This article will focus on how to sell SEO to companies you are dealing with who are already heavily invested in PPC, but can benefit from SEO. We will break it up into 3 different types of client, but the real world is always more complex, and a blend of the strategies is usually required.
The Money Guy
The Money Guy. The guy who usually only makes a couple meetings, just to make sure that this expense is legit. I’ve been this guy. I’ll tell you how to sell to him.
This guy is all about ROI. You’ll need to be able to speak to him in his terms. If you are not confident in your ability to communicate ROI, visit our guide on ROI resources on the web.
But ROI is only half the picture. If you present him with any meaningful proposal, in terms of dollars, you’ll need to provide him with more information. He’s tired of seeing “big-number” proposals float across his desk with no explanation as to how those numbers were reached. You can solve that.
Selling to this guy is all about showing him that dollar for dollar, diverting money from PPC will provide a positive return… Eventually. He’s your friend in the fact that he understands that results take time. But he needs to know how you will make that will happen.
To do that, you’re best served by identifying the areas where their current PPC overlaps with their potential gains in SEO. You can do this yourself, by identifying their PPC keyword list and finding duplicate keywords in their organic rankings, and compiling a list. Or you can use a tool such as our own SpyFu Recon report to easily identify where the most gains can be made in overlap.
Using this list, you can identify opportunities where the expense of your services will provide the biggest returns, and ultimately, which ones will be most profitable. The Money Guy understands that things may take time to develop, but he thinks in terms of risk. And the shorter the ROI, the less risk.
Identifying the terms they are spending on in PPC, and showing the SEO potential of the best keyword helps you explain the “how” behind the numbers, and that the estimates from your SEO proposal are based in identifiable transactions, and not a feel-good story of SEO magic.
Ideally, you can show him a break-even point on shifting investment from PPC to SEO. This will require a calculator (We’ll bring you one in the SpyFu blog soon!), but the results will give him a great feeling on how much risk is involved, since he knows the expected time to repayment.
“I Built This City… I Built This City… On P…P…C…”
The PPC Lover has built his business on PPC. He may have a web presence, but at some point he got shifted into a PPC campaign, saw good growth, and has never looked back.
PPC has paid for his pet falcon... and his boat. He uses his pet falcon on his boat. He loves PPC.
The trick to this guy is explaining the potential in looking beyond PPC. There is a whole world out there!
Start from his list of PPC keywords, and focus on the relative number of searches for those terms, compared to the clicks that he gets on them. Even the best PPC campaigns can’t change the fact that only a small number of searchers click on ads, rather than results.
Even if 20% of all searchers click on ads rather than results, the potential returns are huge by expanding focus into SEO rankings. The client may have a top-of-the-page ad, but if ads are only clicked on by 200,000 out of every million clicks, then he’s leaving the majority of his audience behind.
Get a copy of their PPC list, search volumes, and impression share of their ads. The fun thing is that even if they are running a campaign which is giving them top PPC rankings and monster impression share, this actually only helps you. There are laws of diminishing returns at play at various points in PPC. As a company gets closer and closer to the top, it becomes more expensive to create ads and keyword combinations which generate additional conversions.
The better idea is to go after the rest of the market that you know is searching, but just doesn’t click on ads. The PPC Lover already knows the words that he has traction on, and that bring him business. His conversions are the tip of the iceberg, but he needs to be shown the rest.
The Marketer : Master of Their Domain
If you’re dealing with a knowledgeable Marketer, then you have the benefit of someone you can talk to more easily. But the flipside is that you have to show them tricks that they don’t already know.
Like the Money Guy, the Marketer will have an idea of their online budget. And they’ll know the PPC results too. So both of the above strategies will make sense to them. But give them something that will wow them, and they’ll happily pass along your ideas as their own to their boss.
Let’s use seasonality as an example. Use SpyFu Kombat to identify keywords used by competitors. Then use SpyFu Ad History to identify seasonal trends in PPC efforts on these keywords. Congratulations, you’ve just identified a niche of keywords which have seasonal value.
We’ve already identified that there is a whole world of customers who don’t click on ads - even if they are in the right season. You can take advantage of this. Seasonal keywords are usually not SEO competitive, and thus, easier to gain ranking on. They may not provide benefits all year, but at the very least, you are putting a choice organic result smack in the middle of the page that you know your competitor heavily advertises on in high season.
SpyFu’s Recon Keyword Ranking Report is a great tool to monitor your progress in this regard. Uploading a list of the seasonal keyword campaign you are looking to gain rank on, and type in a list of the competitors you are stealing conversions from. You will get client-presentable reports on the gains you are making, as well as where there is still opportunity.
Additionally, you’ll get weekly updates on position, which is definitely a help when some seasonal elements are short, or extremely trendy. Stay on top with good information, and you’ll gain opportunities that your competitors miss.
While these are certainly not the only strategies or customer types, I hope that this has been beneficial in identifying strategy types which help you communicate the value of SEO to clients who are already spending heavily on PPC. Demonstrating value is never easy, but we try to provide the best SEO tools available to help you make that task easier.