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How To Get SEO Clients – 28 SEO Experts Share Their Tips

     -     Apr 24th, 2020   -     Search Engine Optimization   -     0 Comments

We are going through a difficult time right now and the economy is hurting. Luckily, SEO is a job that can be done entirely remotely so we should all search for new opportunities to keep going with existing projects and get new SEO clients.

Now more then ever before, people are spending their money shopping online. Now is the time when all brick and mortar businesses must invest in their websites and improve their rankings to attract new customers.

We want to support the SEO community, help the small companies and freelancers who are struggling and that’s why we hired Minuca Elena to reach out to 28 top SEO experts to ask them the following question:

What is your strategy to get SEO clients for your company?

Continue reading to see what the experts had to say.

Chris Labbate – SEO Bank

Chris Labbate

I would say three things, positioning, social proof and offering extreme value. Let’s cover each one in short detail.

1) Positioning allows you to become the “clear choice” by creating unique offers. What makes you stand out from the crowd? Have you defined a strong marketing message?

Everyone can sell digital services but, do you have a secret weapon? What is that for your Agency? This can put you inside of your own “category class”. Like moving away from general SEO and doing CRO Audits.

Marty Marion has a great course on the topic, called masterpositioning.com. I recommend it to anyone looking to become a better marketer.

2) Social Proof matters! Get involved in expert groups on Facebook and Linkedin and start to grow your influence. I have received many leads from posting advice and information.

You need to become “The Go-To Expert” for your products and services. Being included in Expert-Roundups like this helps to increase your authority as well!

Case studies have also been a huge play in leveling-up my client’s trust in my abilities to rank.

 

3) Now for the most important thing, “ADD VALUE”. You don’t always have to play your cards so close to your chest. Is there really such a thing as an SEO secret in 2020? If you offer extreme value to your clients, I assure you your customer base will continue to climb.

Clayton Johnson – The HothClayton Johnson

We operate on a 100% inbound marketing strategy by attracting clients to us.

We write tons of blog content, create huge resources like the HOTH SEO learning hub, and put out free SEO tools.

We drive traffic to these assets and ask the visitors their email addresses, then follow up with more value and content, and eventually, we pitch our services or getting on a call with us. This works very well.

Patrick Coombe – Elite Strategies

Patrick Coombe

It is really a domino effect, do good work, word spreads and you’ll get lots of referrals.

For me personally, I like to go the extra mile. I like to help our customers with all kinds of issues such as website hosting, getting email setup, and questions about search engine optimization.

Far too many people think SEO companies are about offering a package, but for me, it is about relationship building. Once you are 3-6 months deep in with a client, you can ask them to refer you to some of their other businesses.

The best way to do this is just to be honest and upfront, something along the lines of, “Hey, we’ve been working together for a while and showing you some great results, I was wondering if you would be willing to refer us to one of your colleagues?”

This has worked great for us in the past, it just depends on 2 big factors:

1. you’ve actually done good work for the client and

2. they actually like you 🙂

But we can’t always rely on referrals, we also use traditional methods such as PPC and social media.

I suppose it all depends on how you run your business. Some agencies get buy with 1-2 clients per year, others want to bring in new clients every week by the dozen. We are somewhere in the middle.

We search for clients that are a good fit for us, and we do this by sending people information about their websites and how we can help them.

Glen Allsopp – Detailed.com

Glen Allsopp

Hone in on the absolute dream companies you would want as your clients, rather than hoping that one day they reach out to you for your services.

Literally write them down. The companies that could change your business (and maybe even your life) that you would love to work with.

Then start up the conversation in a non-scammy, non-promo fashion. Just get to know their challenges and what they’re struggling with. Once you’ve built up a connection, you can often be seen as the source to help them achieve those things.

But you must be willing to go into the interaction without any expectation of an outcome.

John Doherty – Credo

John Doherty

As a marketplace that brings in the demand side of the market and helps them hire SEO and other types of service firms, we do a lot of things to attract companies who are hiring for SEO and various other channels.

While our main acquisition channel has been and continues to be our own SEO rankings, an untapped channel that most SEO firms and consultants are not leveraging is partnerships.

There are companies out there (think about software companies, as an example) whose audience is directly who you can serve and who need the information you have to share.

So, building relationships and offering your expertise via webinars to their audience, co-promoted, of course, can help you find those new pockets of clients.

Jeremy Skillings – You Can Be Found

Jeremy Skillings

I would say with more of a small business target, my strategy is to show I know what I’m doing and can help them.

I make it a priority to stay up to date with the absolute latest and most important industry trends by attending conferences such as LocalU Advanced, SMX Advanced, and PubCon. These offer the absolute best in the industry but oftentimes are targeted at big-budget companies.

My specialty is taking that information and pulling out the most important pieces that can be achieved with a smaller business budget. I then like to get out and speak at business networking groups, chambers of commerce, and similar events.

Showing people I know what I’m doing and can be trusted is important in an industry that unfortunately, has a lot of snake oil salesmen.

Knowing who to pay attention to in the industry and then translating that to small business is my specialty.

It is also helpful to form strong relationships with marketing companies and design firms that understand that SEO is complicated and they better serve their customers by bringing in an expert, rather than trying to fake it.

I get a lot of leads from partners in those areas as well. We can all help each other by being great at our specialties.

Dennis Yu – Blitzmetrics

Dennis Yu

The best way to get new clients for your SEO company is to have a LIGHTHOUSE client.

When you have a LIGHTHOUSE client, all the other companies similar to your LIGHTHOUSE want to follow you.

This generates traffic to your site, which results in automatically natural backlinks.
Press mentions in your industry are topical and high authority, without you needing to do “SEO” for anchor text or beg for do-follow links.

Your link velocity and mix of unique linking domains is also healthy, growing naturally.

What’s best is that you can use advertising to drive more SEO power and it’s totally white-hat.

As proof, do a search on “Facebook advertising” or related queries to see how I’m in most of the top search results, whether referenced or linked to.

Notice how I don’t even need my own sites in the SERPS, since I can leverage the authority of others to drive me the type of traffic I desire.

Bibi Raven – Bibi Buzz

Bibi Raven

Networking, networking and MOAH networking. Hi, I’m Bibi. I’m a social media addict – which brings a lot of distraction but also a lot of opportunities.

Using social platforms is the easiest and most affordable way to get clients if done right.

Identify who are the most influential people in your niche, and add them as friends. Then follow what they do, learn from it, and make a real connection with the ones you like. This only works when you’re genuinely interested in people and are an extrovert (at least online).

I know it sounds crazy but almost all the clients I’ve gotten come from me being busy on social. Because I have a pretty great network now, people also ask me to appear on podcasts, on events, and contribute to articles. And that brings in even more leads. But it all starts with social.

Andrew Sterling Ansley – Syndiket

Andrew Sterling Ansley

The strategy that has always helped me is to donate time helping others. I believe my entire agency started with a few clients that were acquired through some free projects that turned into paid recurring Revenue. Never overlook the power of the word of mouth after excellent service is provided.

To get these “starter” clients or “seed” clients, I do three different things.

1. I joined a co-working space to meet other business owners and to have a nice mobile office. They have a slack group and I just volunteer a couple of hours of my time.

2. Create a webpage that talks about your work donation and then you can just send an email blast to local businesses after scraping emails with hunter.io.

3. Interact on Facebook groups and take the time to respond and help people. I’ve gotten some of my favorite clients with this method.

Bonus: Just contact people in a similar space as you and trade leads. If someone does web design and you do SEO, send web design leads to them and get SEO leads from them. Make use of symbiotic business relationships

Daniel Cheung – HARO Liaison

Daniel Cheung

The best lead gen for me has been through giving before asking.

What I do is perform heavy research on a particular subject that I know is a pain point for small business owners, marketers, and freelance SEOs.

Link-building is an area that is always in demand because it is time-consuming, repetitive, and often filled with rejections.

Once I have identified a suitable pain point to the target, I will analyze the SERPs for what type of content is already available.

Usually, I’ll find that the ranking resources are high-level, and very few are actually actionable.

I tend to spend up to 2-days writing and editing, writing, and editing – until I have a finished product that anyone with zero SEO experience can pick up and follow. The trick here is that they do not have to understand the concepts because SEO can be very technical and the theory can often get in the way of the execution.

Once done, I’ll share it in various SEO-focused Facebook groups; carefully drip-feeding the shares so I do not fatigue my audience too quickly.

This is what I did 24-hours ago and have made 3 sales amounting to US$4,000.

The best thing is I didn’t even pitch my services. All I did was provide incredible value.

Patrik Bindea – Strodin.com

Patrik Bindea

Keep things super simple. You just need to: reach the right people with the right message.

1. Reach people who are most likely to want your services

There are lots of ways to reach people online. But here are three that actually work for SEO agencies.

You can rank (or bid) for local keywords. I.e “SEO agency in [town].

If that’s too competitive or too expensive, case studies always attract the right type of audience.

I.e “How a local wellness center grew their revenue 346% by doing these little tweaks to their website

2. Then position yourself as an expert so that price isn’t an issue
If your potential customer believes anyone can push a few buttons and rank their website, it will all come down to the “best price”.

And you never want to compete with someone on price because there’s always someone who can go lower.

What you want to do instead is make sure you’re perceived as an expert, someone who brings value to them AND is the most trustworthy advisor of the client.

And one of the best ways to build trust is to provide helpful content, useful information that helps them make an informed decision.

But if you like shortcuts, you can also use the “Authority by association” hack.

The way this works is that you simply write on other websites in the industry that already have the authority you are trying to build.

In this way, part of that credibility is transferred to you through association.

Amit Raj –Amit Digital Marketing

Amit Raj

The most successful source of clients for me has been bringing clients in organically through organic search traffic. But, the key is to rank for keywords with high intent.

Obvious ones like city + SEO, aren’t necessarily the way to do this. For me ranking for terms like most recently – “freelance link builder” or in the past, I’ve ranked for “freelance SEO consultant”, brought in the inquiries.

While the search volumes are relatively small, when leads do come through, I found the conversion rates were a lot higher than cold outreach methods.

On top of this, I make sure I have a presence on all social media platforms. And while I don’t use social media to its full potential, having some content on there, does bring in trickles of traffic and leads without me having to do much.

Karina Tama-Rutigliano – Senior Care Clicks

Karina Tama-Rutigliano

I am currently offering digital marketing services but not limited to only SEO services through my agency Senior Care Clicks. I am using direct mail to acquire new clients.

I offer them a free small service in order to catch their attention. I am also calling to follow up with the prospect that I have previously emailed. This is affordable and has provided me results.

You know marketing takes time but my approach doesn’t involve paid advertisement so it is affordable and allows me to connect and establish a relationship.

I also contribute articles to different reputable websites. This has have helped me to acquire clients. I have published on Forbes, SEMrush’s blog, Search Engine Watch, Oncrawl. I am also working on the SEO for my agency’s website.

From my experience, I will suggest trying a few marketing channels at a time. This will help you to learn what works and what doesn’t work. When we do many things at the same time, it becomes overwhelming and hard to get results.

My approach involves personal branding as a tough leader through my contributions, email marketing, and SEO.

Adam Green – Currant Web

Adam Green

It can be hard to convince some small business or even larges businesses the benefits of SEO but if you are patient and don’t try to hard sell it can be a lot easier.

At Currantweb, a lot of our client base mainly comes from word of mouth or social media, mainly Facebook. We have followings in multiple groups relating to small businesses, and the majority of small businesses are always wishing to get there name advertised out there.

In these groups, we offer advice on how small businesses can optimize their sites (on-page SEO), helpful tips on link building, and how you can do it yourself, web design tips to make your website stand out over your competitors, and other general but yet helpful information.

This allows us to build a trustful relationship with our following, and when they do wish to hire an SEO agency we are already the first agency to pop in their head.

The groups that we have created have not been created overnight, it has taken hard work and patience to build a large scale following, but if you educate the audience you have into how your services can benefit them, then you will rarely struggle for customers.

Olivian Breda

Olivian Breda

My main strategy for getting new clients for my SEO company is making my current clients happy, so they recommend me further. You see, there used to be a time when I just needed to introduce myself as “I’m Olivian Breda, I do SEO”, and this alone would get me some deals. Not anymore. The market is much more crowded these days.

I see a lot of people in digital marketing trying to promote their business to new clients, while not focusing on keeping the current clients happy. In my opinion, that’s a mistake.

Another strategy I do is content marketing. I write on three blogs I’m a co-founder of on online marketing-related subjects. Each of them has a newsletter service.

I post on 7 Twitter accounts, 3 Facebook accounts/pages, 1 Instagram profile, 1 LinkedIn accounts, and a few different YouTube accounts. This helps me keep up to date with the latest news on online marketing, but also helps me build a professional brand online.

I do post on other blogs, also, and from time to time on some Facebook groups, but these are only minor things in my online presence.

As a tip, I’d consider giving preferential treatment to YouTube and LinkedIn.

Zack West – Novomotus

Zack West

I take a value-first approach that revolves about helping small business owners understand how SEO can benefit them, the steps involved, and what they should expect.

We don’t use any magic methods in our approach to SEO and I find no issue detailing the exact formula we’d use in the services offered to a specific business.

This might include things like migrating a Wix website to WordPress, creating updated content, identifying and tracking specific keywords, setting up a Google My Business page, and getting started with an outreach campaign.

Ninety percent of the SEO we do for small businesses could be done in-house by one or two employees. We come in when businesses recognize the value of SEO, understand what actions need to be taken to capture that value, but don’t want to make an in-house hire to tackle it.

Put simply; I find helping a business owner understand what needs to be done is the best approach to earning their consideration for our services.

David Pagotto – SIXGUN

David Pagotto

In order to get SEO clients, we focus on SEO for our own website (you can’t get better evidence of your ability than this!), creating high-quality content that engages people and demonstrates our knowledge, referral sources and finding strong industry partners and industry participants through webinars and podcasts.

Once we get people to our website, being mindful of conversion factors is critical.

For example, we have a live chat function and make it very easy for people to get in touch to start the discovery process

Sarah Spence – Content Copywriting

Sarah Spence

We don’t rely on any paid advertising to get SEO clients – we just do ‘The 3 Rs’ to bring clients into our SEO company:

Results – we showcase our results as often as we can because the social proof of seeing our SEO efforts in action is a perfect reason to come on board with us

Recommendations – we ask all current and existing clients to recommend us to others. These personal recommendations are so powerful and were the biggest source of new clients for us.

Reviews – we also ask all our current and existing clients to leave us 5 star Google and Facebook reviews. Again, social proof is such a big influence here and for others to see that we’re well regarded is key to them making a decision, especially as so many in this industry are mavericks.

Lyndsey Maddox – Digital Third Coast

Lyndsey Maddox

Our best source of new clients for our SEO Company is through practicing what we preach – doing our own SEO and driving leads through organic search!

That said, SEO is one piece of our overall marketing strategy, which includes a great website, social media, using platforms like Clutch and paid search.

We also invest time in networking and building relationships with complementary agencies and businesses which leads to new clients through referrals.

David Waiter – Direction

David Waiter

As a fast-growing agency in a competitive location, Direction is always trying to think outside of the box when it comes to attracting new clients.

One tactic that has worked effectively is automated email campaigns. Essentially, we use a collection of white papers and ebooks as lead gen sources across our 3 main service areas (SEO, PPC, web design/development).

Once a user requests a report, we slowly drip them relevant information related to the main topic of the content they requested.

But here’s the kicker; if we can identify what city the individual is based out of if we happen to have content related to that particular geographic area (let’s say, Washington D.C.), we send only content related to that specific region.

This tactic helps establish our expertise in not only that particular service area but also that geographic location. Our conversion rates are much higher with location-specific email campaigns.

Milos Mudric – SEO Brainiac

Milos Mudric

One of the strategies (Other than basic SEO strategies such as publishing content based on keyword research and building the authority of my website) I’m currently considering is accepting payments in cryptocurrencies.

During the recession and similar crises, people seek alternative methods of payments, and considering that not many companies are offering this type of payment, this might be a way to reach a few potential clients more.

Syed Irfan Ajmal

Syed Irfan Ajmal

Getting new clients for your agency can be tough at certain points. This makes looking for more than one client.

Following are the tips on getting more clients for your SEO agency:

1. Make sure to optimize your site and be the possible number one in your locality when a certain individual uses a search engine to know about SEO agency near you. This way you can get more clients.

2. Become an expert in one niche and target your audience towards that niche. When people are searching for a specific keyword, make sure you have content that is available on your website.

3. Guest blogging is the most important aspect of getting new clients.

4. Get a CTA [call to action] on your website and grab those emails from potential customers. You can always use email marketing for your business.

Manuel Martinez

Manuel Martinez

One of the benefits of being specialized in a sub-niche of SEO (in my case SEO for online gambling businesses) is that prospecting is slightly easier than when offering generic consultancy.

Once you know your field and have a good understanding of what type of help business within that niche you look for, there are a few tactics that tend to work well when scouting for new clients.

First, I look for recently purchased domains that have my target keywords in the domain name. I use sites like Flippa, NameCheap and GoDaddy and monitor new sites that pop up.

You can then put the sites on your own watchlist so that you can reach out when the site has gone live and they are operating. You can also use something like IFTTT and create a rule that will ping you once a twitter account using your target keyword has been created.

The second step involves reaching out to the site owner. Finding the contact details can be tricky so you would need to do some Sherlock Holmes:ing to get a Twitter account or email address. Chances are they know what they are doing so go straight to the point with what you are asking.

I like to simply say something like “Hey X, I noticed that you just launched xyz.com – if you need help with SEO, feel free to connect. I have done SEO for sites like x, y, and z and I think I can help kickstart your organic growth” or something along those lines.

I find that roughly 5/100 would respond and around 20% of those become clients.

Good luck!

Marko Cvijic – Web Sharks

Marko Cvijic

Linkedin.

The first step in our process is to find companies in need of SEO and PPC staff – companies that posted in a job section on Linkedin.

Then, instead of applying for a job, we would look for the decision-makers in those companies who posted the job – usually, those people are directors of marketing or owners (in case of mid-sized companies) – and send them a short email.

Email is personalized.

We usually use two versions:

– A – a short explanation of how I saw their job posting in which they’re looking for an SEO specialist and instead of opting for a single person, we suggest our agency as a vendor instead. In the second part of an email, we would mention that an initial SEO analysis is done and is attached as a PDF.

The second mail would usually come 3-4 days afterward with a proposition for a quick video call during which I would explain findings from the initial analysis and would try to close the prospect.

– B – shorter version of an email with a text “I did an initial SEO analysis of your site…” which is accompanied by a screenshot of their website with an overlay effect and a video play button over an image, with additional text after an image “…if you are interested to see a video of an initial analysis, please reply to my message…”

Both options were equally successful.

Brett Downes – HARO HelpersBrett Downes

Since the COVID-19 has started most of our clients have paused their campaigns as they are, understandably, slashing their marketing budgets.

However, we have 2 medical clients who have both tripled their marketing budget, as media outlets and journalists are asking for opinions from medical people every hour of every day from Haro and other similar outlets.

We’ve been recording what other medical/healthcare companies (bar our clients) have been quoted regularly in the media outlets. Using this info, we approach their direct rivals/competitors using this as a stick, saying we could do the same outreach for them, only better and get them more coverage.

Our usual sales conversion is 1 in 4 (25%), but this focused approach on healthcare companies it is over 50%. The new sales we are making has more than compensated for the revenue we have lost from suspended clients.

Stuart Cooke – Levity Digital

Stuart Cooke

One of our main strategies for attracting new clients is to create detailed guides that our specific target audience will find useful.

For example, we have created a guide on how to create a buyer persona for your business. This is something that business owners/marketing managers/directors etc. will be interested in learning more about.

They will be able to use our advice and implement it themselves but many would rather let a specialist do it for them.

So, once you establish yourself as a trusted source of information then they are more likely to use your services. This is a long game but one that can reap genuine results and trust in your brand.

Wayne Thompson – Colewood

Wayne Thompson

At Colewood, the strategy for gaining new clients is pretty straightforward.

As a digital marketing agency that has been around for over 20 years, we’ve dealt with a lot of different businesses over the years and what they all have in common is wanting to be successful online.

We know there are a lot of companies out there that promise this success and don’t deliver on it.

We find this is mostly due to agencies not explaining things to clients and keeping things hidden from them. That’s why our strategy for getting new clients is to help them understand as much as possible and prove that our actions show positive results.

From here we have working examples that other business owners appreciate and can see the reasoning behind.

This approach has really served us well, especially through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has seen a huge number of businesses require this type of reassuring helpful approach as there is so much uncertainty.

In times like these, approaches to helping businesses are really paying off and we’re actually busier than usual helping businesses and giving them the advice and guidance they need to see them through these times.

Chevie Publicover – Siege Digital Marketing

Chevie Publicover

There are two parts to our strategy in attracting new SEO clients.

Part one is submitting detailed answers to HARO requests. By filtering our Inbox for emails from HARO that contain certain keywords we can quickly be notified and answer requests. This helps us to gain high authority links to our website.

Part two is more in-depth but uses keyword research through SEMrush to find long-tail keywords that we can answer in high-quality in-depth blogs and videos. By using SEMrush’s “Keyword Magic Tool” we can filter based on queries that have a question.

We can also use advanced filters to sort by low competition keywords in our industry that we feel confident we can easily rank on the first page. Then we can write extremely detailed blogs with accompanying videos, answering each of these questions.

Between gaining authority links from HARO and building high-quality content we can continually build our domain authority and target higher volume keywords.

As our website starts gaining authority and has some social proof of our work, we can then begin lead generation through helpful PDF downloads. This creates a large email list to communicate and begin nurturing leads into clients.

By demonstrating this exact formula to clients we can show them the value in SEO. To speed up the process we will also be using PPC to retarget website visitors and begin exploring high converting lookalike audiences.

Filip Silobod – Honest Marketing

Filip Silobod

It’s a bit of a controversial topic, should an SEO agency/individual or digital marketing agency rank well themselves? We try to walk the talk and make our website rank too. There is no better proof that you are good at SEO than when your agency/personal site is ranking high.

It means another thing, that you trust SEO to bring in leads. Imagine being asked a question form a SAS potential client “Ok you recommend SEO to get us leads, but you are not doing SEO for your own business.” It’s tough to get out of that one.

So yeah, I try to rank our site high. That is one source of leads, and the best source of leads because those leads have a high conversion rate. One person said that they saw my site rank high so they assumed it meant it’s a high-quality service/business.

We also do some PPC and social ads. The best way to get clients other than referrals from others is to be there where people are searching for the services that you offer. Often times that starts with googling.

Offering web design and development is a great way to get SEO clients. So many businesses look to make a new site. They pick a web design company and when there are finished the web design company offers them SEO, social media, etc.

A good amount of them goes with the service because they don’t want to spend time looking for an SEO provider. Such SEO services are often poor, but the clients don’t know the difference between good and bad SEO.


I hope that the techniques presented in this expert roundup will help more freelancers and companies get SEO clients. For this, we need to spread the word about this post to more people who are searching for ideas. Help us to help them by sharing this post on social media.

If you have a friend that told you he lost many or all of his clients, send him or her this article. Also, feel free to share the roundup on SEO Facebook groups, or any other social networks where there are SEO communities.

A strategy from this post may help someone to get a new SEO client and get money to put food on the table.


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