Effectively selling SEO or any form of digital marketing can be frustrating for a lot of marketing companies since it is so misunderstood.
Here at Eminent SEO, we often come across this question when we’re dealing with clients who resell our services. So we figured we’d help!
First, let me point out the fact that you need to have knowledge of this powerful digital marketing technique in order to close the deal. If you do not understand SEO, and do not intend on ever learning, don’t even bother continuing to read this. You will fail.
Knowledge is one of the key ingredients in the sales process. The ability to be able to jump into conversation and consult the client is extremely important because each client is going to have different goals and needs. You need to understand this and be able to address the specifics before launching their campaign. With that being said, let’s get into some tips for selling this service.
Listening to Your Potential Client’s Goals
After you’ve captured a potential prospects data through your website or via phone, it’s time to get to know them and their company better. When someone seeks out your company for marketing services, they often times have a specific problem that they need a solution for. What is that problem? Are they a startup company? Have they had negative SEO done in the past? Or are they simply looking for your expertise on where to guide them?
Listening is key to capturing this information. Do NOT over speak during this critical point in the sales process. You want to capture as much information as you possibly can, and when they are done speaking, that’s when you can ask the questions.
Ask the RIGHT Questions That Are Engaging
You want to ask basic questions up front just so you can begin to fully understand them as a potential client as well as really understand their specific business goals. Asking the right questions is important because when you’re creating their proposal, you want to customize it to where you’re presenting exactly what this client is looking for. Even rewording some of the things they said can make you look like you really understand their business.
Ask questions like:
- What is your unique selling proposition (what makes you stand out from competition)?
- What current marketing efforts are being used? And of those marketing efforts, which ones are driving sales/conversions?
- How are current marketing efforts being measured?
- Did you work with another SEO company in the past? If yes, why are you no longer in business with them?
- Where do you see your company in 5 years in terms of marketing/branding?
- What’s the current age of your domain? And how old is your business?
- When was the last redesign of your website and are you happy with your current website?
- What is the average value of each sale in your business?
Ask the question first – then listen. Take notes. Chime in when necessary with real life experiences. Most of us SEOs, have some stories. Don’t read each question like you’re reading a book. This should be an engaging conversation. Remember, you’re selling yourself first.
Understand Their Business Entirely and The Value That SEO Will Bring
All business owners want to see a return on investment (ROI) when they’re spending money on marketing. Makes sense. This is why the value of each sale is such an important question to ask. When known and understood it makes your life easier in terms measuring ROI and when you can demonstrate to this to your potential client you are helping them understand how your efforts can bring them more money. Everyone wants more money… right?
So, the value of each sale, in terms of SEO, is a metric you need in order to fully understand their business. Gaining access to their current analytics would be extremely helpful in this process because you can really analyze their current visitors, and what you believe your strategy will deliver in terms of traffic (keywords, social campaigns, etc.). You will also be able to see what their average conversion rate is currently.
For example, let’s do the math:
Let’s say the current amount of organic visitors is 2,000 per month at a 2.5% conversion rate with an average value of $110 per client.
2,000 x 2.5% = 50 leads per month
With SEO, your website is in front of potential prospects 24/7. Let’s say you create a strategy that estimates an increase of traffic after a few months of running, by 1,800 organic visitors. Let’s do the math again:
3,800 x 2.5% = 95 leads per month
95 leads x $110 lead value = $10,450
Boom! You just increased that client’s leads and total value by $5,500 per month.
Numbers are great allies for SEO, don’t forget to use them! And don’t forget to teach your potential client that SEO is a long term investment that can pay dividends for years to come. Keep in mind those examples are just some potential numbers after a only a few months of SEO, imagine years of SEO!!
Good Use of Visuals to Help Build Credibility
If you’re doing an SEO pitch, bring visuals. Like I said before, most people do not understand this space, so visual representations can really help reinforce what you’re trying to explain to them.
Some visuals you can use are examples of their competition’s websites. Start by pointing out the weak areas in the competition, such as poorly optimized meta and page content, slow site/page loading times, outdated design, broken links, spammy inbound links, etc. – Eventually you want to also show the weak areas in the prospects website and marketing as well, but by showing the competition first, they can see for themselves what they’re missing on their own website, and think they came up with the idea themselves. Win/win.
Another visual representation you can use are case studies. Showcase a related industry if possible, and the real results you’ve gotten for this client. Include the increase in organic rankings, traffic and conversions to help build credibility!!! But don’t overdo it, that can be overwhelming, especially to a novice. People don’t want to sit through a 30 page case study. Only showcase the important points and explain in “layman’s terms” how they got to that point. Maybe send them a link to the full case study after the meeting so they can read more on their own time if interested.
Be Confident and Share Real Life Stories
People don’t want to hear only about how SEO can save their business or how your services will get them to the top page of Google. Borrringggg. People want to know who you are and more about the people that are working with you. More about your brand essentially. If you’ve been doing SEO for a decade, you probably have some stories to share.
Our favorite story from our CEO, Jenny Stradling, is when a client came to her spending over 100K per month on billboard ads, and had NO idea what kind of ROI they were getting. She made the suggestion to put a different phone number on the ad, and track how many calls were coming from that billboard. Guess how many calls that billboard brought in… Zero. If that doesn’t sell a client by saving them hundreds of thousands of dollars with proof of your marketing knowledge, I don’t know what will.
Now that you have a basic understanding of what it takes to sell SEO, you know that not just anyone can do this. You need to have knowledge, confidence, and believe that SEO is the backbone behind digital marketing. So, for all those sales people that think they can sell SEO without actually knowing SEO and what it takes, good luck.
Do you sell SEO and want to outsource to a staff that’s been doing SEO for over 10 years? Read more about our reseller services or give us a call: 1.800.871.4130. We have helped thousands of websites and hundreds of resellers through our knowledge, experience and use of smart SEO. We can help you too.