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10 Ways to Exceed Your Client's Expectations!

The following tips are just a few of the things I do to set my service apart from the crowd. In general, the weakest areas in the Internet marketing and Web development business are "customer communications" and "customer service." These tips are based on the tried and true philosophy of "under promising and over delivering."

1. Manage expectations on initial search engine placement.
I can not guarantee that you will get their Web site in the top 10 search results immediately. I don't guarantee that you will get them thousands of visitors right away. Instead I will do my best to position you within the top 30 search results as soon as possible. As you know, in this business there are no absolute guarantees, but I can only assure you that I'll only be using professional methods.

People are tired of hearing a lot of hype. Many firms make the mistake of selling a lot of trumped up claims, even before they learn and understand a prospect's business. With so many people out there who will promise the world to get a sale, a little realism goes a long way toward establishing your credibility. Setting a client's expectations conservatively from the outset only enhances the effect of achieving a high-ranking later.

I like to teach the client to expect top placement over a period of 6 to 12 months. It's much more realistic and for each time I achieve a place within the top 10 quickly, the client has another exciting surprise! To ensure happy customers, I try to set realistic expectations that I can attain every time.

2. Peace of mind guarantee.
I can't guarantee that I can get your website to the top of the search engines' rankings for your keywords, but I do promise that if I don't achieve agreed results for you then you can have a full 100% refund!

3. Blow away old misconceptions.
While some Web firms talk about the huge volume of "hits" to their customer's sites, I teach my prospects very early that "hits" are irrelevant. Hits are not the best means of determining site activity. A hit is NOT a visitor. A hit can be any action from the server. For example a page that displays 1 image, 10 buttons, 1 logo and plays music in the background might generate up to 14 hits for every visitor to that page.

This is best explained by showing the client an activity report and pointing out the difference between hits (any action from the server) and User Sessions (actual visitors). Eliminating any of the common misconceptions about traffic right from the start will serve you well in a marketplace where others are selling nothing more than hype. Set yourself apart from the crowd. Instead of letting customers believe old ideas, educate them and help your customer to grasp how things really work.

4. Learn about the time required for initial indexing.
I tell my clients not to expect much site activity right away. I like to prepare you for the time it takes robots to visit their site for the first time. Once again, this is a great opportunity to set your client's expectations. If we give you an expectation of waiting approximately 6 weeks after registration, before traffic commences, we know that some search engines will probably begin to visit in 3 to 5 weeks. Indeed a few may occasionally visit within just 48 hours from the time you register. However, by creating an expectation of 6 to 8 weeks it gives you a better chance of out-performing your goals.

If you must have results more quickly, we can discuss additional search engine inclusion options.

5. Be warned of mass search engine registration.
Have you been told about how you can have your website to registered for you with 2500 search engines for free? This is an old, out dated approach but you may be surprised at how many competitors are saying the very same thing. That's because literally anyone can buy auto submission software and press a button to submit a site.

6. I take a different approach. I ask the prospect this question:
"Have you ever wondered why some web developers may offer to register you with 2500 search engines for free?" The answer is simple...that's exactly what it's worth -- ZERO.

By setting realistic expectations on search engine registration, and telling you the truth about where most of your traffic will come from, you once again are learning what many others in the business fail to give their clients.

7. Learn about the risk and annoyance of FFA Links:
FFA Links (which stands for Free For All links) are NOT search engines. What you may have learned by now is that FFA sites are often times nothing more than email collection sites hoping to spam your email address after submission. Over the years I have occasionally tried subscribing to these services just to determine if there may be any benefit. I can determine no benefit in FFA links and I like to educate my clients so that the many "special offers" do not suck them in.

8. Build long-term relationships with my clients.
Taking the consultancy approach with SEO offers many opportunities to not only build customer rapport but also to maintain it on a long term basis. I see my role as teaching my clients as much as I can about the Internet side of their business. The time you spend educating your clients pays big dividends in terms of customer loyalty. What happens after a while is that my customers will seek my advice on issues rather than just being taken advantage of by one of those email offers that sounds too good to be true.

9. Practice customer service excellence.
One of the biggest tragedies in the Internet marketing and SEO business is lack of quality customer service. Do you get your customer calls returned promptly? Are you kept informed about the newest trends?

10. I see you as a customer for life.
Care for your customer's business as much as you can with full attention to detail. Most business owners are far too busy running their business to look after all of their "Web presence" issues. This is why they hire you in the first place. If you remember to deliver "excellence" in both customer service and communication, you'll have distinct advantages over other competitors. Take care of your customers, and they will take care of you.

11. That's right- one more than originally promised- Do you need help with writing stories for your email newsletter or adding news stories to keep updating your website's content?
This may be a stretch for some SEO's, but I look for opportunities to help you promote your website in different ways. I like to assist my clients by doing little things that are easy for me to do, don't really take me too much time, and add extra value to my service. Examples of these services include researching industry and topic specific media to provide relevant news content for your website which is also very "search engine friendly" - doubly increasing the credibility of your website.

All of this can be done with the latest "Web 2.0" XML technology. Another advantage of which is the leading search engines like Google, MSN and Yahoo will automatically receive daily updates from your website. In effect we will be submitting your website to the combined 90% of the total search engine traffic EVERY DAY!

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"Thank you Simon for getting our website to the very top of the first page on Google! My company has just picked up yet another new customer order- Thank you!"- L.M. - Company Director.

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