Selling SEO and Setting Expectations
When clients are interested in SEO services, they usually have specific keywords in mind. Your job is to coach them into understanding how the process of ranking for keywords works. This way, you have a proper context for helping them understand realistic expectations for getting results.
The Process of SEO
Google and Bing have gotten very good at figuring out who genuinely deserves rank for keywords. They do this by measuring various metrics that are almost impossible to fake unless a company is doing real web marketing. And so, the process of SEO requires a foundation of good web marketing campaigns. An easy way to conceptualize this process is to think of it as having three pillars….
- The first pillar is optimizing your website with target keywords and technical best practices.
- The second pillar is publishing useful content that people will share, link to and talk about.
- And the third pillar is proactively generating attention (visitors, social mentioned, inbound links, etc) to your website.
Having Realistic Expectations
Every website can expect different results based on it’s authority, niche and keyword targets. To get a ballpark idea of what to expect, you need to weigh these factors with consistent metrics. We recommend Moz.com, as they provide software for determining a domain’s authority and the difficulty of ranking for specific keywords. In general, you want to target keywords that have a lower difficulty score than your domain’s authority number.
Determining Domain Authority & Keyword Difficulty
Usually, I do this as I’m talking with a prospect to get an idea of where they stand and how I can best help them. It also helps me to set their expectations properly right from the first conversation.
- Enter some target keyword ideas into their tool called Keyword Difficulty and SERP Analysis.
- Once you’ve added some, the keyword difficulty scores will show up below. You’ll usually do a few rounds of this while you discuss goals with prospects.
As you can you see, this website should focus expectations on long tail keywords in the short term (3 – 6 months), even if they are less sexy to pitch. To rank for head terms with higher difficulty scores, they’ll need to earn a higher domain authority score over a longer term (6 – 12 months). This is accomplished by launching link building campaigns, aimed at persuading other websites (with good domain authority scores of course) to link to theirs.
Pro Tip: You can usually build trust with them at this point by telling them (or even better, showing them why) they need to lower their expectations.. whereas all other SEO companies they speak with are just telling them whatever they want to hear.
Planning Your Strategy
Keyword Targeted Blogging: Your prospect’s short term strategy should be based on publishing content that is optimized for long tail keywords (with a difficulty score less than their domain authority). This is usually most easily accomplished with blogging- but it can just as easily be adding sub topics under their main pages. Depending upon the budget, we could publish content pieces either weekly, bi monthly, monthly or even quarterly.
Link Building Service: The long term strategy should target the harder to rank for keywords (higher difficulty scores) with their main pages. Usually every website has (or can create) pages for categories, FAQ’s, resources, etc. These pages should be optimized for their head terms. In order to increase the site’s domain authority (so it can rank for the higher difficulty keywords), the individual pages need inbound links. Depending upon budget, we can launch up to several link building campaigns per month or just one at a time.
Email me if you want to chat about it! email@example.com