A common challenge we face as an agency is having our recommendations actioned, a challenge I know is shared internally with some of the clients we work with.
The deck is slightly stacked against us due to the nature of this industry. Most of our recommendations won’t provide immediate, tangible results. In some instances, they may not provide any noticeable performance improvements at all. This can make the case for getting things pushed through difficult.
So, what can be done to get things moving?
Explain the benefits
Different stakeholders will have different SEO knowledge levels, and won’t always automatically understand the importance of H1 tags, removing unnecessary redirects, updating hreflangs, and so on.
A good agency will explain why a client should implement the recommendation. This can include descriptions of the task, benefits they can expect and, ideally, case studies showing where these recommendations have been successful in the past.
“Here’s what you need to do…”
While a simple guide can be helpful, exceptional service appreciates that different teams are needed to implement different tasks.
Some technical updates will need input from the development team, content improvements might need support from copy writers, and UX improvements could need input from a designer.
It’s important to go beyond explaining the process, and take the time to talk clients through every step and teams who’ll be involved.
“Your competitors have already done it…”
Most – if not all – brands are competing with someone else. We’ve had success getting tasks implemented by highlighting how client sites are falling behind and losing out to the competition.
Most brands like to be first movers in their market place, so even if they haven’t fallen behind, presenting an opportunity to get ahead will help win people over.
Present the best-case scenario
You can ramp up the benefits of tasks by reminding everyone of the best-case scenario or goal you’re aiming for with your recommendations.
Often, we can all get stuck focusing on the smaller aspects of an overall strategy, and tied-up in the detail of implementing individual tasks.
By reminding clients that it all works towards more sessions and revenue it can often kick start people into action.
Present the worst-case scenario
When ‘best case’ hasn’t worked, try doing the opposite.
If after some gentle nudging your client or stakeholder hasn’t made any progress, show them what could happen if they continue to neglect the advice.
By using case studies, projections, and analytics, you can paint a picture of what inaction will bring.
If executed well, people tend to respond well to this approach when all else has failed.
“How else can we help?”
Once the recommendation has been made, there’s one more way that you can make the process of implementation much more straight forward: execute the work for them.
To give the best service, sit in their office and show the client how to carry out the work. This can help reduce the size of the task next time around, and free up time for you all to focus on other things.
Click here for more information on each of our services, finding out how we can support your brand and how we put all of this into practice.