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  1. How to Optimize for Local Search

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    Most experts agree that local search should continue to be an area of focus for search marketing professionals in 2014. Google continues to pay attention to improving local search results, and expanded use of the Local Carousel is just one example of Google’s recent enhancements. How should your business — assuming it has a physical location and regardless of size — optimize for local?

    Here are some tips:

    Claim Your Google Places Listing: Google Places are business listings that allow your business to be found on Google Search, Maps, Google+, and mobile devices. By claiming your Google Places listing, you’ll be able to ensure your address, telephone number, hours of operation, and contact information are correct, and you’ll be able to connect with customers by sharing photos, updates, news, and special offers. In addition, claiming your business allows you to respond to reviews that are placed within the site. Visit Google Places for Business to claim your listing.

    - Build a Dedicated Local Page: When building a page for local, remember that people searching locally are likely to have a more immediate need for your services. Thus, it’s important to add elements that will easily enable visitors to find your physical location. Store locators, mapping technology, telephone numbers, and product/service reviews are essential to your dedicated local page.

    Identify Local Search Terms: Your market is generally coming from a geographic area that can be as narrow as a few-block radius or as wide as several counties. The geographic qualifiers depend on the size of your  community and the competition for your service. Think about how far your geographic reach is and add those search phrases to your dedicated local page. For example, people likely travel a short distance for a grocery store but may travel a significantly larger distance for fine arts and  accessories. Then, infuse the page with geographically relevant search terms including surrounding towns that searchers may include in their search to learn more about your business.

    - Get Listed in Local Directories: Once you have a dedicated local page, getting listed in many relevant local directories is an important local search factor. It is vital to make sure your citation information (name, address, phone number, description) matches the information in your Google Places listing. Google will discredit your business if there are inconsistencies between the Google Places listing and those listed in other directories such as Yelp, Foursquare, YP, and Patch.

    You can quickly and easily manage your online business listings with a single click at Moz Local. Moz Local pushes your listings to all of the major local data aggregators, where search engines can access your information, ensuring it is correct, consistent, and visible across the web.

    Be careful when using paid submission services. Some services will remove your listing(s) once you stop paying for the service. It’s worth noting that another advantage to manually submitting your business listing is that you’ll maintain control over your listing’s passwords.

    - Optimize Your Website for Mobile: With mobile penetration expected to reach upwards of 75% this year, more consumers are likely to be searching for your business from their mobile device. “If you want to stay relevant and attractive to your visitors, you need to provide them with easier access through their mobile devices,” says Ben Oren, Director of SEO at WhiteWeb Technologies.

    Businesses should consider site design from a mobile-first perspective. Content, navigation, and interactions must be carefully developed for mobile. For example, content order is important because of its tendency to restack on smaller screens, and logical navigation is important because people are tapping buttons or links with their thumbs.

    One option for mobile that many businesses are considering is responsive website design. With responsive design, your site adapts to the screen size of the device on which it’s displayed, which means that you won’t need a separate mobile version for your website. According to Google, responsive website design is considered an industry best practice and is their recommended configuration.

    From an SEO perspective, site owners can develop a mobile SEO strategy that includes location-based terms more likely to be used from a mobile device. Likewise, you won’t have to duplicate your link building, site authority, and social share efforts, as you’ll be able to dedicate your efforts to linking to a single site.

    - Engage With Your Customers: Google Places, Google+, Yelp,  Foursquare, and others are relevant because of the independent review provided by consumers. Engage your customers via social media or other methods, and encourage them to leave reviews on local directory sites. Positive reviews add credibility to your brand, increase your domain  authority, and provide Google with clues that your business should appear high on search results.

    Optimizing for local search is no longer an optional activity. It’s an essential part of your overall optimization strategy and should not be overlooked.


  2. Retainer vs. Hourly Billing: How Do You Devise a Pricing Model That Works for Both Agency and Client?

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    Part 2 of a series
    This is part two of a two-part series about pricing models. Part one discussed how to determine consulting rates.

    There was a time when most search marketing agencies used the traditional advertising agency model and charged a percentage of their client’s advertising spend. Over time, many realized this form of payment actually dissuades your client from administering their budget effectively or efficiently and incentivizes quantity rather than quality of work or results.

    Today, the prevailing pricing methods for search agencies are monthly retainers or hourly bills. Which one is right for your agency? How do you determine the best pricing model for both your agency and your client?

    To answer this, ask yourself some questions about your client and the work you’ll perform on their behalf. Does your client have a set budget for your work? If so, they’ll insist on staying within that budget and will also likely want to spread that cost over months. If so, a retainer will work best.

    Retainers, when staffed correctly, allow agencies to commit resources to the client, enabling them to work on client projects and tasks at any moment in time. They enable brand managers to have a focused, knowledgeable team that in essence becomes an extension of themselves. Retainers, thus, permit energy and focus to be on critical thinking, rather than on hours billed or time and resource constraints.

    The retainer price will be based on several factors, including services performed, anticipated number of dedicated hours per resource, and overall budget. It’s essential that the agency price the retainer effectively. Thorough and transparent collaboration between the agency and brand will result in a properly staffed, timed, and billed retainer agreement that will benefit both agency and client.

    The hourly rate pricing model has certain advantages as well. It’s simple to calculate and understand and provides both agency and client an opportunity to test each other out. Neither side may be willing to commit to a long-term relationship without first knowing that their work styles are compatible.

    The hourly rate pricing model works best when clients require semi-regular task-oriented work. It’s not optimal for clients who require full-time agency support. Likewise, if the client doesn’t have the wherewithal to support working with the agency on a full-time basis, which requires a significant time commitment, both parties will be served best by an hourly rate price model.

    If clients choose an hourly rate price model, they need to understand upfront that the agency will not allocate resources to projects until an agreement is in place. This agreement should come with an understanding as to when the work will be performed and when it will be completed. Agencies are not expected to “drop everything” as they typically would with larger retainer clients.

    Another consideration is that agency hourly rates tend to be priced higher for short-term projects. Retainers give agencies more flexibility to offer blended or reduced hourly rates in return for the longer term commitment.

    Most typically, a combination of retainer and hourly rate will meet the needs of clients and agencies. Any work deemed above and beyond the retainer agreement will be billed hourly. Dedicated resources still will be allocated, but those resources will bill any hours above the agreed-upon retainer allocation at an hourly rate.

    Which model do you prefer? Share your experiences in the comments below.

  3. Determining Pricing: How Much Are Your Consulting Services Worth in the Open Market?

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    Part 1 of a series

    Are you diving into the world of consulting? Determining your hourly rate is tricky, especially for those new to the world of consulting.

    Here is a list of questions to help you begin to establish a rate that meets your financial objectives while keeping your client’s budget in mind.

    What is your specialization, and how rare is your skill set?
    Two very important factors that influence how much you can charge for your services are your specialization and the scarcity of the services you provide. If you are one of a select few who have your skill set (and you can prove it via customer testimonials, certifications, and specialized training), you can charge more for your services.  Keep this in mind as you develop your practice. Generalists are a dime a dozen. If you want to maximize your income potential, specialize in one area of digital marketing services, and do it better than anyone else.

    What is the average hourly rate for your services in your local geographic area?
    Base your rate on what your local market will bear. Don’t overprice or underprice the market, unless you have a very specific specialization or you are just starting your business and have a need to prove yourself to prospective clients.

    What is the age of your business?
    As stated earlier, young businesses might want to set their prices at the lower range of the local market. Older businesses, with testimonials from well-known brands, might consider charging above the mid-range of the local market.

    What are your financial objectives?
    If you’ve determined your annual financial objectives, you can do some simple math to determine your hourly rate. If your objective is to earn $100,000 per year and you plan on taking two weeks off for vacation, you can start by equating an hourly rate as:

    $100,000 / 50 weeks per year = $2,000 per week

    Assuming you work 40 hours per week, your hourly rate is $50 per hour.

    Keep in mind some of the factors above to determine if this figure should be adjusted upward or downward. Remember to consider and account for billable hours per week – not all 40 will be billable, or you may need to work additional hours to manage administrative and business issues to achieve 40 billable hours in a week. Also, factor in your expenses. Many consultants, regardless of industry, double or even triple the base hourly rate to get a net figure to charge customers. If this rate does not equate with what the local market will bear, or with your experience level and your level of specialization, you may need to adjust accordingly.

    As you determine your rate, it is important to remember not to devalue your business or yourself. Be prepared to justify your rate. Ways to justify include providing references, white papers, and examples of your success stories. Your clients should be your biggest advocates. Don’t be afraid to ask them for references when you are trying to acquire new business.

    The only time you should consider reducing your rate is if you believe the prospective client is trying you out before committing to a much larger budget and will provide you with a steady income in the future. If clients push back with regard to your rates, offer them additional services at the same rate, rather than devaluing your service. Another option would be to offer a reduced rate only if the balance of the bill is paid in advance. Be flexible, yet steadfast.

    Pricing is a lot like marketing itself. The best results usually come from a deep understanding of your market and testing different things in order to come up with the perfect mix. Good luck, and enjoy the ride.


    How did you determine the rate for your consulting services? Share your experiences in the comments below.

  4. Factors That Impact Your Positioning in a YouTube Search

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    In our last blog post, we discussed optimization strategies for your video content. By providing visitors with compelling titles, descriptions, and tags, you are providing YouTube’s search engines with the triggers to support your optimization efforts. Like the content triggers discussed earlier, there are several engagement factors that are influential in getting your videos to the top of YouTube.

    Much attention has been paid to Google’s ranking factors and algorithm and how they impact your positioning on Google.  By becoming aware of YouTube’s ranking factors, you could improve your video’s rankings on both YouTube and Google. Here are some critical engagement factors that influence your video’s YouTube ranking:

    1. Trust and authority of your YouTube channel

    YouTube prefers video producers that routinely produce quality video content. Thus, it looks not only at engagement of individual videos but also at engagement of your video channel overall. Factors such as number of subscribers, number of channel views, and the overall age of your video channel are important in ensuring consistently high ranking videos.

    2. Engagement of your videos

    While the overall number of views is surely an important factor in a high-ranking video, it is more important for your video to be interesting to those who choose to view it. How long do your videos keep your viewer’s attention? Generally speaking, videos that capture 40% of the viewer’s attention (i.e., over two minutes of a five minute video) will help your video rank higher. YouTube looks at two audience factors – absolute (what percentage of your video is watched) and relative (how does this compare to other videos of similar length?).

    3. Social signals

    As with traditional SEO, social media links appear to be an increasingly important factor in the overall strength of your content. Factors that indicate video social sharing include embeds, external links, and the strength of the sites the video is being shared on. Particularly strong social sharing sites include Digg, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ so be sure to prompt sharing to these and other sites when posting your video.

    4. Comments, responses, and reactions

    YouTube wants to gauge how much dialogue your video generates. The numbers of comments, likes, and responses are important factors in determining your video’s ranking. Note: video responses in particular are hugely important. After all, YouTube is a video sharing site. If your video is responsible for creating additional video content for YouTube, you’ve hit an SEO home run.

    Likes and shares are also factors that determine level of interest in your video. YouTube gives significant weight to the number of shares.

    YouTube has determined that engagement is a better measurement of quality and satisfaction than simple views. As Google has given greater importance to Quality Score, YouTube has given greater importance to engagement. In both, the common threads are quality and relevance. If you create quality and relevant content for your readers and viewers, you stand a much better chance of getting to the top of every search engine.




  5. How Optimizing Video Can Lead to Traffic and Conversions

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    What’s the second largest search engine behind Google?

    Bing? No.

    Yahoo? No.

    AOL? No.

    The correct answer, of course, is YouTube, which processes more than 3 billion searches each month. Additionally, since November 2011, YouTube video results are embedded into Google search results. Try typing “psy Gangnam style” into Google, and the first four results, ahead of Wikipedia, Facebook, and Billboard, are YouTube videos. (Psy’s Gangnam Style, incidentally, is the most watched video of all time with nearly 2 billion views as of February 10, 2014. Thus, it seems logical for search marketers to think beyond Google and Bing. Search strategies must include all aspects of digital marketing, including video. Let’s examine the key strategies for optimizing your video content.

    1.  Choose the most relevant content for your business – Context is equally important in video optimization as it is in search optimization.  A simple tutorial on how to use your product is a great video for product marketers. Hosting a webinar that conveys your expertise on a particular subject is a great choice for service marketers. Remember, consumers like video because it gives them a better understanding of your product or service. It aids in the decision-making process. As you develop your script, put yourself in the mind of the searcher. Include phrases that are searched on often.

    2.  Select a keyword relevant title for your video – The title of your video is like a PPC ad. Its purpose is to gain a click-through. Choose a title that is relevant to the content of your video, but exciting and engaging enough to get that coveted click-through. Your title should include a key phrase that your research determined to be the most relevant search phrase for your desired action.

    3.  Include tags – Tags are keywords and phrases that provide the YouTube search engine with clues as to what your video is about. Think of them as hashtags for your videos. List your most relevant tags first, as order does play a factor in YouTube’s algorithm. Be as specific as possible so you can limit the amount of competition for your video. What makes your video unique? Try to include the same keywords you included in your video’s title.

    4.  Write a keyword-rich description – Make sure you use the same relevant keyword phrases that you included in your title and tags. This consistency will go a long way towards establishing the relevancy that is so important to both Google and YouTube. Be thorough and comprehensive. So many video creators cut corners when developing their video’s description, but you can really give yourself an edge if you provide YouTube visitors with an in-depth description.

    5.  Upload a transcript – Uploading a transcript to YouTube is an easy way to ensure your targeted keywords are interpreted correctly by the search engines. Simply create a .txt file of your video’s script, and upload it to YouTube via the Video Manager section of your YouTube account. When you name the .txt file, use the search term you’re optimizing for in your .txt file’s name. Additionally, by uploading a transcript, you automatically enable YouTube’s captions.

    6.  Create a video sitemapGoogle Webmaster Tools provides simple instructions on how to create a video sitemap.

    Each entry must contain the following pieces of data:

    1. Title
    2. Description
    3. Play page URL
    4. Thumbnail URL
    5. Video file location or player URL

    It is recommended that you host your video on YouTube and embed the YouTube video on your own site.

    Optimizing video is a process, and like traditional SEO, will reap tremendous benefits to your business or your client’s business when followed correctly.



  6. And Our 9th Annual State of Search Survey Says…

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    SEMPO is pleased to release our 9th Annual State of Search Report.  For an industry that is constantly evolving, this report remains a critical touchstone for digital marketers looking to assess where they stand today and where they should be looking to succeed tomorrow.  Plus, our unique approach of surveying and segmenting results for both companies and agencies provides perspectives and insights not easily found in other reports.

    The 2014 State of Search Report is no different in this regard but we did make some significant changes in the survey approach to be able to capture today’s reality of search marketing’s integration into the overall digital marketing mix. Here are some of the key elements that we implemented to further enhance our ability to provide meaningful and relevant data:

    - The survey was shortened to be more strategically oriented – focusing more on objectives, metrics, and ROI and less on resources and tactics.  This appears to have produced the desired result as 70% of our company respondents either manage or contribute to strategy, budgets, and direction of marketing.

    - We added social media marketing questions to the survey several years ago as it was becoming clear that search engines were evolving their algorithms to include social signals. This year we added more digital channels, including mobile, email, and display. The results illustrate the degree to which content marketing integration is still more of a strategic concept than tactical reality – somewhat more particularly with companies. We think you will also find it interesting to compare key objectives, metrics, challenges with emerging trends, and ROI perceptions between channels as well as between companies and agencies.

    - Budget questions were included as in the past but this time we drilled down a little deeper to understand allocation/aggregation between digital channels as well as flexibility to alter spends based on more real-time ROI assessment.

    - There are also a few new questions around how much time digital marketers are investing in learning/researching the latest trends and how experimental they are in testing new techniques/technologies by channel. We were a little surprised to see that both companies and agencies are less experimental with search engine optimization than all the other channels except email. Another sign of the maturation of SEO or more of a reflection of last year’s developments regarding Google’s algorithm and analytics “enhancements?”

    SEMPO members can access the complete report here. We look forward to your comments and the ongoing conversation around the report as we dig deeper into the findings and surface more observations.

    Finally, sincere thanks to our members and sponsors for their participation and support of this survey and for their continued commitment to advancing search marketing best practices as part of today’s integrated digital marketing mix.


  7. Talent Acquisition and Job Hunting Beyond LinkedIn

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    According to the 2013 Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey, 94% of recruiters use or plan to use social media in their recruiting efforts, while 78% of them have made a hire through social media. Thus, it makes sense for recruiters and job hunters alike to utilize social media.

    For Job Hunters

    1. Review privacy settings – Let’s face it, some of us say EXACTLY what we feel when on Facebook or Twitter. If your posts are in any way controversial, you may want to review your privacy settings to make sure your posts are viewed by friends only. Recent surveys suggest that nearly 40% of employers have prescreened potential hires. Though most are looking to see if candidates are a good fit with their company’s culture, you don’t want to lose a great opportunity because of a misguided Facebook post or tweet.

    2. Let your network know you’re job seeking – Facebook and Twitter are first and foremost networking vehicles, allowing you to communicate with a broad group of people quickly. Don’t be shy. It is essential for job seekers to let their networks know they’re in the job market. Tell them the location, industry, and job title you are seeking as well as any other pertinent details that your network can pass along about you. 

    3. “Like” or “follow” any prospective employer’s social media platforms — More and more employers are posting jobs on their social media pages. Make sure you are aware of any potential openings at your target employers. Search for Facebook pages or Twitter accounts devoted specifically to jobs. Many major companies, including Google, Disney, and Microsoft, now have dedicated jobs’ accounts. And, if you can determine the hiring manager of a potential job, their Facebook or Twitter page could give you a sense of their managerial style. Use this knowledge to your advantage during an interview.

    4. Use groups and hashtags to your advantage – Whether on Facebook or Twitter, get involved in the conversation. If you become a known contributor in your areas of interest and expertise, you may come across a hiring manager who is seeking the talents you possess. Use your Twitter account as a bridge to your personal blog, portfolio, or resume to provide more details about your knowledge and skills.

    For Recruiters

    1. Show up in organic search – With so many candidates using search and social media in their job search, make sure your Facebook and Twitter pages are optimized. Fill out category, topic, and description sections of your Facebook and Twitter profiles, using terms related to jobs and positions you are looking to fill.

    2. Create groups – Whether they are location, industry, or position based, groups are a great way to find individuals who are like-minded and interested in your company.

    3. Leverage your employees – Ask employees to tweet or post jobs in their department or location. Chances are good that they have someone in their network seeking employment.

    4. Tell everyone how great you are – Retweet when employees and customers say great things about you. Everyone wants to work for great companies doing great things.

    5. Engage with candidates – If you are able to make the process as personal as possible, prospective employees are more likely to become actual employees.

    Do you have a tip for fellow job hunters or recruiters? Share in the comments below:

  8. Using Search for Talent Acquisition: How to Get Your Job Openings in Front of the Right Candidates

    Author: | 13 Comments

    It’s January – a time when businesses focus on the year ahead. They determine what resources they’ll need to meet their objectives, and thus, hiring is heavy, and competition for talent is fierce.

    We typically think of search as a medium for customer acquisition, but it is also widely used by candidates searching for jobs. Similar to the approach we take for customer acquisition, search for talent acquisition involves optimization and distribution.

    Build a keyword list
    The first step in getting your jobs in front of the right candidates via search is to develop your keyword list. Your list should include:

    1. Personal attributes of ideal candidates
    2. Key performance indicators and success metrics of the most successful people in the position
    3. Reasons candidates would want to work for your company (perks that make you stand out)

    Put yourself in the mind of the job seeker. What terms will they be looking for when searching for the ideal job? Be as specific as possible by using appropriate industry jargon to help eliminate fringe candidates, and to give you the best chance for receiving resumes from the most ideal candidates.

    Write a job description that is compelling, unique, and shareable
    If we’ve learned anything as search marketing professionals, it is that content is king. That content comes in many forms. Treat your job descriptions as you would your product descriptions. Include as many of your relevant keywords as possible, write compelling descriptions that catch the reader’s eye, and include audio or video to give your job description some personality. A small audio snippet from a hiring manager or company executive gives a candidate a sense of what to expect if he were to work at your company. It also gives your description a personality and gives readers a reason to like, share, repost. Your goal is to have a candidate say “this job is me,” or “I know someone perfect for this job.”

    Create unique landing pages with optimized URLs for each job description
    Just as it is vital when creating product and other website pages, so too is it vital to create unique landing pages for your job descriptions. As with any piece of optimized content, your URL should have plain English phrases using the position title. For example, would be a preferred URL for your online marketing manager job descriptions.

    Establish links to your job description from relevant sites
    Where do your candidates search for jobs? An easy way to determine this is to do a general search for the position you are seeking and see what comes up. Most likely, the top sites are general job boards, industry-specific job boards, associations, colleges, newspapers, and more often, social media. Make sure you link to your job description from as many high volume sites as possible to give your site relevant link authority.

    Leverage social networking to get the word out
    According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 72% of online adults use social networking sites. Networking, whether social or otherwise, is a vital component of the job search. You must be where the candidates are. Many candidates, in fact, may not be active job seekers. Social networking sites are a great way to find passive job seekers who may not be actively searching, but who would welcome a job change. Sites such as LinkedIn, allow you to search for candidates who match the qualifications and experience you are looking for. Other sites, such as BeKnown from Monster, and even Facebook are reaching out to job seekers and recruiters alike, trying to capitalize on the social networking phenomenon. Facebook’s Graph Search allows recruiters to find the skills, education, or experience that fits a particular job opening. Leverage to 100+ million users of these sites to find the ideal candidate.

    Search is a built-in component of your marketing mix. It should also be a part of your talent acquisition mix.


  9. 2013 Salary Survey Infographic

    Author: | 8 Comments

    SEMPO is excited to present the 2013 Salary Survey Infographic.

    What are search marketers getting paid? What is the job growth for search? How many search marketers are in agencies? Discover the answers to those questions in the 2013 Salary Survey Infographic. The infographic is a visual representation of the 4th Annual Salary Survey that was fielded by the SEMPO Research Committee in conjunction with ClickZ.

    SEMPO members can download the 2013 Salary Survey here.
    If you would like to become a SEMPO member, please click here.
    Past Salary Surveys can be viewed here.

    Sempo_Infographicv4 2

  10. How to be a Closer: A Look at the Art of Project Management.

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    Congratulations – you won the business. You worked hard to earn your clients by conveying your expertise and proving to them that the work you do will help them solve their problems and deliver a positive return on investment.  Now, how you manage the relationship will go a long way toward ensuring you retain your client long after the initial project is completed.

    Regardless of whether you are working on an initial SEO audit, or a robust social media engagement campaign, you must manage client expectations and communicate effectively with your client. You have a responsibility to your client to develop a plan that ensures there are no surprises that will prevent you from retaining the client moving forward.

    Some steps to follow:

    1. Build a team. Your team of experts should all be accessible and available to answer any questions as you collaborate on solutions. Each team member’s role must be effectively communicated to the client so the client knows who to go to when questions arise.  You must effectively demonstrate how each team member contributes to the overall goal of efficiently solving the client’s problems. These roles include, but are not limited to:

    a. Account Manager
    b. Technical SEO Analyst
    c. Content Curator
    d. Link Building/Relationship Manager

    2. Define your process. Define your process and effectively communicate to the client that deviating from this process will hinder your chances for success. Your process, which includes your firm’s unique value proposition, is your differentiator, and is likely the reason why your firm was selected in the first place. This is an important step as it enables you to retain control over the engagement and the dialogue. As you establish the rules of engagement, remember, your number one objective is to solve a problem that the client could not solve on his own. This is your opportunity to reaffirm to the client that you are not only valuable, but invaluable.

    3. Diagnose the problem. Many firms like to pitch solutions before they have accurately and effectively diagnosed a problem. It is up to you, as the expert, to evaluate and assess before you prescribe a solution. As part of this diagnosis, once again reaffirm your unique value proposition. Reaffirming helps those clients who may be suffering from “buyer’s remorse,” or who may otherwise have doubts about your ability to help. This reaffirmation will go a long way toward creating an ongoing partnership with the client, and will help you retain the client moving forward.

    4. Propose a solution. After you have diagnosed your client’s issues, your proposed solution should include goals and KPIs that reasonably establish your client’s expectations. Make sure to educate your client on the KPIs so that there is 100% buy-in on the goals. Setting proper expectations is vital to having both short-and long-term client satisfaction.

    5. Apply your solution. As you apply your solution, the tactical work necessary to reach your goals, you must not make excuses if roadblocks prevent you from following your process. If part of your proposed solution includes having them update blog content, the client must have the resources and wherewithal to make the necessary update. If they cannot, this should have been identified during the diagnosis and proposed solution phases. It is important that both agency and client collaborate effectively in order for your projects to be completed according to the expectations set forth earlier.

    6. Measure and reassess regularly. An important step in the project management process is analyzing and reporting on results. When you measure, make sure to report on progress made on the KPIs toward goals agreed upon earlier in the process. Communication is key, regardless of the success of the engagement. An important factor to preserving the trust of the client is to proactively take corrective action in the event that progress hasn’t been made toward achieving your goals. If you have followed your process, agreed to earlier in your engagement, and if you set proper expectations based on your past experience, the client will not be surprised by slow, yet steady progress.

    If you effectively manage the relationship from pitch to close, you’ll be retaining more and more clients. You’ll spend more time improving your clients’ business, and less time proving your worth during another pitch.