10 Ways To Sell SEO Services To Local Businesses That Guarantee Sales

I have been in the SEO business for the past 10 years, and before I was selling digital marketing services, I was right there selling SEO services.

Matter of fact, I still do.

A great thing about selling SEO services is that most businesses now recognize how important it is, so it’s not really a hard sell.

However, with such great demand, there are hundreds of other professionals and agencies wanting to sell to the local businesses that you had been eyeballing.

From my own experience, where I have sold SEO services to 100+ businesses locally, I will list out 9 ways you should sell SEO services when approaching local businesses.

From my own trial-and-error experience, these methods will always put you at a greater advantage than your competitors and help you close the most deals.

Let’s get started.

Table of Contents

Figuring Your Own Stuff Out

Before approaching a client, your business first needs to get its own stuff together.

This builds a track that you can work on and guarantees better success in selling SEO services than going head straight for anything.

The two main factors you need to settle are what SEO services you want to sell and who you want to sell them to.

Let’s get started.

1. Choosing What To Sell

The first thing you need to do is categorize what you’re selling.

SEO can be a difficult concept for prospects to grasp because it’s just so big. And it will be impractical to compile it in a single one-for-all package because every business has different needs, resources, and budgets.

The three main categories I sell my SEO services with are:

  • Complete managed SEO
  • Complete Link-building
  • SEO Consultancy
seo service categories 1

With the clients I have had, I’ve seen most businesses tend to go for one of the above three options.

 Categorizing them up is a good starting step so that not only you can visualize your sales better, but your prospect can also have a good grasp of what they’re getting.

2. Choosing Your Niche

Since you’re selling SEO services to local businesses, instead of going all out and saying ‘Yes, and’ to every other business, it is better to choose a niche and specialize in that.

This will not only create a good working experience for you, preventing you to have work stuffed from completely different businesses that are hard to manage together, but it will also create a good local network for you and an amazing local clientele portfolio to feature in the proposals that will definitely help you close bigger deals in the future!

In my experience, you should choose between these 3 general niches:

  • SaaS businesses
  • eCommerce businesses
  • Selecting an industry niche e.g. travel or insurance
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As a beginner, SaaS businesses are great to start with. 

eCommerce businesses are an amazing option as well, but it is significantly hard to find reliable and long-lasting eCommerce businesses in some local areas.

As for an industry niche, working for a couple of clients in an industry can vamp up a great SEO profile for you for that specific industry, but you may end up competing your clients with each other in SEO.

Consider your own needs and choose for yourself!

3. Ask And Advise

The greatest working tool I have noticed when approaching clients is to be a good listener.

Rather than blabbering about how you can change their life and take their business to new lengths, give them a significant amount of time to tell you what they really need.

Maybe what they’re opting for isn’t the right choice for them and you can advise them better.

Whether your prospect hasn’t ever done SEO or already has an SEO services professional, it’s best to ask them ‘what changes do you wish for your business’ before telling them your own ideas.

Now that you hear their own problems, shed light on the problems that you identify yourself, with and offer solutions.

This not only helps you create a personal touch with your prospect but also enables you to sound professional because remember, you didn’t only offer solutions to their problems like a scripter salesman, you also gave your own input.

4. Researching The Business Thoroughly

In the previous step, we touched on how professional it is to identify the problems from your perspective in an appropriate manner.

That is one of the many reasons you should research a prospect before connecting with them as a warm lead.

Researching a business will help you, an SEO specialist, understand what the business is lacking, how its competitors are at an advantage, and the best course of action for the business.

seo service categories 2 1

You can use all of this information to create a proposal tailored specifically for the business.

Since this approach isn’t general but directly targets the prospect, your prospect should feel valued and appreciated.

And since you had time to do the homework, your solutions should please them into closing a deal with you.

5. Difference Between The Short Run And Long Run

Clients want things fast. Especially clients who switch towards you from a different SEO specialist.

To prevent any miscommunication or negative feelings throughout the course of your partnerships, it is important for you to underline the short-run and long-run goals right from the start.

This greatly helps the client to bring their expectations into perspective and helps them feel accomplished when you achieve it.

Try to always create extremely practical short-run goals, many of which can boost the clients’ ROI, since this is the time you will be tested for your practice.

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You can leave the experimentation for the long run where you will have fewer deadlines and wouldn’t be under a strict obligation.

Profitable SEO short-run goals also make prospects more likely to sign up for deals, since no one wants to wait a year for results when trying a new investment.

6. The Most Important Factor – ROI

Consider the perspective of your prospect, what’s the one thing you’re demanding from them?

An investment. An investment in you.

And what do they want out of this? A return that is more than the investment.

Yes, SEO has a lot more to do than just bare profitability, but that’s not how most clients will see it.

When approached with a proposal, the most important thing for a client will be the charges you’re asking for.

This is why you need to make their return on investment your most important priority.

Bring up ROI many times in your pitch, to help the prospect understand you care about it as much as you do.

In the short-run goals, do give ROI a great amount of importance. Only once you have helped the business make more than what they invest in you can they think bigger for the long run.

7. Past Portfolio

What’s the next thing a prospect focuses on after your price and proposed ROI? Proof.

past portfolio 1

The prospect wants assurance that you can actually do what you’re picturing, which is why creating a strong profile of clientele is extremely important when approaching local businesses.

Your prospects can even hit up the different businesses you have worked with to ask for your reference.

If you’re just starting out, try to get as many local businesses as you can, even if they come at a cheaper price because building a portfolio is the only way to make the big bucks.

And when you’re approaching a prospect with a good portfolio, do create case studies that are similar to the position your prospect is in.

This will boost the surety the prospect has in their mind for you, having the trust that if you could do it before, you can do it for them as well.

An SEO agency or professional can charge higher prices, or even not focus too much on ROI, as long as they have a great portfolio. 

8. Create A Local Network

Since you’re approaching local businesses, it is important for you to have a word around your town.

People should know who you or your agency is, even if in hindsight.

A good way to do this when starting out is by picking smaller projects by a plethora of local businesses and acing them the right way.

Prefer working in teams that reside locally, which can further spread the identity of you or your agency.

You are more likely to close a deal with a prospect that has heard about you before than one who thinks of you as a stranger.

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And when a prospect does take time to consider your proposal and asks around, it will only help the deal close faster if your network is spread afar with good validation for your SEO services.

9. Researching Your Competitors

When approaching local businesses to sell SEO services, it is important to remember that you’re not the only one.

In the smallest of towns, there will be a number of SEO specialists and agencies that offer SEO services, some better than you and some worse.

past portfolio 2 1

While your primary goal should be to be better than your competition, a great way to close deals is to portray yourself better than the other options a local business has.

If you research your competitors enough, you will know their KPIs and also the aspects that they lack.

These aspects could be your grounds to shine that will help you be the better choice for your prospects.
After thorough research into the advantages and disadvantages of your competitors, create a script that shows how you’re the better option for prospects, and make sure to use these in your sales pitch after a proposal to a prospect.

10 . Demos as a beginner

All of the above-mentioned tips should help you bag more SEO services for local clients than ever, but things may not seem as easy if you’re a beginner.

Since SEO services have great demand, there are many professionals and agencies that offer them, making it even harder for beginners to penetrate the market.

However, you won’t stay in the shadows for too long. With your skill and some demos, you can create a better position for yourself for a prospect than even the biggest SEO agencies.

As a beginner, start offering free demos that showcase your abilities. Since you have no prior experience or portfolio, this will be the grounds a prospect will judge you for.

And because it’s free, prospects won’t be reluctant to have you involved.

Try to score as many short-term goals as you can in this demo period. All the things that will look good on a graph when presented to the client at the end of the day.

If done right, the client will be more likely to continue on a paid basis than find some other SEO professional or agency.

Conclusion

Those are all the guaranteed 9 methods I can pinpoint from my successful career as an SEO expert.

These greatly helped me have a headstart as a beginner and then retain my success by jumping on to winning over bigger clients.

I hope this helps you too. Best of luck with a flourishing SEO career!Interested in more? Check out my pricing guide for How Much To Charge For SEO Services To Local Businesses, or revise your SEO audit strategy with my 9-Step Technical SEO Audit.

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