15 Keys to Search Engine Marketing and SEO Success

Search Engine Marketing

Selling search engine marketing services, including paid search management and SEO (search engine optimization), couldn’t be easier. All that is necessary is to find an advertiser that meets most of the following fifteen criteria:

1. The advertiser is not too big or small for your agency to handle. In other words, you can service the advertiser with your current service team.
2. The advertiser is not a competitor to any of your other clients – while still working in a sector you can claim to have expertise in handling.
3. They already have a live site and are not planning to replace that site in the short-term (unless you can also sell them web development services and compete for a new website build project).
4. They have a site that they monetize, ideally through e-commerce, advertising, lead generation, subscription, or worst case – B2B.
5. The have a budget and are not waiting for VC (venture capital) funding.
6. They’d consider paying your agency’s fee in order to get access to your service.
7. The advertiser prefers to outsource search engine marketing services rather than handle it internally.
8. They have internal resources that can add pixels to pages, share analytics data, implement SEO recommendations and other odd jobs that may become necessary.
9. They are continuing an existing campaign rather than starting from scratch.
10. They have an agency now doing the work (proof of existing campaign and preference for outsourcing) but are dissatisfied and anxious (conveniently) to change right away.
11. They are in a vertical which has more KW inventory than their current budget (in other words, room to grow).
12. They’re interested in spending money to gain greater share of voice.
13. Would be willing to scale their campaign.
14. Likes you and your agency’s approach to servicing search marketing.
15. Are willing to change their current agency’s responsibilities – if that agency is currently doing all their other work, they are willing to carve out some portion for you.

An advertiser that fits the above criteria would be a highly qualified prospect. Like any sale that requires finding very qualified prospects, the seller needs to be prepared to do a lot of prospecting for a long period of time. Most of the best prospects you find will not pass all 15 points, especially the part about being ready to change immediately. All of these obstacles can be extremely discouraging, and can make anyone wonder “Why should I bother?” Well, the sale that comes from search engine marketing is fantastic if you like a challenging, consultative, well-paying sale. It’s a sale that requires a high level of understanding of search marketing, necessarily high enough to impress the customer.

Since this sale has a direct impact on the revenue of the advertiser’s business, there is a lot riding on the outcome and so the sale usually involves meeting with company leaders – often the owner/s or the Head of Marketing. The career of a search marketing professional involves developing relationships with top marketing and management people at some of the biggest brands and B2B marketers – not a bad circle to keep company with!

Steve Bookbinder, CEO and lead trainer for DM Training has over a decade of experience selling online media, search engine marketing, and advertising. He has written and co-written more than 25 books, articles and audio training programs, and is most recently the author, with Jeff Goldberg, of How to Be Your Own Coach.

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