Dictating SEO Strategy To Your SEO – BAD Idea

Nikola Tesla gave us AC power transmission, the coil transformer, wireless communication and hundreds of other inventions.

Tesla was not only an inventor and electrical engineer but was also a great visual thinker. He could “see” an entire system in his head and often didn’t test his ideas in a lab. If he tested them in his head he knew what the result of any physical test would be.

Good web strategists today are a bit like Tesla. Really, most of us don’t have the mind like him, but our customers usually don’t want to know “how” the devices would have worked anyway. They’d simply want them to simply work.

Companies today employ either in-house web professionals or they contract with an outside seo firm.

A few years ago I had a client whose project I was especially passionate with, and explained to them each step of my strategy, the timing, the tactics, the ideas and the if/then logic.

My client just stared at me and said “I don’t want to know how to build the watch, I just want it to tick.”


Ok, I was a little embarrassed, but it was flattering as well. Great faith was put in me to make the seo effort work. The client knew I was capable because of the past success and trust in the company that recommended this client hire me.

The lesson was mine, but it’s also one I share with clients today – a lesson for all.

Sometimes a client will want to know absolutely everything about the seo efforts – yes, they are entitled to know. But, often times these companies seem to transform themselves into micro-managers, dictating the seo strategy to the very people they hired to manage it. These companies are too busy learning how to “build the watch” instead of focusing on their business.

Where has the faith gone? Is it that seo is so intriguing, so interesting that they see the strategy take hold and want to be a part of the success? It’s a hard place to be, pleasing the client in this way while keeping the overall strategy intact. If we “give” up the control and allow the client to dictate the strategy… – why would they have hired us?

Tragically, a company like this uses their own business as their first seo experiment, and usually fails. After the realization, they wish they could go back to the days where they just trusted us to “build the watch” and they ran their business.

Yes, seo can be exciting, the combination of visual, lateral, vertical, creative and strategic thinking challenges even the proven seo. Honestly, it should be given to someone with proven experience – new clients simply don’t have the time to learn good seo and can’t afford to risk their future web presence on their new hobby – seo’n their own business website.

Either the seo will fail, or your company will as well.