As part of my job as an SEO specialist, I am often asked to produce a “best practices” deck for clients. These can range from very broad topic such as Twitter or more specific challenges such as URL Confusion and How to Fix it. Many times the topics will relate to our field of expertise and we will be well-versed on all aspects of it. Other times we will be asked to give an overview of an area that quite frankly we have little direct experience with. Given our status as SEO specialists, it is our responsibility to research our best practices decks with due diligence regardless of whether we have prior experience or not.
Having developed many SEO best practices presentations for our clients at TSA, I wanted to share a few tips for how to make these best practices decks most effective for your clients:
- Don’t be afraid to ask your colleagues if you don’t know the answer to something or if you want to bounce ideas off of them. You’re in this together so communicate! Just because you ask someone for their advice doesn’t mean you are less intelligent than them. Conversely, if someone asks you for feedback then be generous with your knowledge.
- Test out the recommendations for yourself. If you don’t have client experience to fall back on, then create your own tests on non-client sites. Corporate clients are often much more conservative about trying new things so you can ease them into your strategies by presenting proven case studies within your best practices presentation.
- Set up Google Alerts / RSS feeds. Setting up Google Alerts and RSS feeds for specific topics will allow you to keep up with the latest developments. SEO is a rapidly-changing field so you have to keep up with the game or be left behind. This makes it easier for you to update your best practices as needed. Be sure to review your decks on a quarterly basis at a minimum.
- Follow industry blogs. Chances are that the questions being asked have been asked before so scour the industry blogs (including The Search Agents of course) to see if and how the problems were addressed. Comment on the blogs if you have questions or need clarity. This goes back to #1, don’t be ashamed to ask. When you get your information, don’t regurgitate it verbatim but take it in and add your own twist.
- Make your presentations pretty. Think about a favorite college professor. Maybe they lectured on a topic that would normally be a snooze-fest but somehow you felt motivated and hung onto every word that came out of their mouth. It’s all about the packaging. Brand your best practices decks to suit your client – include images, sound and links where appropriate.
Once you have your killer SEO best practices deck, there is one final thing that will make-or-break the presentation. Be sure to deliver your presentation with confidence. Rehearse in front of a mirror. Rehearse new decks to your colleagues. Take Toastmasters classes. Speaking with confidence does not come naturally for some of us but it’s worth putting in the time.
Best practices presentations can seem daunting at first, but can really help to build your credibility with clients. Plus the development of these decks forces you to go beyond the day-to-day campaign management and really dive into the critical issues of your area of expertise.
What other techniques have you found to be helpful in developing or presenting on best practices?