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How to Sell Search Marketing Services Using SEMrush

Wilbur Hilton

SEMrush is a tool I use on a daily basis to analyze a website before consulting with the business owner. As you already know, there are a plethora of tools that help qualified, experienced search marketing consultants show business prospects the overall performance and outlining factors as to why a website does or does not rank well.

SEMrush is my favorite, and I want to show you how I use it to formulate a strategic plan of attack. This ultimately gets the prospect excited about the possibilities of their website finally producing leads/sales as initially expected.

I've had the pleasure of meeting with hundreds of professionals across the country. I've given presentations to help them understand the true potential of their website, if only they could get the search engines to recognize them as a valuable resource. People ask me all the time, “Why does my website not rank well?” Man is that a loaded question!

Let’s start with the fact that most decision makers have absolutely no idea what we are talking about, especially when we start discussing things like title tags or backlinks or analytics. So, the visual stimuli of using SEMrush to get my point across works much better. It very easily drives home the point that achieving high rankings for their core products and services is not as simple as “sticking” keywords onto the pages.

SEO sales is an art, and I’m Picasso

Keywords-graphI usually like to start off by using the “Jones Effect." Their competitors are ranking well and generating leads/sales, and they are not. So, it's time for them to keep up, do what the “Joneses” are doing and start taking their web initiatives more seriously.

I show clients — while using the keyword ranking component of SEMrush — all the keywords that they (the competitors) are ranking for and the search volume of those keywords. Then I help them visualize all those lost sales/leads that are being eaten up by the competitor.

Usually, clients state how much better they are than the competition. True or not, this helps make my point about all the missed opportunities that more potent.

The easiest way to find the competitor that is doing the best job with search engine optimization, is to find the most relevant keyword/product/service within their industry. Then just do a quick Google search to find the top ranking website. Most of the time, that website will also rank very well for many other keywords or variations of that keyword/product/service. Copy the URL into the search bar of SEMrush, and poof, you will have a list of keywords, rankings of said keywords, value of keywords, search volume and landing pages associated with those keywords.

Now, this is where the “salesman” in me kicks in. I ask them for the value (get the $$$ amount) of a new client and how many leads it usually takes for the organization to convert him or her into a new client. Once this number is out, you can then reverse engineer a ROI scenario based on all of this wonderful data, thanks to SEMrush.

Add up the search volume for all of those keywords, present that to them and ask them one simple question — Are you OK with leaving all of this money/business on the table? The answer is always a resounding, NO!

You have them on the hook. Now is the time you lay out a plan of attack for them. How do you do this, you might ask? Good question, my astute friend.


Fundamental SEO: Website architecture

Just overwhelming them with data is not good enough. You now have to implement your plan of attack to take market share away from those greedy competitors. The key to use SEMrush is to understand how to properly construct a website architecture.

We have to identify landing pages and the order of those landing pages to properly put together a keyword strategy for each landing page. There has to have structure, some form of hierarchy. If you are a service-based company, like a plumber, then you might have a structure that resemble this:

1)     Plumbing services

  • Emergency services

i.     Broken pipes

ii.     Clogged drains

iii.     Over flowing toilet

  • Maintenance program
  • Pipe scoping w/ camera

2)     New construction

  • Bathroom

i.     Faucet/toilet installation

ii.     Drain pipe/shower installation

  • Kitchen

i.     Sink installation

ii.     Dishwasher installation

  • Hot water heater

3)     Remodeling services

  • Bathroom/shower
  • Kitchen/sink/vanity

Once you have outlined a structure for your landing pages that will represent the services offered, it is now time to do the keyword research. But wait, didn’t the competitor already do that for you? Well, mostly. Now let’s go back to SEMrush and type in the keywords that are most relevant or had the highest search volume.

We will now have a laundry list of variations of the keyword we just typed in. We can use this list to couple with the landing page associated with the service. With this all laid out, the sales process now goes into the “closing” stage.


ROI: Show me the money

With a very specific plan laid out and the keyword research done, all we have to do now is put the pieces together in the right order.

Go back to the point where you talked about the value of a new client (remember in dollars) and the amount of leads it takes to convert into a new client (I close 50% of the leads I receive"). Just add up all the search volume for the laundry list of keywords and their variations, and play that number to their greed: This is how many potential clients/customers are out there searching for your products/services on a monthly basis, (monthly basis being the key) and you only need a small percentage of those to reach out to your organization to make your SEO campaign wildly successful.

Now, a rookie goes in for the close at this moment and if he/she has the moxie, asks for a commitment and/or the agreement. (Remember, I am not a rookie, I am the artist formally known as Picasso!) Look out for information on deliverables, expectations and implementation in another post.

In closing

Setting expectations correctly is just as important as the sale itself. This will ensure a long, healthy relationship with your client.

Image credit for Google sitemap: BernardPiette.com

Author bio:

Wilbur Hilton is the Vice President and Co-Founder of NoRiskSEO.com and TheMiamiSEOCompany.com. He has over eight years of consulting experience, frequently flying across the country to give lectures on internet marketing expectations, results and more. Most recently, Wilbur gave presentations to physicians across the country on how to make their internet marketing campaigns successful.

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Sergio Aicardi
Lol @ "Good question my astute friend".
Very informative compared to other cookie cutter articles and blogs I've read on the web about search engine marketing.