Now that we have already covered what you should cover in an audit I wanted to focus this post on the options you have when delivering the audit and what the SEO audit deliverables should look like.
There are many choices each with their level of work for you, value to the client, and impact. It’s your job as a professional to make sure you choose the right one for your client.
This post will apply to freelancers and SEO professionals but also to agencies that have an SEO audit as part of their service offering.
Creating an Amazing Audit
Before we go too much further I thought I would mention the importance of delivering an awesome audit. I don’t care if you are offing a free audit for prospecting or if a client has paid thousands of dollars.
Being able to cover the right content, wrapping the audit well, and delivering it with impact will not only improve your preceived expertise but will also start giving SEO a better name as a digital service.
Deciding How To Deliver The Audit
The first thing you’ll want to do is decide how you will deliver the content of your audit. From there, you can focus on what that deliverable will look like and consist of.
There are a few options for delivering the content.
Written document via email
This is one of the most popular methods of delivering an audit and unfortunately also one of the lowest impact and values. If you are using the audit to close a client don’t do this. If the client had paid thousands of dollars for an audit, don’t do this.
Sending over a fairly highly technical document and hoping they will figure it out isn’t how you should manage the audit process.
In person presentation
Now this is more like it. Go on-site for a client visit and deliver the audit in person. Explain to them what needs to be fixed, why, and what impact it will have.
It’s also great to be equipped with next step options with pricing.
This will add so much more value whenever possible. However, I understand outside of the agency model this might be difficult. You may not be able to balance all client meetings, or
Recorded screen-share walk through
This is one of my favourites as it adds a lot of value if you take the time to go through the audit, but it also automates the process such that you don’t need to wait for or arrange scheduling between you and the client. You load up the audit, fire up screenflow and record yourself walking them through the audit.
I would recommend going through a powerpoint version of an audit vs. a written document. This way you can add commentary to the high level information in the slides and not simply read off the screen. It will make you sounds more like an expert while still being able to drive home the point.
Webinar-style walk through
This is another great option – especially for those who are dealing with clients in remote locations. I understand that many SEO professionals aren’t simply targeting local businesses in their back yard and flying half way across the country is out of the option.
You can use a service like Join Me to share your screen and chat with the client at the same time. You can do a similar presentation as you would in a recorded version, but you’ll get real-time feedback, Q&A, and likely be able to transition into a potential proposal or at least a discussion on scope and pricing if they were interested in moving forward.
In person presentation
Obviously this option is going to have the most impact but it also comes with the highest cost. If this is a free audit and you have a really good feeling of the client and you’ve already pre-qualified their budget, or this is a paid audit then fill your boots. Otherwise you may want to consider the option of a recorded video or a live screen sharing.
How To Prepare SEO Audit Deliverables
Well now that you’ve decided how you’re going to deliver it, you’ll want to decide on how to wrap it. It’s important to understand that your delivery may dictate how and what you need to prepare.
Branded PDF Document
If you have someone who paid for the audit you’ll need solid seo audit deliverables such as a written PDF document with your findings. That said, if it’s a free audit and you are simply sending them a recording you may want to hold off on putting the effort into a formal document and spend that time adding commentary to the sections within a powerpoint presentation.
This is a must do if you’re presenting the audit. The presentation will look fairly different depending on where and how you’re presenting and whether or not the client is already paying you. For paid clients you’ll want this to support a written document and you’ll want it to highlight everything you looked at and then speak to what you found that was an issue.
The same can be said for a free version, but I would keep a free audit much shorter in both length of the power point and the amount of time it takes to present it.
Don’t Use Third Party Templates
I’m all for saving time and using the right tools, but you need to create something that is truly yours. It’s fine to take some ideas from here and there around the web for example, but make sure you wrap it in something that’s yours.
It’s easy to tell when you get a print out audit from a third party tool. Sure, it might be able to save you some time, but your close rates will be much lower because of it.
How To Use An Audit To Close The Sale
Regardless of whether the SEO audit is paid or free, it will uncover work that needs to be done to improve their SEO. This will ultimately lead to additional information for scope of an existing SEO retainer or it will be a conversation starter for you to sell in SEO services.
Free audits are a great way to get a foot in the door and if executed and presented well it’s also an excellent way to prove your expertise. Presenting the audit is a great way to start the sales process. This is what I have seen to work very well in terms of what to present. This can be done via a live screen-share, a recorded video, or even an in-person powerpoint presentation.
- Introduce SEO in your own way and build the importance of it.
- Outline what you’ve looked closely at and relate it to both their website and the importance within SEO.
- Highlight any issues that you identified.
- Provide a high level on how you would fix the issues and improve the optimization.
- Sell yourself or your business and why you are the right fit for doing this work.
- Tie everything back to their initial rankings and how it can help improve them.
- Provide a proposal and pricing options to move forward OR
- Schedule a call to discuss a plan and proposal.
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