This article was first published on March 2nd, 2020, and was last updated August 2022.
Starting a conversation with any stranger is a tough task. Business conversations are no exception. Once you’ve thrown digital marketing into the mix, especially SEO, it just seems to get even more difficult.
Imagine you have a prospect in mind that would be perfect for SEO. Their website is struggling, they want to grow their business, and they’re ready to try something new. So you wind up your pitch, and somehow strike out even though all the points lined up perfectly. In this article, we will discuss steps on how to start conversations about SEO and 3 ways to create dialogue around SEO. Let’s get started!
5 Steps in Starting an SEO Conversation
1) Elevator Pitch
Before you can sell SEO, you need to make sure that you understand it yourself and are able to explain why it’s important. SEO is the work that goes into a website that builds relevance and trust into the site of search engines like Google. The greater trust and relevance you can build for a website, the higher it gets ranked.
SEO matters because 90% of people don’t go past the first 10 results of Google search when looking for products or services. That means if your website doesn’t rank high, you’re missing out on potential customers or greater brand recognition. Not ranking in the top 10 of Google means you miss out on approximately 90% of traffic.
This high level SEO overview should help you build your SEO pitch strategy to tell your customers why SEO is important and why they should consider it for their business website.
2) Discover More About Your Prospect
This phase of the SEO pitch means you need to learn more about your SEO prospect and their business goals. You need to learn more about what they do and where they’re located. That can have a big impact on the types of keywords you go for in an SEO campaign.
It’s also good to learn about other types of marketing efforts both on and offline to learn about what has proved successful and where you can improve. Next it’s good to learn about their goals for their website, and if they’ve done SEO before. Knowing their knowledge level of SEO and knowing what they want to accomplish can help you outline a campaign that will best meet those goals with personalized strategies.
3) Helping Clients Learn
Your next step in an SEO pitch is to help them understand what exactly SEO is. Not just what it does—help them understand what will happen on their website. An SEO campaign includes building relevance and trust. Building relevance means optimizing everything on a website. It makes sure Google sees exactly what you do and what makes you the best at it in your industry and location.
When you optimize the code, you make sure all pages are active, the site loads quickly, and that it’s optimized for both desktop and mobile. You want to make sure that all of the copy on the website has high user intent, and optimize the site on the back end to make it easy for the Google bots to scrape it.
Building trust helps create a strong portfolio across the internet. If other websites talk about your website, that means you have trusted content. Essentially, there’s higher trust if other websites link back to your own site. These links come from blogs, or other links to your own website posted elsewhere. It’s essentially a vote of confidence from one website to another. The more links you have, from high quality sources, the more Google will trust your site as well.
4) Sustaining Goals
As an SEO campaign progresses, there are three main goals to keep in mind:
- Making your website relevant. When starting out an SEO campaign we do a deep-dive analysis of your website, as well as analyze the websites of the competition. This analysis takes into account how customers search, what they search for, and what kind of traffic comes to your site versus your competitors.
- Having a trusted website in the industry. This happens by doing some work off your website to help boost its reputation. We write and publish articles and blog posts, then submit your business information to digital directories and profiles like Google My Business. Essentially this creates a trail that leads customers back to your business. It helps Google see your website as trustworthy, and increases the rankings.
- Keep improving a site even after reaching top 10. Even after your rankings reach the first page, there’s more work to be done. SEO is constantly evolving with tasks and work to keep your pages at the top of the rankings. If you don’t stay on top of SEO work, rankings begin to drop about four months after stopping a campaign. Those are rankings that your competitors could start taking over instead.
5) Discussing Budget
The final part of your SEO pitch is to talk about the budget. At this point, you need to take all the information you’ve learned about the potential client over the course of the call and make a strategic recommendation about what it will take to get them to rank. This recommendation is based on industry, goals, competition, location, and where their website sits now, among other things. Make the recommendation based on all this data, and make sure they can commit to spending that much for at least 6 months so they see their website rankings grow.
3 Ways to Create Dialogue Around SEO
The secret to selling SEO—or anything really—is knowing how to create a dialogue around it. Here are ways to create dialogue when it comes to talking to clients about SEO strategy and implementation.
1) Know the Value of SEO
SEO is one of the most powerful tools for modern business. Because the bulk of buying decisions start online (even if they don’t finish there), creating an online presence that’s easy to find and interact with is critical for success. But even when business owners know that an online presence is important, seeing how SEO fits into the equation isn’t always a guarantee. Your job as an SEO reseller is to make this value clear.
We know this is tricky. SEO is a process, and it takes six months or more to start seeing significantly improved results. This also means that you can’t promise a specific, numerical ROI from the get-go. Rather, you’ll need to take a more holistic approach when showcasing SEO’s value. Here are a few key points to work with.
The Best SEO Strategies Rely on Data
Any marketer worth their salt knows that their industry isn’t based on guesswork—it’s data. Especially if your small business customers are unfamiliar with SEO, explaining that the decisions you make are determined by real consumer behavior and not just wild predictions can go a long way in helping them understand why it’s so important.
Websites with More Traffic Make More Money
While you can’t guarantee a certain number of visitors or a particular influx of revenue, general trends indicate more visitors creates larger income streams. Make this connection, and you’re well on your way to selling SEO.
Working with an SEO Firm Saves Time
Optimization, while never stagnant, allows business to focus on actually running their organization. By allowing the experts to do what they do best, owners in turn get to dedicate more time to honing their own process and developing new ideas to grow their market.
For more ideas on how to talk to your customers about the value of SEO, read this article.
2) Make SEO Seem Approachable
The tech industry in general can be a tough nut to crack. With lots of jargon, shifting expectations, and constantly changing rules, making the process easy to understand is the only way you’ll have a productive conversation around SEO.
Acknowledge that in order to sell SEO effectively, you’re going to have to educate people about how it works. If you expect a potential client to know more than the simplest of SEO strategies, you’ll be trying to make a sale to the customer equivalent to a kindergartner in an algebra class. But if you realize that education is going to be a part of your business model, you’re automatically primed for more success.
Boostability takes its role as an industry educator very seriously. Take a look at some of our Search Session webinars to learn the basics (and help your own consumer base learn them, too).
3) Connect SEO to Other Digital Marketing Services
SEO is only one piece of a really big puzzle. Optimization only works effectively and consistently when you pair it with other marketing efforts. If you’re considering adding SEO to your own product lineup, there’s a good chance you’re already offering additional marketing services. Even if you’re not, connecting your customers to people who do will make all the difference in your campaign.
One of our biggest recommendations is ensuring your clients’ content creation is in good hands—either your own or another organizations’. Content that is relevant and actionable is more important than ever before. At Boostability, content creation is in our fulfillment process, ensuring that our other SEO practices—like white label link building and SEO web design—work together with original content to keep our customers ranking as high as possible in the search results.
Joining Boostability’s Partner Program
Our expert sales team will explain the finer (or not-so-fine) points of SEO to a lead and help you make the deal, with an average close rate that’s higher than doing it alone. We also provide all of our Partners with a dedicated partner growth manager and educational materials you and your clients can use. Join our Partner program today!