There’s no business like new business. It’s exciting for us SEOers to get a new client ready to invest in their brand and company through internet marketing services. Getting a new client that hasn’t had any prior SEO is like a sculptor getting a brick of clay. You understand the potential and what you can do. But does your client feel the same way? More importantly, what about all of the businesses you know you can help but haven’t come around to the idea yet. Help these types share your enthusiasm with some of the following tips.
1- Become a Temporary Expert
Sure, it is frustrating to put a good amount of time into a project that yields no results. I’m talking about proposals for potential clients that don’t pan out or even respond. When you’re proud of your well thought out proposal, it can be especially biting.
Don’t let it bring you down. Put your enthusiasm into these proposals using research about the company you want to hire you. Become a temporary expert on their industry, and use the tons of SEO tools available out there (SEOMoz and Google Keywords Tool) to compile a brief snapshot of how their potential customers try to find them and how successful they are (or aren’t yet). Tell them about a few of the things you can do for them, and the benefits their site will see from your efforts.
2- Highlight How Their Potential Customers Search
The next weapon in your arsenal to hammer in the importance of Search Engine Optimization is showing the tracking studies and statistics of the average search engine user. There are numerous studies on this topic, with varying results. But all of the different studies agree that the first page of a results page is where their company needs to be. I’ve read reports that show 90% of searchers don’t venture past the first page and a large percentage of that group click only on the first few results.
For a company not on the first page or even showing up, this means they are missing out on a ton of potential business.
3- The Benefits of Analytics and Webmaster Tools
This is for when you’ve landed the client, but they still have their trepidations. Explain your process starting with the first two weeks. Set them up with Analytics and Webmaster Tools from Google. The results aren’t always pretty, but emphasize that this information is exactly what you need. Now, you have a better understanding of where their customers will be looking for them, what these customers find most interesting on their site, what holds that interest, etc.
WebMaster Tools gives you the chance to flex your muscle and find any problems with their site before they can. When the client hears your results, they’ll trust what you’re saying more, and be more at ease about moving forward. Maybe they aren’t quite pumped yet, but they’re getting there.
4- For Local Clients – Compare Completed to Non-Completed Profiles
There is something to be said about aesthetics. We can’t help being attracted to pictures and content over a blank profile. Show these clients some examples of what claimed and un-claimed profiles look like. Start with Google Places and Yelp.
It’s night and day between the claimed and un-claimed profiles. Explain the weighted benefit of a claimed profile and how local is really playing a bigger part in search (especially Yelp, regaining some footing with the new iPhone release).
These local profiles will be some of the quickest concrete examples you can show your potential client of the work that can be done and the benefit that derives from it.
5- Set Realistic Goals Together – Meet Often
The end goal is always the same. Get to the number one spot on the SERP for their most popular keyword. But there are factors to consider that are less exciting, like their budget and resources. At the end of the day, SEO is an ongoing process that takes time and effort. And it should.
Map out your goals with your client, setting milestones. While they may not be jumping for SEO at the start (we all would like instant results), if you present positive info at these meetings, they will get excited about the process and the progress. I think it’s a great idea to check in fairly often when I have a question or a quick update. It lets them know there is constantly work being done for them.