Perceived SEO Value – How Client’s Lack of Knowledge Can Hurt You

In a recent survey of our own SEO clients, MorePro has discovered that many business owners and marketing directors are not paying full attention to the ROI of their online spending. While Search Engine Optimization is online component of a company’s online marketing program, it’s one of the most critical to the bottom-line. Natural, organic traffic gets cheaper each time a new visitor comes to your site – PPC continues to be costly throughout your campaign, unless you simply turn it off.

Here are some interesting results from our survey:

  • Approximately 36% of the individuals we surveyed, said they look at their SEO ranking reports “infrequently” (less than once a month).

Ok, so we’re sending the SEO results to our clients so they can keep tabs on the program’s success… that’s good right? But 36% aren’t even looking at them – ouch!

  • 33% of respondents said they’re “Not sure” what affect incoming links have on their SEO campaign.
  • 25% said they’re not sure what affect Social Media Marketing has on their SEO campaign.
  • Almost 49% of respondents said they did not implement the SEO recommendations provided, or only installed some of them.

The last bullet item has always been a difficulty…
How do you convey the importance and urgency of SEO recommendations to a client? Besides using common SEO best-practices and providing resources confirming the recommendations are in fact legitimate, how do you ensure that the changes get made?

Reasons For Failure

Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to enforce the completion of SEO changes due to numerous circumstances, including: additional unforeseen costs, amount of effort to complete, adequate staffing or time, failure to believe recommendations are valid, site limitations (coding, structure, etc.) and many other excuses. For sites that have implemented the recommendations, we see great improvements – so why can’t everyone do it? :)

What we take from the results of this survey, is that most businesses don’t fully understand the following:

  1. What SEO actually is and involves.
  2. Common terminology & methods of SEO.
  3. How to evaluate the success of an SEO campaign.

By sharing this information, our intention is not to point fingers at these businesses or to say their aren’t smart; we’re simply showing how companies interact with SEO firms, including ours. I’m sure this applies to other SEO companies as well – it’s just as important to teach & inform your clients about our industry, as it is to do the work itself.


We need to do a better job of teaching our clients about SEO best-practices and keeping them updated on the strategies & techniques that are required to continue improving their SEO rankings and traffic. Afterall, if the client doesn’t know what’s going on with their SEO campaign – how are they going to see the “value” in it?

Cory Howell
SEO Strategist