Seventy to eighty percent of people click on organic search results instead of paid advertisements, according to a study by imFORZA. Ascend2 also found that 89% of companies see SEO as a highly successful strategy for lead generation, improving search rankings, and pulling traffic to their websites.
Businesses highly rank SEO. In fact, Clutch says that 55% of companies seek the services of professional SEO consultants, with the SEO services industry expected to grow by 19.6%.
So, how do you ensure you gain more market share in the growing SEO industry? It’s not enough to have the skills; you also need to manage the business side. Here are some tips you can use to improve your business negotiations to take your consultancy to greater heights.
Research your client’s business
Negotiation skills training courses emphasize how important it is to put some effort into researching the other side before you start negotiations.
Knowing as much as you can about the client’s business can give you an upper hand when pitching your services. It helps show your clients that you offer bespoke services tailored to meet their business’ specific needs.
Also, take the time to uncover all possible details about the client’s industry so you can articulately summarize specifics, legal principles, and industry practices relevant to the client.
By readying yourself with relevant information, you can present snippets of the kind of strategies you would use, allowing the client to see how much value you bring.
You can also point out where the client is getting it wrong, for instance, you can point out newer algorithms that may render their methods ineffective.
Some areas to research about the client’s business include:
- What type of products and services do they offer?
- Which of their products and services perform better?
- How do they deliver their products or services?
- Which of their web pages perform better?
- What kind of feedback do they receive from customers? For instance, do customers complain about page speed?
- How is their content currently ranking? Which type of content has more traction?
- How do their efforts compare to competitors?
Leverage your past success
Use your past results to influence the negotiation by showing clients how other businesses benefited from your services. Shine the light on your achievements through case studies, testimonials, or a detailed portfolio.
Remember to use measurable results that will paint a clear picture of your success, for example:
- percentage reduction in bounce rates
- improvements in click-throughs
- increase in conversions
- boost in revenue
If you are a newbie in the industry, focus on showing your potential and skills by citing your training.
It’s also important to communicate your success effectively and avoid throwing the client off with jargon. It helps to use simple examples where necessary to ensure you are both on the same page.
In addition, draw parallels between your previous achievements and the client’s business to show the link between what you can do and their ROI.
Run an SEO audit
Before you come down to the discussions on price, it helps to run an SEO audit on the client’s site. Once you have precise insights into their current state of affairs, you are better placed to crunch the numbers with full knowledge of the scope of work involved.
The audit also allows you to suggest actionable solutions that show how the client ranks against competitors. Understanding the client’s position on the SEO rankings can help you craft more impactful strategies. Some important elements of the SEO audit include:
- keyword usage and organic search engine rankings
- codes, plugins, or widgets affecting SEO
- internal, external, and back-linking strategies
- relevance of content
- conversion rates of landing pages
- email and social media
Talk about pricing
Once you’re through showing the client your skills and how valuable your services are to them, you can proceed to talk about the dollar value.
According to negotiation trainers, the first offer brought to the table is usually the strongest due to a cognitive bias, also known as “anchoring.” As a result, the final price won’t fall far off from the initial offer.
Price is often an uncomfortable part of the discussion for many. Keep training and rehearsing this part of the talks to overcome the apprehension. Also, consider creating a rate card with your desired prices to make it easier to persuade using the power of print.
All in all, knowing your client and presenting yourself in the best light can unlock high-value business opportunities for your SEO services.