How to Close More SEO Leads: 10 Tips to Help You Generate More Clients
Generating SEO leads online isn’t easy. There is such a demand for SEO clients that companies are spending piles of money to rank organically in the SERPs and the cost per click for AdWords bidding is through the roof. If you are paying $10 per click and only 1 out of 20 visitors to your landing page is filling out your form that means a single seo lead is costing you $200. Now, if you close 1 out of 5 leads (only if they are seriously high quality) that means it costs you $1,000 to sign a new client.
If you are charging several thousand dollars a month it’s well worth it over time, but think of all the wasted money and opportunity because of leads that slip through the cracks and sign with another agency because of stupid mistakes and pure laziness.
It has taken me a lot of time and a whole lot of money to really figure SEO leads generation out. I now minimize most cost per lead and customer acquisition, so I figured I would write a blog post to highlight some tips that I feel could potentially help some other SEOs close more deals and make more money.
Here are 10 simple tips that you can easily use to improve your close ratio. If you take the time to do this, I can almost guarantee you will be closing more deals almost instantly.
You’ll be knee deep in SEO Leads in no time..
1. Understand the seo lead’s concerns and expectations.
If you tell every single SEO Lead you speak to what you think they want to hear instead of what they actually want to hear, you will not have a high close ratio. One thing that has helped me tremendously has been becoming a very good listener. I used to try to dominate the conversation and that was the wrong approach. You need to listen, reassure, and respond to each seo leads specific concerns and expectations.
When you let the seo leads do the talking you will learn things that you can then respond to and get them to really become fond of your SEO company. For example, they might tell you that they are currently with an SEO company but they are unhappy with the quality of the content that they produce and the company’s response time.
You can then adjust their specific concerns, telling them that your company uses professional writers and not cheap outsourced content. You can then address your communication policy. If you tell them that your company has a policy in place to reply to all emails within 24 hours and phone calls within 12 hours don’t you think they will feel much more comfortable? This is because you are directly addressing and easing their main concerns right away during the first communication.
2. The early bird always gets the worm.
As soon as a seo leads comes in, call it ASAP! People are not only submitting their information on your website. They are usually looking at several SEO companies, so if you can get them on the phone right after they submit, your company is fresh in their mind. Even though you might not close the deal on the first call, your prompt communication will help you in the long run.
If you can only call seo leads at certain times of the day, adjust your traffic. So, if you are running Google AdWords or Facebook ads, use ad scheduling to only have them running during the times that you can contact the inbound leads immediately.
If leads come in and sit overnight or even for several hours, your contact ratio will plummet. This is just a big waste of money.
Also, when you follow up with your leads, do so in the early morning. The person that will be signing on and paying for the service is more than likely the business owner. They don’t have much time in the middle of the day to take calls. If you want their attention, call them before the day. Most owners are at the business long before the doors open for the day. Early mornings are the best times to close deals.
3. You have to keep pounding your leads.
I always thought I could close a deal on the first call. If I didn’t, I assumed they weren’t interested and that seo leads essentially became worthless to me. I let so many potential clients slip away because of this thinking.
I can tell you from firsthand experience, that it takes a lot of phone calls, emails, and follow up before a lead is ready to be closed. Especially with SEO, because there is so much speculation and bullshit in this industry. People are very careful and the word “SEO’ frightens them!
Know what I have found? You need to anticipate 5 – 10 touches, at the very minimum, before a lead is going to be ready to be closed. Know what else I have discovered? The ones that sign right away without asking anything often mishear information and they become your biggest headaches. Spend the time to properly educate, quality, and close your leads. It will result in a much higher quality customer.
4. You need a process and you need to stick to it.
Staying organized and on top of your game is so important, and a lead management system will help you track every single contact, attempted contact, and allow you to keep notes about what you have discussed with each lead.
I used to have scrap paper and post it notes all over. I wasn’t organized at all and that definitely contributed to a poor close ratio. As soon as I started to get very organized and develop my own system, I noticed much better results.
If you are a big operation and have a decent budget, Infusionsoft and salesforce are both very nice, but if you are on a budget and want the same performance, give ZOHO a try. It’s really affordable and does it all. You can check out its CRM features here. That’s not an affiliate link and I get nothing in return for recommending them. They are just a very affordable option and their product compares to services that are 10X more money.
Call your leads right away, update their status in your CRM and keep up to date notes. You can even import your leads directly into your CRM and get email notification every time you have a new lead. This is good to do from the beginning, because then as you grow and add team members you can distribute leads and scale so easily.
5. Stay positive and be realistic.
You aren’t going to close all the seo leads. Trust me! LOL!
I would get so pissed off when I would contact seo leads and they would say something like, “Let me think about it.” To me, I was the best option they had and I thought they were stupid for not wanting to get signed up right then and there.
People are going to fade away, lose interest and sadly, chose other options. Let’s not forget that this is sales. There are SEO agencies that will tell a potential client whatever they want to hear in order to get the sale. I can promise you that I have lost a lot of business because I am honest.
Some leads want to hear that you are going to rank them #1 for “weight loss” by the end of the week. There are sales reps for large SEO firms that will make these ridiculous promises to get the sale. Stay positive and stay true to your word. Making false promises and guarantees will cause you big problems down the road and bite you in the ass.
6. You need to identify your unique selling position (USP).
What sets you apart from the other SEO companies in your area or found online? You have to make sure you identify this and also communicate it to your leads. Most people that contact you needing SEO have no idea what SEO is. They know is has to do with “being found on Google” but they are clueless when it comes to what it takes to rank safely and stay there.
So, in addition to educating them a bit on how SEO isn’t a process with a road map that’s set in stone, you need to make sure they know why they need to be choosing you over the next guy.
Do you offer special perks like a free onsite review or backlink audit? Do you have 24/7 portal access? Write down everything that sets you apart form the other options and use that to your advantage when selling.
7. Make sure you know your competition inside and out.
This kind of relates to the point above. In order to know what sets you apart, you must know your competition inside and out. Do they sell pre-packaged service or are they offering custom SEO? Do they require that their clients sign a long term contract? Knowing this can really help you.
If someone says, “Well let me think about it…I still have to talk to XYZ SEO” you can say, oh, well XZY offers generic SEO packages without determining what YOU need. That’s actually very dangerous and will end up costing you much more money in the future.
Or, you can quickly deter them from a competitor if you know for a fact they require a 6 month contract when you don’t. It’s little things like this that can really help you close more deals faster. It shows them that you care about their wellbeing and know the business.
8. Always stick to your script.
You don’t want to sound like a robot when talking to prospects, but you also don’t want to be fumbling around for answers. Its best to have an outline that you follow, which concentrates heavily on asking questions so the prospect does most of the talking.
You will want to touch on your experience, why your company is a leading SEO agency and some of your biggest accomplishments. Then, ask questions that get the prospect to talk. You need to find out as much information as possible about their business.
You also want to see if they are even a potential lead worth your time. Ask them what they spent on online advertising and marketing the previous year. If they tell you $500 and your services start at $2K a month it’s probably unlikely they are going to bite.
9. Pay attention to your numbers because they don’t lie.
You should be tracking your close ratio for every single traffic source. A blended overall average is not going to help you improve. I used to think that if I was closing 1 out of 10 I was doing good and I never thought much more into it.
When I started to really segment my traffic sources, I found that certain sources were much higher than the others. When I shifted my ad spend towards the ones that were doing better and cut back on the others, my close ratio went up. More closed deals and more monthly recurring revenue added to the books. That would never have happened if I didn’t look into my numbers.
Spend the time to track all conversions on a lead level and then notate where each originated form in your CRM notes for each prospect. Scale up the winners and cut out the underachievers and you will see a huge jump in success.
10. Ask for the sale.
This is where your fear will get the best of you. If you are married or have a significant other, think about when you first met them. Did you feel nervous when you approached them or were introduced? Probably.
Now, imagine if you never asked them out. Think about it. They wouldn’t be in your life right now if you didn’t close them. It all started with an ask.
You need to use that same mentality when talking to your SEO prospects. You should never feel scared to ask them for the close. They are talking to you because they are interested. The first few might be hard, but once you get the balls to ask anyone for the close you will see your ratio increase by a lot.
Once you are comfortable and confident you won’t be afraid to ask. A very confident, “So are you ready for us to draw up that agreement and send it over for signatures” will get a much more favorable response than you would imagine.
Pretty simple when you really step back and think about it. One of the biggest problems I had in the beginning was the pure excitement of receiving anew lead. I would drop everything and try to close them. Almost nobody is closed on the first contact, so I would get discouraged and just immediately jump to the next one. While I was only focusing on the new “hot” leads, I was not following up or giving attention to the leads that I could have been actually closing after a few touches.
It was a costly learning process, so hopefully my experiences can help some of you avoid these mistakes. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below and if you have any tips to share please include them below as well. I’d love to hear them. Until next time.. Ciao for now!