Free SEO Audits

Why I don’t provide them

I used to offer free SEO audits, I was convinced it was a good way to show my worth. A loss leader, in marketing terms. Once clients were wowed by my fancy report, they would surely employ me and we’d all become rich and successful.

Er, no. That didn’t happen. What was I thinking!

The value of Free SEO Audits

What did happen

Clients didn’t understand the reports; they were too long and complicated. Only very occasionally did my valuable potential client turn in to a customer. When I followed up on reports, I found the client had had no time to read it, or they had lost interest after the first paragraph. This was unwelcome news.

I needed a solution!

At first I thought I needed to automate the reports by using software. I could then provide reports at very little cost, after all this is what many SEO companies do. However, such reports are no less complicated, are often inaccurate, and in honesty, they are of very little worth to a client – that’s why they are free. I knew I wouldn’t be happy with this, it wasn’t the way forward.

I needed to present potential clients with something of real value that they could act on, in a language that they understood.

A New Way of SEO Reporting

Thinking carefully about what potential clients wanted from a report, pointed me in the right direction. Clients didn’t want pages of technical jargon with tables and charts that were difficult to comprehend. Research showed me what they really wanted to know was:

  • Should I invest in SEO?
  • How will SEO help my business?
  • What can be done?
  • What will be the results?
  • How much will it cost?

My new report would address the first three points. If the client decided they wanted me to complete my recommendations, I’d address the last two. The report would be bespoke to the client and be presented in two parts.

Local SEO Advice

Part One

I would have to make a business case for SEO, after all it’s no small investment. By providing a high level overview of SEO and the current situation with the client’s website, I could show them why they should invest in SEO.

I’d then illustrate how a client’s website could be a prime tool in promoting their business and how, with improvement, it could help reach their business  goals.

Part Two

The second part of the report would be technical, but remain easy for anyone to understand. It would hold information about where there was room for improvement, along with references to online resources that may help a web developer or web designer fix issues.

A Plan Was Born

Great, I had a plan. Yeah!

The problem was that I couldn’t do it for free – I’d be bankrupt very quickly. Boo!

With some trepidation, I stopped offering Free SEO Audits. I reasoned that valuable prospective clients, who were serious about promoting their business online, would be prepared to pay for advice that had the potential to genuinely help their business. And I was right.

I stopped providing free audits well over 10 years ago and I’ve never looked back; I’m always busy. And most importantly, I have successful customers that trust me to deliver.

Genuinely Useful Assessments

If you’re happy to pay for a report that will be useful and help you
identify the next steps in making your business successful online…