Things Clients Do That Send Chills Down Agencies’ Spines

  • Like any good relationship, client-agency relationships are based on respect, trust, and communication.
  • Your agency can’t help you achieve goals they don’t know about. Give honest, constructive feedback and communicate your needs clearly – ideally before projects are undertaken.
  • While communication is paramount, there is such a thing as too much. Find a happy medium based on regular meetings and firm deadlines.

We love our clients. After all, we wouldn’t exist without them. We have so much to thank them for, from the lessons we learn and the awesome people we work with to all the fun projects and exciting challenges.

Basically, we’re lucky to have the clients of our dreams. But unfortunately, every agency has a story about a nightmare client – and we’ve heard enough of them to be terrified. So if you want to give your agency something to celebrate on Thanksgiving, rather than inspire scary stories to tell on Halloween, avoid the spine-chilling moves on this list!

Five things clients do that send chills down agencies’ spines:

1. Surprise us.

Don’t get us wrong – a surprise gift basket or 5-star review is always appreciated (hint hint!). A surprise change to your site, product/service, or strategy? Not so much!

The core of any healthy client-agency relationship is communication. If you’re considering major changes to your brand, services, website, or blog, we need to know. This allows us to get ahead of any potential effects on your traffic, rankings, or backlinks. It also gives us a chance to advise you on how best to approach your plans from an SEO perspective.

Thinking of unpublishing a bunch of old blogs? Let us know so we can redirect the URLs to something useful instead of the dreaded 404 error. Planning a site migration? We can help make sure everything is buttoned up, so you don’t lose all the rankings and site authority you’ve earned. We can be on call to fix any unexpected issues after the migration.

Not everything you do will have a direct effect on SEO, but better safe than sorry. The more we know about your plans for your online presence, the more informed our strategies and recommendations will be.

Remember, jump scares are the cheapest horror movie trope. A heads up to your agency keeps everyone from losing their heads!

2. Ignore us.

Hello? Anyone there? Help! Please!

In horror movies, isolation usually means danger. The same is true in SEO! On the topic of communication, it’s something that goes both ways in client-agency relationships. While it’s crucial for clients to communicate big plans and changes to their agency, it’s equally important for clients to listen to their agency’s advice. After all, you’re paying good, hard-earned money for your agency’s services. If they really are experts in their field, their recommendations should be treated as valuable, and sometimes time-sensitive, intel.

This extends to day-to-day communications between you and your agency. It’s our job to send important deliverables and reports in a timely manner. By the same token, we need our clients to implement those deliverables and insights promptly or to provide corrections or feedback so that we can improve the work in time to make it count. The alternative is a waste of our time and a waste of your precious marketing budget!

3. “Cry wolf.”

Wolves belong in nature documentaries, folk tales, and Halloween movies – not digital marketing. Don’t be the boy who cried wolf. In other words, don’t treat something like an emergency unless it really is an emergency.

Reserve urgent requests for truly urgent situations, such as a severe drop in rankings after an algorithm update or major changes to your site. Otherwise, work with your agency to negotiate a deadline that works for both your needs and your agency’s bandwidth. Trust that a good agency will do whatever is in their power to address your needs in a timely manner.

4. Treat us like mind-readers.

Horror flicks might be filled with psychics and mind-readers, but unfortunately, your agency doesn’t have the supernatural powers required to predict your wildest dreams and nightmares. One of the most unfortunate causes of client-agency breakdowns is when one party expects the other to meet their needs without an explicit request.

Of course, your agency should have a basic idea of the most common and realistic goals for your business. But we also can’t help you achieve goals we don’t know about. This also applies to constructive feedback on past deliverables. Nobody likes making the same mistake twice!

If there is something specific you need, whether it be a particular format for deliverables, certain word usage in your content, or a specific metric to be tracked, we’ll be happy to work with you, as long as you tell us!

5. Stalk us.

We’ve talked a lot about communication in this article, but there is such a thing as too much. We know that your SEO initiatives are important – that’s why we’ve made it our full-time job! And you should absolutely expect your agency to be communicative with you about projects and timelines, especially if something is taking longer than expected.

That said, your agency shouldn’t be spending more time responding to your emails or attending calls than actually working on your deliverables. Set up regular meetings a couple of times per month, if not weekly, and stick to your schedule as much as possible. Agree to reasonable deadlines and expect your agency to honor them. With these safeguards in place, you should be able to trust your agency to keep up their end of the bargain without constant reminders.

Sticking together

Everybody could use a good scare every once in a while – just not at work! Luckily, avoiding the spooky stuff on this list isn’t hard when you remember that the client-agency relationship is just like any partnership. When both parties prioritize respect, trust, and communication, dreams (not nightmares) come true!
Interested in seeing what an agency can do for your SEO initiatives? Reach out to the RMG team today!

Author avatar
Victor Lopez
Victor is an SEO specialist for Redefine Marketing Group. Victor's primary focus within his role at Redefine is technical SEO. He's also a Cal Poly Pomona alum with a Business Administration degree in E-commerce and minor Marketing.
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