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Pitching prospecting clients with up to 70% win rate: how Australian agency does it with Semrush

“We use Semrush as a core process in understanding organic traffic and projecting the future of potential clients that are interested in signing up.”
Lawrence Hitches, General Manager, StudioHawk

About StudioHawk:

StudioHawk is Australia's largest SEO specialist agency, passionate, eager, and hungry to grow businesses & brands through the power of organic search. Winning multiple awards for their amazing SEO campaigns through education, transparency, and drive for success in rankings.

Business Challenge: Qualifying SEO Leads

The challenge with providing SEO is finding clients that have the right growth potential. For Studiohawk, it means:

They have some organic keywords;
They’ve got results through SEO work done previously;
They want to take things to the next level.


It’s much better and more effective to work with a client with a baseline of SEO success to build on, as starting from scratch requires a lot of time and investment - a commitment not every client is ready for.

Solution: Semrush for Prospecting and Qualifying Clients

Understanding Organic Traffic

Semrush does a phenomenal job at giving quick insights into a client’s organic traffic on the spot. StudioHawk can glean what their client’s current SEO looks like by using the Domain Overview tool.

Doing incredibly well and growing month on month - and could be a slam dunk!

Or there isn’t much going on right now - and needs a lot of work to get it growing:

In their overview of clients, it’s best to dive deep and analyze keyword rankings. By clicking on the top organic keywords in the same tool, they get a list of the domain's ranking terms.

Data from the Positions tab of the Organic Research tool
It’s super important to filter out any terms related to the brand so you can just see the gold nugget keywords that are driving traffic, and need improvement over time.
“When filtered by volume, the tool shows the highest potential for this domain. We ask ourselves: how would we get them to the first page?”, says Lawrence.
He adds: “What would it take to take this website from 82 for ‘beds’ to position 1? Is it realistic? Should that be the goal? How long would it potentially take?”

Site Auditing

Now comes the fun part. When someone is keen to come on board, the StudioHawk team runs a full Semrush Site Audit on the prospect’s domain.

It’s a lot to take in seeing potentially hundreds of thousands of site issues across a website. To frame it to a client, they have to describe in detail how the issue is relevant to them, why it’s important and how to fix it. Luckily, Semrush’s Site Audit has all the needed information:

Communication in SEO is critical, so the team at StudioHawk sections out their proposals in a way to describe each type of fix, and group them up into priorities.

Website fundamentals / quick wins

Fixing broken internal links
Fixing duplicate content issues


Client-side rendering incorrectly implemented
Crawlability issues


Opportunities (content / technical)
Content Hubs
Internal Linking Audit


Long-term plays
Full website re-build and optimization plan

Competitor Analysis

“Competitors do all the work for you, whatever has gotten them to the top can be used for inspiration to drive you way up the rankings. Semrush’s Organic Research tool offers a competitive positioning map that shows competing domains with a similar keyword profile,” explains Lawrence.

From there, the team investigates each domain in more detail using Semrush’s Domain Overview and Organic Research tools, learning more about their top-performing pages and keywords.

They also use the Backlink Gap tool to identify how much link acquisition is needed to scale up against the top 10 competitors over time.

The team captures gaps between competitors by identifying awesome prospects for outreach, looking at Authority score and monthly visits to see if the link is valuable, why they are linking to a competitor, and how they can leverage content ideas to get a publication on the same website.

Semrush’s Keyword Gap tool shows the insights into where the potential client’s competitors stand in the SERPs, and what weaknesses are exposed:


Through using Semrush for prospecting clients, StudioHawk is able to:

Capture client interest and sales through pitches with deeper SEO insights that provide inspiration and guidance on campaign strategy;
Vet out clients that aren’t a good fit for their campaigns, and direct them to partners that can help;
Average 70% win rate on these pitches when they are a good fit;
Turn around proposals in 1 - 2 days on average.
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