​How to get new SEO clients and make them stay


With SEO being one of the most successful marketing and promotional methods, many agencies offer these types of services. Some companies try to set up SEO campaigns on their own. After failing to achieve expected results, they turn to professionals.

While many different companies require SEO services, finding clients can be problematic. With thousands of agencies offering some type of SEO services, the industry is highly competitive.

Let’s look a little closer into getting SEO clients and making them stay with your agency.

How to get SEO clients: Starting from scratch

If you are a new company on the market, attracting clients can be complicated. However, with the right approach, you can be working with your first client within weeks.

Paid advertising

While you are an SEO expert, you probably have some experience with paid advertising as well. It means you know how well it can generate traffic to your website and attract leads.

For a new company, paid ads could be the only way to connect with the target audience and gain access to first clients.

Search engine optimization

Since you are an SEO expert, you’ve probably started your own SEO campaign already. However, some agencies fail to work on their own SEO due to the lack of time. Don’t forget to start the SEO campaign as soon as you launch your agencies. It will pay off eventually.

Remember, your potential clients will look at your website to understand how well you do your job. If you don’t have a portfolio just yet, your website is your best ambassador. Make sure to employ all your best SEO strategies for your own company.

Word-of-mouth marketing

Many new SEO agencies forget to use their established network. Be it friends, family or past co-workers, some of them are likely to know someone who needs SEO services. As a startup, you may have to be ready to work for a lower fee.

Employing word-of-mouth marketing can help you build a hefty portfolio and allow you to practice your skills. Don’t hesitate to do the “dirty” work in order to build a stellar reputation for further word-of-mouth promotion.

Where to find SEO clients: places to look

While you are waiting for your paid ads and SEO strategies to work out, you need to start an active search for clients. The majority of agencies usually turns to Google and asks around.

If your SEO efforts aren’t paying off just yet, you need to go to the places where your potential clients may be asking questions.

1.SEO-related websites

You may have asked a question or two on such websites as Moz, HubSpot, and SearchEngineLand to get professional inspiration or assistance. Many people who need SEO turn to these websites for help.

It takes a while for small business owners to realize that their SEO efforts aren’t paying off. If you catch them at this stage, you have a ready-to-convert prospect.

2.LinkedIn and Facebook Groups

Another place to consider is LinkedIn and Facebook groups. That’s where business owners and marketing teams may be looking for advice from their colleagues.

Make sure to be the one to answer these questions and show your expertise. You can even send a direct message to such users with the offer of your services.

3.Yahoo Answers and Quora

People turn to these two forums to find answers to just about anything, including SEO issues. Many potential SEO clients try to solve their problems by searching for professional advice there.

Look for SEO-related questions and be the first to answer them in the most professional manner. It won’t just get you clients but raise brand awareness and improve your own SEO efforts.

Get new SEO clients by offering a free report

Once you acquire some leads, converting them can be complicated. One of the best ways to pique someone’s interest is to offer a freebie. A free SEO report can lure some of your potential clients in.

Think of this offer as a powerful investment in your client acquisition strategy coupled with an opportunity to practice.

Make the report useful by addressing the key pain points of the potential client and giving basic optimization tips. When the client receives a report, which reflects issues accurately, they are likely to ask your help for fixing them.

You could also offer a free keyword ranking report. Many different tools exist to create a comprehensive report, which can give your potential clients an overview of their ranking issues.

Email to send to potential SEO clients

Once you have an email list of potential clients, you can send a promotional email. To create an email with high conversion potential, you need to learn as much as you can about the client. If you manage to find their website, you can generate an SEO report.

This can help you identify your client’s problems and talk about them in the email. The message should contain:

  • Insights into your client’s current SEO position
  • Actionable steps that show what you can do to improve the situation
  • Information about how you’ve helped similar clients in the past.

In the email, you can point out:

  • Keyword issues
  • Success of the competition
  • Missed opportunities

Make sure the email is as short as possible while being filled with actionable advice.

How to explain SEO to clients

Even if a client understands that the company needs SEO, they usually don’t have a clear understanding of what search engine optimization is all about. Your future collaboration depends on how well they understand the concept.

What is search engine optimization?

When explaining what SEO is, make sure to give examples relevant to the client’s business. Everyone knows that SEO should bring the website to the top spots of the SERPs. You need to go further to explain how it works.

For example, if your client is a flower shop, explain how filling out Google My Business listings will make it visible to buyers searching for “Flower shop in LA.”

Go on to explain that while Google is the king of search engines, it’s important to remember other options like Bing and Yahoo. So optimizing for these search engines won’t be a surprise to them in the future.

How does SEO work?

Since SEO is rather complex, it can be hard to explain how it works. You can elaborate on the power of content and keywords. These two concepts are easy to grasp. Most likely, your clients have experience searching for certain information and then working with the website that offers it.

Demonstrate how keywords work when searching with Google. You can run a quick scan of their competition’s website and show how their keyword strategy works.

Make sure to answer common SEO questions from clients even if they don’t ask them. Try to explain as many basics as you can without overwhelming the client with jargon and technical information.

Questions to ask new SEO clients

Before you start working with a new client, it’s important to figure out what they expect from this collaboration. You should learn about their needs and goals while they should understand your capabilities.

Here are a few questions to ask new SEO clients:

  • What are your key goals and KPIs?
  • What is your current marketing ROI? How do you want to change it?
  • Do you have a buyer persona?
  • Which geographic locations are you targeting?
  • Who are your main competitors?
  • What other marketing campaigns are you running?
  • Have you ever been hit by a Google penalty?
  • How involved would you like to be with the SEO effort?
  • What is your budget?

You can even consider creating an SEO questionnaire for clients. It will give them time to answer your questions in detail.

The best way to get SEO clients

The best way to get SEO clients is to build a top-notch marketing campaign, which includes SEO efforts, email marketing, phone marketing, and paid search ads. While such a campaign is likely to succeed, it requires time and substantial investment.

While you are working on this type of campaign, you can acquire SEO clients by asking around, visiting forums, and making free offers. By the time your SEM (search engine marketing) tactics start bringing results, you can already have a small portfolio to show to the potential clients.

How to get SEO clients: The takeaway

Getting SEO clients involves promoting your company on search engines and beyond. When you are just starting out, you can capitalize on word-of-mouth marketing, recommendations, and paid advertising.

As you go further, take full advantage of what you do the best. Promote yourself through search engine optimization.

Once you get first SEO clients, you need to make sure you are on the same page. Use the above tips to explain search engine optimization in simple terms. This can help you streamline your collaboration and turn existing clients into your future brand ambassadors. 

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