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How to Explain Local SEO to Clueless Clients

Posted by Carmen Rane Hudson on June 18, 2012 in SEO |

Have you ever had a hard time getting a business owner to invest enough money into your services to make it worth your while? Perhaps you’re dealing with one of those hard-nosed contractor types who doesn’t want to pay more than $99.00 a month for any type of marketing. Maybe you’re dealing with a 72 year-old realtor who still doesn’t get this whole Internet thing.

Frustrating—especially when you know the value of what you do. You know you’re great at local SEO, and you know your services can really help clients grow their businesses.

So how can you end the disconnect between their problems and your solutions?

Keep it Simple

We’re all immersed in the Internet marketing world, so it’s difficult to imagine anyone failing to understand terms like “citations,” “rankings,” or even “SEO.”

Yet you’d be amazed by how many people stop me to ask, “What’s that?” when I start talking about SEO in the middle of a casual conversation.

Some business owners know they need to “rank in Google,” but sometimes this understanding gives them just enough knowledge to be dangerous. They start focusing on position (and only on position) as if the position itself were the real solution.

Focus on the Real Solution 

Your prospect’s real problem is not that he’s not #1 on Google+ Local. His real problem is his phone is not ringing. You may solve the problem by getting him to that “A” spot on Google Maps, but Google Maps is just a means to an end. If getting his phone to ring required you to fly a plane around with a big banner behind it you might well be doing that instead.

So when you’re talking to these prospects, you have to make sure you’re saying, “I will make your phone ring. You will see an increase in business when you work with me,” not, “I will help you rank better in Google+ Local.” One matters. The other is meaningless (from the customer’s perspective).

The customer’s other pain point is that he’s spending a ton of money on advertising that isn’t working. You already know it’s not working because he’s at #59 on Google Maps and you already know that’s where 90% of his customers are looking for him. Your solution—even at reasonable prices—is still likely to be a lot cheaper than the ridiculous Yellow Pages ad (or whatever) he’s still relying on.

If your customer really wants to know all of the ins and outs of citation-building you can certainly tell him. Or you can just say, “I can list your business in 92 directories currently getting 90% more attention than the Yellow Pages, for a fraction of what you’re paying now.”

Of course, you’ll want to ask some questions about the current marketing strategy so you can tailor that comment to whatever the customer is really doing.

In the meantime, goodbye disconnect, hello new clients. 

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