SEO Company Websites Fail To Convert And Meet Their Profit Goals

by Angie Nikoleychuk (Haggstrom) June 11th, 2009 

Some SEO companies let their clients walk right by them without a second glance. They are excellent at getting their company found in the SERPs, but they drop the ball when it comes to marketing to their own client base.

I read a study a short time ago from the branding and marketing firm HiTargeting the SEO Client to Boost Profitsnge entitled 'How Buyers Buy'. They revealed numerous important facts such as:

  • What consumers want to see in their marketing.
  • What potential clients are most important when choosing a firm to work with.
  • Which fears clients are most worried about.

This really got me thinking about how disenchanted SEOers have become with the market and how many of them are fighting to get work. So I did a little investigating. Investigated what, you ask? I had one simple question:

"How many SEO companies fail to address the needs of their clients in their own web copy? Or even in their business model?"

Now, I obviously have no idea what goes on after the customer sends a message through the contact page (those of you without one: Get one! You know who you are!). But, what I did see on company websites was interesting to say the least.

Fix Your List Of Explain SEO ServicesServices Offered

In the study I mentioned previously, it said 63.7% of clients didn't know about the services offered by a company. Of that percentage, 68% said they were actually 'interested in one or more new services.' (Pg 12 of 'How Buyers Buy').

This can't be accurate…can it? Well, it's safe to say that it has to be pretty close. Many of the SEO company websites I looked at failed to list all of the services they had to offer. Some didn't even have a services page (or had it in disguise under some fancy name).

Some did have a services page, but when they listed their services, there was no way of knowing exactly what was involved in those services, how they could help, or even what they meant. These might be pretty self-explanatory, but for the regular web user or company bigwig, those fancy words mean nothing.

Give Them Something To Show The BossConvince The Client That Holds The Money

You all know how it works.

Someone at the company says 'our website isn't doing what it's supposed to' and the reply is 'fix it.' So they search around on the web for a bit and see 'search engine optimization'. Hey, that's exactly what they need right? Now they have to convince the one holding the money of that.

Many of the websites I looked at had no pages that helped convince the reader that SEO tactics can really help. There was no attempt to dispel the horrid myths surrounding the industry. Nadda.

Just a home page spouting something about the company being an award winning, expert SEO company who wants my money. Granted, this is the end goal of the company, but there's nothing in it for the customer.

My suggestion, give them something they can take to a clueless CEO. Give them something that makes you look like the best thing for the client since the invention of money. At the same time, make sure this shows you as being a highly rated expert. You'll find that when they do hire you, there's less fighting and arguing because that client already sees you as the leading expert in SEO that you are.

Find you're getting too many clients who want the top spot in Google for every keyword they can think of and they only want to pay you a couple hundred? No surprise.

For those who have never worked with an SEO before, it is impossible to really know what those kinds of professional services are worth. Consider offering a 'starter package' or something that will help show the client what kind of price range your company falls in. There's no surprises for them, and no time wasted for you.

So, what do you think? Make sense?

Angie Nikoleychuk (Haggstrom)

Angie Haggstrom is the Senior Copywriter and Consultant at Angie's Copywriting Services, specializing in online and offline content including SEO web copy, brochures, and more. A Twitter and blogging fanatic, you'll find she chats about SEO, Social Media, business, marketing, and just about anything else she finds interesting along the way.

Angie's Copywriting

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6 Responses to “SEO Company Websites Fail To Convert And Meet Their Profit Goals”

  1. Jason says:

    Interesting read. Providing a list of services in terms anyone can understand is tough – prehaps thats why so many people go for local SEO companies so they can build a trust relationship before parting with money?

  2. building trust is the hardest aspect of earning new clients. You have to demonstrate your skill sets, knowledgebase, integrity, and service quality before you can even think about pitching a retainer fee. most upstart SEO's don't even think about that!

    you nailed some solid points in this article. Tweeting this for sure. Thanks for putting in the due diligence.

  3. @Jason — Absolutely. I really think that's a large part of it. (Or so that they are close enough to strangle when things go horribly wrong ;) )

    It certainly isn't easy to explain complex thoughts and ideas to those outside the industry. Heck, there's lots of things SEO professionals can't explain and don't agree on. However, I think it's an important step. Otherwise, you client can't figure out why you won't take on their site for $100 and want to know exactly what you did for the money. In other words, they walk away disappointed, if they bother at all.

    @Charlie — That is precisely the problem the entire industry is suffering with. Of course, the work you do and how you treat your clients is a huge part of that, but it takes a huge amount of time and effort. IMO, I think showing clients you understand where they're at and make an effort to 'meet them in the middle' so to speak, you can take a giant step in the right direction.

    Thank you for the compliments and the tweet! It's greatly appreciated :)

    Angie Haggstrom
    Freedom Freelance

  4. Glenn Murray says:

    Nice post Angie. I agree that most SEOs fail to sell their services properly in their copy. In fact, as you've described, many fail to even list them.

    @Jason, I agree that it's hard to describe some of these technical concepts in plain English, but that's why God invented copywriters. (He didn't do that just because he wanted a new tribe of incredibly talented, good-looking people gracing the globe!) What's more, there's no need to describe every last detail of every service. The trick is to describe the fundamentals, and to imply or state that you know a lot more. This is all your typical reader is interested in, anyway.

    Cheers.
    Glenn

  5. Ben McKay says:

    Very cool post Angie!

    I guess if a SEO company is new they won't know much of this (unless they worked in sales and had the foresight to think how that might correlate to SEO). Over time though, the range of resources that you might accrue seem to tick all types of clients, but those early days can be tough building the resources up for people!

    You could expand the 'give them something to show their boss' mention some more to include items like case studies, metrics for ROI, comparative metrics against something they might be more familiar with such as PPC, an education pack, credentials/references, a fact finding doc, etc…

    Those that are new in to the business could be prompted to give this a lot more thought.

    Cheers Angie – provoked some helpful thinking.

    Ben

  6. Hi Ben,

    Thanks. Absolutely agree that those items you mention are extremely powerful when you include them in your information pack.

    I've actually found a few companies who have a few different packages put together. Each one targets a different type of client. It's good to see, and I think many companies could really get a boost with these kinds of things.

    Great to see you,
    Angie Haggstrom
    Freedom Freelance/SEO-Scoop