When you have a client that just won’t act on your advice and recommendations, how do you handle it?

in this case, I’m not talking about a debate over ideas or tactics, I’m talking about a simple failure to follow through with recommendations which know to be correct.

Obviously they have other priorities, right? As long as they pay their bill every month, then who should care, right?

Well the fact is, some of us get just as much satisfaction out of ranking and conversion improvements as our clients do. There’s nothing more satisfying and reaffirming than seeing a client’s rankings climb steadily upward while implementing and following what you know to be the best tactics for search marketing.

Making them more money every month is really the goal, and if you’re accomplishing that, there’s a certain feeling of trust that easy to maintain. If you’re not, may as well have a job as a ticket taker at Disneyland.

What could be less enjoyable for either one of us than seeing poor to mediocre ranking and conversion results week after week, and seeing the same recommendations month after month?

This morning I was doing one of my final October client month end reports, and for the third month in a row, I went into my sent mail folder, found the e-mail I sent them with last months report attachment, and began my October e-mail by saying, “I’m forwarding this e-mail from last month again because…” It’s become absolutely ridiculous.

With the financial state of most businesses today, you would think they would want to do everything possible to improve rankings, conversions and profit, but they don’t seem to care!

Here’s what’s wrong:

The site is done with small videos that autoplay on every single page, every single time. It’s not informative or entertaining, its just irritating, and browsing the site becomes painful.

Firefox has display and font issues affecting 16% of all of their visitors.

The news section has nothing recent, and they still have not added the RSS feed of their own original content which we set up at their blog.

The title tags all still begin with the company name, all of our recommended title tags were never quite completed.

Even though we’re providing them with one good-quality weekly subject relevant article with deep links, they insist on approving every piece of content before it goes up, yet have posted only one out of the last 12 articles. Yes, for three months they’ve added one piece of content.

This is one of those accounts where we don’t even have FTP access, and for the last two months in a row, I have offered to have one of my programmers make all of these changes for them at no charge, but they have not given access.

It’s not that they’re uncommunicative, they just completely ignore the questions I ask, and instead respond with other questions. It’s as if I were trying to collect a bill, but I’m not because they pay every month. The problem isn’t just not enjoying the relationship.

Truth be told, in this economy, I have lost a couple of clients whose industries are just not seeing all that much search activity. Many businesses around the webs aren.t even hitting their PPC allocations because the impression counts are so far down, but this particular industry doesn’t seem to have suffered that fate.

What would you do?

I don’t want to risk alienating them by being too forceful, because they pay their bill. I’ve already been far more persistent than they likely would expect (since they’re paying me), and if I were to get any more aggressive they would think I was insane.

They have two domains, and on the static one that we don’t touch (with all the problems), I’ve stated the obvious, shown examples, pointed to competitors, offered the work for free, and done pretty much everything I could do.

On their second domain, we got FTP acccess and up a WordPress blog because I insisted. For that, we are lucky to get an okay from them to put up one post every month, and while the results were excellent when we began with the first batch of posts, they’ve slid steadily downhill.

So we have a blog that we can’t post to, we have a static site that we can’t fix, we have a client that’s not following advice, yet they continue to pay their bill monthly. Go figure. I guess I’ll just have to wait to see what happens… Thanks for letting me vent!

I’m sure we’ve all had clients from time to time that don’t listen, haven’t we?.

(discuss in forum) – When clients don’t follow your advice or recommendations, what do you do?