If you’ve been part of the SEO industry for a while now, you probably know that things are much different today than several years ago. The market is much more competitive, with hundreds of SEO agencies and professionals fighting for clients who seek help in boosting their online visibility.
You might be an SEO consultant looking for clients or a business owner who wants to expand their SEO agency. It doesn’t matter who you are – you need some serious strategic planning for finding prospects and turning them into customers.
So how do you find people who need SEO services and when you do, how to pitch your services successfully to them? Here are some tips to help you get new clients for your SEO agency.
Consider different strategies
In general, SEO companies and consultants that manage to put themselves high on Google search result pages for related keywords and key phrases can easily convert clients through inbound leads. All it takes is producing some quality content and publishing it online to ensure that your rank is high and Google recognizes you as an authority on the topic.
However, what about those who don’t rank high? Many SEO agencies decide to invest in paid advertising. It’s a good idea to gain traffic and exposure, but paid advertising isn’t smart as a long-term strategy. The problem with paid advertising is that the amount of capital required for client acquisition is simply too high. Especially if you consider that you can attract and convert the same customer for free.
Paying for ads is plain and simple. You don’t have to waste a lot of energy on it. However, by investing your time in slightly more time-consuming strategies, you will be able to develop an approach that is cost-effective and brings you just as many clients as paid advertising.
Find a way to connect with your target
If you don’t rank high on Google for relevant key phrases, customers won’t be able to find you quickly in organic search results. The only option for you is going after them yourself. The basic strategy for connecting with your target audience would be first to find people who are seeking SEO advice and then reach out to them by offering your expertise.
Build a list of target keywords
Now you’re searching for people who are seeking help in SEO matters and looking for an SEO agency to help them out. However, these people might not express that explicitly. Your prospects might be asking more specific questions than “best SEO + city.” They might be asking about particular aspects of SEO like manual penalties or recent Google updates.
Before you start hunting for clients, do your homework and create a comprehensive list of keywords you will be using in your search. You can go for both the generic SEO-related terms, as well as more specific key phrases. When choosing the latter, pay attention to those aspects of SEO you specialized in. A generic SEO-related term could be “best SEO companies” or “recommend an SEO company,” “choosing an SEO agency.” Some more specific key phrases are “Google manual penalty,” “how to build quality links,” “how to get rid of bad backlinks.”
Start looking for potential clients
Now that you know what you’re looking for, it’s time to consider the places where your potential client hangs out. People who seek SEO advice usually post questions on similar websites.
First, have a look at SEO- and business-related websites these professionals know and visit such as LinkedIn groups, SearchEngineJournal, SearchEngineLand, Econsultancy, or Moz. A website can become your perfect location for finding potential clients. Browse these sites and look for comments or posts that talk about personal SEO needs and experiences.
You can use Google search to narrow down your results by typing “site:example.com “your keyword””. To make sure that you get the latest queries or questions that were not posted a long time ago, click on Google search tools and choose Any time to select a date range for what you’d like to receive your results.
Check out forums
Have a look at websites like Yahoo Answers, Google product forums, or Quora. You will find plenty of site owners or SEO managers complaining about the recent Google penalty that they received or asking for advice on how to solve a particular problem. You can enter the discussion and help them out to launch a relationship and position yourself as an expert in SEO.
All it takes is simply running a search on Google, and you’ll get access to so many questions you can answer. Another excellent place is Google product forums – this is where people go to ask for advice and perfect location for you to share your expertise on many different topics. These forums are full of posts by business owners and webmasters who share their SEO problems. Why not step in and offer your advice?
After running that search, you will end up with a list of plenty of prospects you can reach and pitch your SEO services to. However, you first need to build the right strategy for pitching each customer group.
Segment your target audience
You can’t pitch the same service to a large enterprise and a small business. So before you launch your outreach campaign, you need to take a closer look at your target audience and segment your prospects to create a more refined list and ensure that you’re reaching your target in the right way.
For example, if you’re trying to connect with large enterprises, you would usually need to get in touch with someone who holds the title of digital marketing director, marketing director, marketing manager, head of SEO, or SEO manager. However, if you’re looking into small- and mid-sized enterprises, you will need to reach out to founders, CEOs, co-founders, or managing directors.
Each of these groups will require a different tone of voice and services for your pitch. For example, when working with large enterprises, you will need to actively chase them out and insist on arranging a meeting during work hours. Most of them aren’t looking to make a deal, but if you got in touch with them on one of these forums or help them solve the problem, you’re already starting out at a better position.
Small- and mid-sized enterprises are completely different because these professionals don’t operate on a 9-to-5 basis and are available at any time and any place. All it takes is sharing advice with them and letting them chase you.
Build the trust instead of being salesy
When pitching your services, don’t hard-sell but offer customized advice and tips. You can even offer your potential client an hour of a face-to-face meeting or video consultancy. At this point, you need to create a bond between you two to transform that type of free device into a paid deal.
Here is an example: if you spot someone asking about how hard it would be to rank for a particular keyword, you can do a quick keyword research and find out how many searches that keyword receives for per month. You can now reach out to them directly and suggest some alternative key phrases that receive much higher search volumes and are much better to focus in an SEO strategy. You might hear back from them, and before you know it, they will be signing a contract with you.
Here’s how to pitch a client successfully
When interacting with prospects, it’s a good idea to offer them free site audit reports. You can do that right away without even asking. By doing that, you will get a better understanding of the prospect’s problem and how serious it might be. Then you might stumble upon more problems on their site then the prospect is aware of.
By doing that quick check, you’ll be able to inform them about these problems, back it up by your audit report and let them know what the possible consequences of these issues are. That’s how you prepare grounds for pitching your services. You can be sure that your pitch is personalized and perfectly matches the kind of problems your potential client is dealing with.
You can use a tool like SEO Powersuit Website Auditor to analyze potential targets and find out what their problem is. The tool covers a wide range of SEO factors, and it doesn’t have a limit on the number of audits you can run for free.
Developing a smart client acquisition plan takes time, but the guide we shared with you should help you make the first steps in finding, attracting, and converting clients. By offering them personalized services, your pitch will stand out, and you’ll get to close the deal sooner than you think.
Interacting with a potential client beforehand by offering them free advice or helping to solve their problem is an excellent way to build a trusting relationship right from the start and take your ticket to the next level by signing the contract.
We hope these tips help you out in sourcing and engaging clients in your SEO agency.