On a webmaster forum that I frequent, a service provider brought to the forum a question regarding his SEO services and his client’s unwillingness to pay after the services were completed. Apparently, the client believes that he paid for the process and the provider believes the payment was only for the results; in this case getting higher up in the search engine results. From this outsider’s view, it’s hard to tell if the process as defined was or was not completed; but there does seem to be no disagreement as to the results achieved – even if those results may not be long-lasting.
When hiring someone to do web work for you, you have to be vigilant that you receive what you actually paid for. Let me give you three examples of what I mean.
Sticking with SEO services…
Client A hires Shady SEO Services Inc. to bring more traffic to their site. Shady takes a shortcut and pays one of those bulk traffic companies for a slew of traffic that is neither targeted or likely to return to the client’s site. Did SEO Services Inc. fulfill their contract?
Another example – Content Writing
Client B hires We Write Good to write the homepage and About Us pages for Client B’s widget business. We Write Good delivers a homepage that is basically a short essay on widgets and an About Us page that is another very similar essay on widgets. Did We Write Good fulfill their contract?
Third example – webpage design
Client C hires We Design Good to design their website. We Design Good simply goes to a free template site and passes off the design as their own. Did We Design Good fulfill their contract?
In the simplest terms, all 3 clients did get what they requested. But, none of them got what they wanted – did they? Who’s at fault? Both the client and the providers are at fault here. The client failed to clearly state their requirements and the providers took advantage of that oversight.
When paying someone to do services for you, think about the results. Client A most likely doesn’t simply want more traffic to their site – they want targeted traffic who is looking for what they sell and will buy their product. Client B’s website won’t convince people to buy widgets from them if their main sales page – their homepage – only has a simple essay on widgets and doesn’t entice prospects to buy their widgets from them. And one would assume that Client C was hoping to get a custom and unique website not one using a free template that hundreds or thousands of other sites are also using.
OK, one more example. The Navy purchased several computers on a single contract. The specifications called for the motherboards to have a full-sized slot for network cards. The computers came in – they did have the slots, but they were unusable due to the computer’s fan extending over the end of the slot. It was ruled the computers matched the spec and we were stuck with them. The mistake? Not specifically stating that the slots had to be usable. This example, I’m sorry to say is real, I was there.
OK, a lot of words to say “When you hire someone to do services for you, be clear about what you want and what the results should be.” Do not assume that the provider has the same goals that you do.