How to convince a clueless SEO writing client

How to Convince a Clueless SEO Writing Prospect

How can you convince an SEO writing prospect that you can help her land the search positions (and conversions) she wants?

Well, it depends…

I received a great question from one of my newsletter subscribers (thanks, Steve!). Here’s a quick excerpt:

“I usually ask a prospective client ‘do you have a website?’ If the answer is yes, I then ask ‘how is it working for you?’ Their answer is usually, ‘It’s not working. No business and the website doesn’t show up in top Google searches!’

Hmm, client is wasting money on the website with no business! How can you convince them of the need for SEO?”

(Raise your hand if you can relate.)

I’ve seen this scenario play out time and time again. Some prospects are convinced that SEO “doesn’t work” because they don’t understand it, they’ve tried before (and worked with a bad consultant,) or they figure they don’t need it.

When the reality is, their content is bursting with low-hanging fruit opportunities. Just a few tweaks and their site’s SEO potential would explode.

If only we knew the magical words that would convince them.

What are those magic words?

First, let me tell you a story…

Years ago, I used to nag my husband about integrating stretching into his hockey routine. He’d go from playing three hours of hockey to coming home and sitting on the couch.

I’d show him studies about how stretching would help…and nothing.

I’d warn him that he was going to hurt himself someday…and nothing.

I’d ask if he wanted to stretch with me…and, well, you know what happened.

In fact, he didn’t stretch or foam roll at all…until he was injured on the ice.

Going to physical therapy for seven weeks showed him the importance of stretching and taking care of his body. And now, he stretches all the time.

You see, he wasn’t ready until he was ready — no matter how many times he heard he “should” do something. 

We humans are strange, irrational beings. We let fear, apathy and doubt block smart decisions. No amount of convincing will teach us to eat our vegetables if we don’t like vegetables. Or, that exercise is important if we hate breaking a sweat.

So, why should SEO be any different? 

After all, when’s the last time you convinced someone to do something they were dead-set against? It’s almost impossible — unless the person feels pain and is motivated to try something new.

That’s when they’ll be ready.

What should you do with “hard-to-convince” SEO writing prospects?

My first step is to go into question-and-education mode. I ask questions about the lifetime value of their customers, the keyphrases that are important to them, and what percentage of their visitors convert. That way, I can combine my educational tidbits with specific, measurable benefits.

It’s one thing to say, “you’ll see an increase in search traffic.” It’s another to say, “even a 5 percent bump in search volume converting at your current rate could mean over $460,000 in income.”

That’s education done right.

But, what if your prospect still isn’t convinced?

This will sound harsh…

Don’t waste your time.

Let them go. Set them free. If it’s meant to be, they’ll come back (you’ll be surprised by the number of times that happens.)

Like my husband and stretching, if they aren’t ready, they aren’t ready. 

Sure, it’s OK to stay in touch and to check in. Sometimes, the buy cycle moves glacially, and a lead may not convert for years. 

Just don’t spend time trying to convince someone to love SEO. It won’t work, and it’s time you won’t get back.

Besides, as my mother used to say, there are plenty of fish in the sea. Why waste time trying to convince someone when you can find clients who DO understand your value?

The (good) clients are out there. Really. You just have to find them.

What do you think?

Have you had your share of indecisive prospects? What did you do to unstick their decision-making process? Let me know in the comments!

1 reply
  1. Yilmaz Sarac says:

    Initially, I divided the fee I demand for SEO into three parts. I get one third in advance. I get the remaining two-thirds if the targeted results are achieved. But, this is not because the customer does not understand seo. It’s lbecause that some SEO’s doesn’t understand SEO, cripples many customers and damages our image.

    Reply

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