Stop Selling SEO
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Stop Selling SEO

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This is a presentation I did at the SFIMA Pubcon regional in Fort Lauderdale.

This is a presentation I did at the SFIMA Pubcon regional in Fort Lauderdale.

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  • Stop Selling SEO by Steve Floyd – CEO of AXZM – www.axzm.com/about/steve-floyd
  • Don’t worry, this isn’t a rag on SEO.
  • I want to help you make more money and close on more deals.
  • But to do that…
  • You need to you need to stop selling SEO.
  • What youtalkin’ bout? Let me explain…
  • Interest in SEO Hasn’t Died. Google Trends - http://axz.mx/seo-g-trends-2013
  • Salaries are up. SEO Salary Guide
  • Sales Are Up - State of Search Marketing Report 2012
  • Why stop now? Well, for starters…
  • SEO has a bad reputation.
  • The market is increasingly segmented oversaturated and segmented. As soon as most people learn how to really do SEO, they want to do it for themselves. The loyalty once seen in the industry a decade ago is fading fast. The market is segmented with too many chiefs and not enough Indians.
  • Google has it in for SEOs. With Google Penguin and Panda, the old days of SEO are over. SEO is not as scalable as it once was.
  • More than all of that, SEO by it’s very nature is constantly evolving, so it can be hard to sell and scale year over year.
  • The Future of Internet Marketing is Bigger Than SEO.
  • We are becoming content creation companies that depend on quality creative more and more every day. If we expect to be successful, we need to understand all the nuances of content that large publishers and media companies do.
  • Stop selling SEO and start servicing your customers content lifecycle. 1. Research to genuinely understand the need states of your clients customers.2. Create personas for your clients customers and map content to different stages of your clients lead funnel.3. Measure, improve and repeat.
  • “SEO” in the next 3-5 years is looking less and less like “Search Engine Optimization”
  • And a lot more like “Search Experience Optimization” – that is, optimizing our clients web properties for customer experiences, not just for search engines. This is the SEO we need to be selling.
  • Yeah, yeah… now how do I sell this puppy?
  • Know what you are getting yourself into.
  • Always Start With a Comprehensive Audit – Use the audit to inform your scope of work. If you are dealing with a larger company, don’t be afraid to ask for a preliminary deposit. Often window shoppers will have you scope out and analyze their website with no intention of using you as a vendor. Cut them off at the pass by asking for a deposit up front. Time is money. Backlink Audit Proactively w/ Opensite Explorer, Majestic SEO, Link Detective, Unpengu.in, Link Detox and / or Remove’emRun a Content Audit with Content Analysis Tool and Screaming Frog to better understand content scopeand other potential technical SEO issues.Use Google Adwords Keyword Tool, SEM Rush, SEOMoz & Social Crawlytics to gauge competitionAlso, for larger companies and certain industries, your research could be substantially larger in scope. This is a basic overview of assessing what it will take to get your potential client traction.
  • Presentation is everything.
  • The ProposalPresentation is everything, but the context and approach is equally important. By hitting on all cylinders, you are going to close on more deals, plain and simple. A} Use Bidsketch, Propsable, QuoteRoller, NiftyQuoter or eIntelli to create sexy proposals quickly. Regardless of how detailed your proposal is, the likeliehood that it will get thrown in the trash goes up exponentially with a bad design / presentation. B) Details can build a lot of trust and play a key role in whether you close or not. Bullet point allthe clients goals fleshed out in the needs assessment. Provide a project timeline complete with deliverables, milestones and itemized cost where applicable.C) I cannot stress this enough. Play to the stakeholder / decision makers interest. If they are social media fanatics, make the proposal social media centric. If they are hell bent on getting a bunch of back links, make that the center piece of your proposal, even if it isn’t a core part of your strategy.D) Educate your prospects more than your competitorsare willing to. This is the single most powerful advice I can give you to help you stay in the “top of mind” when your prospects are considering closing.
  • Anatomy of a ProposalAuthorization – A statement of release for write access to your clients servers.Client Needs –Reiterate the most important goals your client expressed in the discovery meeting.Process – Provide a graphic or description of your process.Deliverables – A bullet point list of all the things you plan to deliver to the client.Timeline – An overview of what you plan to do for the client by date.Fee Summary – An overview of monthlycharges and / or project fees, itemized by deliverable. Terms & Conditions – A statement of your working parameters.Final Steps – Guide the client through the next steps.
  • The Homefield Advantage
  • Have the client meet you at your office. If you don’thave one, rent one. Something magical happens when a prospect sees you in your element. When they can come into your operation, meet real people and kick the tires, you will have an edge over the next guy who ran down to their office to pitch.Dress to impress, but make sure you are in lockstep with the culture of your prospect. If the prospect is laid back, go business casual. If they are rigid and corporate, dress accordingly. This can go a long way in how you are perceived. Turn your proposal into a graphical presentation. Take your proposal and turn it into an easy to digest presentation that plays to the prospects business problems. Tell a story with your client as the archetype. Practice makes perfect. Don’t be above staying up and practicing every slide of your pitch the night before. The more rehearsed you are, the more likely you are to close.
  • Price MattersResearch Competitors Pricing – Find out what your biggest competitors charge and stay just under their price point or offer something they don’t.Never Bid Too Low – The worst mistake you can make is to sign a contract that doesn’t provide you with adequate resources to execute. Know Your Market – Don’t try to sell caviar to people looking for a value meal. Research the average marketing budgets for the businesses you are trying to service and stay within their threshold. Retainers > Fixed Bid – In some instances, a flat rate or fixed bid makes sense (for small local SEO campaigns, PPC set up, small business website, etc…) but if you are working in a highly competitive niche, make sure you go retainer based so you don’t end up funding someone else’s online marketing efforts.
  • Cover Your A**
  • Risky BusinessGet errors and omissions insurance, yesterday.Retain a good local business attorney. Stay away from any client who demands youunreasonable performance guarantees.Stop selling rankings, start selling conversions.
  • Resources:SEO Pricing: 600+ Agencies Share Costs of Services & Pricing Models by Rand Fishkin–LinkSEO Proposal Sample by Ian Lurie by Ian Lurie–LinkWhat Makes a Great SEO Proposal? by Neil Patel –LinkBrightLocal Local SEO Industry Survey 2013 –LinkSEO Industry Survey 2012 by SEOMoz – LinkFour SEO Payment Models You Need to Seriously Question by Ben Potter – LinkSEO Pricing Models: How Much Should You Charge? by By Mark Jackson –LinkTop 1 SEO Tips for 2013 by Dr. Peter J. Meyers–LinkSelling SEO to the C-Suite by Rebecca Murtagh–LinkStop Selling SEO Short bySteven Shattuck–LinkScaling SEO by Eliminating Pain Points by Ross Hudgens– LinkFor Large-Scale SEO, Why Compromise Can Often Mean Failure by Glenn Gabe – LinkPositioning Your Business for the Future of SEO by Ron Garrett – LinkHigh-Value Tactics, Future-Proof Link Building by Cyrus Shepard – LinkB2C Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends–North America – Link2013 State of Content Marketing Study by Copypressed – Link2013 Internet Marketing Trends (and How They'll Affect Your Organization) by Kane Jamison– LinkAnnie Cushing's Must-Have Tools – LinkBest SEO Tools by Steve Floyd –Link6 Free Google Docs Every SEO Needs To Have by Benjamin Beck –LinkWhy We Can't Just Be SEOs Anymore by Rand Fishkin- Link
  • SEO Salary Guide by Onward Search – LinkThe SEMPO Annual State of Search Survey 2012 – LinkPlotting The Content Marketing Ensemble by Altimeter Group - Link*All Photos Are Property of The Respective Copyright Holder
  • About MeFor the last decade I have been creating digital marketing solutions for businesses large and small. In that time I’ve learned a few things about the governance and creation of web content and how that content ties into other marketing channels. Content is often swept aside as the last part of a project, when I believe it should be one of the very first things addressed, even before design.

Transcript

  • 1. Google Trends
  • 2. SEO Salary Guide
  • 3. State of Search Marketing Report 2012
  • 4. a) Backlink Audit Proactively w/ Opensite Explorer,Majestic SEO, Link Detective, Unpengu.in, Link Detoxand / or Remove’emb) Run a Content Audit with Content Analysis Tool andScreaming Frog to better understand content scopeand other potential technical SEO issues.c) Use Google Adwords Keyword Tool, SEM Rush,SEOMoz & Social Crawlytics to gauge competition.
  • 5. a) Use Bidsketch, Propsable, QuoteRoller, NiftyQuoteror eIntelli to create sexy proposals quickly.b) Bullet point all the clients goals, project timeline,deliverables and itemized cost where applicable.c) Play to the stakeholder / decision makers interest.d) Educate your prospects more than your competitorsare willing to.
  • 6. 1) Authorization2) Client Needs3) Process4) Deliverables5) Timeline6) Fee Summary7) Terms & Conditions8) Final Steps
  • 7. a) Have the client meet you at your office. If you don’thave one, rent one.b) Dress to impress, but make sure you are in lockstep with the culture of your prospect.c) Turn your proposal into a graphical presentation.d) Practice makes perfect.
  • 8. • Research Competitors Pricing• Never Bid Too Low• Know Your Market• Retainers > Fixed Bid
  • 9. a) Get errors and omissions insurance, yesterday.b) Retain a good local business attorney.c) Stay away from any client who demandsunreasonable performance guarantees.d) Stop selling rankings, start selling conversions.
  • 10. 1. SEO Pricing: 600+ Agencies Share Costs of Services & Pricing Models by Rand Fishkin – Link2. SEO Proposal Sample by Ian Lurie by Ian Lurie – Link3. What Makes a Great SEO Proposal? by Neil Patel – Link4. BrightLocal Local SEO Industry Survey 2013 – Link5. SEO Industry Survey 2012 by SEOMoz – Link6. Four SEO Payment Models You Need to Seriously Question by Ben Potter – Link7. SEO Pricing Models: How Much Should You Charge? by By Mark Jackson – Link8. Top 1 SEO Tips for 2013 by Dr. Peter J. Meyers – Link9. Selling SEO to the C-Suite by Rebecca Murtagh – Link10. Stop Selling SEO Short by Steven Shattuck – Link11. Scaling SEO by Eliminating Pain Points by Ross Hudgens – Link12. For Large-Scale SEO, Why Compromise Can Often Mean Failure by Glenn Gabe – Link13. Positioning Your Business for the Future of SEO by Ron Garrett – Link14. High-Value Tactics, Future-Proof Link Building by Cyrus Shepard – Link15. B2C Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends–North America – Link16. 2013 State of Content Marketing Study by Copypressed – Link17. 2013 Internet Marketing Trends (and How Theyll Affect Your Organization) by Kane Jamison – Link18. Annie Cushings Must-Have Tools – Link19. Best SEO Tools by Steve Floyd – Link20. 6 Free Google Docs Every SEO Needs To Have by Benjamin Beck – Link21. Why We Cant Just Be SEOs Anymore by Rand Fishkin - Link
  • 11. SEO Salary Guide by Onward Search – LinkThe SEMPO Annual State of Search Survey 2012 – LinkPlotting The Content Marketing Ensemble by Altimeter Group - Link*All Photos Are Property of The Respective Copyright Holder
  • 12. Steve FloydFounder / Principle at AXZMtwitter: @nawlreadyphone: (214) 272-9109www.axzm.comFor the last decade I have beencreating digital marketing solutionsfor businesses large and small. Inthat time I’ve learned a few thingsabout the governance and creationof web content and how thatcontent ties into other marketingchannels. Content is often sweptaside as the last part of a project,when I believe it should be one ofthe very first things addressed,even before design.