The Ins and Outs of Selling SEO

BY Adam Ambro
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The world of selling SEO is complex, with so many factors involved that it can be overwhelming. Add to that the ever-​evolving digital advertising landscape and it’s understandable if your clients, or even a veteran sales rep, can have a hard time keeping up. What is the status of SEO in 2021 and where does it go from here? Thanks to a recent worldwide study from brightlocal, there are now insights into what to charge your clients for SEO and what local businesses are looking to track when it comes to an SEO campaign. These insights come from the 550 businesses who responded to the survey. Topline findings show that 32% of these respondents believe that achieving local SEO success this year will be harder than it was last year. You can change their minds once you show them your expertise on SEO.

What are standard prices for selling SEO?

Budgeting is always top of mind during the sales process and an SEO project can be difficult to bid on because there are so many variables: market, media type, etc. So, while pricing will vary on a case-​by-​case basis, brightlocal was able to find an average for SEO hourly rate spending across the U.S. at $136.

With the COVID-​19 pandemic affecting every industry, the amounts spent by local businesses on advertising has fluctuated. 2021 has seen a steady drop across the board in higher amounts spent on advertising versus 2020, while the lower amounts were on the rise.

  • 2021 – 27% of respondents spent over $5,000 in advertising vs 31% in 2020
  • 2021 – 27% spent between $1,000-$4,999 vs 30% in 2020
  • 2021 – 15% spent between $250-$499 vs 13% in 2020
  • 2021 – 13% spent between $100-$249 vs 7% in 2020

With small businesses feeling the pressures of operating costs and cutting ad budgets, they still count on you to help them get the most bang for their advertising buck.

How to Target Your Services to Client Needs

Knowing the prices is a great place to start that takes one pain point out of the equation. Next, let’s move onto what exactly your advertiser wants to be tracked. Brightlocal found that businesses valued these metrics:

  • Google local rankings – 57%
  • Google organic rankings – 54%
  • Phone calls – 51%
  • New leads/​inquiries – 51%
  • Organic traffic – 47%

Keep in mind that “59% of respondents say that Google My Business has improved in the last year.” If your clients aren’t using this feature, pitch them on your services to set up that aspect of their digital presence.

Building trust and credibility is a big component to closing a sale. Creating a presentation that contains prices that align with the industry average and explaining which SEO elements you will use to get a client’s listing to move up on search engine results pages, will get you well on your way to achieving that, though one last question remains.

Help Your Clients Understand That SEO Takes Time

Enter AdMall, powered by SalesFuel. Specifically, AdMall’s digital audit tool will examine a company’s digital footprint in a matter of seconds and be able to tell you where that business stands regarding to their SEO presence. The digital audit monitors multiple SEO data points like the top 10 organic keywords by search volume; when you look at this information and see that your prospect isn’t where they should be in a search result, help them add important keywords to their paid search strategy.

Selling SEO can be daunting for sales reps and even more challenging for your clients to manage. Make sure they understand that this media format is a slow pay, and it may take several weeks to see results. But when they combine your SEO consulting work with their other paid advertising, they will generate more leads and revenue.

Photo by Dominika Roseclay from Pexels