I’ve heard some people say they got into their online business, be it SEO or copywriting, so they could work from home and not have to interact with people. And every time I hear that, I can’t help but take a step back and think, “That’s stupid.” I mean, sure you may not be dealing face to face with people on a daily basis, but a large part of what you do involves client interaction. You absolutely must know how to work with people in order to succeed in any sort of business venture.
Now having said that, I fully realize that some people who “retreats” to an online job in order to avoid social duties may require a little extra help in respect to client relations. If that describes you, here are a few tips to help you out. Follow them and you’ll be retaining clients and getting referrals in no time.
1. Go the extra mile to fix your mistakes—I’m writing this post today because quite frankly, it’s fresh on my mind. See, I did another post for this blog that I was supposed to schedule for 9 A.M. this morning. But I screwed up and it published overnight. Well, after thinking about it, I decided that it just wasn’t right for me to say “OOPS!” and move on. So instead, I decided to supply the blog with an extra post. And it just so happened to be fitting material. Would Gerald have let me keep posting to his blog if I had simply said “Sorry,” and moved on to next week? More than likely. But hey—I want to make sure I keep my business relationships moving in the right direction. I plan on working with him for a long time. So why not scratch his back?
Update: Gerald ended up not using this post last Monday so it’s getting used this week. That said, I’m still glad I went the extra step and I’m sure he took note. Make a habit of doing business the right way!
2. Deliver as promised (and don’t promise if you can’t deliver)—Sometimes I’m lucky and acquire a project that has a flexible deadline. But more often than not, if a client contacts me then they needed the piece written yesterday. So they ask when is the soonest I can finish for them. I’m always tempted to overcommit in order to secure the project. However, I’ve learned the hard way that it’s better to give them an honest answer than to promise and not deliver. Nothing makes a client unhappier than having to wait for work that should have already been completed.
3. Keep communication lines open—Again, sometimes you get the low maintenance client that just wants you to send them the finished product and shut the hell up. But always go into a new relationship assuming your client needs his hand held. In other words, give him frequent updates. And ask him if he has any questions (and be ready to answer them). Bottom line—make him feel important.
Have you run into client issues before? What have you done to go the extra mile?
Did you know there is more to the Referral Traffic Sources in your Google Analytics than just the referral domains themselves? Here are a few things you can learn by clicking on some of the domains listed under your Traffic Sources > Sources > Referrals.
What Twitter User Really Sends You Traffic & Your Most Popular Posts on Twitter
Want to find out who is really sending the most traffic to your website via Twitter? Look no further than the t.co domain in your Traffic Sources. When you click on this, you will see the specific t.co links that have led visitors to your website.
Copy the Referral Path listed, then paste it into your browser after http://t.co so you can go to the post or page that it references. In another tab (if you don’t have this already), install the Topsy Trackbacks bookmarklet on your bookmarks toolbar. Then go to the tab with your post and click on the Topsy bookmarklet. You will now see most of the tweets for your page in Topsy.
When you get to the All posts about this link section, scroll to the bottom and click on the more link until you’ve pulled most of the tweets for your post (which could take a while, depending on how many times the page has been tweeted). Then use your browser’s Find on Page (CTRL + F) and paste in the Referral Path again. It should take you to one (or more) tweets with the t.co link that you pulled from Google Analytics. The first person who tweeted it is the source of your Twitter traffic!
Going back to your Referral Paths from t.co, you can also use this to see which posts on your site get the most Twitter traffic. Simply click on the Secondary dimension dropdown and select Landing Page under Traffic Sources.
This will show you the posts each t.co link references.
Pages with Traffic from Image Search
Curious what posts or pages on your website get the most traffic from Google Images search? Find out by clicking on the google.com domain in your traffic sources and then click on the /imgres Referral Path. Next, use the Secondary dimension dropdown and, again, select Landing Page under Traffic Sources.
Be sure to check out the images on those pages to see if you can use similar images for future posts / pages on your site for more image related traffic!
Guest Posts, Comments, or Crowdsourcing
When you’re looking at your Traffic Sources, it’s easy to tell which source is related to your guest posting, commenting, or sites you contribute answers to for crowdsourced posts. If you do multiple activities on one site, then you need to click on that site’s domain and drill down to the Referral Paths to see which activity gets the best results from that site.
By drilling down on my own referral traffic from Social Media Examiner, I could see that it comes from a variety of things, including one guest post, making their top blog list, a crowdsourced post, and a link left to one of my posts in the forums.
LinkedIn Shares, Groups, Answers, or Company Pages
If you are active on LinkedIn and take advantage of different things such as sharing your posts on your profile, LinkedIn groups, LinkedIn Answers, or on your company page, then you will probably want to know which of those activities bring the most traffic to your website. Click on linkedin.com in your Traffic Sources to see the following.
Here, I can see that the most traffic comes from shares within groups (/news), followed by status updates (/home, /profile/view, and /share), more group shares (/groupItem), and Answers (/groupAnswers).
Most Popular Posts on StumbleUpon
It’s tough to find things on StumbleUpon sometimes, including which posts from your own sites are the most popular on their network. If you want to see which posts on your site get the most StumbleUpon traffic, click on stumbleupon.com in your Traffic Sources, then click on the refer.php Referral Path. Next, use the Secondary dimension dropdown and, again, select Landing Page under Traffic Sources.
Now you can see which posts have driven the most StumbleUpon traffic over the last year. This is great to reference when you are determining what new content you want to create and how it will fare on the SU network. Going forward, with the latest changes to the SU networks, you will just look at any links starting with /su/ in the Referral Paths.
If you enjoyed this post be sure to check out basic Google analytics tips.
Do you go deeper into your Google Analytics Traffic Sources? What other discoveries have you found about your referral traffic?
Have you heard the buzz in the SEO community? Bruce Clay announced on Facebook, later followed up by this Search Engine Watch post, the launch of a new service that guarantees top listings in local search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. The service works to promote your business listing for a nominal fee, guaranteeing a top position – in organic listings! It also boasts to be a cheaper option than PPC. UBL, the backend partner of Clay’s in this venture, verifies that they are still in the beta phase and are currently testing the system (now being vehemently denied).
When I first heard about this news I had to look at the calendar – April 1st? Seriously, this seems a bit far fetched. Within a very short time the SEO community reacted with amazement; it’s common sense that this type of service would be looked down upon. Miranda Miller’s Search Engine Watch post did a good job of sharing her investigative research and the comment section is a worthwhile read. Additionally, friend of SEM-Group.net, Dave Harry wrote a summary post with some good reactions in the comments as well.
Bruce announced on Twitter that they’d have a statement this morning regarding the local paid inclusion fiasco. Google, Bing and UBL all deny involvement in lpi as reported in Danny Sullivan’s post. More reactions include thoughts that this is just some clever marketing plan or package done by Clay’s team – but gone awry maybe? I was intrigued by a comment on the SEW post by Bob Bigellow, he stated:
“I bet I know exactly what this is.
It probably requires each individual to install a plugin or extension or script or to otherwise implement some sort of service which will insert these “results” into the organic results area. Google has a service similar to this for a while where you could subscribe to certain feeds and, as a result, certain searches would trigger a special result on the page which was artificially put there by a third-party.
So, this likely won’t be anything new and won’t be very significant in that it will require opt-in, which means it will never reach the full breadth of Google.”
So what’s your take on the whole thing? Hoax, bad PR fiasco for a new service, or an April Fools Day joke 2 months early? Who knows, the whole thing could just be a ploy to get links or some elaborate SEO experiment….