One of the biggest mistakes SEO professionals make is to assume a client is knowledgeable, well-researched and motivated to carry out search work simply because they have hired the service and agreed to pay for it. We generally start working at full speed, putting recommendations to their shoulder, and are surprised when the work doesn’t get accomplished.
We always forget that clients maintain a different level of maturity and knowledge about search, and even clients with high-end knowledge may have other organizational challenges that create obstacles in way to implementing the task. Identifying where your clients fall on the maturity ground can help you better to adapt recommendations and communication to meet them at their position, and increase the possibility that your work will be executed.
How Knowledgeable is Your Client?
No, not academic knowledge, it is basically about search practice maturity. This article will provide guidance on how to diagnose where your clients falls and on what ground. This is where maturity models can help you decipher the maturity level. They are originally developed for the Department of Defense to measure the ability of an organization and thus improve continuously in a way. These maturity models help you diagnose the current maturity of the business in a certain area, and help identify where to focus efforts in order to go to the next stage on the maturity curve. It is a powerful tool for meeting the client, and understanding how to move along together with them.
Technical SEO Capabilities Maturity
Let us first dive into a maturity model to evaluate search knowledge and capabilities.
Criteria for SEO Capabilities
We measure the knowledge and capabilities of an organization on several important criteria that contribute to the success of SEO:
Collaboration- How well relevant investors integrate and cooperate to do the best work possible, including the organization and the service providers.
Mobile Optimized- It is evaluated how mobile-friendly and optimized the brand is.
Content- How integrated organic search is into digital content marketing practice and process?
On-page and Off-page – What are the possibilities of on-page optimization for the brand’s content. And for off-page optimization, you need to evaluate the breadth and depth of brand’s off-site optimization, including link-building, social profiles and other non-site assets.
Latest Technology- The interest for and adoption of new technology that impacts search, such as voice search and even structured data.
How mature is the search practice of your clients?
The real challenges that come in the way of implementation tend to be organizational, integration, people and process problems. Conducting an assessment based on search maturity with your client can be eye-opening as to what needs to be taken care of before great search work can be implemented and start reaping the rewards. Pairing this with the technical capability maturity model, you can have a powerhouse of knowledge and tools to help your client.
However, there is a note of warning. While this maturity model emphasizes greatly on organizational adoption and process, it is not suggested that this particular process and procedure are substitutes for using your brain. You still have to think wisely and make difficult choices when it comes to execute the best search program, and often that requires solving new problems that didn’t exist before and therefore it doesn’t have a formal process.
Evaluating the maturity level of your clients and identifying where your client falls on a maturity curve can help you better create a communication and recommendations to meet them at the point where they are, and increase the possibility that your work will be implemented.