CEO: My wife searches for us on Google and we don’t show up. Why is that?

SEOx: Hi, it’s been a long time since we talked — thanks for coming by! Actually, your personal computer can mislead you. Could I give you a tour of our metrics dashboard — it is better at telling the story of our increases in both traffic and revenue from it. It’s super easy to use and I think you’d like it.

CEO: Talk to Sam — I’ve asked him to look into this problem.

Sam: <while looking at cell phone> SEOx, the CEO came by and asked me why we had an SEO consultant but don’t rank.

SEOx: Wow, nice to hear from you! We do Rank, for hundreds of phrases and our attributable revenue is way up. The CEO seems to be searching for vanity phrases that have no real world traffic — plus his computer is reorienting the search results all the time as it personalizes. While I have you here… I have also made several recommendations and can’t seem to get answers— did you see those?

Sam: You mean Tacticx?

SEOx: Yes, it’s the same recommendation I’ve brought up for months. Here’s the link to an explainer I did. I need to work with the marketing team to finish it but have been told “no” in the last few meetings because it’s going to take resources to complete. Do you want me to resurface this now? Can I explain any part of it for you?

Sam: Why can’t you handle this task? The CEO is trying to figure out what you’re doing for us in your retainer. You just keep asking for internal resources.

SEOx: In 2019, most SEO tasks have some element of collaboration required. We’ll make sure it goes smoothly but we need your team onboard. Also, we are on contract for X hours and you have told us to avoid overages. I can itemize all of the work we’ve done with (and for) your team anytime you like.

Sam: Can you have a chart of “before and after” of Tacticx before my next meeting with the CMO?

SEOx: When is it?

Sam: In two weeks.

SEOx: <closes laptop>I’m going to wait for you to finish on your phone… <Sam reluctantly puts phone down>You can’t say no to advice and resources and then pretend you said yes when the downside comes up later. You cannot then ambush your consultant and team and imply there’s incompetence as you ask for impossible things. Would you like to discuss getting Tacticx on timeline again? I can get my team in here.

Sam: I have a meeting

[+2 months. REORG HAPPENS — Jessica from PR dept takes over task. ]

Jessica (PR): I’ve taken over Sam’s job. I don’t have any digital experience, so bear with me. Sam said that we weren’t doing Tacticx (mispronounced.) I asked an agency my husband knows to give us a proposal on doing it <points to glossy document.>

SEOx: You don’t need an agency to work on it. You just need to give us the go-ahead to finish it. Tacticx has been core to our recommendations for months. Here’s the link to the plan 2 months ago and the revised one from last month. I was told to table this so we stopped pushing.

Jessica: We’re going to let the other agency have a shot at Tacticx — we’ve not managed to do it yet for whatever reason. I have been told you’re very good, but you’ve not done this?

SEOx: You mean for free without resources? No, we have not done it. <Calmly> You know glossy, unsolicited tactic-centered proposals are a huge red flag, right?

Jessica: Ok so the CEO wants to give them a shot — he gave the new agency a budget. Please give them admin on everything immediately. We’re pulling <list of team members> to help them finish.

Client fired.

New agency granted honeymoon period of 3–4 months where they don’t have to perform. Endless meetings sap hundreds of staff hours during “discovery” phase just to get new agency to the place SEOx was. New agency hits same indecisiveness and resistance as newness wears off. Tacticx never completed. Other Partially completed tasks scrapped. SEO project set back 8–12 months.

Cycle repeats



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