The SEO world could be easily renowned as one of the busiest and most competitive industries in the world. That’s why it is quite hard to get SEO clients nowadays.
Not only is the profession rapidly growing and ever-changing but also very unpredictable. To make your mark in this industry, you need to be informed about the latest trends, techniques, and tricks to attract your ideal clients.
That explains why finding SEO clients is a tough nut to crack.
But what if we make this task easier by doing all the homework on proven strategies for finding SEO clients and present our research in the form of an article?
Isn’t that something to look out for?
That’s exactly what we did.
In this article, we explored the ins and outs of locating new SEO clients for people who are in the SEO-related business.
On top of that, we also delved into all the information you need to know about reaching SEO clients in an efficient and non-salesy manner, in order to create a long term business relationship.
Fundamentals of Finding SEO Clients:
There are many different ways to find new potential clients for your business. Bellow, we will explore all of them one by one.
Engage in Forums
This is one of the most suggested and somewhat underrated option for building the reputation of your SEO company.
Get your brand name in front of millions of people by participating in niche-related forums where your target group can be found.
Apart from that, you can also take it to question platforms such as Yahoo Answers, Reddit, Facebook Questions, and Quora.
When you are active on these platforms, you will inevitably come across potential clients that need help with their SEO.
Don’t pitch the service directly though. Instead, answer their questions in the best manner possible and let them figure out the rest.
Offer a Free gig to potential clients
Is there anyone who likes to work without getting paid? I’m sure I don’t.
But here’s a perspective to consider: Free gigs or a Freemium business model can attract potential customers and offer a chance of interaction with them.
Since you can engage with them, you are still getting something out of it: Strong leads.
Apart from that, a free job will show potential clients how skilled you are and eventually turn them into paid clients.
For example, offer them a free-of-charge SEO audit, which should not take too long to complete. It may seem like a small job but it will offer tons of value to business owners and help them fix their existing mistakes.
Find a Niche
A Jack of all trades is the master of none – remember that quote?
The same goes for the SEO business. In short, the best thing you can do is to focus on one specific group of people that you know and understand well.
You might think that taking that road will limit your opportunities and reduce the number of your clients.
However, time and time again, it has been proven that, by focusing on one niche, you build authority as an expert.
After all, the majority of people looking to invest a lot of money into SEO are not looking for the cheapest solution, but rather for the one that can solve their specific problem in the best possible way.
Be an Educator
Since SEO is rapidly growing in popularity and becoming a more complex skill to master, it’s important to keep educating yourself consistently.
Keep educating yourself about different SEO metrics, discover new ranking techniques, tools, and trends within the market. Then, pass on the information to the clients as well.
You can further build your authority as an SEO expert by starting your own Mailing list, sharing your new knowledge on Social Media channels or even make a part-time income giving lectures to your local university.
Utilize Social Media Platforms
Since we briefly touched upon it above, why not go in further depth? Social media is a powerful tool to help you get SEO clients.
There are thousands of reputable SEO service providers who find their clients solely by optimizing Facebook ads and engaging with their fans on the platform.
Start by making an SEO-related group on Facebook to share your knowledge with small business owners.
Show them the ropes, offer them free value. In time, when you start running your ads, you will have a better idea of the type of people you want to target.
Finding SEO Clients with Inbound Marketing
If you are a veteran in SEO but still find it hard to get SEO clients, this one will put a smile on your face.
To ensure that your business or any type of freelance service will get the attention of potential clients, you need to follow 4 distinct steps that will be reviewed in this chapter:
- Perform keyword research
- Do on-page SEO optimization by following a few easy tips
- Build your backlink strategy to improve your rankings
- Make a lead magnet and add a CTA
Start by thinking of yourself as a professional in a certain niche, looking to grow his audience, instead of trying to make sales. All the content you write will, therefore, be focused on providing value and not directly aimed at helping you get SEO clients.
Start by writing about topics that your audience would be interested in.
Write your content based on what your audience wants to read
The most crucial part is finding and presenting a topic that people want to read. And the way to do this correctly is by utilizing keyword research – finding keywords with a relatively high search volume and medium to low keyword difficulty.
After that, you need to ensure that the content you create fits the audience you are targeting as well as recognizing in which part of the funnel they are currently in – discovery, awareness or consideration. Let’s take a look at how this process looks like:
Step 1: Keyword Research
First, find a topic with a low difficulty score by doing keyword research. This means that the difficulty for your article to rank is lower compared to other keywords.
In this case, if you manage to create an article that is better than the rest, you will see yourself in the high ranks of Google. With this strategy, you will also have an idea on how many backlinks you need to end up on the first page:
- 0-20 difficulty score: <10-23 backlinks
- 21-40 difficulty score: 24-80 backlinks
- 41-60 difficulty score: 81-250 backlinks
- 61+ difficulty score: a lot of backlinks
Step 2: Choose the topic you want to write about
Finding the Topic
Let’s say there is a Slack competitor that is looking for new clients. First, we use Google to find the most popular Slack competitor blogs by searching for more general terms like the following:
- Best Slack competitor
- Slack competitor blog
- Articles on Slack competitor
After a bit of digging around, we see that a blog called “Top 11+ Slack Competitors to look out for in 2019” looks promising.
We simply copy the URL and explore its keywords with a low difficulty score that brings them a ton of traffic.
Semrush is the best tool to perform this job – copy the URL (1), hover over Organic Search (2) and click Positions (3). Filter the keywords starting by lowest keyword difficulty score, and you will be able to see the topics based on unexploited niches.
We were able to find the above topics in less than 10 minutes.
Now, let’s find some keywords for them:
Click on the keyword you would like to write content for (1), head over to related keywords (2), and check all the synonyms for the keyword you discovered (3).
Decide on your topic and start writing!
Step 3: Creating and optimizing your content
Start by searching for similar or related topics on the content you want to create.
Go through existing topics and see what has been talked about already. Also, check what has not been covered in detail yet.
You don’t want to write the same as everyone else. Instead, you should aim to write an article that is better than your competition. Keep a list of the pages you found; you will need them a little later on.
Make sure the content is SEO friendly
When you find the keyword and the topic, you have to make sure that Google understands what you are writing about. In order to do this, you need to optimize your content.
Here are 10 tips to keep in mind in order to see your content rank high:
- The headline (H1) should include the keyword you are trying to rank for (and be shorter than 60 characters).
- Your SEO title (Meta-title) should be the same or similar to your headline and also include the focus keyword.
- Add a keyword that taps into your readers’ emotions like – crazy, awesome, deal of the year, Can’t miss this.
- Add alt-tags to your images within the post.
- Make sure your focus keyword is in the first 50 words of the content’s body.
- Include 2-3 related (LSI) keywords in the text.
- Include your focus keyword in 0.3% to 0.5% of the total content.
- Add your focus keyword in the permalink.
- Include your focus keyword in the Meta-description.
- Include the focus keyword in your sub-headings (H2).
Follow the tips above, write a world-class article of 2000-2500 words and you should be ready to add your backlinks.
Step 4: Create a link-building strategy
Google sees backlinks as proof that your content serves the audience it’s written for – the more backlinks your content has, the higher it will rank. Therefore, you will need a good link-building strategy.
Well… You are in luck because we developed just the one you need.
Remember, in the previous chapter, when you made a list of pages to help you write the best article on a certain topic? Keep it in front of you now because we’re about to make use of it.
We will discover pages that link to articles that are of less quality than the one you wrote and email them, asking to consider adding your link as a resource.
When you go to SEMrush and explore each of the URLs you found(1), you will be able to retrieve this information (2). Make sure you focus on links that lead to one specific page (3).
You can then export your findings as CSV (4), in order to go through the websites and find their contact information.
Usually, when reaching out to about 30-100 sites, you will get just as many backlinks as you need to be placed on the top of Google’s results.
Step 5: Getting leads
Your article is now published and you have added a couple of backlinks to it. It is slowly starting to climb its way up to the first page.
What you should focus on now is adding a Lead Magnet and a CTA in order to collect the information of your potential clients.
Building a lead magnet
Try to go through the journey of your lead. This will help you serve him/her better:
- When a problem arises – the first place to check for a solution is Google.
- This is how your article is discovered in the first place (you offer a solution).
- If you create an article focus on real estate information, how do you get the reader to hand over his email address?
- You could create a useful ebook or a cheat sheet to save him some time.
- You could also offer a free consultation call.
- Or create a checklist PDF that can only be downloaded after he/she inputs an email address.
Try to visualize the process of discovery all the way up to conversion, stage-by-stage, in order to get a better idea about your potential customer’s needs.
Adding a CTA
Finally, once you create the best lead magnet out there, its time to add a strong Call to Action (CTA).
This is a type of “nudge” to have customers prompted to fill in their personal details (a.k.a. email address).
There are several types of CTA’s you can use to capture reader’s information but three categories most people use for it. These are:
- Opt-in / pop-up box – These are boxes that pop-up in the front of your screen while you are reading a piece of content or first visit a website. These are usually accompanied by a strong and personalized message to have you fill in your information and get access to a lead magnet. Here’s an example:
- Inline box – This kind of CTA does not disturb the reading process of the reader is usually packed in the content neatly. It shows more respect for the reader and is less “pushy”. Once again, the goal here is to deliver a lead magnet in exchange for an email address:
- Side-bar – Much like Inline boxes, this one does not disturb the reading process. While inline boxes are usually more popular when looking to deliver a lead magnet, Side-bars also have good potential. However, they are mostly used in order for readers to simply join a newsletter of some sort.And that’s the step-by-step process on how you can get SEO clients through inbound marketing. Next up, let’s explore how Google Alerts can help you nurture your leads!
Google Alerts – Nurturing potential SEO clients
After you discover potential SEO clients, your job is only half done. Now you should take steps to convert these contacts into clients.
You are going to need more tools when it comes to maintaining these contacts with your potential clients. Fortunately, there is another tool that you can use in order to make this process a lot easier and more efficient.
You can make use of Google Alerts.
With Google Alerts you can set up track alerts and notifications to your leads.
This way you see what your clients are up to and learn how to help them the best way possible.
If, on the other hand, you know that specific contact is interested in a particular hobby or has any other unique interests, you can set Google alerts to follow the term and send the most interesting information through.
Not only will your lead appreciate the effort, but he will also feel special because you remember him.
Setting up Google Alert:
- Head Over the Google Alert website and search for your lead with keywords (company or client’s name).
- After typing the terms, Google will narrow down results of webpages and articles indexed with those keywords
- Now enter your email address to these results and click ‘create an alert.’
- You can also create a folder in the inbox by labeling it as ‘Google Alerts.’ This way you can manage all the alerts to be sent from there.
- We recommend setting up the alert every time you get a lead because it’s a great way of nurturing the relationship with clients.
You will now receive an email whenever your client is up to something in the professional sphere.
This can be a great way to strike up a conversation online or to offer additional support from your side.
Moreover, when you go through these alerts, you will come across interesting information about the opportunities and leads you are following and may even learn more about them.
We also recommend adding this information to your notes (note taking app or CRM software) to make sure you never miss on the lead or opportunity. This could be an app as simple as Evernote or, if you are working in teams, you can utilize tools like Asana.
With all the latest updates on your client, and after collecting all this information in one place, you can now use it all in an efficient way.
And if you think you can’t find time to comb through all the alerts, remember that its not the expertise that will make clients choose you, but rather your communication skills.
By becoming knowledgeable of your client’s business needs, you’ll be able to offer valuable advice and customized solutions.
Over to You:
We hope you enjoyed reading this article. We have narrowed down the best ways to get SEO clients online, including all the steps you need to get there. Here they are once again:
- Engage in forums
- Offer a free gig to potential clients
- Find a niche
- Be an educator
- Utilize Social Media platforms
- Use Inbound marketing to get new leads
- Use Google alerts to nurture the leads
If you still fail to see any results with the above-mentioned steps, make adjustments to the connection messages, tweak the follow-up texts, try different keywords (in the LinkedIn Helper Extension search bar) to find potential clients.
Md Mohsin Ansari is a Marketing Manager at Troop Messenger – a business messenger that comes with all the requisite features. Mohsin is accountable for analyzing the market trends, demographics, and dealing with all promotional and media channels. Connect with him on Linkedin.