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How do you convince a client they need SEO & SEM

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The problem is if you try and convince someone they need something they are sure they don't, you run the risk of looking like you know more about their business than they do and it can cause tension and make your client feel uncomfortable talking to you. If they are sure they don't need it, I wouldn't push it.


Okay, I would probably send them blog articles and links once every few weeks with a note that said, "Thought you might find this interesting." But again, you do run the risk of making them angry.


I guess what I'm trying to say is, it depends on your relationship with this particular client. If you have a great relationship you can probably convince them over time, but if you have a very professional relationship with no emotional connection they may move on to someone that doesn't try and tell them what's best for their business when they know better. (I'm not saying they really do know better, just that they think they do!)

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Guest AngelaGreen

Hi Julie, I'm just thinking out loud here...maybe you could go down a slightly different track by setting aside one hour together (maybe even calling it a free consultation/service review or something) and brainstorm all the different ways that a potential customer or client would find him or her. Like, doing a search on Google, reading an article in a publication, through social networking, meeting face-to-face in a networking setting, etc. Kind of like...what's the best return on investment for marketing strategies, and/or prioritize marketing strategies. Then identify the best ways to utilize your services to match his/her marketing priorities. I mean, maybe his/her website is a key factor in attracting interested customers, or maybe it's not as important as other methods.


Also, you could together start with something very simple like installing Google Analytics (again, maybe do it free of charge), then together review a report after 1 month. That would provide solid numbers on how many people (or how FEW people) are coming to the website, and how they get there. That might spark further interest...

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It's a trust thing. Over time you might find they start asking about these things as you work on other projects for them. This has happened to me in the past with clients. You start small and gradually, as they start to trust your judgment and expertise they will desire more and more of your input.


That said, with SEO/SEM it's ideal if you can have a plan in place before you start working on other things like blogging, copywriting/editing, etc. Can you possibly tell us a bit more about the situation (without revealing the client's identity of course)?




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Pilate, SEO is Search Engine Optimisation. The process of getting organically ranked in the search engines. So when somebody looks for a query in google, you appear close to the top for a set of keywords. It can be tricky.


SEM is search engine marketing. I believe this can also include pay per click ads on the search engine results as well as SEO and rich snippets.


Julie, my thought is you have to identify the problem they are having in their business. Like Angela Green said, a strategy session to help them realise what they need could be a great start.


If their challenge is getting more people visiting their site, then perhaps SEO could be one of your prescribed solutions; especially if you feel you can get them ranked. If they are getting a lot of visitors but not landing any paid clients, maybe that is a conversion problem and better copy may be the prescription.


So start with the challenge they are having then angle SEO as the solution if it fits. Hope this helps :)

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Exactly Mark!


From Wikipedia...


Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine's unpaid results - often referred to as "natural," "organic," or "earned" results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine's users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search,[1] news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.


Search engine marketing (SEM) is a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) primarily through paid advertising.[1] SEM may incorporate search engine optimization(SEO), which adjusts or rewrites website content and site architecture to achieve a higher ranking in search engine results pages to enhance pay per click (PPC) listings.[2]

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On 3/4/2009 at 10:06 PM, agapevirtualassistants said:

Just curious, how do you convince a client they need SEO & SEM if they try to insist they don't need it?

Now a days online business are on a boom. On comparing with traditional way of marketing your business services, digital marketing seems to be more effective. The best part is you don't end up with wasting your money targeting the audience who are irrelevant to your business. through SEM & SEO you can increase the visibility of your contents and ads only to those whom you wish to target.

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