So you’ve poured though all the pertinent SEO blogs and set up your own vanity site to do some hands on SEO work. You’re ranking great for your name and maybe other, non-competitive, keywords. Maybe you even helped out a couple smaller sites. You’ve finally worked your way up to paying clients but you keep losing out. There are a number of factors that may contribute to this, but I’ve come to notice that the more you give out the better return you’ll receive. So instead of focusing on what you’re going to do after you have a client today we’re going to focus on what you can do to present yourself in the best light possible to a potential client. It all starts with a site analysis.
I think a lot of people have focused on writing SEO Audits lately. While, they are amazingly insightful and by studying them you can learn a lot about SEO, I think a lot of SEO individuals forget that sometimes they’re in stronger demand than people in between the level of beginner and being a respected representative of the SEO community. They’ve established a decent amount of clout, while the new guys/gals need a little grease on the wheels when finding interested clients.
Thus, it can prove to be beneficial to do an analysis of a website for a potential client. It’s a teaser and a strengthener of what you know as an SEO while simultaneously explaining the basics of SEO, which will help in a multitude of ways. First you’re more likely to get a call back, and secondly you’ve helped to negate any mysticism or negative aspects your potential client thought about SEO. Below are several key points I think should be included in every cursory analysis of a website.
Call the client to learn of Pain Points:
Doing an analysis is wonderful, but make sure you have a quick phone conversation to hear a client’s goals, if they have any defined, before going off to grab data, competitive analysis, or cursory keyword research. If the client wants something that isn’t really related to SEO you’ll have a really awkward meeting showing them a service they don’t want. Alternatively, sometimes clients are looking for the results of an SEO campaign without even understanding any concepts of SEO. By offering up them a plethora of beginner knowledge it will help them grasp the benefits of SEO
Make the Analysis Free:
Now I realize some individuals don’t want to give all their tactics away. I’m not saying that, but if you’re throwing out nothing but acronyms and jargon without actually telling them what you’re going to do, please just send them my way, that client deserves better.
The analysis isn’t about money, it’s a good will testament that your, potential, client needs help and you’re the person to guide them along while explaining to them SEO. If your SEO revolves around doing audits or you’re rolling up your sleeves and getting nitty gritty with on-site optimization and link building either way you are one step ahead of the game if the client goes with you.
Give your Client a Vocabulary Section:
If you get a person who is not technology savvy, or even SEO savvy, you will spend a decent amount of time explaining certain, simple, concepts to them. Make sure they have a reference guide when reading through your analysis so they really grasp what they are reading. Often times I’ve learned that even in a client meeting it’s better to have more written down on an analysis. After you leave a client will still have all of the vocabulary, descriptions, etc.
Tell them AND Show them the Results (My love for graphs continues)
A lot of text can be daunting, and most clients will glaze over large paragraphs of topics they really don’t care to understand. Graphs on the other hand are great ways to show a potential client gaps and opportunities he currently is missing out on. It also confirms the data you’ve taken the time to write about in simple concise matter. I’m not suggesting you do heavy handed analysis but delving a little under the surface can reveal a lot.
A little bit of hard work goes a long way in helping to secure clients while creating a name for yourself. In the SEO world, where some people operate with a sense of mysticism, showing how you operate upfront is the best possible option. Next week we’re going to delve into the actual set up of an analysis and the week after that we’ll assume you’ve nabbed your first client and start to cover site audits.