I’ve struggled with some of the small business owners who would like to improve their business cash flow by improving their website SEO ranking. They are aware of the SEO buzz word but really have no idea what it is and how it works. Most of educated prospects understand that a duration of the SEO optimization process is going to be longer than a week or even a month. However most of the time expectations are so wrong in regards to the extent of the SEO process and a complexity of it. This may lead a potential client to seek the “better” SEO solution elsewhere based on a really good (aka cheap) price. That’s a big mistake as we all know: most of the times we get what we pay for and there is no exception with the SEO. If a potential client does not realize that then perhaps we only have two options: 1) to educate a potential client or 2) to let a client learn on their mistakes.
No need to describe the second option. I only hope that by the time a potential client realizes that the mistake has been already made there is enough budget left to do a recovery work.
The education of a client is very important and as we all know most of the times educated people makes right decisions. Below are the steps that I recommend. Take it or leave it or perhaps help me to improve it.
Step 1. Review an existing website and analyze the extend of the on-site optimization. Sometimes the website does not even have the <title> nor keyword meta tags defined right.
Step 2. Review the business services or products to identify the keywords which might be used for their website searches by potential customers.
Step 3. Analyze the keywords and identify the most wanted keywords (MWK) in regards to the monthly search traffic and the competition score.
Step 4. Analyze the SERP (Search Engine Result Page) of the MWK on Google, Yahoo and Bing search engines.
Step 5. Present the results of the previous analyzes to a potential client and to explain based on the findings that there is a good number of searches are going to the client’s competition as opposed to the client’s website.
Step 6. Don’t provide a quote at this time just because the client needs to be educated on the steps that may take place in order to get to a first page of the search engines. Explain the importance of on-site optimization, off-site optimization, social marketing, the duration of the SEO process, and the “sandbox” term.
Step 7. Go back to the drawing board if the client is still interested. Identify the main client competitors which will basically tell you what you will need to work on to get the SEO optimization project successful. Estimate the level of effort.
Step 8. Prepare a good formal proposal document with the explanation of SEO rlated steps. Don’t go into the details as you really want to work on a project. On my experience, very detailed project plan may lead to a potential client taking the technical proposal and then using internal resource to work on it without even complementing you for the preparation work.
Step 9. The final step is to present your proposal while reiterating the SEO steps. It’s also important when SEO optimization is done by a specialist with a good experience and good recommendations. I hope the client will be ready to sign a contract right away so don’t forget to prepare a contract for a proposal presentation meeting.