HoosierBuff

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I've had this question a few times over the last month, and each time, I did not get the business. I'm feeling that my answer here isn't very good, and wondering if I should frame this differently.

I can't imagine making a promise of ranking at all - I'd like to offer instead a 'satisfaction guaranteed' or something similar, but, that has risks and issues itself.

Mostly I can't promise ranking, because there are far too many keywords to consider, and far too many other factors for the main keyword.

I'm preaching to the choir here, but, what do you say when asked?
 

JoshuaMackens

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Re: "when will I be on page #1" Or "how much will my ranking improve"

I've had this question a few times over the last month, and each time, I did not get the business. I'm feeling that my answer here isn't very good, and wondering if I should frame this differently.

I can't imagine making a promise of ranking at all - I'd like to offer instead a 'satisfaction guaranteed' or something similar, but, that has risks and issues itself.

Mostly I can't promise ranking, because there are far too many keywords to consider, and far too many other factors for the main keyword.

I'm preaching to the choir here, but, what do you say when asked?

Goal of page 1 for all keywords in 6 months. That's just how I handle it.

When asked for a guarantee I tell them I can't make a guarantee because no one truly knows how Google works. We have to figure it out on our own and the little we do know comes from testing. So I can't guarantee a service for a search engine that won't tell me how they work.

Then I show them other client results and offer for them to talk to them on the phone about my service.
 

Digitaldar

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Re: "when will I be on page #1" Or "how much will my ranking improve"

how about moving the conversation away from rankings and more towards clients/leads/sales? Or even traffic?

Ask the client how many clients they need to get a return on what they are paying you...
 

Caleb

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Re: "when will I be on page #1" Or "how much will my ranking improve"

Showing a history of success and the timeline of results with other customers is a great way to put things in prospective. Make a promise that you'll work hard for them and provide value for every dollar spent.

Did you see Maile Ohye's video on hiring an SEO? She says it takes an SEO 4 months to a year to get results. https://youtu.be/piSvFxV_M04
 

Eric Rohrback

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Re: "when will I be on page #1" Or "how much will my ranking improve"

Did you see Maile Ohye's video on hiring an SEO? She says it takes an SEO 4 months to a year to get results. https://youtu.be/piSvFxV_M04

Marketing work is not done in a vacuum. Every situation will be different, so one client could see a #1 ranking in a few days, while others could take years. Treat every landscape differently.

Get away from using ranking as a KPI. Location, personalization, browser history, and a variety of other factors will always skew what you see vs what your client sees vs what the client's potential customers sees. If they persist that their only concern is ranking, then try to bring the conversation around to leads/sales/traffic growth. If they continue to only care about where they are ranking on terms that THEY are tracking - not terms their customers are actually searching for.. then it might be a lost cause.

Work with people who have the capability to listen, and do your best to tie digital marketing efforts back to their business. There's only so much you can do to try and educate, but if someone is not willing to listen then it might be time to move on to better clients.
 

HoosierBuff

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Re: "when will I be on page #1" Or "how much will my ranking improve"

Great Replies:

There are some real challenges, and I think this is super important.

- I'm very impressed by some of the folks here who say "6 months, page 1, all keywords" which I feel I couldn't promise, because I'm not sure I could deliver.

- I like steering away from ranking - but, if the conversation gets to leads, then the question is, how are we counting, and are we doing call tracking etc. . .which, for a small business is a lot of expense for very limited value (plus more work for me!). Maybe it isn't as hard as I think, but, it also would lack a baseline to compare against.
 

JoshuaMackens

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Re: "when will I be on page #1" Or "how much will my ranking improve"

Great Replies:

There are some real challenges, and I think this is super important.

- I'm very impressed by some of the folks here who say "6 months, page 1, all keywords" which I feel I couldn't promise, because I'm not sure I could deliver.

- I like steering away from ranking - but, if the conversation gets to leads, then the question is, how are we counting, and are we doing call tracking etc. . .which, for a small business is a lot of expense for very limited value (plus more work for me!). Maybe it isn't as hard as I think, but, it also would lack a baseline to compare against.

Maybe I should have been a bit more expansive. Typically, 6 months shouldn't be an issue unless you're playing in a big market and big industries. Maybe 500,000+ population. Even then, that is the goal but it's not always achievable, I grant you that.

We still deliver based on rankings. I like the idea of sales and leads being the determining factor but it's not going to work universally as some don't want to use tracking numbers and don't ask people how they found them. I can train them all I want but at the end of the day, some just won't do it. The only thing I can report on universally, at the end of the day, is ranking increases or decreases.

We also report on traffic of course but that doesn't always tell the full story.

Without being long and drawn out, yes, leads and sales are always the #1 metric. But since you can't prove them 100% of the time, we just default to rankings. BUT if the client is on top of their game or allows you to track their phone calls, it's a much better system. Definitely agree there.
 
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