What to do when a client thinks they know better than you

This is something everyone has experienced, no doubt.

In an age where you can Google anything from medical diagnoses so you can argue with your doctor, to watching YouTube videos and arguing with your car mechanic, it’s a pretty wild place to be, this amazing Internet.

And with SEO, it’s no different.

I had someone come to me recently for help with a site that was poorly setup on WordPress with no SEO and a terrible Google Ads setup that was bleeding them dry on the daily.

So I stopped Google Ads entirely until we fixed up the site because:

  • the site was slow and this can affect ad performance
  • site structure was inefficient and ads were sending people to less relevant pages
  • keyword targeting was all broad match with no insight into the local market

This would be the first way I can add value by stopping the bleed and putting an end to the ridiculous spending on paid ads.

This site is an online store and would work super well with PPC. But they needed to address on-site issues quickly if they wanted to make this e-commerce venture a success.

But what happened was this:

  • the client put their campaigns back on because “otherwise how will people know me”
  • hired someone else to work on the SEO because “while you do your audit, they can do other things”

I was amazed.

This person had engaged me to help them but thought they knew better and also thought they could kill 2 birds with 1 stone by hiring another SEO person.

Needless to say, I’m no longer working with this business because they’ve refused to respect my work as a professional and they’re also impatient and clearly, see nothing wrong with hiring 2 people for the same job.

Sometimes I can’t help myself and I start making changes to a site whilst doing an audit.

So although this client didn’t see things through with me, they have:

  • site that’s loading a bit faster
  • about 3/4 of their URLs optimised with the best titles and descriptions
  • a bunch of random 301s and 404s resolved and fixed up
  • at least 10 new articles to write about and a guide to internal linking from their articles to their products

That’s a boat load of value right there.

And what I got at the end of it was a blank face, a notification that someone else was added to GSC and there’s now another GA tag firing on the site.

Just gotta cut your losses and move on. That’s how you deal with people who want your help but don’t want to respect what you know.

I don’t claim to be the oracle on SEO. I’ve done work on all sorts of projects for big and small companies. My experience says it all. And I’m a very cautious SEO consultant.

If that doesn’t sit right with you, then that’s ok. We don’t have to work together.

But when you don’t know SEO and you tell me you know better, that says more about you than anything else.

This applies to life, not just SEO.

There’s a lesson in there for all of us.


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