If you are a freelancer or digital agency considering adding SEO to your services, you may wonder how you’ll deliver enough value to your clients. SEO services are not as concrete as more deliverable-based services such as web design, web development or ongoing website maintenance. What can you consistently deliver to your SEO customers that is tangible? How can you make sure they’ll understand the value of your SEO services?
The true value of SEO services comes from measurable results, such as increases in sales and/or leads. To achieve this kind of growth, we need to increase traffic — and not just any traffic, but qualified traffic. To drive qualified traffic, we need to increase a website’s visibility in the search results by focusing on specific keywords. Everything is interconnected.
Setting goals like improving keyword rankings, growing traffic, and ultimately increasing sales is an essential component of delivering value. Learn more about driving SEO results.
If you talk to our agency customers about the value we provide, you’ll hear echoes of appreciation for more than just results. Customers care about communication. They care about action. And they want transparency.
This is true today more than ever. Today, businesses are facing an uncertain future. The path to SEO success has likely radically changed. Today, a business may still aim to improve visibility (rankings) in order to prepare an advantage when search volume for their services rebounds.
Take, for example, a vacation rental company. Investing in SEO today ensures that when we’re all able to travel again, that rental business will appear front and center. They’re building a forward-thinking foundation; they aren’t expecting increases in organic traffic or revenue as soon as next month.
There are three critical ingredients to being valuable to your clients in today’s SEO climate (and really, this applies to any service in any climate):
- Customers want to hear from you. Communication is paramount.
- Customers want to know how their website is performing. Reporting is essential.
- Customers want to be reassured that you are taking the steps needed to help grow their business. Following through on action items is the name of the game.
Let’s explore each of these components in more detail.
Historically, strong client communication hasn’t been part of offering search engine optimization services. SEO was once done in a back-office environment. Often, the value of the service was derived from the mystery of what was being completed or the illusion of implementing secret tricks.
Today, communication is the backbone of SEO services. If you are going to help your client grow their online expertise, authority, and trust, you are going to need to collaborate — which requires active communication.
Communicating about SEO services is just like communicating about other digital marketing initiatives. Explore our client communication tips, including the recommendation that you avoid using industry jargon.
Communicating results with an easy-to-understand Monthly SEO Report adds value to your services. Monthly reports include an overview of website performance, a detailed breakdown of organic search statistics, and current keyword rankings. Here's a sample report to reference as an example. Note — this is an example of a monthly report generated by our proprietary guided SEO platform.
Delivering a report to your customer each month establishes trust and sets client expectations. Your customer trusts that you are monitoring and responding to the numbers. They know they will hear from you on a regular basis. We recommend delivering the report by email, with a link to the live report and/or an attached PDF. Learn more about sending monthly SEO reports to your customers.
Action items are the tasks you complete on behalf of (or in collaboration with) your client to move the needle. Typical action item examples include:
- Creating custom page titles and meta descriptions to better market pages in the search engine results.
- Updating a Google Maps listing to reflect the current hours of operation, or adding a post for an upcoming event.
- Customizing the performance of the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress websites.
- Creating a new, informative blog post.
- Expanding the content on a core service page or product page.
Our SEO agency focuses on having a rolling roadmap of action items to cover the next three months. It’s dynamic — we update this list as we see results, or as the business evolves. But our roadmaps are process-oriented, as illustrated below:
At Pathfinder SEO, we share our SEO process by providing an SEO Checklist and Monthly Task so that it’s easy for you to complete Action Items on behalf of (and with) each customer.
Your constant delivery of value in the form of concrete, evolving tasks will set your SEO service offerings apart from the majority of agencies who have a lot of expertise, but take little action.
You don’t have to be an SEO expert with years of experience to offer your clients outstanding value. Focus on transparent communication, thorough reporting, and concrete action items. You’ll establish a partnership for years to come.