Pitching SEO services to clients is challenging. You often have to convince them not only of your performance in comparison to competing (SEO) agencies, but that SEO is a marketing channel worth investing in.
Here are some tips on how to create an SEO proposal that speaks the client's language and is hard to refuse.
The challenge of selling SEO services
To succeed in selling SEO services, a consultant or agency should try to walk in their client's shoes for a while. From a client's perspective, it is usually unclear how SEO works, how likely it is that the targeted results will be achieved, and, most importantly, how this would impact their business.
Simply put, clients are budget owners. They don't necessarily think in terms of keywords, ranks or backlinks. While they might be able to relate to these, their decision would be much easier if they saw the metrics they’re primarily interested in — conversions, costs and ROI.
These are the figures they would expect to see in an SEO proposal and what they’ll use as a frame of reference when comparing marketing initiatives.
So it’s critical to present them with metrics they can easily understand and trust. This is particularly challenging, as SEO can be hard to measure and the search industry is marked by uncertainty.
Bridging the gap
It is precisely here that SEOmonitor's approach comes to help. Our platform will assist you with the necessary steps for a compelling SEO proposal: from identifying and quantifying the opportunity, to understanding the client's current performance against their competitors' and, finally, to realistically estimating future performance.
Both you and the client will be able to see how your efforts of improving their ranks in Google would impact the website's non-brand organic traffic. Furthermore, additional traffic is translated into additional revenue, as well as compared with paid advertising, cost-wise.
An offer they can’t refuse
A powerful pitch needs to show the client where the opportunity lies, what can be achieved, and how you plan to do it. SEOmonitor helps you on each level.
Here are the essential parts of a successful SEO proposal:
1. Analysis of the current performance.
Our algorithm for unlocking the not-provided data from Analytics allows the platform to re-distribute the organic traffic back on keywords. In other words, you will have an insightful view into the website's current organic traffic and all the keywords that generate it. The brand/non-brand segmentation enables the isolation of non-brand organic traffic, therefore of SEO performance.
If the client is used to the entire organic traffic figures, it might be quite surprising for them to find out that not all organic traffic is SEO traffic. It can also be an opportunity for you to show them that, in reality, they get less SEO traffic than previously thought, hence the need to improve the SEO performance.
2. Showing the opportunity.
Once the current situation has been assessed, you can proceed with presenting the SEO opportunity. A necessary step is thorough keyword research, which will lead to a comprehensive keyword portfolio. It is important to include the relevant keywords in the analysis, since all of the metrics, comparisons and forecasts will depend on it.
With a complete and well-structured portfolio, spotting the opportunities becomes an easy feat. Transparency is key, so explain which keyword list you choose to target and why improving ranks on those keywords is achievable: they might be keywords with a low SEO difficulty, they might already rank on Google's second page, the websites ranked above them might not have a higher topical authority, etc.
3. Pressing the "pain button".
Now it’s time to press the "pain button" and show your client how they compare with their competitors on the same keyword lists. The Competition module will display a desktop and mobile Visibility Score comparison, as well as an estimation of the non-brand organic traffic of each competitor for the selected keywords.
That’s how you highlight the potential of a good SEO campaign.
4. Translating the opportunity.
SEOmonitor's award-winning forecasting algorithm will help you translate the results of seizing the above opportunity into quantifiable metrics: additional non-brand organic traffic and additional conversions. The reliability of the figures is strengthened by taking into account a number of key forces like seasonality, YoY trend, CTR, SERP features etc. when estimating future performance.
5. Pursuing the opportunity.
The third part of the SEO proposal should contain a list of deliverables, as well as a clear timetable. Since the forecast also shows a cost comparison with Adwords, this should help you optimally place your financial offer.
Be sure to explain how, unlike paid advertising, SEO is rather an investment and not a cost, due to its long-term positive effects. This way, the SEO proposal becomes not only tangible, but also better than those for alternative channels.
6. Standing out.
Last, but not least, a vital chapter is the one where you explain how your SEO approach is different because it is entirely data-driven. Using SEOmonitor grants you access to some unique insights and metrics:
- the brand/non-brand segmentation of organic traffic,
- the non-brand organic traffic inertial trend, based on search seasonality only (as if the website’s rankings wouldn’t change in your selected timeframe),
- additional traffic generated once a specific rank target is achieved, calculated using device- and SERP-based CTRs,
- the Year-over-Year trend,
- the mobile percentage,
- the long-tail effect on rankings,
- transparency and reliability throughout the SEO campaign: both you and the client will be able to check the progress towards the targeted results, using the on-target indicator:
Super-hint: if you pitch for a news website or local business, you can also show them their visibility in the news top stories or local packs.
Pitching campaigns in SEOmonitor:
Even if you don't have access to the website's Analytics and Google Search Console profiles beforehand, you can nevertheless create a Business Case, by selecting the "Just for pitching" option when setting up the campaign:
Apart from the organic traffic segmentation (impossible without connecting the Analytics and the Google Search Console accounts), you will have access to all of the important metrics and features: ranks, Visibility and Opportunity scores, keyword research, competitors' performance and, most importantly, the forecast.
If the pitch is successful, these pitching campaigns can later be transformed into regular ones, to be monitored on a daily basis, by connecting Google or Adobe Analytics.
Also note that all pitching resources are complimentary, so you can include as many keywords as you want in your analysis, without any additional costs to your subscription.
Furthermore, to help you get your best pitch ready, we offer the possibility of setting multiple scenarios for the same campaign. This way, you can prepare, for example, an easier and cheaper target or one that would be more difficult to reach, but could also give you leverage for setting a higher price for your services. And this can be all done using your existing dataset (keywords, groups, etc).
Plus, for enhanced transparency, you can show the extended calculation for your scenarios:
If you want to explore more on our Forecasting module, you can also read about how to avoid getting Silent NOs from potential customers in Search Engine Journal.