When your target is continually moving, how do you keep your clients informed and happy?
But so as to mitigate the anxiety these changes can cause, we have to know about them. So where do we go to stay up-to-date?
Hey [customer ]! One of the metrics that we include on your reporting, Domain Name Authority (DA), will be changing next month, so we wanted to allow you to know what you may expect! Moz is changing how DA is calculated by them, and because of this, some DA scores may be higher or lower. Below are a few helpful slides for more information on the update, or feel free to call us and we’ll be glad to walk you through it in more detail.
Big changes usually warrant statements before the rollout. You will need time to prepare for changes like this and to use that time to prepare your customers and stakeholders. It so much effort is put by Moz into educational materials around the rollout of the DA.
Work in-house? The major difference here is that your client is your boss. Whereas at an agency you could lose a client over communication lapses, SEOs that are in-house could lose their jobs. That the worst-case scenario, but could mean your boss stops seeing the value in your position if you’re in a budget-conscious company, failing to remain relevant and communicate those changes.
When you’re in a position to proactively communicate changes, clients and stakeholders have less cause to worry. They can see that their campaign is in great hands, and that you’re on top of things.
Anticipating changes and mitigating anxiety
The most vigilant SEOs have been caught off guard by an algorithm update, changes to the SERP layout, or improvements to the tools we rely on.
Go ahead, do not be shy!
Raise your hand if you have ever struggled to keep up with the changes in our industry.
There are some changes we know about beforehand.
- Give them a brief overview of how search works: Don’t venture too far into the weeds, but a simple overview of how crawling, indexing, and standing work can help your customers understand the field they’re playing on. Not all of those are major, and into thinking that you’re flying blind, you don’t want to scare your client, but they should at least understand that change is a normal part of search.
- Prepare them for unannounced changes: Let your client know that while there are a few changes we could see coming, others roll out with no prior notice. This should prevent any upset caused by viewing changes they weren’t informed about.
I put together this list of suggestions you can use to direct your communication strategy. So choose from the checklist so Each one of us is in a special situation, but my hope is that you could use this brain dump and in-house to make the communication side of your job easier.
SEO can be a rough ride. By making certain your customer understands the nature of the industry and how you are going to react to those changes, lay the foundation for your campaign. Doing this can foster trust and confidence, even amidst change.
✓ Set the point from the beginning
What are these preventative measures?
Plenty of changes happen without warning. What are SEOs supposed to do then?
Even with unexpected changes, preventative measures can help SEOs respond to these changes in a manner that doesn’t compromise the stability of stakeholder relationship or their customer.
By setting this information at the outset of your relationship on the stage, stakeholders and customers are more likely to trust that you’ve got a handle on things when changes do occur.
✓ Be proactive whenever possible
To answer that question, I think we need to back it all of the way up to your customer’s first day with your agency (or for in-housers, your first few days on the job).
From time to time, clients will bring something before you’ve had an opportunity to view it, whether that be a Google update, a traffic dip, or otherwise. This can prompt a worried What is going on?” Or Why did not I know about this?” Do not try to spin this. Own up to the opportunity for communicating and continue to give the insight they need to the customer.
Let your customer know right away if the news is negative, if you experience a change that you were not prepared for. There’s always the temptation
Whether you are an SEO with in-house or an agency, you have a great deal on your plate. Not only do you need to be a good SEO — you serve as a type of justifier.
Like I said, it’s a lot. But I have something that can help.
Changes you did not see coming?
Aim to create communication chances that are missed the exception, not the rule. Being proactive means getting your finger and intuitively understanding what has to be shared with your client before they have to ask.
We have a great DA 2.0 resource centre for you so you may prepare yourself, and those determined by you, for the shift.
Your customers don’t have time to care about the finer points of SEO. When discussing these updates, do not spend too long on the what” before getting into the how does this affect me?”
✓ Put modifications into perspective
Communicating with customers and stakeholders is a bit of an art form, but with compassion and preparedness, we can tackle any change that’s thrown our way.
Russ Jones will be hosting an webinar on this topic that will help you understand these changes so that you can speak intelligently about them to your customers and stakeholders. Join him on Thursday, February 21 at 10am PDT :
SEO has a language all its own, but it is ideal to keep that between SEOs and not allow it to bleed into our customer communication. Simplify your language where possible. It can be helpful to use illustrations to drive your point home.
Communicate with your customers even if you’re not calling or emailing them! With the addition of explanations to your clients’ reports, you can assuage the anxieties that may result from seeing fluctuations.
Putting it all into practice
Then our March 5th upgrade is the opportunity to put this all into practice if DA is something your client/stakeholder pays attention to, or one of your reporting metrics.
Search changes constantly. That means there. Do you have to send all of it? Not necessarily – it is ideal to maintain updates actionable and relevant. Rather than Hey there was an update [link to explainer post]” it’s a lot more relevant to say, Hey, there was an update relevant to your industry and here is what we’re planning on doing it.”
✓ Adapt your communication to your customer’s preferences and the nature of this change
✓ Keep upgrades actionable and relevant
As humans, it’s in our nature to make mountains out of molehills. As the search engine optimization manager, you can prepare for these types of overreactions by always being prepared to put a change into perspective (ex: here is how this does/doesn’t affect your leads and earnings”).