How to Sell SEO Services

Lindsay Halsey

Lindsay Halsey is a co-founder of Pathfinder SEO. She has over 10 years of experience working in SEO with small to large businesses. Lindsay focuses on teaching site owners, freelancers, and agencies how to get found on Google via a guided approach to SEO. Stay in touch on Twitter - @linds_halsey.

It’s time to learn how to sell SEO by mastering your pitch. In this blog, we will cover how to convert leads into clients excited about your SEO services.

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Start with a Discovery Call

The sales process begins with a discovery call. Here are some tips for a successful first call:

Ask the Right Questions

  • “How have you approached SEO in the past?“ Listen carefully to the answer. This will show you how much the prospect values SEO, how much experience they have, and how familiar they are with SEO terms. You might get a good grip on their actual expectations , as well as learning who’ll be working with you.
  • “What would your business look like if Google suddenly sent you twice your current traffic?” This will help you with our next prompt.

Sell the Destination

Move from your prospect’s pain to the destination that’s possible with great SEO. A business will want to hire you because you promise to deliver growth in sales and leads. They don’t care that you can add an XML sitemap or optimize meta descriptions because they don’t want SEO — they want future business success.

Avoid Industry Jargon

During your call, you might be tempted to use terms like “Rich Snippet,” “404 error,” “301 Redirect,” and “Robots.txt.” This can completely confuse and overwhelm a prospect.

Instead, make your prospect feel at ease. Communicate in everyday terms to avoid scaring them with SEO industry lingo. Replace SEO lingo with relatable concepts. Here are some examples:

  • Instead of saying “SEO services,” try “getting your website found on Google.”
  • Instead of saying “XML sitemap,” describe this file as “your website’s public resume.”
  • Instead of “Featured Snippet,” explain that this is “an opportunity to appear above the #1 position on Google.”

Set Expectations

“When will I see results?” may be the most frequently asked question during an SEO discovery call. You’ll want to make sure your prospect understands everything that’s required to get those results.

This is the time to set expectations, such as:

  • When and how will they hear from you next? Email, Zoom?
  • What do they need to do for you? Get Google Analytics permissions, website access credentials, etc.?
  • When will the prospect start seeing results? Do they understand it can take several months of focused work before ?
  • Is the prospect's desired keyword space reasonable? Are the keywords too competitive? Let them know you need keywords with high volume and reasonable competition to get more customers as opposed to broader keywords and phrases.
  • How do you work? Let them know why it’s important to approach SEO on a monthly basis. What’s going to be included in ongoing communications?

Follow Up with an SEO Proposal

Creating a winning proposal template will save you time during the sales process and ultimately help you close more business. A successful SEO proposal template includes:

An Introduction

A short letter to thank the prospect for their time during an initial SEO discovery call and to recap the prospect’s current status with SEO. Here’s an example:

Dear [Name],

Thank you for discussing search engine optimization for [website]. We’re excited about the prospect of working together to increase your organic search traffic.

We’re particularly excited that you have a strong, modern website powered by WordPress and supported by great content. Nice work! Our next step is to ensure that your website communicates as well with the search engines as it does with website visitors.

That’s where [Your Business] comes in. We partner with businesses like yours to grow your traffic and increase sales. Please review our proposal for SEO services and let us know if you have any questions.

[Your Name]

A Statement of the Problem

Repeat your prospect’s core problem. This reminds the client that you’ve thought critically about their unique situation when crafting your proposed solution. Show them you understand their pain and are determined to resolve it.

Here’s an example:

[Business Name] is launching a new website in two months. Organic search drives 75% of their total website traffic and leads. We’re concerned that, without an active SEO campaign, the new website will underperform the current site and traffic will begin dropping off. The new website is a big leap in both design and structure from the old site, so a lot of URLs and content will inevitably change, which can be disorienting to visitors.


How will you approach the problem? What is your solution? Clearly outline how your solution is process-based in this section of the proposal.

  • Break your SEO process into a framework that the prospect can understand. We use the four pillars of SEO to support our rationale.
  • Speak about the incremental nature of SEO. This sets the expectation that lasting results take time and can’t happen overnight. A statement such as, “Our approach creates incremental improvements each and every month” does the trick.
  • Clarify how your solution is packaged. Here’s an example, “Our SEO services are broken down into three distinct projects: SEO Assessment, SEO Set Up, and Monthly SEO.“
  • Mention the collaborative nature of SEO. Make it clear you’ll need the customer to be an active part of the journey in order to get the best results.

Project Outline

Get specific about the services included within each project.

Pricing & Timeline

What is the cost of your services? When are you available to start? What are your terms and conditions? We keep our terms and conditions very simple:

  • We do not require a long term contract. We request 30 days’ notice for a change of service.
  • One-time services are billed 50% upfront and 50% upon completion.
  • Monthly services are billed on the 15th, and payment is requested by the 30th.


A place to sign on the dotted line that also includes your specific terms and conditions.


Getting Started with SEO Services with Lindsay Halsey

How to Sell SEO - Next Steps

Your next steps to sell more SEO services this year are:

  1. Creating an agenda for your SEO discovery call that includes the questions you plan to ask.
  2. Create your SEO proposal template. We have free templates available for all Pathfinder SEO subscribers.

Now you’re ready to sell SEO services! Once a client is in hand, it’s time to start thinking about delivering SEO services.

As always, shoot us an email  if you have any questions at

Lindsay Halsey

Lindsay Halsey is a co-founder of Pathfinder SEO. She has over 10 years of experience working in SEO with small to large businesses. Lindsay focuses on teaching site owners, freelancers, and agencies how to get found on Google via a guided approach to SEO. Stay in touch on Twitter - @linds_halsey.
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