Why so many business owners are cautious about investing in SEO


  • Many business owners are hesitant to sign up for SEO services because they’ve been burnt
  • Many service providers are focusing on rankings, when they really should be focusing on revenue
  • When you can accurately demonstrate ROI for your clients, they’ll continue paying you month after month
  • Stop “learning how to do SEO” on paying customers


Rhys:                     Let me ask you something. Have you ever met a prospect that has a quality conversion tracking setup? I’ve never met one myself. Most of them just have no idea.

John:                     If I have, it’s been maybe one or two. I’ve worked with businesses where they are tracking conversions, they’re running paid traffic AdWords or Facebook ads. And they’re looking to expand into SEO. And, in those cases, the answer would be yes. But it’s not through any doing of their own. It’s because the agencies set that up. But I would certainly agree with the fact that the percentage of business owners… It would be probably, I don’t know, maybe 5%? It could be lower. And that’s really concerning. But I think it really comes down to the types of people that you’re servicing. You start working with high-end corporate stuff… those people… They know their numbers. But for majority of freelancers that are maybe targeting the types of businesses that you’re targeting… And maybe plumbers, electricians, tradespeople, people that are running small operations, it’s probably 99% of those people wouldn’t even understand what conversion rates actually even mean.

Rhys:                     There’s so much value in educating the client and building that system for them. One thing, for example, with me, is I can say to them, “Okay. You’ve paid me $1,800 this month. You also put in $1,800 worth of ads. This is how much you got back from me. This is how much you got from ads.” And being totally transparent with them. And empowering them with that knowledge so they can allocate their marketing budget appropriately for them, I found is a really great way to build trust.

John:                     Oh, absolutely. It’s great. It’s such a strong position. It’s about positioning. We make up a very small percentage of people that are providing SEO services that do that. I don’t know many people that are doing it, aside from the people that have I’ve done my training and are in the Bring the SEO group. And this is… Look, there’s the problems that exist within the SEO space. There’s a whole host of fucking issues with people providing SEO services that don’t know what they’re doing. That they’re providing SEO services for business owners where it’s not a good fit. There’s a whole… They’re providing SEO services and reporting against metrics that don’t matter. I mean, we could spend an hour just talking about that. And I think 99% of the time, when I pick up the phone and it’s a business owner on the other end, the conversation is usually always the same, “Oh, we’ve worked with several other companies. What makes you any different? We’ve been burnt.” And it’s that level of ……they’re scared. And they’re really sensitive and cautious and concerned that they’re going to lose their money.

So to your point, when you can get them on a call and say, “Okay. You’ve paid me $1,800 and we’ve made $8,000 or $15,000 this month.” Total game changer. And that has a flow on effect in so many other areas of your business. Trust. Established a solid relationship. Your retention rates. It goes on and on. Referrals. Everyone wins. And even if you aren’t getting return on investment, you can at least address that quickly at the beginning and say, “Okay. We need to reposition our strategy or take a different direction.” You’re not just going to have them make payment and bleed money for 12 or 18 months. And then come out at the end of it with the business owner saying, “Well, that was a waste of fucking time.”

Rhys:                     Yeah. Definitely.

John:                     But to that point, if you have pre-qualifying only taking on business owners where you reverse-engineer the numbers, the numbers stack up. You should only be working with business owners where those numbers do stack up. And you probably shouldn’t ever find yourself in that position anyway.

Rhys:                     Yeah. Definitely. And always just being mindful of the fact that they’re going to think about each and every dollar they spend with you. And just being mindful of that and delivering return. It’s really as simple as that.

John:                     It’s the way marketing should be done. Marketing and business is not easy and there are challenges. But it doesn’t mean that, “Oh, well. It didn’t work. You lost your money. I got paid. See you later.” I’m not interested in having those conversations with people. Again, we make up a very small percentage of people that actually give a shit and report against the metrics that matter. I’ve been saying that for a long time.

Rhys:                     Definitely.

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