Web marketing rarely goes as planned. It’s not uncommon to dive into a site only to find issues that, if not fixed, can derail everything. Sometimes these are easy to fix issues, other times not so much.
Not long ago, we started marketing a site only to find that there were huge usability and conversion issues. All other marketing had to be put on hold in order to address these success-killing issues. Had we kept going, all the traffic in the world wasn’t going to improve results.
But whenever you change focuses like this, you have to also change the goals which you measure success by. Instead of looking at traffic-related metrics, we are looking almost entirely at usability and conversion metrics. But even those metrics won’t begin to appear until after a whole host of design and programming issues are resolved, which can set back the marketing campaign entirely.
A client never wants to hear that there will be delays in their ROI. And in situations like this, it’s easy to get defensive. “We’ve did the best with what we had to work with!” Of course, this rarely ever goes well with the client, either.
As SEOs, it’s always easy to justify why a campaign isn’t working. We can recommend 800 things, and if only 799 get implemented we have our excuses, it seems. But even the best excuses often are not great excuses at all.
The SEO can either try to explain everything away as being not their fault, or she can listen for the nuggets of truth. The latter is harder than the former, but ultimately, if you are willing, it will help you refocus efforts and make the campaign more effective.
But the same goes for the client. When criticizing the progress of a web marketing campaign, the SEO may have some hard truths that they don’t want to hear. If there is even a sliver of a chance that a lack of success is not the SEOs fault, the client should listen. After all, they are the only ones who have it in their power to give the SEO everything they want. And when they do, well then the SEO has no excuses left!
There is always truth on both sides. Its up to each side to listen to each other and come together for solutions that work for everyone. If you are not willing to listen, you’re likely to repeat the same mistakes time and time again.