If you want your SEO agency to continue growing, earning more revenue and enjoying more stability, you’ll need to ensure you have a steady stream of new clients—or increased sales from your existing client base.
But investing time and resources on new SEO clients can spread your team thin.
So how do successful agency owners find new SEO clients without compromising their existing workflows?
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When the SEO Industry is Growing, But Your SEO Business Isn’t…
As an industry that continues to grow, organic search is also extremely competitive.
All sales and marketing strategies need to start with sound principles, and any competent agency knows this. By adhering to these foundational principles, you’ll not only increase your chances of getting seen, but you’ll also demonstrate your knowledge of marketing fundamentals:
- Demographic targeting. All your strategies should be targeted to one specific demographic (or multiple specific demographics, with a segmented strategy on your target audience). Aiming your words, ads, and sales pitches toward more specific audiences means you’ll instantly reduce your competition and simultaneously increase your relevance to that demographic. The better you understand the demographic, and the more finely tuned your strategy is, the more effective it’s going to be.
- Competitive differentiation. There are dozens, if not hundreds of marketing agencies like yours, so what makes yours different? In ads, marketing materials, and sales pitches, it’s vital to showcase how you’re different. That might mean lower prices, higher-quality services, a field of specialty, or even better customer service. In any case, it’s imperative to stand out. There are those who drill down into markets like SEO for lawyers or SEO for dentists. Sometimes niching down may be exactly what you need.
- Valuable offers. If you’re going to persuade new clients to enlist your services, you need to convince them of the value you bring. Don’t just pitch a new service; explain how that service is going to yield a positive ROI. Don’t just tell them a strategy is important, or that their competitors are already using it; show them the numbers, and explain how the strategy will affect their bottom line.
- Experimentation. No client acquisition strategy starts out flawless. The only way to improve is to try different approaches, measure the results, and adjust your tactics in the future.
Ultimately, every strategy can qualify as an “outbound” or “inbound” attempt to acquire SEO clients.
Outbound strategies rely on intentionally reaching out to new prospects, pitching them on your services and persuading them to pull the trigger on a new contract.
They come in many forms, but typically include traditional advertising and the use of an in-house team of salespeople.
- Cold emailing: Identify potential SEO leads and reach out to them through email, highlighting the benefits of SEO and how it can improve their business.
- LinkedIn outreach: Use LinkedIn to search for businesses that could benefit from your services and reach out to them through direct messages.
- Networking events: Attend industry events, conferences, and meetups to network with potential local businesses and offer local SEO services.
- Referral programs: Offer existing clients incentives for referring new clients who could benefit from your SEO expertise.
- Guest posting: Write guest posts for industry blogs and include a call-to-action that offers a good hook to would-be clients.
- Cold calling: Reach out to potential SEO customers through phone calls, highlighting the benefits of SEO and how it can improve their business. You can even offer incentives like free SEO audits or competitive keyword research.
- Content marketing: Create valuable content on your website, such as blog posts and whitepapers, that can help pipeline prospects understand the value of you could provide and how they can benefit.
- Direct mail: Send targeted mailers to potential SEO clients, highlighting the benefits of SEO and how it can improve their business.
- Social media: Use social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to reach out to potential prospects and promote your SEO business.
Outbound strategies can be effective, but they require strict attention to efficiency. Hiring a team of full-time sales members might seem like a strong way to secure new sales, but it’s only worthwhile if you’re properly incentivizing those team members, measuring your results, and constantly tweaking your approach for improvement.
The other problem with outbound strategies is that they tend to have finite value; a targeted ad is only useful so long as it remains paid for, and your list of prospects is only valuable until you’ve exhausted it. Inbound strategies, by contrast, don’t suffer from these drawbacks.
Inbound strategies consist of tactics designed to naturally increase the visibility and attractiveness of your brand (and website). Again, there are many forms here, but search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing are some of the most common.
Inbound marketing has several advantages over its outbound counterpart. Most of the strategies you’ll use here are permanent, or at least long-term, and will yield value indefinitely, increasing their ROI over time. They forgo the need for a robust full-time team of salespeople. And most inbound strategies are infinitely scalable; in other words, they can serve businesses of any size and at any stage of growth.
The best benefit of inbound strategies is that nearly all of them complement one another; investing in two strategies simultaneously can improve your results in both areas. Investing in multiple strategies can eventually result in a polished, lead-generating machine—and one that doesn’t require much maintenance.
For example, take the cohesion between these inbound marketing strategies:
- Search engine optimization (SEO). SEO relies on both onsite and offsite changes that increase your site’s rankings in search engines. Search engines like Google measure your site’s authority based on its available content, its technical advantages, and the number and quality of links pointing to it, then use your authority to determine how to rank you for queries relevant to the content on your site. There are hundreds of technical factors, like how your site is coded, that could affect your rankings, but perfecting them can make your site far more visible to your prospects.
- Content marketing. Onsite written and video content are some of your best tools for improving your onsite search optimization, but also serve as unique lead generation tools of their own. Providing valuable insights can improve your brand reputation and offer the opportunity to “convert” new visitors with a clever or persuasive call-to-action.
- Link building. Link building with an offsite content strategy is one of your best tools for lead generation. Not only will you get more brand exposure and offsite visibility for your agency, but you’ll also generate an immediate stream of referral traffic to your site. Links will also, over time, increase your authority so you can rank higher in search engines.
- Social media marketing. Social media marketing is an ideal channel to use while circulating and popularizing your content. It’s also good for building an audience, which you can then turn into a viable lead pool for future perusal. With high-quality content, this is also a strong tool for attracting new inbound links.
It’s incredibly difficult to manage a comprehensive inbound marketing strategy all on your own, so the most effective route here is to outsource at least some of your needs to another agency that specializes in inbound marketing. There are some risks when outsourcing strategies like link building, but as long as you choose a trustworthy partner, you’ll see a return on your investment.
Capitalization on Existing Clients
Remember, client retention is almost universally less expensive than client acquisition. In addition to utilizing strategies to attract or win new clients, it’s important for you to optimize your organization to reduce the chances of clients leaving—while also pushing for more sales from your existing client base. For example, you can improve your offerings with higher-efficiency and therefore a lower-cost SEO service, or you can try to upsell them on bigger, more effective SEO packages.
If your agency needs a compelling link building service to add to your suite of offerings, or if you’re looking to outsource some of your marketing strategies to save time and resources for use with other client acquisition strategies, contact SEO.co today! We’ll provide you with a free consultation, and/or a quote for our white label SEO link building services.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions for those looking to scale up agency sales either by servicing SEO clients directly or by providing white label SEO services.
How can I find potential clients for my SEO agency?
There are several ways SEO agencies find new SEO clients.
You can use social media, attend networking events, offer referral programs, reach out to businesses through cold calling or email, and create valuable content that can attract potential clients to your website.
You can also leverage SEO tools to analyze and identify businesses that could benefit from SEO services.
What are the best ways to pitch SEO services to potential clients?
To pitch SEO services to potential clients, you need to clearly explain the benefits of SEO and how it can help their business.
You should also highlight your agency’s experience and expertise in the field.
Be sure to tailor your pitch to the specific needs and goals of the client and provide examples of successful SEO campaigns you have executed for other local SEO clients.
How can I differentiate my SEO company from competitors?
To differentiate your SEO agency from competitors, you should focus on your unique selling points.
This could be your SEO expertise in a specific industry or niche, your experience working with businesses of a certain size, or your use of cutting-edge SEO techniques.
You should also highlight your agency’s past successes and provide testimonials from satisfied clients.
What kind of services should I offer to attract new clients?
To get more SEO leads, you should offer a range of agency services that can help businesses improve their online presence.
This may include keyword research and optimization, content creation and optimization, on-page optimization, link building, local SEO, and analytics and reporting.
You should also be able to tailor your services to the specific needs and goals of each client.
How can I set the right price for my services?
To set the right price for your SEO consulting, you should consider factors such as the scope of the project, the level of competition in the client’s industry, and the amount of work required to achieve the desired results. You should also research industry standards and pricing models to ensure that your prices are competitive and fair.
How do I create a compelling SEO proposal for SEO leads?
To create a compelling SEO proposal for potential SEO clients, you should clearly outline the scope of the project, the specific digital marketing services you will provide, and the timeline and budget for the project. You should also explain how your marketing services will benefit the client’s business and provide examples of past successes. Be sure to tailor your proposal to the specific needs and goals of the client.
What metrics should I use to measure the success of my for clients?
To measure the success of your SEO services for clients, you should track metrics such as website traffic, keyword rankings, conversion rates, and revenue generated from organic search. You should also use analytics tools to analyze user behavior on the client’s website and make data-driven decisions to improve their SEO strategy.
How can I effectively manage client expectations for SEO results?
To effectively manage client expectations for SEO results, you should be transparent about the time and effort required to achieve the desired results.
You should also provide regular updates on the progress of the project and explain any challenges or setbacks along the way. Setting realistic goals and expectations from the outset can help ensure that the client is satisfied with the results.
How can I get more referrals from existing SEO clients?
To get more SEO leads from existing clients, you should provide excellent customer service and ensure that the client is satisfied with your campaign performance.
You can also offer incentives for referrals, such as a discount on future services or a referral bonus.
Be sure to ask for referrals directly and make it easy for clients to refer others to your agency.
Get SEO clients from the best sales and marketing channel ever: client referrals!
How can I build trust with during the sales process?
To build trust with during the sales process, you should be transparent about your agency’s experience and expertise in SEO.
You should also provide case studies and testimonials from past SEO clients, and get more SEO clients by allowing your SEO leads to talk directly with past successes.
Struggling to get more SEO leads and SEO clients as you start your SEO business?
We’d love to discuss partnership opportunities! Get in touch.
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