Presenting proposals to clients for SEO projects can be a hectic and stressful process especially for the small business client whose expenditures are almost always on a tight budget. Some feel like they might be throwing money at a losing battle…their business, and at this point are unsure it being worthy of success at all. After having done an initial analysis on their competition and current web presence you conclude that with a strong back linking campaign and onsite seo/copywriting they could turn their business around and take a strong position in the search results for their keyword. Naturally you have already shared this exciting news with them but somehow at the moment when you present the proposal, it seems forgotten; the excitement lost in dollar signs. What can be done to make this proposal process less stressful for both the client and the SEO professional? Here are a few things I have come up with for a win win proposal:
Upon introduction discuss:
A) What is their budget? Or, how much do they want to spend on a marketing campaign and SEO for their website
B) Ask them questions that quantify the value they place on ranking well in search results or driving traffic to their website. Let’s face it. Getting noticed online can bring endless value to the customer in hard revenue. It is important however to help them make that connection when you are selling something intangible like services.
C) Ask them if they have ever paid for SEO services/copywriting before, and if they haven’t, get them familiar with cost immediately. That way they can do their own math along the way and thus no surprises. Many people are unfamiliar with the process, therefore unfamiliar with its cost.
D) When presenting the proposal, include the estimated final result of the services being recommended i.e, what this will do for the customer, is it better ranking in search results, driving traffic through a pay per click campaign, increase conversions, etc. That way the cost and value can offset each other yet again for the customer.
E) Make sure your pricing is clear cut and if you offer an hourly rate only, try to estimate how long each process will take or give maximums (not to exceed x amount of hours). Small business owners are much more comfortable knowing in advance how much they are spending.
F) And as always deliver what you promise in the time frames outlined. It is always better to under promise and over deliver and because SEO and online marketing are not exact sciences, don’t promise the number one spot in google’s search results, instead promise the top 3 but only if your totally confident it can be done!