In private consultations with some
Search Engine Optimizers I am always amazed at how many people
feel it's necessary to hype things up in order to sell their
search engine placement services.
Selling hype or setting unrealistic expectations is one of the
LEAST intelligent things you can do to build long term client
relationships. Instead of scrambling to outdo the next self
proclaimed SEO guy's claims, why not try something more in the
nature of a soft sell.
By teaching your prospective clients the truth about the SEO
process actually will:
- Enhance your reputation as a
- Diffuse those competitors
who ONLY sell hype
- Increase new sales
- Generate increased referral
- Establish long term client
- Establish tremendous client
- Firmly establish YOUR
CREDIBILITY in both the community as well as the industry as
a professional who knows how to get results.
In other words, teach people
the TRUTH about the process and you'll already gain some
immediate advantages because you are educating the prospect by
offering them some facts but even more important, something that
is EASY to believe. Something that blows away old
Most people are tired of hearing a lot of sales hype.
Try de-mystifying the SEO process and help your prospects to
understand what search engine optimization (SEO) can do for
their business. It's really just a simple, old-fashioned
visibility = more success for the client
More client success = more referral business for you
Most of the time,
your clients will sell your services better than you can ever
Every time you help someone achieve success, it is literally
impossible for your business not to benefit as well. Okay, here
are some real simple tips:
A. Educate your prospect by telling them the truth.
Try using some of the following points when speaking to your
your prospect, that your job is not just
building a web site. Designing a web site is relatively
easy, but this is only 50% of the job. Explain that your
effort continues long after the launch of the site.
about a few of the ways your service differs
from the traditional Web developer. Your true objective
entails more than just concept or design.
Your skill is
positioning their web site squarely in front
of their ideal target audience. Once you get them positioned
for maximum exposure, it's your aim to keep them there,
in the limelight.
presenting to a group of 2 or more, ask them the
name of their favorite search engine. Don't be surprised
by their reply but 98% of the time, they'll name one of
the MAJOR search engines. This is a great way to begin
teaching them something they may have never heard before.
are only a "handful" of search engines that
uses (the major ones), this is where we place our best
promotional efforts. You can demonstrate where their traffic
will come from if other clients give you permission to use
a couple of their reports as samples.
Ask your prospect,
"Did you know that "HITS" are irrelevant?
"That's right, hits do not matter because a HIT is NOT
a visitor." You can then explain that each HIT is really
an action from the server. In other words, a hit occurs
for each and every element downloaded. The number of HITS
to a site, are nearly always larger numbers, but this does
NOT mean you had any great number of visitors. Teach them
about the importance of unique visitor sessions.
Why is this important?
In explaining this difference between a HIT and a VISITOR,
you have taught your prospect a truth that could work against
the next competitor who comes along behind you and only talks
about HITS (which is what many do).
Why do so many competitors talk all about HITS?
Simply because they are BIG numbers which sound
particularly if you have no intention of providing the
customer with detailed reporting. Teach your prospect the
truth, that the important numbers to watch are the actual
visitor session counts, not just hits.
Help your client to understand what it is you do.
Does your prospect see your "behind the scenes"
service as VITAL? If not, they need some understanding! Explain,
"the reason" that business owners hire you, is to
web site is built and launched properly the very first
Explain that "Business owners are usually too busy running
their business, to worry about all of the requirements of
publishing and positioning a web site for targeted traffic
and monitoring the results." Help them to understand that
you ARE their watchdog for online success. You have come to
realize that the more success you bring to them, the more
your business grows. You are in this for the long term!
B. Talk to them about the components of success:
Let them know that when you work with their web content, you
need some freedom to work with them and provide input. Explain
that the best success formula is often a cross between
re-writing their content especially for high search engine
placement COMBINED with copywriting that is written
for the human brain.
It's a combination of having a highly visible web site that also
employs techniques that compel their visitors to respond.
Explain why this second aspect is so important by saying
something like, "Your business does not really begin, until
we get your visitor to take action and respond to what they
Talk to them about your ability to research their keyword
phrases from real time results. Explain to them that you must
determine which search phrases will genuinely pull the most
targeted traffic into their pages. Tell them you will be asking
them for a list of suggested keywords to start. Explain that
ultimately you will be analyzing those words and through
research, you'll actually find the highest
performing phrases with the lowest competition.
You can let them know that the reason your pages score well with
major search engines is because you build honest, content-rich
pages without the use of any types of tricks, gimmicks or spam.
The strategies you employ are based on using phrases that are
first researched and then proven to be currently in usage by
consumers within their specific market.
C. Stop trying so hard to sell SEO and learn to dialogue.
Learn to "dialogue" with your prospects in a two-way
communication. This is most often successful if you are the one
asking the questions. Remember that whoever is asking the
questions, is really the one who is controlling and directing
Ask questions about from where the prospect would like to take
business. Try asking questions like, "Would you be willing
to take business from a specific location?" Ask lots of
specific questions. If they are only interested in a regional
presence, then begin painting a picture in their mind of where
they could be getting new business from.
Remember to ask questions about your prospect's distribution of
product and services. Demonstrate that you are not just
interested in building, positioning and monitoring the site.you
are also interested in all aspects of the business such as how
they intend to handle distribution. Such conversations not only
lead to enhancing client rapport, but will end up triggering new
optimization strategies in your mind.
D. Make the most of your newest successes.
Your prospects become your customers and in a short time, they
begin telling stories about their success on the web.
Don't forget to make the most of these opportunities, after all
you've made the effort and promoted your client well, you
deserve the credit.
You have demonstrated that your SEO strategies not only work,
but in many cases, your efforts will have delivered a dramatic
increase in business. Always ask your client's
permission first, but they're usually more than happy to
distribute your brochure or business cards. This is usually the
start to a wonderful trend in ongoing referral business. Always
remember to thank your clients for every new referral they send
Ask your clients if they would mind taking the occasional
reference call. All you really need are just a few of your
client's names and numbers. A list of these satisfied names and
numbers can be offered to new prospects. You can be sure this is
just one more thing that not a lot of your competitors
will be doing.
Search Engine Optimization is one of the biggest missing links
in this whole web development industry. It's safe to say that
building a web site without a plan for search engine
optimization, is the single most expensive lesson that any dot
com business has ever had to learn in the last few years. It's
wisdom that you teach both your prospects and your clients these
things up front and early. The results will be a long lasting
client relationship where your client wins, your
client's customer wins and YOU win too!
E. Enjoy the tremendous lift of knowing that you really are
making a difference for your clients.
For thousands of business owners, the investment in solid SEO
strategies, are the single missing link to their success. Take
action today by employing SEO strategies for your clients and
give them the outstanding results they deserve. Remember that
success breeds success and when you do an extraordinary job for
your client, it was YOUR SEO skills that made the difference.
There is tremendous satisfaction in that too!
Grab a free SEO
Tip of the Day - It's
Just released: Wordtracker
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John Alexander is Co-Director of Training for Search
Engine Workshops. Together with his partner Robin Nobles, he
teaches stress free formulas for obtaining top visibility on
major search engines to workshop students from all around the
world. John operates a Web site for professional search engine
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