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Published January 03rd, 2017 by

Selling SEO to Small Business Clients

As someone who is trying to sell SEO services to business clients, you might find yourself running into some objections. Even though you already know how you can REALLY help a client, they may not seem to get it.

Why is there that disconnect?

Well, there are two main factors at play when it comes to clients saying yes to your sales pitch: value and trust. They only typically say no because they think they won’t get enough out of investing in SEO, or they don’t trust you enough to deliver the results they are expecting.

So what can you do to improve your chances of getting a sale?

Follow these 3 steps.

Step 1: Teach them what SEO is

You may be familiar with how SEO works and how it can provide a lot of benefits to businesses. However, your client may not be on the same page with you. You can refer to white hat SEO, on-page SEO, and keyword density all day, but these terms will sound like mumbo-jumbo to the uninitiated.

The more you are an expert about a certain topic, the harder it can be to strip it down to the basics. Unfortunately, you only have a short window of time to convince new clients that it will be worth their while to invest in SEO. This is why you need to explain what SEO is in a way that is easily understood.

Simply put, you need to speak their language and explain in simple terms what the basic tenets of SEO are. Here’s a refresher of what to cover:

What SEO is?

According to Neil Patel, “SEO is the process of optimizing your online content, so that a search engine likes to show it as a top result for searches of a certain keyword.” In a nutshell, share that SEO is the process of doing the right things to a website so it’s visible in the search engines for the right people.

What websites can and cannot be optimized for search results?

When working with clients, know that not all websites are created equal. Some websites can be optimized for results, such as those ending in .com or .org. On the other hand, sites that are built on platforms such as Etsy or eBay cannot be searched online. Be open and up front about what you can and can’t do.

How Does SEO Work?

Be sure to explain how search engines work. Cover indexing and how SEO uses both on-page and off-page optimization as well as white hat SEO strategies. At this point, these terms may sound gibberish to your client, so you need to explain how they work using the simplest terms.

White Hat vs Black Hat

Let them know that white hat SEO makes use of Google-approved strategies in order to gain a higher page rank and improved search engine visibility. Share how it focuses on the user experience. Give examples of strategies like: high quality content, fast site performance, and internal linking. They should understand that white hat SEO can be a slow process, but the results will be worthwhile.

It’s also important for your clients to understand black hat SEO in case they are offered the quick fix by other marketing companies. Give examples of strategies like: keyword stuffing, blog spamming, and link farms. Most of these strategies are banned, and they should know their site could be penalized for using them.

On-Page and Off-Page SEO

They should also understand the basics of On-Page and Off-Page SEO. Be sure to cover that there are best practices they can implement on their own website to help improve their ranking in the search engines. Give examples like writing meta descriptions, including keywords on a blog post’s URL, text formatting, and optimizing images.

Explain how off-page SEO is a set of practices that you do outside of your website to help you rank higher in the search engines which may include link building, posting on forums, using social media, sending outreach emails, and guest blogging.

Tips

Here are some tips on how you can sell your SEO services to a potential client:

  • Keep it simple. As I have mentioned before, you need to speak in terms that are easy to understand and easy to grasp. Avoid using industry jargon as much as possible.
  • Give examples. Using real-life examples and case studies to back up your statements will make you sound more convincing.
  • Check to make sure they are grasping the ideas. Whenever you finish a point in your sales pitch, check for understanding to see if both of you are still on the same page. If a client is starting to look bored or about to fall asleep, change directions and make your presentation more lively.
  • Ask questions. Doing so allows you to have deeper insight into the needs of the client.
  • Listen to what your client has to say. Doing all the talking will get you nowhere.
  • Understand their business. It is important that you understand the nature of their business so that you can relate the importance of SEO to their own experiences.

Step 2: Show them why they need SEO

Now that your clients understand what you are talking about, you need to show them why they need SEO. Here are some things you can share with them to prove that point.

Consumers are searching before buying

Most consumers go online to get to know a product or a service before they buy. Having a functional website is no longer enough if you don’t have SEO. Your website will simply be buried deep within the search engines. To be the solution consumers choose, businesses need to be a top result.

Customers expect businesses to be in the top SERPs

Customers also expect to find a business’ website readily available on Google and other search engines. If nothing comes up, they will most likely go to a competitor that IS there.

SEO builds credibility

A high ranking on the search engines can do great wonders for a brand’s reputation. People are more receptive if they can easily find a business online so they can perform their own research. This can only be achieved by having a good long-term SEO strategy.

SEO offers highly targeted advertising

Implementing SEO allows businesses to target people who are actively looking for their product or service, so the chances are higher for a conversion.

Your competition is using it

Be sure to share the fact that new websites are being launched every day, case in point, businesses in the US are going to spend $65.26 billion for SEO services in this year alone! However, there are only a few available spots on the first page of search results. It’s important to get ahead of the competition if you want to be seen online and business owners need to understand that. If they wait too long to test the waters, then they will be playing a long game of catch up.

It teaches you how to appeal to people

The recent changes in Google’s algorithms put emphasis on the creation of high quality content over traditional SEO tactics. By using modern SEO practices, the businesses are not only ranking for search engines, they are also appealing to real people as well.

Search is here to stay

The rise of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets have made it easier to search for anything online. Target audiences no longer reach for a phone book; instead, they’re heading straight for their smartphones to use a search engine.

You can gain more traffic

Once SEO is implemented and a search ranking is improved, businesses can expect continuous traffic to their website. Furthermore, since they are targeting specific keywords that are relevant to their niche, site visitors are not just random, but people who are actively looking for their product or service.

It offers good ROI

While traditional forms of marketing such as television, print, and radio will always have their place, these methods are simply not as effective as SEO. Other forms of online marketing such as PPC and Facebook advertising only work as long as you’re still willing to allocate a budget for them. On the other hand, SEO provides long-term, sustainable results for websites. Be sure to make this known.

By sharing these benefits with your clients, you are building value to drive home the case on why they need your services.

Step 3: Show them your solution

Lastly, show them your solution. Remember what I said earlier about the two things preventing you from making a sale? Now that we have established the value of what SEO can bring to your client’s business, you need to work on the second part: establishing your client’s trust.

First, it is very important that you establish yourself as an expert in SEO, and show them that you are more than capable of creating and implementing an effective SEO plan. Additionally, if the client sees that you really understand the ins and outs of SEO, then they are more likely to trust you to get the job done.

You need to show them how your solution is going to work and help them reap the benefits listed above. Be sure to be open and transparent with your SEO plan by showing them the results as they happen.

The Takeaway

In order to effectively sell SEO services to clients, you need to be able to provide its value to their business and establish their trust. Don’t lose your audience by talking endlessly about algorithms, spiders, and the other technical stuff. Instead, focus on the value and benefits that SEO can bring to their business. Then show them how you can do it for them and how you have done it before. With these points in mind, you will be closing more sales in no time!

Partner with Boostability for your SEO efforts and get complete SEO sales support!  Click here to request a partner consultation.

Jon Bennion

Director of Sales at Boostability
Jon Bennion has more than 15 years of sales experiences. But he says his sales career goes back even further! His first sale came at the age of five when he sold his art collection to his grandma for $5.00. And he’s been selling ever since.


Jon began at Boostability as a part-time sales agent and quickly became their top performer. His achievements landed him the Director of Sales position. As Director of Sales, Jon managed 25 sales agents and implemented sales practices and trainings that resulted in millions of dollars in revenue. Now Jon works with top Boostability partners and launched a “sales support” initiative which enables Boostability partners to sell more online services.

Through Jon’s career he has trained hundred of sales agents across the country. He specialises in online marketing sales, especially SEO, Social Media and Websites. A significant contribution to digital sales is his ability to teach “traditional marketing” sales reps how to sell digital marketing.

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