An Email to a Prospective SEO Client

In my last post I mentioned a recent but not uncommon conversation with a prospective client. The conversation began with “my website has fallen out of the rankings” and ended with, “I’ll send you a proposal.”

The conversation generally includes comments such as:

  • I have nothing to write about
  • There are no new ways to write about what I do
  • I don’t want to spend time creating content
  • Writing is too hard
  • I’m just looking for someone to do stuff with keywords that will get me traffic


To which I respond:

  • You have lots to write about, how about X, Y, and Z
  • You bring a unique set of experiences to your field, that’s what will make your content stand out. Believe it or not you have more to write about than you probably realize.
  • Most people don’t want to spend the time creating content, I even struggle with it sometimes. But the reality is, it’s a crucial part of an online marketing strategy.
  • Writing doesn’t have to be hard, I can share some copy-writing tips that will help make it easier. Worse case scenario, you can hire someone to write for you.
  • A silver bullet would be great, but there isn’t one and there’s no single strategy that will guarantee traffic.

I hate to admit it, but I was late sending the proposal to this most recent prospect.

Dear Prospect, 

My apologies for not getting this to you on Friday as I promised. To be honest I’ve been struggling a bit because I’m not sure that having me do an evaluation for you is the best way for you to spend your money.

 You’ve just built and launched a new website which has a clean look and a good structure. It’s doubtful that I’m going to find any glaring technical issues with it. I looked a few quick things that are normally problems and didn’t find anything.

 My biggest recommendation is going to be for you to add content, which I know isn’t what you want to hear, but is honestly the only strategy that is going to help you improve your online visibility and get organic traffic.

 I would also recommend that you utilize social networks to drive traffic in the short and long term. Traffic from social networks is often-times the only source of traffic for a newly launched website unless there is an AdWords campaign in place.

 I don’t know that there is any way to absolutely determine what happened to cause your site to drop out of organic search – there are many possibilities and I don’t think that uncovering what happened will help you going forward. 

 Most of the time when a site suddenly drops it’s because tactics were used that Google has identified as a method of gaming the search engines. I can’t say for sure that’s what happened nor would I say that I think anything was done intentionally to game the search engines. I often run into SEO people who do not truly understand best practices and they do the wrong things for the right reasons.

 Again, I’m purely speculating and just sharing the experience as to why sites typically lose favor.  There can be other reasons as well, such as competitors updating content more often, having more relevant content, and being more visible in the social space.

 I’ve attached the proposal, but as I mentioned I know that my recommendations will be heavily focused on the need for content and ways to distribute your content.  I believe that the best spend of your money and time would be on either creating content yourself or hiring someone to write it for you.

 Let me know your thoughts.

 Best Regards,