Whether you're an established agency seeking to expand your client base or an SEO freelancer, landing SEO clients can be instrumental to your SEO consulting success.
The right lead generation strategy can ensure that you have a steady stream of qualified SEO leads and aren't struggling every few weeks.
In this article, we will explore proven strategies and approaches to help you navigate the competitive world of SEO client acquisition.
What will you learn
- How to find clients for SEO
- What are the best ways to get SEO leads
- What are non-obvious methods of reaching out to companies needing SEO
- How to combine SEO lead generation efforts
How do I find people who need SEO?
You can find people who need SEO services by understanding where your potential clients are and how to reach them. SEO services are a good fit for businesses that have an online presence and want to increase their visibility and reach.
How to get SEO clients
You can land SEO clients for your business using a variety of lead generation methods, from offering free SEO audits and sending cold emails to sharing case studies and thought leadership content.
Because of the number of digital marketing agencies today, it's important that you stand out.
Generating SEO leads becomes easier once you have worked with clients and delivered results for them. They'll often refer other businesses to your SEO services.
Here are 13 ways to get SEO clients for your business.
1. Define your niche
It’s not enough to offer generic SEO services today. Instead, specializing in an industry or field might be the way to go.
And, while it's not necessary to have a deep understanding of all the different fields, do research each one to understand what your new SEO clients might need.
For example, you might focus on:
- E-commerce SEO,
- Content optimization
- Local SEO for small local businesses,
- or SEO for a specific industry like healthcare or law.
This allows you to tailor your SEO agency's services to that target audience's unique needs and challenges.
It also makes it easier to identify potential customers, as you know exactly who you are trying to reach.
To succeed, choose the right niche at the right time.
Keep your expansion options open, though.
Don't limit your services to one particular sector without keeping an eye on what’s happening on the market.
2. Develop a strong online presence
Your online presence reflects your expertise.
You should set an example of online growth yourself if you want your clients to succeed online.
While you should still focus on your clients, you can also try the strategies below to polish your agency's online appearance:
- Create a professional and user-friendly website for your SEO agency that clearly communicates your services and value proposition.
- If you have no resources for building the entire website, create a simple landing page with a contact form so your website visitors can quickly enter contact information.
- Set up and update a blog where you share helpful tips and insights about SEO to show that you are an SEO expert and run a top SEO agency.
- For instance, you might write a blog post on the latest Google algorithm update and what it means for your local SEO clients to generate interest.
- Take advantage of social media platforms where your clients are active.
- Create a posting schedule on LinkedIn or Twitter and offer valuable advice to attract clients.
- Participate in online communities of experts and exchange knowledge, contacts, marketing strategies, and insights.
Engage in discussions, answer questions, and offer advice.
For example, if you're in a group for small business owners, you might offer tips on how to optimize their website for local search or how to build a topical map.
3. Offer a free SEO service
It might seem like it doesn't make sense at first, but offering a free SEO proposal to your target audience can bring in potential customers.
Think about offering a basic SEO strategy or a free SEO audit.
It would be helpful to point out areas that need improvement without going into detail about how it should be done.
The easiest way to do this would be to plug the client's URL into Surfer Audit.
The generated report will analyze several different on-page factors that can reveal low lying opportunities to improve.
Here is a link to the rest of the audit report.
That actual improvement and putting all of that into action would be part of your paid SEO service.
By sharing even a small portion of your knowledge for free, you can demonstrate what you're good at and how you can assist their SEO efforts.
Think of it as a pitch deck to bring in more SEO clients.
Instead of just showing them information about your offer, make it fit their business results and needs.
Rather than pretty slides, focus on opportunities for improvement.
Who knows, maybe they'll recommend you and boost your SEO lead generation?
4. Use case studies and testimonials
Testimonials and case studies for your SEO agency results speak volumes.
If you have case studies, you should share them with everyone.
If you don't have any, you should make some.
The strongest social proof in your SEO process comes from case studies and testimonials.
They show your SEO leads that you've successfully helped other businesses improve their SEO.
For example, you might share a case study of a client whose website traffic increased by 50% after implementing your SEO recommendations.
Putting together a good case study takes a lot of time.
You have to gather all the information, get quotes and approval from your clients, and then publish it in a way that makes people want to read it.
Nevertheless, the reward is worth the effort.
Even if you don't have extensive case studies or the time to make them, you're not completely out of luck.
Use client testimonials and ask your recent customers for a quick note describing your collaboration.
Feature them on your website until you find time to create case studies.
5. Leverage social media
Social media is a treasure trove to find SEO clients.
List the social media platforms that your clients are active on.
For example, you can use LinkedIn to connect directly with business owners and decision-makers.
Then, you can look for Facebook groups related to your niche and participate in discussions.
And there is also Twitter to follow industry influencers and engage in conversations about search engines or SEO tricks.
With LinkedIn's advanced search feature, you can find SEO Leads in your niche.
For example, you can use it to search for specific roles and designations in a geography.
And then send them a personalized connection request or an InMail.
InMail is a premium feature of a paid LinkedIn account, and depending on your subscription type, you're limited to a certain number of messages per month.
Though personalized connection requests are free, they are limited to 300 characters with spaces, so you must be selective in your message.
You can also export leads from LinkedIn's Sales Navigator to use in omnichannel campaigns.
Social media is good not only for outbound sales but also for inbound ones.
Regularly post practical and actionable SEO tips on your social media platforms.
This could be a quick guide on how to do keyword research, a short video tutorial on optimizing meta tags, or a checklist for external link building.
You can also host a live Q&A session on a platform like Instagram or Facebook where you answer SEO-related questions.
Promote the session in advance to ensure a good turnout.
Offering valuable advice publicly can attract potential clients and position you as an expert in the field.
You can also use social media listening tools to monitor mentions of SEO-related keywords. Such activity can help you find prospects who are looking for SEO services or have SEO-related questions.
Reach out to them with a helpful response and a soft pitch of your services if the situation allows.
6. Cold email prospects
When done right, cold emails can bring a lot of quick results.
Sending the right message to the right people at the right time is crucial.
- You might start by complimenting the business on a recent achievement,
- Then point out a critical error on their site,
- And offer a few quick tips on how they could improve their website's SEO.
Here’s an example template for cold email outreach. Keep in mind that you should test it and edit the template for your own industry.
Subject: [First Name], Let's Boost [Company Name]'s Google Ranking!
Hello [First Name],
While researching [Keyword] on Google, I noticed that [Company Name] isn't appearing on the first page. You're currently at position [Current Rank].
Your website has [a positive aspect of their site or SEO], but being on page [Current Page Rank] means you're missing potential business opportunities.
I've successfully improved rankings for various [Niche/Business Type] in [City]. Here's [Proof] to illustrate my point.
Given [positive aspects of their site or SEO], I believe [Company Name] has a great chance to surpass competitors like [competitor 1] and [competitor 2].
If you're the right person to discuss this with and you're interested in learning more, simply reply to this email, and I'll happily assist.
If there's someone else I should be in touch with, please point me in their direction. I wouldn't want [Company Name] to miss out on this chance to shine and I guess neither would you.
I look forward to hearing from you, [First Name]!
[Full Contact Information]
Always make sure to clearly state what you're offering and how it can benefit them. Use a catchy subject line to increase open rates.
The key is to personalize your emails and provide value.
As long as you check both of these boxes, you’re good to go.
7. Showcase your expertise with SEO and content marketing
Documenting your expertise via your own channels, including your company blog or website, is an excellent way to prove your expertise in practice.
Since you want to attract SEO clients, you should implement SEO best practices for your own website.
That means creating high quality content that conveys value and ranks well.
Your own website's SEO is a testament to your skills and capabilities.
If your site ranks well for your target keywords, it not only brings in organic traffic but also serves as a tangible demonstration of your expertise.
For instance, if a potential lead is looking for "SEO services in [your city]" and finds your website at the top of the Google Search results, they're likely to see you as a credible and competent provider.
Share valuable, actionable content that addresses your target audience's pain points.
For example, you can create a roundup post with influencers in your industry.
To boost your efforts, share this content on social media, in email newsletters, and in online communities where your target group hangs out.
8. Establish a unique selling proposition
If you look at many SEO agencies, their websites make the usual claims.
We’re the best.
Proven track record.
SEO since the 1800s and so on.
The border between a good USP and a generic statement is thin, and it’s better not to come too close to it.
Your unique selling proposition is what sets you apart from other SEO providers.
It's the unique value you offer that makes you the best choice for your target clients.
For example, your USP might be your proprietary SEO audit process, your specialization in a specific niche, or your proven approach to SEO strategy.
If you’re specialized in link building for real estate, highlight it to focus on your area of expertise.
Clearly communicate your USP on your website, in your marketing materials, in pitch decks, and in your conversations.
9. Network with your community
Networking doesn’t have to mean attending every workshop, conference, or webinar.
You can choose the most relevant events to connect with like-minded professionals.
The following tips won't disrupt your workflow but might help you establish a good networking position:
- Taking part in “call for papers” events which is when the presence of a subject matter expert is requested at an occasson.
- Attending webinars and podcasts as a speaker
- Partnering with other related agencies in the industry
- Hosting a virtual conference with influencers or potential clients
- Speaking at SEO conferences and marketing conferences
These events not only educate businesses about the importance of SEO but also provide a platform for you to showcase your knowledge and services.
You can then offer SEO services in a very natural way.
10. Collaborate with complementary businesses
You can also take the above mentioned networking to a whole new level.
Forming strategic partnerships with agencies that offer complementary services can open up new and undiscovered avenues for client acquisition.
For example, a web design agency might have clients who need SEO services, and you could step in to provide that expertise.
Similarly, you could refer your clients to them for their web design needs. This reciprocal relationship can generate leads from a source you trust.
You can also approach other digital marketing agencies who offer paid advertising and other marketing activities to complete their offerings.
Sometimes, they may prefer that you provide SEO consulting under their agency.
You will have to strike a revenue share agreement with them or pay them a referral fee in exchange for signing clients.
11. Offer competitive pricing
Ok, this is a tricky one.
SEO providers are often chosen based on their pricing.
To cater to a wider client base, SEO agencies might want to offer more affordable and flexible pricing models.
Consider introducing different SEO packages based on the level of service required.
You can offer hourly, monthly or project based pricing models.
You can also offer performance-based pricing models, where the client pays more if you achieve certain results.
This flexibility can make your services more accessible and attractive on the market.
12. Provide exceptional customer support
Exceptional customer service can set you apart in the competitive SEO industry.
This means responding quickly to questions, paying close attention to what your clients want and need, and going above and beyond to make sure they are happy.
You don't have to offer 24/7 phone service.
But you might offer regular progress reports or SEO audit examples.
Be available for SEO consultations and create a space for downloads and checklists.
You can also provide additional resources to help your clients understand SEO and therefore, your work better.
Happy clients are not only more likely to stick around, but they're also more likely to refer you to others, bringing in more business.
- There are many ways to get SEO clients through lead generation, such as cold outreach, social media marketing, and inbound marketing. You can also use your personal network to make connections and get SEO leads.
- SEO lead generation depends on things like the SEO company's niche, pricing, reputation, target market, and resources. There is no golden rule to follow to attract potential SEO clients.
- Combining and testing several SEO lead generation methods can be beneficial if you have the resources or are focused on sales. If you're a one-person army, stick to one or two methods to get qualified leads.
Everyone wants to get more SEO leads.
But getting SEO leads is just the start of your story. Maintaining them, as well as keeping them happy and satisfied with your services and communication, is equally, if not more, important. Keep your old clients and up-sell them when you can. It's less expensive and more effective than chasing new clients.
If you strike the right balance here, you'll be on your way to a very profitable SEO business. Good luck!