As outlines in previous blogs, SEO optimization implies digging deeper into a site’s structure, coding, content and linking. However, performing a site audit and identifying possible areas of optimization to help the site deliver a better user experience and better ranking, is just half of the work done, as our role as SEO expert might require to deliver our findings to team members, non-technical staff, stockholders and clients. To help you deliver a better SEO proposal to potential clients, here are few tips that might help you.
1. Introduce yourself
In case you are meeting a potential client or a group of people that are not familiar with you and your work, it might be worth introducing yourself, what you do and the company you work for in case you are representing a SEO firm. The key is to make yourself and your firm sound unique; from the logo, to your vision and mission, everything should convey a message that your your company is the best candidate for the job. It is important that your statements are supported by practical examples; for instance, you could include the logo of an important (and satisfied!) client. Past happy clients are the best tool to deliver a sense of trustworthiness in your audience.
2. SEO Analysis Key-findings
People that are hiring you as SEO-expert expect to hear what is wrong with their site and which solutions you recommend to bypass those problems to increase organic traffic and ranking. Some common problems include:
Site content and structure
The first aspect to consider is the website itself; if the architecture is optimized for an easy navigation and the site offers enough content to make the visit worth. If that is not the case, the site might needs to be re-designed to offer a better user experience and more content such as text, images, videos might be added to increase the time spend by the user on site.
The site is well structured and rich in content, however, the site takes too long to load. As consequence, users get frustrated and click return without visiting the site. To understand how long a site takes to load use Google PageSpeed Insight tool and follow the recommended solutions.
Users are not converting
Everything works fine, however visitors are not converting; for instance, they abandon the site after visiting only one page, the spend little time on site, they do not click on “Purchase” making the ecommerce site totally worthless. In this instance, it would be worth digging into Google Analytics to identify issues that might prevent users from converting such as a poorly designed “Shopping Cart” page or issues with third-parties such as credit card submissions.
More and more people are accessing the internet through mobile devices, from mobile phones to tablets. Therefore, a site that is not optimized for mobile usage could potentially lose a big slide of its traffic. Again, use Google PageSpeed Insight to test loading speed on mobile and mobile optimization.
3. SEO Key-Solutions
In this section you need to provide the solutions to the problem you identified in the previous one.
Site content and structure
Identify solutions on how a site could improve their organic traffic through high quality content and a well-designed site structure. A blog post on Site structure and On-page SEO could provide a good example of your SEO knowledge. In addition, include some examples such as a case study.
If a site is taking too long to load, causing loss of ranking and traffic, follow the Google Speed Insights suggestions. In addition, you should take advantage of Caching solutions and plugins. My own site forahand, was developed in Ruby on Rails, takes advantage of a caching gem.
Users are not converting
If the site content, architecture and loading time have all been optimized, but conversion rate is still low, the site could present issues that prevent users from performing the expected action such as signing up to a newsletter, purchasing a product, leaving comments. In order to make the site the most efficient for conversion, you should start by following these principles:
- Make the site’s identity and goal clear
- Spell out your USP (unique selling points)
- Write compelling headlines
- Make the call-to-action visually compelling
- Make the submission form short and easy to follow
After making sure that the site has been optimized for user navigation, you can start experimenting with landing pages and how custom-made pages could actually increment the number of conversions; for instance, first time visitors might land on pages that offer free content such as webinars and free PDFs, while recurrent visitors might be more interested in special offers as they might be ready to purchase your product.
Today websites are expected to work on a variety of devices and fit multiple screen sizes. To make sure that a site works well on mobile devices, you should check:
- Loading speed. Take advantage of caching, image optimization, minified code
- Avoid Flash and pop-ups. Use HTML5 instead.
- Make buttons big and at a fair distant between each other to make them visible and easy to click even on small screens
- Take advantage of Responsive Templates
4. SEO Program
Provide the details of your SEO program to the prospective client by focusing on their budget range. The plan should include
- The name of the SEO project manager that will oversee the program and serve as a single point for program communication.
- The name of each team member such as additional SEO specialists, web designers, content providers, and other staff members who will contribute as the program requirements dictate.
- Comprehensive SEO plan with timeline
- Web concept, descriptions, tests, mock-ups and final product
- Monthly SEO reviews and website modifications/updates
Pricing and Plan Alternatives
The first draft should focus on the client budget, however you should also include a couple of alternatives in which you outline how you could solve all the site’s issues by upgrading to a more expensive plan. In this instance, you should offer a very detailed plan and make it a compelling case to justify the extra cost.
5. Closing the deal
Finally, to make sure that you will close the deal include a one page case study as example of your work which helps to make the case of the value of your proposal. If you can, include the final result, the value that you brought to the project and even a testimonial to support your case.