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Simple is Better: How to Talk to Your Clients about SEO

October 28th, 2015

As a professional internet marketer, you already know all about the benefits of SEO. In fact, the idea of creating a website without implementing SEO techniques probably seems ridiculous. But outside the internet marketing realm, the benefits of SEO are not always so well understood. 

If a client simply “wants a website” they may need a little convincing to purchase your SEO expertise. On one hand, you don’t want to be in a position where it simply seems like you’re trying to push services on your client. On the other hand, a client is rarely going to be happy with the results they’ll get from a website which hasn’t been optimized for search engines.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help your clients understand the benefits of Search Engine Optimization:

Don’t Be Overly Technical

“First, I’m going to create natural backlinks. Then I’ll insert keywords with a localized approach. Finally, I’m going to devote about 50% of my time to your mobile presence.”

Sure, this isn’t overly complicated to an SEO pro, but for a client unfamiliar with this world the above sounds like a bunch of buzzwords. So you want to use clear, plain explanations. Don’t focus so much on what you’re going to do. Focus on the benefits which the client will experience directly.

This boils down to three reasons to implement SEO. These are concepts any client can appreciate:

Reason #1: SEO is Customer Friendly

In order to explain the importance of SEO to a client, you’ll want to bring up your favorite analytics tool. Show your client where their traffic, conversions and sales originate. For the most part, organic searches are going to drive most of this.

Without SEO, your client’s organic results are basically, well, subject to the fates. SEO gives your client’s site more control over their SERP. (Of course, you’ll want to explain this without using all the acronyms.)

With SEO, your client’s SERP will raise. This means more potential customers will find your client when they search for terms related to the product or service they provide. This increased exposure usually leads to more sales.

Here’s a simple way to explain this to your clients:

Without SEO, your business will still show up in the search results. But you really have no say as to where in those search results your business will appear. It’s not likely to be in a top spot, however, simply because your competitors are already using SEO to take those top spots. Without SEO, your business will stagnate.

With SEO, your ranking in the search results is more controllable. Even better, SEO techniques can continually improve your ranking over time. More and more customers will be drawn to your site when they search for terms related to your business. With SEO, your business will grow.

Reason #2: SEO is Cost Effective

I’ve had my fair share of clients who believe the most effective way to find success online is to simply spend money. I’ve also had plenty of clients who had a limited budget. Fortunately, SEO works well in both situations.

If your client insists on buying something, you can direct them to pay-per-click strategies, banner ads and the like. But you’ll also want to tell them that some of their best results will come from simple, free SEO solutions. Obviously, they’ll still have to pay you, the SEO pro, to implement these strategies – but that’s still cheaper than paying you to implement paid strategies.

SEO allows you to attract high quality traffic. SEO can even level the playing field between large and small companies. Smart SEO strategies can push a small business to the top of the search results page.

How do companies use SEO so effectively? They approach the concept from the very start of development. SEO strategies are integrated into every aspect of their online presence. This includes content marketing, social marketing and any other aspect of their brand.

This approach doesn’t care how much money you spend. The strategies alone make the difference. This makes SEO not only the most cost effective technique but also simply the most effective all-around.  

Reason #3: SEO is Long-Lasting

The advertising and marketing budget of a business can change quickly. If the company is reliant on paid ads, their entire strategy can be in trouble if the budget shrinks. This isn’t the case with SEO.

SEO never stops working. In fact, many SEO practices become more effective the longer they exist. Each year, you can add more to your SEO strategies – more keywords, more guest blogs and so on. Eventually, your client can own their niche and dominate their market.

Paid strategies can stop and start depending on your client’s needs and budget. As long as you have effective SEO strategies in place, potential customers will still be driven to your client’s site. This lets you implement paid strategies only at key times, such as during specific holidays.

Your Clients Want SEO…

…even if they don’t know it yet. Convincing them can sometimes be difficult. After all, SEO isn’t a physical thing you can see the way you can see a banner ad. Sometimes I’ve had clients who didn’t understand how important just a few keywords can be.

But most businesses respond to the bottom line. When you use these three strategies above, you’ll be able to explain to your clients how SEO can increase their profits in the long run. In fact, SEO is one of the most cost effective ways a business can grow online.

You might also explain how creating a website without SEO is basically a complete waste of time. A website people can’t find isn’t really a website at all. So even though convincing a client they need SEO isn’t always the most fun activity, it is a necessity. Hopefully the above strategies will lead to smooth communication and a long-term relationship with a great (and now knowledgeable) client.