Selling SEO

by Peter Sickles

One of the problems with SEO is that few people really understand it, and some may even not appreciate its value. When dealing with complicated projects with sensitive budgets and many hands in the pie, getting everyone on board with the project may be… uh… “challenging”…

The problem with convincing clients and management to use SEO is twofold. First of all you have to convince them that SEO actually works. They have the right to be skeptical when so many people have used complicated SEO jargon to sell their services without providing the results clients expect. Once you convince them that SEO can work, you have to convince them that you are the person who can make it work for them.

How do you do it? To put it simply, do the opposite of the jargon talkers who have burned your prospective clients in the past. Avoid the clever buzzwords and explain briefly why your process works and then show that it works. Instead of talking the talk, make your numbers speak for themselves.

 

To do this you have to be clear: Explain what SEO is, because a surprising number of people are unaware. Explain what specific services you can offer. Show them the increase in website traffic and conversions and Google ranking to show how your work has benefited others and then be specific about how it can be benefit them. Once they see how their crawlability can go up with specialized links, controlled relevant content, they will see how SEO can serve as the foundation of their successful online business.

The first part is easy. Everyone uses search engines to surf the net. If you can’t find a website when you search on Google, there isn’t much point to having the website at all. By explaining how SEO increases your search engine ranking, you can easily explain how that can change the utility of a website.

Marketing changes dependant on the medium you use. After all you wouldn’t put a colorful illustration in a book for the blind. In the same sense a gigantic billboard would be useless if it was placed in a location where it was obscured by high rise buildings and impossible to see.

SEO is like that, only instead of being obscured by features of the landscape, your client’s website can be hidden by ignorance of how the online landscape works. There is a great pile of information on search engines. The question is how can you make your website stick out of the pile? The most important part of any message is that people read it and SEO is the process of securing the proper location for your customers to see your products.

Now explain what makes your company different. Don’t give away your secrets, but let your clients know what you can do for them, and be specific. This same principle applies to dealing with management and the members of your team. Show Google analytics of websites you have worked with, tracking their site views and online sales. Once your team realizes how valuable SEO can be, they can make it an intrinsic part of their own process. Because in this day and age, SEO shouldn’t be something you add on, it’s a requirement. Buzzwords are the stock and trade of charlatans, a successful SEO business offers results, not catchphrases.

Make your numbers speak for you and clients and management will have to listen.