Businesses are always mindful of their expenditures. Given the ever-evolving and competitive market, a business owner will look for various ways to cut costs. Even top-tier firms are tempted to slash digital marketing costs if an SEO agency isn’t delivering exactly what they need.
Companies outsource SEO agencies to increase traffic, keyword rankings, and more. However, as an SEO agency, you have to constantly be at the top of your game to keep your clients satisfied.
Every client has different requirements, communication styles, website ideas, and levels of flexibility. It is, in fact, harder to find a new client than to retain an old one. A client will want to stay with you if you provide value, desirable output, as well as honest feedback.
If your client’s website has a fall in traffic or does not attain a high SEO ranking, you risk losing this client. Luckily enough, we have done some extensive research to help you extend your SEO contracts.
This module details ways in which you can understand your clients and their business to pave the way for an extended SEO contract. You will learn everything from analyzing to strategizing and implementation of these steps. So, let’s get started!
Where to begin?
The initiation process of anything is always confusing. It is vital to take well-planned steps after a detailed analysis of your client’s business as well as current SEO status. Wondering how to kickstart this analysis? Take a look at these 3 easy steps.
1. Plan Early
It might sound tough to extend a 6-12 month contract to a 12-24 month one, but early planning can take you places. The first step to ideal planning is appropriate timing. Your planning process needs to start at least 3-4 months before the estimated completion of your SEO contract.
Secondly, effective communication plays a huge role in your analysis. You need to speak to specific people to get specific data. For instance, you can collaborate with the business development team to give you a better look into the future opportunities that a particular company might have. Additionally, the business development team can team up with the operations team to see where a client stands.
If the client is happy, then look for things you can do to increase his satisfaction. If he’s unhappy, you need to check where you’re lacking. Finally, the sales and the delivery team need to work in tandem.
The delivery team needs to find out the gaps in the client’s campaign. Meanwhile, the sales team builds on those gaps to come up with the next pitch for the client. Planning early can make this whole process much simpler and accurate.
2. Understand your Client
As we mentioned earlier, every client communicates differently. You need to understand this style and build a solid rapport with your client. For instance, if you have worked with a client for over 7 months, you’re sure to have built some sort of relationship with them.
This relationship helps you keep up with the client’s needs. A client may ask for things like an increase in website traffic, deliverables, content creation ideas, keyword rankings, etc. It is important to develop a detailed customer report to meet these expectations.
If you plan to download the Google Analytics Report and send it to your client, trust us, it will nullify all your efforts. You need to create a custom report using both Artificial Intelligence and manual research.
This report should be crisp, have necessary numerical data, as well as show exactly how the business is doing. The key here is to be brutally honest. Portray exactly where you succeeded and point out your shortcomings. This way, your client will trust you to make the right decision for his company’s campaign.
Read the next step to understand how you can combine AI and manual analysis to give you the data you need.
3. Acquire Useful Data
AI and manual analysis work hand in hand to produce the data you require to plan a future SEO strategy. Artificial Intelligence or AI tools extract data to show the real numbers behind traffic progressions. Additionally, AI looks into goal completions, e-commerce sales, etc.
(Source: Google Images)
Manual research enables you to look into more intricate aspects like tasks completed, links acquired, as well as content built. This manual research can be done through SEMRush reports, Google Analytics, MOZ reports, Google Search Console, etc.
AI and manual research combined can give you an accurate campaign report. This report helps you pitch an SEO strategy for the next phase to your client.
It is very important to curate detailed and precise reports because clients cannot be underestimated. Some clients may know everything about SEO and SERPs, while some may be clueless about the entire campaign. Either way, it is safe to stick to an ethical and dedicated process.
This brings us to the next segment, where we’ll talk about hosting an end-of-contract meeting. This discussion will focus on how to pitch to your client about the extension of the SEO contract.
Pitching an SEO Contract Extension to your Client
Your client needs to know that you’re already preparing a future strategy for his campaign. This requires you to schedule a meeting with your client after your campaign’s SEO analysis. The first step is to be clear about your project plan.
You need to start by explaining the current campaign progress. If the SEO figures are doing well, you can tell the client how you plan to maintain or better these rankings. On the other hand, if things are not so smooth, communicate to your client exactly where you faltered.
The key to getting the client to understand your future potential is to have control over the flow of the conversation. You need to ensure that you give the client a solid assurance of your project plan’s success.
One thing you must remember is that you cannot present the initial pitch to a client and promise to deliver the same thing all over again. You need to think out of the box to come up with fresh and new ideas to impress your client.
Once you’re done explaining the plan to the client, and you see that he’s interested, slide in a firm and confident, “Can I send you the quote?” We’re sure that by following the analysis method dedicatedly, you’d have come up with a solid new campaign idea. The client is sure to see your efforts and consider an extended contract. Consider introducing new link prospecting tactics, too.
4 Effective Ways to Extend an SEO Contract
Here are 4 ways in which you can approach your client for an SEO contract extension.
This is a pretty effective step for clients that have relaxed budgets and are open-minded. This method works best on low-maintenance clients who hand over the charge to you while they sit back.
The ‘restart’ strategy focuses on the idea of resetting the campaign. The internet experiences whirlwind changes almost every single day. These changes urge SEO agencies to accommodate new ideas for campaigns.
Now, if you’re thinking a little tweak here and there will do the job for you, that’s a big fat negative. Companies that invest freely also like to see visible results. You cannot expect a client to spend hundreds of dollars on you for a mediocre SEO campaign.
This strategy works brilliantly on clients whose businesses are doing fairly well because all you have to do is refresh the SEO campaign with newer ideas. These new ideas can comprise fresh content strategies, advertising plans, or even creative campaign ideas.
2. Cool Down
This method is for clients that are mindful of their budget. Some clients have financial restrictions and do not want to spend a hefty amount on marketing and SEO. This method requires a different analytical approach.
You can approach the client with a plan that includes a slightly different version of the initial pitch. Some campaigns don’t require being refreshed to succeed. Keeping this in mind, you can pitch newer content ideas and other possibilities to the client.
Three things you can do to get the cooldown strategy going are:
● Constantly introducing new topics
This will let your client know that even at a lesser budget, you’re putting in efforts to keep him satisfied. Additionally, this will increase your chance of getting a contract extension. Circling around and repurposing content is also a way that you can add a ton of value while massively growing the exposure of your client’s brand.
● Link generation
This includes offering your client details about how you will analyze the competitor’s backlinks, devise guest blogging strategies, improve the social media campaign, build infographics, and more to generate new links. Creating new target pages for links can also help move the needle in the right direction.
● Monthly report
Your client needs to know that you’re constantly working for their campaign. The best way to keep your client informed is to provide him monthly reports. These reports should be brief, to-the-point, and should reveal accurate SEO statistics.
If you provide complete SEO services like UX/UI design, business development, Facebook Ads, Web Page optimization, etc., this method is for you. This lets you take a break from the tiring SEO process to come up with other ways to add value to a contract.
You can use this step to take your client’s attention away from SEO aspects like keyword ranking, SERP status, link generation analysis, and traffic stats. This method will allow you to pitch fresh ideas to the client to boost the campaign quality.
You can offer to curate video content, engaging infographics, Facebook Ads, an optimized social media campaign, and other design work. This will not only add positive value to your pitch but also let you find different ways to effectively meet the SEO requirements.
You can also use this method to convince your client that their campaign needs optimization in terms of content, design, and other aspects. You may also add that these changes can bring positive changes to their SEO rankings.
Most importantly, taking a break from SEO can help you bounce back from your plan’s failures and give you better ideas for the future. Once you’re back on track, you pitch new SEO-related ideas to your client to better your chances of an extension.
Walk away. Yes, you read that right. Clients and SEO agencies cannot work towards different goals and have conflicting ideas if they want to succeed. Sometimes, finding the right fit can be harder than you imagined.
Some clients prefer using their ideas for a campaign than to give SEO agencies a free hand with their work. Such clients can get irritating and over-demanding, which makes it impossible to work for and with them.
If you’re stuck with such a client, it is better not to initiate an extension because it is pointless. Rigid clients cost you precious time, energy, money, and effort. These clients will see no trouble in ordering tons of rework even if you put in your 100% the first time itself.
Well, walking away is the smartest option in such cases. You might lose a client or two, but you’ll save the time and effort to look for new and better fitting clients.
With this, we conclude our module on how to extend your SEO contracts. We’re positive that this module has given you a clear picture of the struggles of the retention process. However, this module has also detailed how easy it is to retain a client of you think, re-think, refresh, and implement.
Furthermore, clients hire you not just to increase web page traffic, drive new leads, and increase SEO rankings but also to make the optimization process effective and organized. We hope you remember that it is difficult and costs a lot more to get a new client than to keep an existing one happy.
Remember that you need to research well, stay transparent, plan early, and communicate effectively with your client. Another key factor is your communication within your agency’s setup. Your client’s needs and your team’s efforts work hand in hand to give you the results you desire.
So, once you read this module, review and analyze the steps, and watch your SEO contracts extend to longer terms than you ever expected