How To Get SEO Clients: 30+ Expert Tips & Strategies
If you’re looking for expert tips on how to get SEO clients
…you’ve come to the right place.
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In this guide, I have asked experts from around the world what their top tips on getting SEO clients for 2018 are…
Here’s What They Had To Say:
1. Rebecca Caroe
The biggest challenge for winning new clients is getting them to start a dialog with you.
Most SEO professionals tell me that when the customer has started talking, then they are confident they can win their business.
And so my tip is designed to get a conversation started.
Get them to take a “challenge”, something like this.
“I will answer your top SEO question in a 20 minute call.”
Don’t charge for the service, but DO record the call (video if possible).
Then you get to do these things:
1) A dialog with a new prospect – who may or may not buy from you in future
2) Content to use on your channel / Facebook group / blog / Outbound emails
3) Ask for a testimonial afterwards and use it / publish / create content
4) Write up your recommendations into a short email which you send immediately afterwards. Include an offer in the email to do ongoing work or to implement the fix you recommended on the call etc.
5) Add that person to your mailing list for your newsletters
2. Ed Holtzman
I know this sounds very old-school, but join and be active in your local chamber of commerce and/or other well established local networking groups.
Not seat-specific ones like BNI, etc.
The vast majority of business owners & managers know that SEO can have a “make or break” impact on their business, but they have usually heard enough 1st and 2nd hand “SEO horror stories” that keeps them from going all-in on SEO.
The repeated face-to-face interactions made at chamber and charity events builds up the trust factor immensely.
I’ve learned first-hand that businesses will put aside any negative stories they may have heard once they have a connection to a face that is behind the “service”.
People will trust a PERSON before they trust statistics and case studies every day.
Since we have become active in the local chamber of commerce and charitable organizations, SEO is not a hard sell once they know someone in the industry personally.
3. Edward Sturm
The best piece of advice I can give to SEOs who want to get more clients is to create long lasting relationships with web developers.
Most web developers don’t have SEO experience, and most have clients that need SEO.
With strong relationships, you’ll quickly become frequently referred with an above average close rate.
4. Eunice David
One often overlooked but impactful SEO tip when it comes to acquiring more clients is getting featured or listed in a credible industry-relevant curator website.
For a B2B marketing agency like us, this would be something like www.clutch.com — a firm known for dishing out highly-trusted and carefully reviewed ratings for the marketing industry via reviews, services offered, and quality of work.
Websites such as Clutch rank highly for hot search terms like “best x” (in our case, this would be something along the lines of “best seo consultants” or “best marketing agency”).
Appearing on these websites give you an opportunity to not only easily appear on top SERPs for search terms your prospects use to look for service or product providers like you, but it also lends you legitimacy overall as a trustworthy company in your industry.
Best of all:
Optimizing your profiles in these listings can help you get found on Google itself for a wide variety of other search terms.
That being said, this is a simple tactic that yields a great impact so as long as you don’t get lazy filling in your profile and you encourage some of your happy clients to leave reviews to help you stand out and solidify your listings.
5. Ivan Dimitrov
Everyone in the SEO world knows that “content is king” and I think they might be right. But there is a twist.
So, what makes content king?
It is triggering the best marketing channel in the world – word of mouth.
You give people something to talk about.
If you are creative enough and if you are a bit lucky, your content might turn out to be interesting and even shareable. This is when the magic happens.
Your brand becomes recognizable and eventually people will pay more attention to your brand.
The second reason is – content, and lots of it, is the only way you can become an authority in the field.
If you are selling books, you really need to be able to give people advice.
If you own a bakery, you may have a cooking blog or a channel.
Show everyone that you are a master of your craft. Show your passion.
This is what makes people buy from you.
Content makes people think of your brand while being offline, talking about it, searching it on Google. Once you achieve that, your sells will come.
Those tips hold true for SEO business as well but once clients knock on your door you need to be able to explain what, how, and when you are about to do what you do in order to help their business grow.
So, communicate with your clients and be good in what you do. This will surely get you more clients.
6. Kevin Schrage
Quick advice from a 10 year online marketing veteran: There’s a stigma about SEO experts that gives them a bad rap.
Since SEO takes time to develop and see results, many SEO experts use that to their advantage.
Rope in a client, do a bunch of upfront work to make some significant changes, impress them, and then they go on autopilot.
The easy work is at the beginning when everything is broken and not much SEO work has been done.
If you really want to impress a client, keep moving the needle in the right direction when SEO gets more challenging.
Proactively help the client make decisions and keep the account active.
This is also an opportunity to tack on more services/products once the client sees how much progress is being made.
With all of this, you should be able to get a ton of referrals. Word of mouth within a small niche can be very powerful.
7. Sam Martin-Ross
My best tip would be referrals. We’ve built our agency on them.
Focusing on producing great work for our clients has meant they’re happy to refer new business to us.
In most cases, these can come out of nowhere which is great.
However, if you are short on referrals, and you know you’re delivering great work for clients, sometimes it can be worth asking your clients if they know anyone they can refer.
Some agencies go as far as offering a finder’s fee for referrals, but if your work is delivering results, that shouldn’t be necessary.
8. Burim Bekteshi
1) Offer An Audit
Google says it is a good idea to pay for a technical audit for your site and to get two, if possible.
It is important to offer something for free for your potential clients and the most agencies and SEO experts offer the basic free SEO audit for the first time.
Explain to your potential client that once you implement all the fixes, it takes time, but they will see results.
2) Offer SEO Consultations
Sit down with a client, and explain to him and help him figure out what you or he needs to do.
3) Explain That It Will Take Time
Google says it takes time for good SEO to work.
According to them, it will take from four months to a year before you see the full effect of a good SEO change.
Being honest with the clients is a good start to start building the trustworthy relationship.
9. Dennis Hamming
I had a chat with some web developers recently asking how often they are asked for recommendation for SEO providers and it turned out that happens quite regularly so:
Try to create partnerships with web designers, developers, even programmers as they already have a relationship with their clients.
When you approach them, be honest and sincere and explain in great detail what you can do for their clients and how you are going to accomplish it.
‘Their’ reputation is at stake when you screw up or fail to deliver results within six months.
So, be real and realistic about the results you can achieve for their clients.
Even better, talk with your potential partner, offer them a free trial where you improve their rankings within a few months and they are most likely willing to partner with you once they see you are the real deal.
I have more than one tip, thus, I’ll give you what I think can bring more traffic/clients and you go from there:
1) Write quality content geared specifically for your client. If you are a plumber, write content that will help resolve someone with a plumbing problem. Even though you are giving them solutions, it is possible that they might still not want to do the work themselves nor have the time
2) Make it easy for them to reach out to you. I like to keep my contact form simple and only ask for information I must have such has name, email (and possibly phone number). If I need more info, I can later ask for them via email
3) Be active with your prospects in social media especially answering their questions on FaceBook, Quora, and so on
4) Even if a client didn’t buy your service, follow up with them especially with the ones that inquired about your service and didn’t respond to your email. They could’ve been busy or lost your email
11. Robert Donnell
We have had success partnering with related service providers and cross-referring.
We work with a custom web developer who recommends our services to “bake-in” SEO with website redesigns and new sites.
We work with business consultants and they recommend us to their clients who need SEO and digital marketing.
We call this an influencer referral, and it works.
12. Duke Vukadinovic
Be helpful. It’s actually pretty simple.
When you pitch clients, give them the information on how to position their site in advance.
Once they have the step-by-step procedure on how to rank their site, they’ll realize just how out of depth you really are and will hire you, since you’re the one who gave them this information.
On top of that, they most likely won’t have the time to do it all themselves.
Additionally, they’ll be convinced that you can deliver because you just trained them through exactly how to do it themselves.
13. Tom Pick
The most important tactic for SEO professionals to find more clients is to demonstrate expertise–make sure that your own website and blog are properly optimized and perform well in targeted searches.
Write blog content that demonstrates SEO expertise.
Another important activity is be attend local events and meet-ups.
Not every prospect will find you online (in fact, searching for SEO help online can be an overwhelming experience).
People aren’t sure who to trust. If they actually meet you in person, there’s a much better chance you can win their trust…and their business!
Do NOT use spammy outreach emails to try to generate new business.
This damages your personal brand image and credibility.
Most business owners and marketing managers know that SEOs who have to resort to sending unsolicited emails to http://webbiquity.com
14. Kim Herrington
Building up your authority as the go-to SEO expert for your niche or area can help when it comes to getting leads.
Not only does it lead to more referrals from your existing network, you’ll become the expert everyone turns to for advice.
It can open up doors to speak at events to an audience someone else is drumming up for you—and connections with potential clients you wouldn’t have found otherwise.
15. Ross Taylor
Too many SEO’s don’t take their own medicine, and you’ll see empty social media profiles or blogs devoid of any useful content.
If you’re asking your clients to invest in spending time or money here, why aren’t you doing it yourself?
Trying to sell AdWords, but you don’t use it to promote your own business?
You’re more likely to close a deal if you can prove that these things work for you as a digital marketer.
Another tip would be to create case studies whenever you can to showcase your results.
Every now and then a client will ask for “references”.
If you’ve got a case study at the ready, you’ve got that covered.
16. Navneet: eMarketing Blogger
My top tip to attract new SEO clients is to offer customer referrals!
We offer 10% amount from our first-month payment for sending us a referral that turned into a sale.
To make it official:
We send an official document, and I officially sign every referral document we give out.
It made it seem more official and legitimate for clients.
17. Arjun Sandhu
In 2018, businesses are looking for marketing experts in their sector and SEO is no different.
To really win clients in a particular genre, you need to convince them of your expertise and experience in that field.
People tend to trust industry specific experts more than a general all rounder.
One strategy that’s worked for us particularly in the gambling and online casino sectors is writing authoritative content on gambling SEO.
Ranking #1for “online casino seo” has generated perennial enquiries and business.
Testimonials, 3rd party mentions and speaking/writing at relevant places has generated the trust that we needed.
18. Brian Nagele
Landing more SEO clients comes down to identifying a niche, showing SEO success in that niche, identifying similar but non-competing business to your success stories, then activity of emailing and calling the prospects, then follow up.
I find a video screen capture analysis for the prospect increases my closing rate by 75%.
Always test and measure your call/email scripts for success.
Over time, you’ll be a seasoned closer.
19. Justin Morgan
I’ve found that positioning myself as a teacher of SEO techniques works well to earning the trust of my audience.
It’s critical to be as transparent and up-front as possible.
Be honest about what you can do, and what you can’t.
With dentists, I find that they are very scientific.
They like to have at least a basic understanding of how and why things work (or don’t work).
Explaining the ins and outs in my dental SEO course is paramount to setting expectations and ensuring long term success.
SEO can be a long term effort, but I’ve found that you can get much faster results when my clients are on the same page as I am.
I used to find my friends who do business and gather information on how their conversions are, then I’d start by doing free SEO for them and increase the clients.
Because of this, they will refer me to other people in the industry, and I’ll also have one more addition to my portfolio to show it to my clients.
First do free service, because later you can earn double what you would have.
21. Aaron Carmen
Offer an SEO audit!
Offering a free audit to potential clients with real information/data that needs improvement to their site means that they will be more confident and trusting of you, because they can see that you know very well what you are doing.
22. Usama Nizamani
Put business keywords like (web design agency) and go to 3rd, 4th or 5th page.
Collect contact information on website which are visible on mentioned pages.
Simply offer them your SEO service.
23. Hayk Saakian
To get more local SEO clients, you should join a “BNI” group.
BNI Stands for Business Network International.
It’s similar to Rotary or Chamber of Commerce, except there’s one important difference.
Everyone in a BNI group is focused on generating referral business for other people in the group.
So, how does this work?
Each group only allows 1 person from each profession.
The concept is that if someone in the group has a friend who needs a landscaper, HVAC expert, or SEO consultant, then they have a list of people they are supposed to refer to.
This is a paid group, but it’s well worth it.
At Logic Inbound, we have several clients on a monthly SEO service that originated from BNI.
Joining was well worth the price.
You can generally find multiple groups to choose from in larger cities.
If there’s already an SEO in your group, think about joining and representing another service that you offer, like Web Design.
At the same time, there are probably a dozen or more other groups to choose from.
24. Mike Piet
I’d say my best tip for SEO’s on getting more SEO clients would be to pick a source and master it.
For me, it was easy to get side tracked doing cold emails, facebook ads, youtube, google organic, networking, etc.
Once I picked one source and mastered it/made it profitable, then I started working on other lead sources.
25. Ben Cope
My tip is to find your niche and stick with it.
If you’re ‘just another SEO agency’, you’ll be fighting tens of other agencies.
It’s also likely that the sort of client that approaches a generic SEO agency doesn’t know exactly what they want.
This is where your niche comes in, whether you specialize in website audits, like we do, or specialize in an industry sector, for example, dentistry.
Pick your niche, tailor your services, and build great case studies.
26. Donna Duncan
My best tip is to do an outstanding, above-and-beyond job for your existing clients.
Then ask (and remind) them to please refer you to others with similar needs and expectations.
You can even offer to craft a short message for them to share on their social media channels or newsletter that announces the milestone completion, expresses their satisfaction, and pitches your services.
The easier you make it for them, the more likely they are to follow through.
It also gets you more exposure (including a possible backlink and/or citation).
Nothing creates a more-likely-to-convert-lead than a personal recommendation from a shared acquaintance.
27. Danny Star
A responsive web design is essential for a successful digital marketing campaign.
Around 71% of the internet users in America navigate through smartphones or tablets.
Having a website without mobile friendly development will practically exclude you from the searches of millions of potential customers.
Because of this:
Google takes consideration of mobile friendly websites at the moment of rank them in their results.
Not only that:
SSL is very important. SSL is the acronym for Secure Sockets Layer.
It’s a universal standard security technology that enables encrypted communication between any browser and a server.
Thus, the navigation becomes much more secure and hard to hack.
The application of an SSL certificate is mandatory for websites that handle sensitive information like logins, credit card information, etc.’ like the case of digital stores.
A website protected by SSL certificate has also better chances to rank high in Google, as it’d be considered a safe site.
It’s highly recommended to provide original, quality content to your website and other marketing channels.
Attractive, updated, and visually appealing content:
- Engages new and existing customers
- Creates brand identity and positive reputation
- Can be reused and shared many times
In it’s effort to create a better internet, Google takes special consideration on sites that provide original, excellent content; whether it’s written blogs or audiovisuals.
28. Caroline Phillips
The best way to get more SEO clients is to show that you don’t just talk the talk but that you do actually walk the walk.
Getting reviews which are visible to all is very important as there is no better recommendation than a client giving you praise.
I also believe that if you do a good job for a client they will recommend you to others and so always maintaining a good working relationship with a client is beneficial as you don’t know who they know.
29. Paul Dworianyn
I recommend connecting with high end or boutique graphic design shops, these smaller companies typically have a book of clients that can afford their more expensive graphic design services which means they will be able to afford a monthly SEO program at $2000 or more per month.
These graphic design shows typically have a great deal of influence over their client’s branding and further are often dissatisfied with the web developers their clients use to carry the branding through to the website.
I have found that boutique high-end graphic design firms are a treasure trove of opportunity if you’re able to develop an organic relationship with them, demonstrate value on how you can bring their graphics to life on a website, then educate them on SEO so that they can sell to their book of clients for you.
30. Hazel Jarrett
My top tip is to optimize your own website so that it ranks at the top of Google resulting in SEO clients finding you and also trusting that you can deliver SEO services that work.
The main benefit of SEO is significantly increased online visibility leading to increased conversions, so walk the walk and optimize your own site first – create a relevant and authoritative website that ticks all the technical SEO boxes, has a healthy link profile and is popular on search and social so that your increased online visibility gets you SEO clients.
31. Shane Welcher
From the time I started doing search engine optimization I was taught to be straight to the point with people that I talk to about my local SEO agency but to be fair at the same time.
When it breaks down to landing a client, I have found that being honest and transparent with them often doing video analysis of their website in front of them of through Skype or Google Hangouts helps build a relationship with them.
What does this mean?
I understand them and what they want and they understand how I work.
This provides both of us the knowledge we need to know to see if we should even down business together.
As far as getting SEO clients, I often do not lead with SEO as it can be fairly expensive for us.
What I like to start with is to show them their website through a crawl to detect errors and content issues that we can fix first before we even approach a talk about SEO.
This approach for me gives me a stable site to start to do proper SEO for, as their website would then have a solid error free foundation.
For my client, it would provide a added value of a better performing website at little cost which generally opens the door for SEO from a monthly standpoint.
32. Brian Schofield
As search specialists, we are all too often focused on driving net new business, however, we tend to neglect one important metric: Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).
A client’s overall value does not stop at sales, up-sells or cross-sells.
One of your clients works closely with a network of re-sellers, partners, and vendors within an industry you’re already familiar with.
What if you became the preferred SEO provider to just one or two of these partners?
Referrals can have a multiplier effect, which is why a client’s true value includes new business generated from that relationship over time.
And better yet, if this was a weird little niche with little competition, you could own that space and become the expert who bridges the gap between SEO and their business!
33. Aleem Iqbal
Go to websites like Yellowpages and search businesses.
Try to find businesses that have no website or they have a very low quality website.
Email them and tell them that you can build and rank a website for their business.
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