Local Marketing Source Blog

How to Sell SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Selling Internet marketing services, or more specifically search engine optimization, to a local business becomes rather challenging if you don’t fully understand the system and procedures involved in order to accomplish this.

Businesses buy for very different reasons than a consumer would. Consumers typically purchase from emotion, however a business rarely purchases out of emotion and almost always purchases to solve a problem.

For example, a business may be losing market share, not achieving their sales targets, or simply will want to grow. The problem at hand is the same with all three scenarios…lack of sales. Therefore the solution to that problem is more sales. It seems simple. A business might need to be more efficient with a particular process so they can purchase some technology. But lack of sales is a problem not solved by purchasing new equipment.

Therefore local businesses that are prospective buyers of Internet marketing related services, or search engine optimization, have a small handful of potential problems that they need solved.

Selling SEO requires a solution selling approach. If you would like to learn more about solution selling, I recommend reading Neil Rackham’s SPIN selling book.

In the following we’re going to take a look at some of the steps that are required in order to find prospects and sell prospects the service of search engine optimization.

There are six steps identified in the sales process for selling search engine optimization.

Selling SEO

The goal of each stage is to get to the next one. You’ll find that you can rarely skip stages for any prospect, however in some cases you can bypass either the education or the analysis stage and jump to the proposal stage. This will make more sense later.

Select Target Markets

Regardless of the size of your city or town, there are many local businesses that are willing to pay money for your services. Over the last 12 months a large number of small business owners are starting to realize that they need to spend some money on advertising their business on the Internet.

When I say qualified prospect, I’m talking about that local business that is willing to pay you over $1000 a month for services and a business that you’re able to deliver a service with a positive return on their investment. But who are these buyers and how do you get your message to them?

Here are some examples we put together for you.

Local Businesses

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Written by

Scott Gallagher is a founding faculty member of Local Marketing Source and owner of WON Marketing, Inc. For over 14 years Scott has provided consulting and online marketing services to hundreds of businesses.

8 Comments Published

Mark / 26 December 2012 / Reply

Very gerneral article. Local buisness pay more than $1,00 peer month on SEO? Not likely. Your local chimney sweep isn’t going to pay $1k for S.E.O.

Scott Gallagher / 3 January 2013 / Reply

We don’t target the local chimney sweep. The efforts we put forth in marketing for our clients is about 60% of the cost of the service. This doesn’t include overhead. Our minimum charge is $1000 per month and our clients receive a return on their investment.

Dave / 12 February 2013 / Reply

Then you don’t value your services high enough. It’s all about return on investment.

Leon / 23 April 2013 / Reply

Small business owners want to see how they can get more leads and business, they dont want to get into how it is done, they can shell out money however their confidence with SEO is low only because it takes time. For small business owners we can also pitch for One Time Optimization Packages or Google Local Listing, if they have a budget of about $30 a day then Google Adwords is another option.

louisa / 18 July 2013 / Reply

I also found this interesting article where it explained a local keyword phrase. A local keyword phrase is generally one or two words combined with location that are used by advertisers in search engine optimization, or by visitors who are using search engines in a desire to find information based on that particular local phrase. For example, an advertiser that provides local plumbing services might use “Plumber Morristown, NJ” as a local keyword phrase to draw more visitors interested in the topic. On the other hand, visitors to a search engine looking to hire local plumber would also use the keyword phrase “Plumber Morristown, NJ” in the search engine, which would then match the local keyword phrase with websites like that of the advertiser that mention the same local keyword phrase. conduct market research and local keyword research to determine the best targets for your website visitors. While you may have a list of twenty local keywords that you want to target, you must consider each as a separate campaign. Why?
It’s really simple; search engines like Google rank pages and you need to give them what they want to rank your page. To give them what they want you must provide the content that they’re looking for and send enough links to your pages to let the search engines know they are relevant and important.
And, never forget the local customer. It does you no good for a local search term if your content doesn’t include location you serve.
Note: search keyword phrases that are used in Meta Tags content are no longer frequently used by search engines to index pages. Major search engines such as Google no longer look for keyword phrases in the Meta Tags, and are more apt to use the information within the actual text of the web page. Listing the local keyword phrases in the in Meta Tags does not do any harm though, but is completely up to the website to whether they will use local keyword phrases in the in Meta Tags content.

Carolina / 2 October 2013 / Reply

Thank you, Louisa for this useful information)) I heard about geoseo that local keyword phrases draw more traffic to your site. I also used geoseo plugin, which gave my website more local keyword related pages.

Johnetta / 1 May 2016 / Reply

I told my kids we’d play after I found what I neddee. Damnit.

Marko / 21 July 2013 / Reply

Hello there! Very helpful hint on this article! It is the little tweaks which result
in the biggest shift. Many thanks!

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