10 SEO Client Archetypes to Beware of

In case you offer SEO for clients like I do, after some years you see several kinds of patterns. My nerves get sometimes a little strained with some and I guess I am not the only one. Other than that it would be very funny.

Especially the potential clients I refuse to work for are a strange folk.

So here I present to you the 10 non-ideal archetypal clients who you surely will encounter sooner or later. Of course one or several archetypes can apply to a single client.

1. The clandestine one: Assumes that SEO is evil and does not want you to know who he is and what kind of website should be optimized, even when you have to assess how much the optimization can cost. Juts like you would ask: How much does a car cost?

2. The quick one: Wants you to start right away, assuming he is the only client you have but in most cases very slow to pay.

3. The busy one: Once you are done with a step and need info for the next step, he will need weeks over weeks to reply.

4. The PPC client: Prospective clients who do PPC, especially Google Adwords are not ashamed to tell you how many thousand Euro or Dollars they spent for completely automated ads in search results but they will cringe at paying you 500 for your hard work.

5. The calling prospective client: This one will call you at the evening, while you are busy like hell or when you’re at lunch and you can’t explain to him that you’re not in front of your screen and basically can’t tell him much right at that moment. If you try to explain what do to, how, how long it takes anyway you can be sure that he won’t call you ever again.

6. The diligent one: You will negotiate with him for weeks or or longer even before you can start. You will show him your portfolio, send him or her papers on the exact measures you will undertake, you will talk to his programmers, you will meet him or her and the team personally but you won’t get the job.

7. The experienced one: “I had 3 SEOs already and I’m still not on top”. You may also discover doorway pages from two years ago in his code. The most respectable companies are like that.

8. The big or multi-client: He has either many websites he wants you to optimize at once or he will offer you a connection with Sony or something after you optimize the first site. He of course does assume that optimizing many websites does not cost more than just one and he will pay you less for the first website as he wants to see how you perform before he connects you with Sony.

9. The discontent: He or her will receive the same treatment as all the other clients, pay the same price or even less, he will see the same results as the others but he will be discontent all the time. This one is amazing, because other clients in his shoes are really satisfied.

10. The friend: He will treat you like a friend and he is doing you a favor when paying but he will treat you like an employer or boss when you do the work. He will want to pay less than the others but he will call you Sunday on your private line to ask you if you’re done.

So you might wonder now: Are there clients who are OK at all? Yes, they exist! I had the opportunity to work with some great clients. There are basically several kinds of clients who I adore and really am highly motivated to work for:

  • Those telling me that they heard about me or where referred to me or that they read my website and feel comfortable with what I write and like my style.
  • Those sending a prepayment ;-) to show a commitment. Some people pay even 100% in advance!
  • Those who do not expect me to have just one client (them) and start right away without even asking for it. Imagine a barber where you enter while people are waiting or having their hair cut and you expect him to to start immediately.

If you consider to ask a SEO freelancer for a quote for SEO services:

  • address him personally
  • just send them the URL
  • tell them what you do in one short sentence
  • and how much you want to spend (if you like).

The first three will be enough and if you address the SEO or the SEO company for a start.

In case you want to sell SEO services beware of the above 10 kinds of SEO clients.

They will make you wish you never started client work in the first place. Focus on the valuable clients instead.