With this post, we want to introduce Mike Kim, our ace sales, marketing and new business development guy to the Posirank blog as a guest contributor. There is no one better qualified to address the question of, “How do I get effective in picking up clients for my SEO business?” Whether you are a newbie to selling SEO services or a seasoned pro, you’ll find some practical help with SEO marketing best practices below. Enjoy! Rob Andrews, VP Operations, Posirank.com
Marketing an SEO service is an in-depth process and while Posirank does not recommend a black and white, identical, one-size-fits-all approach, we do strongly recommend certain practices be implemented and certain key points be addressed when attempting to secure new client relationships.
Two-step process: Too many of our clients make the mistake of attempting to “close” a potential client on the first visit/talk/presentation – when we believe that the best practice of proposing to potential clients is done in two parts.
SEO Marketing Best Practices Part 1: The First Meeting
Your first client meeting (or phone call), should accomplish two goals:
Goal 1 – Explaining the difference between your custom campaign offer, to all other “packaged” SEO campaigns.
Taking the time to educate the client as to the current state of the industry, (post-Hummingbird update), will help to explain why a custom campaign is vital to producing results and ROI today. Further explaining that while most digital marketing agencies and SEO’s try to lock their clients into long-term contracts or “packages” of pre-determined activity…. your custom service reviews results as they occur and uses this data to formulate future strategies. This allows you to learn how well the search engines respond to a specific activity – ensuring that you are generating rank increase and overall organic traffic increase, producing ROI for your client. [Note: Mike offers a PDF called “Win the Google Race” which you can use and distribute to your own clients — please feel free to contact Mike using his contact information at the bottom of this post to request your copy.]
Goal 2 – Information Gathering to learn what specific goals your client has.
Are top local rankings the goal or do they seek national/global traffic? Do they want to promote their main company authority site or other web assets like Youtube videos, press releases, etc? Some clients seek more of a reputation management style campaign than traditional SEO, while some may be more comfortable forming a “lead gen” type relationship with you.
Another vital piece of information to learn is where their comfort level lies when it comes to initial investment. Don’t be afraid to address the budget. It’s important to remember to communicate to the client that your custom approach to SEO is such that you will try to show maximum ROI for whatever investment amount they are comfortable with to start things off.
Of course, feel free to recommend certain ranges of budget based on your knowledge of the competitive landscape of their campaign, but ultimately your goal is not to lock the client into a program with massively front-loaded profit margins. The success of your custom campaign will ensure that your client relationships evolve – as trust grows between you and as clients get a better understanding that rate of ROI is often directly proportionate to investment amount.
Taking a look at what the average CPC of the client’s target keyword terms are for an AdWords campaign is a very simple way to gauge how competitive the traffic sought is. Showing the client the numbers is also a great way to set some realistic expectations. Helping them to understand how sought after the traffic is by competing site owners, and what the required investment would be through a PPC campaign to secure “X” amount of unique clicks, is a good way to show what an adequate budget would be for an organic campaign.
Make sure to explain that once they have secured top SERPS rankings, they will enjoy consistent organic traffic flow for NO direct investment. Organic traffic is the most valuable traffic there is online and if they want it, they are going to have to “beat out” all of their competitors that want it too. The more budget you have from them, the better armed you are to accomplish this and “win” the traffic they seek.
A Little Reality-Check For You (and Your SEO Client)
In a perfect world, every potential client would be able and willing to put forward adequate budgets to run successful campaigns. Unfortunately, we do not live in that world.
Saying “no” to the wrong client for the right reasons is a major key to the long-term health and welfare of your company.
Every day we see our clients making the mistake of trying to please everyone… trying to show ROI to their clients who just aren’t putting adequate budgets up to compete for the traffic they seek. These types of campaigns will almost always end in failure, bad feelings, lost revenue and will threaten the long-term success of your company.
Lastly, make sure to review the on-site health of the site to be promoted. On-site factors matter more today than ever before, so ensuring that the client’s site is well optimized should be your first priority.
Who will be making the necessary on-site changes/improvements, you or the client?
Also, reviewing any pertinent off-site factors like current rankings of the site, existing link/anchor text profile, etc., will help you gauge more accurately the amount of work/budget that will be required to produce top results. [If you have a Posirank account, you can find two PDF’s in your help area: “Avoid Google Panda” for help with the on-site review process, and the “Avoid Google Penguin” PDFfor off-site review tips.]
SEO Marketing Best Practices Part 2: Formulating The Client Proposal
There are an unlimited amount of ways to generate client proposals and an unlimited amount of information that can be put into them so I’m not going to delve into the ins and outs of generating client proposals. (There are a variety of educational courses and how-to guides on the subject that can be found online.)
However, there are some key points that we would like to make regarding presenting proposals.
The information gathered in the “consultation” meeting should be used to complete the proposal, and/or included in the proposal as needed. This includes…
- The scope of Efforts: Local or national/global
- Services Needed: Traditional SEO, reputation management, VRE (Virtual real estate – a business model we teach at Posirank), etc.
- Financial: Initial budget proposed and predictive ROI (there are several ways to do this, please seek an educational course or learning center for more information).
- Keyword research analysis: How well optimized are the top ranking competitive sites? how sought after/valuable is the traffic?
- Proposed Initial Strategy: While most clients don’t care too much about the specific strategy you will be employing, make sure to at least outline and explain your approach, displaying your expertise.
- On-Site Report: Every SEO campaign today needs to start with on-site.
Mike Kim is Posirank’s Director of New Business and works with new and existing wholesale clients – maximizing growth potential and exploring partnership opportunities. With years of webmaster experience prior to working with PosiRank, Mike brings intrinsic experience to the fore. He can be reached by email, phone and via a booked consultation.
Since 2007 Rob Andrews has worked in the SEO and Content Marketing fields and is an established writer and trusted provider of thought-leadership for hundreds of SEO, advertising and marketing agencies worldwide. Read More