Planning for the success of an SEO campaign starts with knowing the gaps and opportunities. Think of choosing which battles you can win and which you’ll need further strategizing. It’s for this reason that marketers start a SWOT analysis at the very start. When it comes to SEO, on the other hand, this analysis comes in the form of a thorough SEO website audit.
An SEO audit provides you with tangible data on what the clients need to improve their website – mostly detailing the onsite elements and their recommended fixes. This can serve as:
- Intel on the client’s website performance and how they stack up against their competition
- A basis for providing clients with insights from your SEO specialists
- Supplementary data for developing your elevator pitch
While the audit can be an extremely useful diagnostic tool, the challenge is to turn this comprehensive report into a powerful sales tool when talking to clients. There’s a pool of digital marketing professionals who can justify their way into selling professional SEO services, but the value you can offer with the website audit will make you the agency of choice for clients.
Whether it’s to sell local SEO services or recommend ways to improve a client’s website, preparing an SEO audit helps you show value to clients in a manner they understand. This eliminates the intangibility of SEO and gives them a clearer view of how optimizing their website can affect their business.
How to Sell Using Your Audit
There’s a difference between simply sending a client a free SEO report and giving them a thorough walkthrough of the value that they can unearth from that report. Who can better tell us how to sell SEO with an audit than agency owners themselves?
We’ve gathered the insights of our most established agency partners on how they leverage the SEO audit to improve their close rate:
1. Never forget your prep.
Can you imagine yourself walking into a meeting without an ounce of knowledge about the client?
If there’s anything every digital marketing professional or agency owner should know, it’s that a good amount of prep can set the direction of your pitch.
Prep (or Step 0) serves as your discovery phase in which you get information about your prospect – their business, industry, target audience, pain points, and goals.
One of our agency partners often does their prep alongside their pre-intake process, so they can set expectations even before sending the audit.
“What you want is to keep clients in a mindset that you’re there to help them. This will show if you’ve cared enough to learn about their business. How can you provide the solutions they need if you don’t have information about your clients?
That’s why as we plug their website into the audit tool, we also start gathering our intel on them. Just by looking them up on Google can reveal tons about how their website is doing against the competition.”
The more data you can gather about your client, the easier it will be to develop a pitch that revolves around their needs and goals.
2. Lead magnets are essential.
Providing something valuable and free has been an effective way of attracting prospects time and again. The same case can be applied to agencies looking to increase their client base.
“Using a technical SEO audit as a lead magnet helps in engaging and educating the prospects about the SEO service without any strings attached. Think of it as a free trial – prospects want to see what you can offer before they give their commitment.
The Audit Widget is there for providing anyone who drops by our website with a quick report. The audit will be sent to their emails directly, while their contact details sit in our lead nurturing pipeline.
By giving a free SEO report, prospects feel that you’re not just after the money and you’re giving them something they can base their decisions on.”
Most agencies use the audit as a lead magnet and steer the succeeding conversations into how the SEO solution can work for their prospects. It’s easy and quick to execute—a contact form or an opt-in can be great ways to capture their information while giving them the free SEO audit.
3. Focus on fixes that translate to real business value.
The purpose of knowing how to create a having a website SEO analysis is not only to identify what needs to be fixed on a client’s website. It’s also about letting them know how they can win their slot in the online real estate.
An agency we’ve been working with for years often take this approach when pitching their SEO. When asked how they go about selling SEO using the audit, their response:
“It’s not often the technical items that impress them. Most clients won’t even spare five minutes to go over a report they can barely understand.
Use the audit as your foot in the door to start a conversation with prospects. You don’t have to jump into your recommendations as you talk to them. Show them what’s the current state of their website Again, it’s about what matters to their business that will make them listen to you.”
When they send the audit to a client, they also prepare a list of easy wins with corresponding action items. They often refer to these as the low hanging fruit – areas that can be fixed quickly but have a significant impact on your client’s website.
For instance, a broken contact page needs to be updated to ensure the client is getting the contact details and inquiries of their visitors. Not only does this provide their business a repository of potential leads, but it also provides continuity for their visitors’ user experience.
4. Use the audit for your own site.
As what they say, “Practice what you preach.”
While the audit is a useful tool for checking the online performance of a potential client’s website, you can also use it on your agency’s website. Install the SEO audit WordPress plugin and check how your own site is performing. This allows you to test and see what information was covered. In turn, you’ll have an idea of what to tell prospects.
“Your website is your testing site. Before you start with clients, why not plug your domain into the audit tool and familiarize yourself with the report? Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes and use the report to draw recommendations on what’s going to provide the best returns for their business.
The audit is extremely useful if you want an instant overview of the website. You don’t have to wait for days to gather data—the tool gets them for you in minutes and collates the most important elements for a quick SEO analysis. For an agency, this is a godsend if you want to close clients on the fly.”
The more you use the audit, the more you’ll be able to get insights and prepare recommendations for your prospects. The strengths, weaknesses, and the gap between the client’s site and the competition’s – everything they need to know goes into this SEO report.
5. Have a sales script ready
You’ve got your data. You’ve done your prep. But, do you have your sales pitch?
If not, it’s time to make one.
You can’t simply rely on luck to get through a conversation with a client and expect them to close. Even the most seasoned salesperson has a sales script ready to guide them when talking to a prospect.
“An SEO audit is the best trigger for activating your sales pitch. On its own, it creates interest while demonstrating your capabilities to deliver results on metrics that your prospect can see in black and white.
The audit is there to emphasize the essential KPIs of what a good website should be. It becomes easier to showcase what success looks like and to validate the need to work with you through clear, concise forecasting.
Decision-makers are often interested in timelines and deliverables. They want assurance and a clear path to success that is worth their monetary and time-conscious investment.
With the SEO audit, it’s powerful enough to explain the importance of key metrics, define the necessary steps to succeed, and showcase the capabilities of what you can achieve for their business growth.
It’s up to you to set the expectations as you build a long-lasting relationship with one another.”
The key is to close the decision-maker on the spot. Apart from the audit, make sure you supplement your SEO pitch with necessary marketing materials.
Audit (and Close More Clients!)
The full potential of an SEO audit lies in how you turn data into opportunities. Not all strategies work for all clients, but with the SEO audit report, you can highlight the gaps in their current SEO strategy and draw inferences on what will help your clients get the highest ROI.
Ready to win more clients?