When selling SEO, you are selling part of a small business marketing solution. Many small business owners have heard about the power of the web and they either don’t have the time or know how to implement it themselves. If you’ve been marketing online, you can use strategies that you already know to offer to clients on a local level.
Online local marketing usually entails nothing more than using the web as a white page type listing. They don’t realize that many potential customers are searching online when wanting to compare or shop around for goods and services. When made aware of this fact, most will happily pay to get more exposure by branching out onto the web.
So how do you convince the small business owner that you can get him more exposure by making his website number one in the search engine result pages? First, you don’t want to speak in technical terms. The whole reason he is looking at hiring someone is that he does not have the expertise to get it done himself. Speak in laymen’s terms that he can understand and identify with. Explain to him that you can optimize his website so that it is more appealing to Google. This is more easily understood than terms like on page and off page SEO. If he should ask how you are going to do it, try to keep your explanation at a high level. It’s also good to have common answers to questions that may seem obvious to most such as, “What is a keyword?” You can expect someone who is not familiar with these terms to ask about them during the initial meeting.
You don’t want to focus on getting his website to number one in the search results. Focus on what this will mean to his business in terms of potential traffic. This is what he’s most interested in and will make him more likely to sign on the dotted line.
As with selling any other product, knowing your customer is the key to gaining their trust and showing them that you mean business. To successfully sell SEO you need answers in these key areas:
What products or services does the potential client offer?
Who are they competing with?
What sites come up when you search for their key product or service?
Where do they currently fall in the search engine result pages?
What does their current backlink strategy look like?
What sites do they currently have set up?
You should have this information documented and ready to go so that you can answer any questions the client might have as well as counter any objections. Seeing his situation in black and white will give him insight into why his site might not be ranking well and how you can help him.
Most business owners are willing to pay for quality SEO services if they can expect a good return on their investment. This is why it is always a good idea to understand what the client’s expectations are in terms of traffic generation and return on investment. Since you’re not in the business of sales, you can’t guarantee him an increase in sales but you can guarantee an increase in the number of visitors to his website. You want to set realistic expectations on the part of the client so that there are no misunderstandings later. This is even more important when marketing to a small business.
As with any small business marketing solution, there needs to be an understanding on both sides as to what to expect, as well as cost and any deadlines involved.
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