A Simplified Guide To Local SEO (Part Two)
Welcome back to part two of ‘A Simplified Guide To Local SEO‘, make sure you read part one before continuing.
The next step is to get business owners on the phone. Seems simple enough. Just call up the numbers listed on their websites, right? Well, not so much.
The decision maker i.e. business owner rarely answers the phone. They usually have a secretary or member of staff answer the phone. These employees are told to screen callers. If it sounds like a salesman, they’re going to put down the phone on you.
This makes things a little more challenging. The larger the city or town, the less likely you’ll get through to the business owner; simply because these companies have been marketed to a lot.
However, in small towns and cities you’ll likely get through to the business owner simply by asking for him. The trick is not to sound like a sales person and pretend to be a specialist for the people you’re calling.
For example, if you’re calling dentists, you could say ‘Hi, my name is X, I do marketing for dentists, and was wondering if I could talk to who’s in charge of your marketing later today or tomorrow?”.
A lot of the time, people will put the phone down on you. Other times they’ll tell you they’re not interested and hang up. The rest of the time, they’ll either forward you to the person in charge or arrange them to call you at a later date.
Step Three: Closing A Client
Closing is even easier than getting the decision maker on the phone. The only catch is that you need some kind of existing result to prove yourself to new clients.
Local business owners know the value of SEO. They know that with higher rankings they’ll get more traffic, leads and ultimately business. However, lots of them have been burned by SEOs and ‘online marketing professionals’ before.
They want to know that you can get them results. The best way to prove that is to physically show them some rankings you’ve gotten for other local businesses. Here’s the template call structure for closing client:
1. Explain that you’re an online marketing specialist for their particular profession i.e. dentistry. Say that you specialize in SEO and that you found their website on the bottom of page 3+ for all of their target keywords.
2. Explain how much traffic and business they are leaving on the table by not ranking for the keywords. Ask if they’d be interested in boosting their rankings to the top of page 1 for their desired keywords. This is a yes 95% of the time.
3. Arrange a time to either meet in person or schedule an online webinar.
If you’re starting with businesses you know locally, you can meet them in person and follow the structure I’m about to explain. Otherwise you can setup a webinar with Go To Meeting, it works just as well.
4. On the webinar or in person…
Show them the Google Keyword Tool and a list of the keywords they could rank for and the number of searches they get. Explain how much traffic is out there and how much new business this could mean for them.
Next show them their current rankings for these keywords. Now explain that you can easily boost the rankings and start optimizing the site. Show some existing rankings you’ve gotten for other local businesses. If you don’t have any just skip that part.
Pitch your services at a minimum of $300/month up to $500/month when you’re getting started. You can go up to $1000/month when you’re more experienced and dealing with larger businesses. Explain that they can cancel any time, no contracts. So if they’re not happy within a month they can cancel. Also mention that you’ll send them live ranking reports every month.
Now direct the business owner to the page where they can sign up for your services. Do it with them on the phone, once they’ve signed up simply tell them to fill out the survey and your team will get started right away.
After billing them, setup a survey to take order details like website URL and keywords. You can also arrange a second call to go over their site in detail after you’ve analyzed it for further optimization. You might also want to ask for their site details so you can optimize it on-page.
If all this fails and they’re not sure, offer them a free sample ranking. All you have to do is pick a really low competition keyword that is relevant for them and rank their site for it. You can do this in like 2 days with a few high PR backlinks. Once done call them up and show them. At this point they’ll be ready to sign up or its time to put a line through them and move on to the next person.
You can use WHMCS to setup billing and client management very easily. That’s practically all you need to know to start running a local SEO business. Local SEO really is one of the easiest and fastest way to build a full time income online.
If you’re bad at selling, it’s going to take you a little while to close businesses. With that said, even if you’re absolutely horrible, you’ll easily close 1 in 30 businesses. As you develop your closing skills and grow a portfolio of clients you’ll bump up this ratio to 1 in 5.
The final step is to rank your clients websites. Read that post for a comprehensive guide to ranking local sites. Once ranked, just maintain their rankings with a few extra links per month and keep the change. You only need 10 $500/month clients to create a job-replacing awesome lifestyle-supporting income.
P.S. Leave me your thoughts, comments and questions below. Also opt-in to the email list on the right for more SEO tips, tricks and secrets.