the Places days that was such a nightmare!

    Some of you may have heard me say... what I used to do if they swore they've looked everywhere and they didn't know who created the account... I'd tell them that unfortunately I'd need to charge them for the additional labor because it could take a couple hours to get around the problem.
    AMAZING how fast they could get me the log in info then!
    I remember you teaching us this when we did training with you many many years ago! It stuck.
    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
    Vice President, Local Search at Sterling Sky
    Connect on Google + and Twitter
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  6. #6
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    Re: All Clients Are Liars

    Great way to kick off the new forum. Thanks for sharing Dan.
    Scott Rawlins - Find Local Company in Atlanta GA
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  7. #7
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    Re: All Clients Are Liars

    Great post and so true - most clients do not know what is out there online about their business.
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  8. #8
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    Re: All Clients Are Liars

    Trust, but verify.
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  9. #9
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    Re: All Clients Are Liars

    We also double check every user/pass a client shares as soon as we get it. Back in the old days we would do an initial client info gathering session and collect logins only to find out later that the passwords had been changed.
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  10. #10
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    Re: All Clients Are Liars

    Great post Dan!

    Love the takeaway:

    Client expectations are critical in an SEO engagement and one of the most important things you can do with a client is set their expectations early in the engagement. Preferably during the sales process. We constantly tell clients that an SEO engagement is a process of discovery, and we may find things that no one realized and that they are going to have to have some trust in us to figure out this complicated channel for them.
    I feel like in a lot of ways, this is the place to catch any concerns or misunderstandings. People rarely want to come off as uninformed. I bet in those meetings though, some clients try to save face, by acting like they know. It's on the consultant/rep to address the lack of knowledge and fill in the gaps without making the agency's job harder.

    How often are you able to catch these situations of omission? Does it happen very frequently in your experience?

    Great stuff. Thanks for posting.
    Garrett Sussman | Content Marketing Manager of Grade.us, White-label Review Management for Marketers, SEOs and Agencies | Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook.
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