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What’s Included in an SEO Assessment?

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.

As you create your SEO services offering, it’s important to outline specifically what is included in each project so you have a clearly defined scope of work. This proves most essential when it’s time to set the prices for your SEO services.

To recap, an SEO Assessment is a high-level overview of a website’s organic search performance, combined with strategic and specific recommendations for improvement. It creates a benchmark of where a website is today and outlines a roadmap for growth.

SEO Assessments are the first project in our framework for packaging SEO services. They come first because they serve as an on-ramp for new customers getting started with SEO services.

This project serves as a low commitment first step and builds long-term trust with new clients as they experience how your agency approaches SEO in an easy-to-understand and collaborative manner.

What’s Included in an SEO Assessment?

A successful SEO Assessment includes five parts:

1. Introduction to SEO

An SEO Assessment starts at the beginning with client education. Don’t assume your client understands the basics. Instead, use this project as a means to show your client how your approach to SEO includes clear and consistent communication. Demystify SEO and leave your client feeling comfortable with the basics. This is typically done via an onboarding call.

2. Performance Evaluation

The second part of our Assessment rests on understanding current results and any specific problems the website is currently having. A significant drop in traffic, as an example. We do this utilizing Google Analytics and Google Search Console data.

3. Website Evaluation

The meat of an SEO Assessment is this evaluation. This is where we analyze how the site performs in the areas of technical SEO, content, on-site optimization, and off-site SEO; essentially the website's strengths and weaknesses.

At Pathfinder SEO, we use the Four Pillars of SEO framework for all of our services, breaking SEO down into these four essential components:

seo framework

These key elements serve as the focal point for the website evaluation process.

As you perform the analysis, you can create the client deliverable (a slide deck overview of the findings) at the same time. The slide deck acts as a roadmap for growth, which is the beginning of a client’s SEO strategy.

Here’s an example slide:

example SEO assessment slide

4. SEO Strategy

By the time we arrive to step 4, the evaluation is complete, and it’s now time to focus on the big picture. Where does the client go from here based on your findings? How do we turn weaknesses into opportunities for growth? Where will our efforts be the most impactful?

For some clients, it may be content marketing. Others may be lacking in off-site SEO and need to focus more attention on link building. It’s these strategic insights that provide tremendous value to your client and establishes trust and rapport to continue strengthening the working relationship.

Please note that because the SEO Assessment project is an on-ramp, delivered in a short amount of time, and at an accessible price point, it does not include a fully comprehensive SEO strategy. Instead, we craft the bigger picture strategy during the SEO Assessment and then delve into specific components of the strategy including keyword, content, and off-site during the SEO Set-Up. Learn more about how to create an SEO strategy for your customers.

5. Communication & Delivery

This is most effectively done via an hour-long call where you walk the client through the slide deck and answer any and all questions the client might have. This is a great time to transition the conversation toward your next offering, the SEO Set-Up where you get hands-on building the SEO foundation for your client's website.

Staying High Level

An SEO Assessment is not an Audit. SEO Audits document a laundry list of to-dos and operational red flags. They are often overwhelming, lack insight, and leave a client with hundreds of next steps to execute on their own.

With an SEO Assessment, we go deep enough with the evaluation to understand the critical dynamics influencing our client’s performance on Google, but not so deep as to be distracted by the nitty-gritty.

The outcome is clarity. The client and agency understand the strengths and weaknesses of the website in SEO. Now, you have a roadmap toward growth and can set goals and expectations for the projects that follow.

What's Next?

Grab a pen and paper and document what you will include in your SEO Assessment. Then, learn more about what’s included in an SEO Set-Up.

After that, your packaging should be coming together as a tangible service, and before you know it, you’ll be ready to price your SEO services.

We’re Here to Help

We built Pathfinder SEO for agencies like yours who are looking to start and scale their SEO services offering. We’ll accelerate you through the process and help you avoid costly mistakes.

A subscription to the Pathfinder SEO platform includes access to all of the resources you need to create your SEO services offering and effectively deliver the service. Pathfinder subscribers have access to a customizable SEO Assessment template along with how-to instructions for delivering this service.

Even better, our subscribers are supported by one-on-one coaching. Get access and sign up for your first coaching session.

SEO Business in a Box

Our guided approach to SEO has everything you need to offer your clients 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.
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