Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Bad SEO Client - Asshat SEO - Anger Addition

Bad asshat SEO client post #1 will give this one more clarity.

- Asshat was always an asshat, but it took awhile for everyone to notice.
- Asshat had it made, he was in charge and no one questioned him.
- Asshat made mistakes.
- A different analyst came along to the project and began to hold him accountable.
- Asshat began sending hate mail.
- Asshat began to crumble in defeat.

Now it's time for installment #2 of the asshat chronicles of bad SEO clients, which I lovingly refer to as the anger addition.

Anyone who uses this in their subject line has anger problems:
IMPORTANT: For the love of Pete, please fix!
This was an email about the site menu "fanning out past two levels and things were duplicated" and that is was embarrassing to him. Turned out to be design snafu and the design folks fixed it quickly. At least he cared at this point...maybe...but still an ass.

Now on to more asshattery. Hate mail started to become a regular thing, but eventually the focus shifted off of their insistence of blaming us for duplicate leads and onto THEIR lack of implementation. We had a change in analyst after some time, and we began to hold him more accountable. This is when the anger kicked in.

 As an example, to add to his hatred for sales guy, he sent me this email blaming his attitude on being sick:
"I‘m feeling like I have a stomach flu right now and I’m sorry for my brusque reply to you to-dos (felt miserable all day). I may or may not be in tomorrow, but please make sure [sales guy] gets that link for the meeting in case I’m not in on the call. I haven’t talked with him about this flu yet, so that’s private between you and me. He is very detail-oriented, so he’s likely to go right down the list of what was discussed and promised in the last meeting (just a heads-up). Thanks as always…"
Here, he is apologizing for being "brusque" aka an asshat. Then he tries to say this is private. How sweet...but I wasn't buying it. And the irony of him making sure sales guy is in the meeting! It also sounded like he was warning me that we needed to be held accountable? No idea what that buffoon was thinking.

Asshat was simply not doing his SEO job because he didn't know how. He thought he was so smart for being a Dale Carnegie Graduate Coach and VP of Marketing. However, he couldn't understand the concepts of on-page optimization or how to even check analytics or diagnostic data. We began assigning him tasks, he screwed them up and we'd have to fix it. Then he simply stopped doing them and we'd call him (very politely) out in meetings with his boss on the line. No one at that company was smart enough to know what we were talking about so the owner blindly trusted asshat, while asshat would blame everything on us. We were the scapegoat he needed, and it worked for him for awhile.

I remember when it got really bad for him. We had questioned him about something he was supposed to implement and we had to break the news that he fucked something up yet again. He (stupidly) changed the URL of a page instead of the heading tag. He made a mistake within the CMS and did not take an extra step needed to not force a URL re-write. This guy had been trained multiple times on multiple things including the CMS he had been using for years. He clearly was just not cut out for the job. That mistake--among others--was almost the demise of the site. On one of these types of calls, he raised his voice and said something like:
Everything I do you tell me is wrong anyway! So whatever! I'm just going to be quiet now!!
After that, there was an uncomfortable silence and I said, ok let's move on! I could tell this was one of his major breaking points.

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