Glenn, you have made nearly 1000 posts here over the past six years. So I am going to be honest and not sugar-coat my answer.
This is not the client's lack of understanding. It is your failure to communicate effectively.
You know that these sites are not going to rank. Tell the client that he will need SEO. Make sure that he understands. You might include language in your contract. Have a list of recommended SEOs who can help after you do your job.
Most websites only make money for two people: 1) the hosting service owners; and, 2) designers.
If there is no investment in SEO there is no return.
These people came to you because they needed a professional. They told you they wanted a website.
I think that it is poor service to foist the SEO job onto them when they come back to you complaining. Why do you think it is good service to tell your customer "Go learn SEO yourself"?
My advice is to tell every potential client that you will build them a website and that your service includes local SEO or enough SEO to get them some rankings. If you can't offer the SEO service learn how to do it, partner with an SEO who can, have SEOs who can accept a referral. A few people might want to do it themselves but I bet that they are very few in number.
If you take this approach you will build 1/2 as many websites, have twice as much revenue...and, have lots of satisfied customers.
Last edited by EGOL; Nov 30th, 2012 at 10:18 PM.
* "It's not the size of the dog in the fight that matters, it's the size of the fight in the dog." Mark Twain
* "Free advice isn't worth much. Cheap advice is worth even less." EGOL