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As humans, most of the time we desire to know the absolute truth and make sure those we are putting our faith in adhere to that standard. In an agency or business setting, it is no different, and when you have clients across the entire world, being as transparent as possible can be a difficult task to accomplish.
Let’s discuss why transparency is so important and how you can improve transparency with clients to deliver the best service possible.
Why Is Client Transparency Important?
Before going into the how, I wanted to touch on why client transparency is important. Imagine you are building your dream home, but you can’t continuously see the progress contractors are making in real time. You then put trust within the contractors to build your home to perfection after a few discussions. While in the minds of some this might be fine, some people may want to know every screw being used, others may want to make sure the drywall is up, and some may just want to make sure the kitchen is painted the right color.
That is just like various marketing projects. With every project and client, there is going to be a specific goal or goals. To create a long-lasting partnership, you want to always make sure you are on the same wavelength with the client regarding these goals. If you don’t have complete transparency on how to reach those goals, those relationships can easily falter. To foster that partnership, below are some tools and methods utilized to ensure complete transparency and that you don’t waver from the client’s objectives.
The Best Ways to Maintain Transparency
One instance when I was talking with a newer client, they asked a question about a specific post to see if we could make an alteration. I had a busy day of meetings and couldn’t respond for a couple of hours. As soon as I could get to a response, I apologized for my slight delay in getting back to her. She responded emphatically that I was “SO FAST.”
Being responsive to your clients in a quick manner not only establishes transparency with them, but trust. I recommend ensuring you respond to clients regarding any questions, comments, or concerns be answered within four hours (as much as you can). It allows your client to be at ease, knowing that if anything comes up, you will always be there as a partner to help your client reach their goals.
One of the best ways to stay visible and make sure goals are aligned is to actually talk with your clients. As a team, we set up bi-monthly calls with all of our clients to discuss recent work and make sure they understand how their recommendations can benefit their overall goals.
On these calls, I recommend directly informing the client exactly what our upcoming tasks will include to make sure we are touching on the highest-priority items first. You can directly place all of your upcoming initiatives in writing for the client to easily review and ensure priorities match up for all parties.
I also recommend being as flexible as possible with these meetings. Always ensure that your client can attend the meetings, and if an additional meeting needs to be scheduled to go over things, be willing to do so.
Project Management Tools
There are a number of project management tools in today’s world, but I recommend you find one that allows your clients to easily access, review documents, and communicate efficiently.
We use a software called ClickUp to communicate with all of our clients. This houses and keeps track of all internal interactions and external conversations, and allows our clients easy visibility to review and approve materials before we execute the recommendations.
ClickUp allows for customizability for clients to easily find documents, communicate directly on certain tasks with the project manager or other team members, and approve recommendations with the click of a button. Each Client Review list also allows the client to see all new recommendations, any work that has been approved or completed, and easily send messages back to your team when something needs to be reviewed. Clients can organize their work with us for each service we provide and have a clear understanding of what work is being done all in one place.
Finding the right project management tools for your team and client will allow for clear transparency and efficiency in the success of your clients goals.
Digital Marketing and SEO is an ever-changing landscape, with continuous volatility of improvements and declines in impressions, traffic, and even revenue. Obviously, all of these factors are important to a business, and while improvements are always desired, growth by competitors and algorithm updates can cause unwanted declines. While no client or business is a fan of the word decline, being upfront with these changes and creating an action plan to combat them creates trust and visibility.
We give all of our clients a fully automated report through Google Data Studio to allow them to see real time metrics from a variety of sources, including Google Analytics, Google Ads, and Google Search Console. With these reports, there’s the opportunity for clients to learn more about their business the way they need or want, allowing for full transparency. A client can alter the date and look back as far as their analytics lets them, look at a certain ad group and how much revenue is coming from a specific keyword, or see what marketing channel is driving the most sessions. This provides complete transparency with the client all in one place to easily show the health of their website.
In addition to our reporting dashboard, to ensure that we are seeing no unnecessary declines and to point out improvements made, we recommend analyzing your client’s website metrics in-depth on a monthly basis. This allows the client to know that we are still thinking about their project as a whole, noting if we need to make adjustments, where, and how we can do so.
Taking a Proactive Approach
No one can predict the future, especially when it comes to digital marketing and Google. Declines are bound to happen at some point. Algorithm updates are always occurring, user behavior can change in the blink of an eye, or a global pandemic can completely change how the world works. However, there are options that you and your team can take to minimize the above and be transparent with your clients.
Our top SEOs, PPC experts, and campaign strategists are always looking for new thought leadership articles to grow the opportunities for each of our clients. There are always new ways to look at things, and getting the perspective of others in the respected community allows us all to grow. We share these learning opportunities with our entire team to allow for everyone to learn something new.
As a company, we are also very cognizant of major updates from Google. Our team keeps an eye on articles about possible algorithm updates and how they may affect the overall SERPs. Whenever there is a whiff of an update, we communicate this directly to clients during our bi-monthly calls to make sure we are transparent about the potential volatility.
No project is ever going to be perfect, but providing transparency through effective communication and various tools can ensure an effective partnership with you and your clients!
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