How to write an SEO pitch deck, is a challenge that every agency-side SEO faces at some stage in their career. So we’ve spoken to some of the brilliant and experienced SEO’s we work with here at Herd Digital for their best tips on how they conduct their pitches.
For those looking for an in-depth and comprehensive video guide we would recommend Ryan Stewart’s video here:
But if you’re looking for tips from the SEO experts we work with at Herd Digital on how to improve your strategy to guarantee success, we’ve got you covered with our 9 tips to writing a client winning SEO pitch deck.
You’re there to sell your agency’s SEO services. But at the end of the day, that’s not what your prospective client cares about. You may want to talk about how much you’ve helped businesses in the past, how much experience you have in SEO, or what awards your work has won. And while these are relevant things to include and help demonstrate your expertise, they shouldn’t be the main focus of your pitch.
Because what the prospective client really wants to hear and what you should focus on, is what you can do for them. And there are a few steps you should take to show that you’re there not to sell your service, but to help their business.
Having an in-depth understanding of your client before you get into the pitch is crucial. You need to impress your potential client by showing that you:
And this list is by no means exhaustive. The problems you identify should relate to what your agency offers. If your agency offers backlink acquisition as part of its SEO offerings, then it makes sense to discuss their low backlink quality and how you can improve it for them.
Showing that you are aware of their audience personas and what their pain points are, shows you’ve done your research, even if it’s only theoretical. Because these audience pain points are the areas that you want to target.
You should give examples of articles that you would write or improvements to the site for the potential client. Then discuss just why these would be valuable to them, and show them exactly why you’re so valuable. After all, you’re here to sell your service by focusing on what your client wants. Which is presumably more sales to their target audience.
Which brings us to perhaps the most important part of the pitch.
Now pointing out all the flaws and faults with your prospect’s business is all well and good fun. But what you’re there to do is show them how you can fix these issues for them: And why it is so important for their business to do so. Have a look at an example of a slide below.
You may be worried about giving away too much of your SEO plan to the client, but don’t. Any serious or big client will only take your pitch seriously if you can demonstrate you’ve done the work and that you know what you’re doing. Not with past examples of your great work, but that they can trust you with their business.
When you work in a digital marketing agency you’ll spend your days talking about ‘Keyword Cannibalisation’, ‘Canonical Tags’ and ‘Backlink Acquisition Strategy’. And it can be all too easy to forget that not everyone understands what you’re talking about. For example, your prospective clients.
Because it’s not just as simple as remembering to not use digital marketing jargon. It’s the ability to effectively communicate technical and complicated SEO concepts to someone with little to no SEO understanding. And to translate these concepts into solutions for their business needs.
A core part of creating an effective pitch is recognising the client’s potential objections before they happen, and being able to create effective arguments against them. Something we’ve found real success with when we’re working with clients, is instead of just using stats and figures to counter their argument, turn the objections back around on them.
One we commonly use when we’re speaking to agency owners is that, “Yes we cost more than using your own internal recruitment team… But that’s because we find candidates faster and at a better quality. And for the cost? It often comes down not to whether you can afford to use a recruitment agency, but can you afford to not have that SEO on your team. What impact will not having the person have on your team? Will they be overworked? Will your burnt out team end up leaving as well? Can you still meet client deadlines?”
You should use this mindset in your own SEO pitches as well. If your service is expensive, it’s because you offer a better quality than other agencies. Or because you’re experts in your industry. And ask your prospective client, “what’s the cost of your SEO services compared to the cost of losing sales to competitor X, who is already expanding aggressively in their niche”?
While you can profess the importance of your service to your heart’s content, you still do want to have evidence to support your arguments. You can expect your prospective client to take it all on your word.
So you should aim to provide examples that are relevant to their business. Is there a similar case you’ve worked on? If not in terms of their niche, but in terms of the position of their business? Or the problems that they are currently facing, that you’ve fixed for a different client?
The more specific you can make it to their case the better. And while it can impress to name drop some of your biggest clients, it’s the relevant cases that will grab the attention of the client.
Speaking of, using evidence to demonstrate what you can do for their business is a great time to use images to back up your arguments.
While the content of your pitch is the most important aspect, the design and images you use should help to tell your story. Obviously you want an eye-catching, on brand and consistent design across your SEO pitch deck. But your images should do more than look good.
A good SEO pitch deck uses images to illustrate and reinforce the points it makes. After all, no one wants to sit through a presentation of paragraphs after paragraphs with no breaks.
At the end of the day, a lot of the people you present to in your career won’t understand or care about how many backlinks you can earn for their site. What matters to them is the bottom line. How is your work going to affect organic traffic, and why does organic traffic matter to their business?
If you can equate your work into monetary value, then you’re no longer arguing why they should work with you, but why it would be a financially irresponsible decision to not work with you.
If you’re an agency owner or business leader you can read here for advice from a digital agency coach for a broader guide on how to secure new SEO clients.
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