It can be difficult to know whether a client needs an SEO campaign. Even more difficult may be selling that client on this need, if you determine it does exist. First and foremost, though, is analyzing the client’s current SEO state of health in a number of key areas and outlining whether those areas could be improved upon with an optimization strategy.
From there, you’ll need to design a customized campaign proposal for your client to showcase how resources would be allocated to each of the needs you outline. This proposal should be as thorough as possible to avoid clients in desperate need of an SEO makeover misunderstanding its importance and declining the service.
Your proposal should key in on the most relevant shortcomings of a company’s SEO presence, focusing on the biggest ipact items that you can assist them with. Don’t oversell the SEO campaign, but emphasize why it really matters and how your services could help their company stay competitive with others that might be optimized for an online environment.
Still not sure how to tell if your client really needs a search engine optimization plan? Here are the key things to look for.
No Effective Online Presence
No matter what industry your client occupies, an online presence is essential if they hope to compete in an increasingly congested digital world. Between the client’s website, social media presence, backlinks, online reviews, directory listings, and other digitally tangible points of references, there is likely more than they think out there about their company.
Anything that can be found via search is considered part of the business’s online presence. This means both good things and bad, so working with your client to use SEO to emphasize the good and draw attention away from the bad is critical. In addition, the mere act of having an online presence doesn’t necessarily mean no SEO work is needed.
Here are several key factors a client should have in play to truly have an effective online presence:
- A well-designed website that has a well-defined navigation structure. This structure should clearly outline the business’s product or service through the use of a logical hierarchy. In turn, this hierarchy should drive visitors to the bottom of the funnel sales pages. In other words, the website should be designed with buyers or customers in mind. The psychology of the sale should be utilized to convert web traffic to your client’s product or service.
- A blog or an equivalent content hub is an essential aspect of a company’s online presence. This content repository should be logically organized in a topic/subtopic structure. In addition, it should draw in those who might come to the website as part of the top of the sales funnel, leading them down the hierarchical path to the bottom of the funnel.
- A social media presence is an essential aspect of an effective online presence. To be truly efficient, this presence should not be missing major platforms or have insufficient community activity. Your client should have, and post actively to pages for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram. In addition, though this can be a tough nut to crack, they should encourage regular customer engagement by interacting themselves. Websites like Buzzsumo.com can show you whether the top five posts for a given domain have any social activity.
No SERP Presence for Keywords
Anytime a user makes a search query using Google (or any other search engine), it returns a page of results that match the query. This page of results is called the search engine results page, or SERP. If your site doesn’t appear on the first page of the SERPs for certain valuable keywords related to your product or service, then your SEO strategy is deficient. The value of SEO is determined by either high-traffic keywords or a high probability of converting keywords. Ideally, your SEO strategy would give you a combination of both. If you are unsure whether your client’s site has valuable SERPs, use these guiding questions:
- Does your client’s website have a clear market definition and keywords that speak to that market? Is your client’s site’s content focused on a target audience in particular? Are there keywords supporting the needs of that audience used in reasonable quantities throughout the site?
Try a tool like Wordstream Keywords, which allows you to enter the URL of your client’s website to see if the keywords used there are unrelated to the target market or are primarily comprised of brand-related terminology. In addition, it will provide you with a list of suggested keywords by search volume so that you can incorporate high-ranking keywords as appropriate.
- Check the traffic analytics for your client’s site. Do they illustrate the site is receiving significant organic traffic and that is has a number of ranking keywords? Tools such as https://app.neilpatel.com/en/traffic_analyzer allow you to quickly make this sort of determination.
Failed Site Audits
Conduct a site audit for your client to determine how well their web presence relates to best practices for SEO. There are a number of ways to accomplish this, including a quick audit using a free tool like https://app.neilpatel.com/en/seo_analyzer. These tools are very helpful, in that they can reveal if your client’s site is ranking poorly due to SEO issues.
Failure to Optimize for Mobile
Believe it or not, over 60% of all online searches are performed using a mobile device. It’s therefore critical that your clients optimize their sites for mobile. You can accomplish this very quickly by using Google’s tool( https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly). This tool will identify any potential problems with loading your site, as well.
Lack of Content Marketing
The old adage “content is king” still rings true when it comes to your SEO efforts. Though it’s difficult to determine whether your client’s content is adequate without a comprehensive content audit, there are workarounds that are more quantitated. Try a simple Google search for “site:site_url,” which will reveal how many pages of site’s content have been indexed. If the number is less than 20, then the site is likely performing at a subpar level.
Poor UX (User Experience)
User experience is important for conversions, and it’s what brings people back to your site. In addition, though, UX is critical for SEO, too. Google measures a variety of UX-relevant factors, including bounce rate, time on site, and other user engagement metrics, and takes them all into consideration when it comes to ranking. Free tools such as https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo provide an estimate of bounce rate, which should be closer to 50% than 100%.
The Google algorithm, while complicated, offers sites a variety of strategies for obtaining higher rankings. The oldest, and still very relevant, component of the algorithm relates to the number of backlinks you have to a given page on your site. Tools like https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo will also tell you the number of websites linking directly to your site. If you have a low backlink number as compared to the competitive average in your category, you will need to work toward improvement.
After carefully considering a variety of factors relevant to your client’s SEO presence, you will be better equipped to determine whether they need to implement a new SEO strategy. In some instances, this line of questioning will reveal that a detailed SEO strategy is not the best approach for a client, perhaps because they are a very small business, don’t generate most of their business online, or don’t have relevant keywords on a grand enough scale to justify optimization efforts.
In the majority of instances, however, this site vetting process indicates that a client would benefit from an SEO strategy. We are then able to create thoroughly customized, effective campaigns that drive results and help to keep your clients relevant within their industries. Our team is ready to implement our extensive SEO vetting process for you and your prospects, so reach out today. We are eager to assist and put our experience to work for you and your clients.