You could have the best salesperson in the world, and still have trouble getting new clients in the door as an SEO agency.
Why is that? Because people would sooner trust social proof over your "hypothetical" promises and guarantees.
As you are surely aware, SEO strategies take time, and would-be clients would like to see evidence of success before investing in your long-term strategies.
Fortunately, this trust can be earned through powerful case studies that showcase your expertise and abilities.
Let's take a look at how to build effective SEO case studies.
Engage The Reader
It seems pretty obvious that you should draw your reader in with your case study, but it's an element that's also easy to overlook.
If someone can't even be bothered to read your case study, you're in trouble.
Strive to get the reader's attention upfront, and use an effective headline that prominently features the benefit and the result you were able to obtain for your client.
Get their interest, and then hold it for as long as you can.
Share A Story
If you're not careful, a case study can very quickly become a cold, technical and self-important document.
Though it's great to feature stats and key metrics, if all you do is share the facts, your case study may end up being less effective than you'd like it to be.
People like stories. Stories allow them to connect with the information on an emotional level.
So, take some time to think about the problem that your client was experiencing, and how you "rescued" them from it.
Also talk about how you came up with a solution, how it was implemented, the time it took to put your plan into action, and how your client felt when you helped them succeed.
Discuss Your Workflow
Something that clients may want to know more about is how you approach your SEO projects.
This is something you can highlight in your case study to give your prospects an idea of how you work.
If you can paint a clear picture of what the working relationship will look like, and the client can imagine it, they will feel more secure in their decision to work with you.
Show them your process, and get your prospects thinking about what collaborating with you might be like.
Numbers are powerful when used in the right context.
Instead of discussing theory and aspirations, you can clearly and factually lay out what you were able to accomplish for your client.
Key data might include an increase in traffic (by percentage), dollar amount spent, backlinks, visitors, increase in conversions, and so on.
Ultimately, only you can choose what data matters most to the overall storyline of the case study.
For example, if the goal of your campaign was to increase backlinks, talking about an increase in conversion might be a moot point (or a side benefit). It all depends.
Don't Overlook Relevance
As an SEO agency, you're likely to be working with a variety of different clients.
What this means is that not all of your case studies are going to be relevant to the prospects you are wanting to work with.
At first, you may have a limited number of case studies, but as your client base grows, you'll want to expand your offering to appeal to more businesses.
When and where possible, make sure to send your prospects case studies that would be relevant to them.
Remember to inject your case studies with emotion. You want to make it as personal as possible, even if it has nothing to do with the person that's reading it.
Avoid using too much technical information. You may understand the jargon and the specifics to do with SEO, but your prospects won't necessarily appreciate the industry-specific terms.
Finally, don't make your case study an ad, either for you or your client.
It's nice that you were able to help them, but selling doesn't belong in a case study.
Image: Juhan Sonin