SEO is one of the major game changers in the digital landscape. Ironically, not all businesses have optimized websites. A 2015 survey shows that only 25% of small businesses in the US use SEO as a marketing tool, and this can mean a lot of missed opportunities for these businesses.
This can also mean that some businesses have yet to fully understand the value of SEO, or are most likely new to the industry. If anything, their transition to SEO depends on how you’re going to sell this service.
Getting SEO clients is a two-fold approach: client qualification and credibility. First, you need to determine where potential clients will come from. Second, you need to show them that you are the expert to trust.
How do you fit this approach to your strategy? You can get started with these steps:
Look at Your Initial Market
The first question you need to tick off your list is “Who do you plan to sell your SEO service to?” Identifying your initial market provides you the criterion for qualifying your clients when selling SEO. There are two ways you can build your initial market: targeting businesses that already have digital marketing services, or focus on a niche.
Targeting businesses with digital marketing services is often the practical approach, as you already know they have a digital marketing budget. If they already have an existing provider, you only need to show the results you’re getting from your methodology—as we said in our previous Boost Your Business webinar, make them uncomfortable with their results.
Focusing on a niche, on the other hand, allows you to open the flood gates for more clients. Which industry provides the highest retention rate? Identifying niche verticals not only helps you build your portfolio as an SEO provider, but also prevents you from cannibalizing your chances of owning a specific type of client.
To build your initial market and get leads, you need to be where they are:
- Local events and conferences – Attending local events and conferences provide you with limitless opportunities to meet potential clients face-to-face. This helps you attract leads and build your reputation.
- Referrals – A direct referral from a happy client can add a strong weight to your credibility scale. Personal endorsements are an easy way to close a sale with an SEO prospect.
- Workshops – Some businesses are not too keen to invest in SEO simply because they don’t know the industry. Providing free workshops and training can eliminate this objection and make them migrate to your SEO services.
Leverage Your Tools and Technology
The next question you need to address is “How do you prove the effectiveness of your methodology?” Presenting results right off the bat won’t cut it if you want to gain the trust of your SEO prospects; you have to show them how you got them.
Your tools and technology can be effective bait for SEO prospects. If there’s one thing businesses look for, it’s getting proven results. By leveraging technology and tools that translate search metrics into reports, SEO clients will have a deeper understanding of your methodology and see why one strategy is better than the other.
You can also create free tools that prospects can use on their own. Showing your clients a seamless onboarding experience with these tools can leave a positive sentiment; you can even use these tools as one of your USPs when pitching.
Put Your Expertise at the Forefront
Lastly, what are your agency strengths? You can’t take new SEO clients without analyzing your digital marketing agency’s capabilities. You may focus on content development, on-page optimization, link building, or any combination of these aspects. Nonetheless, it’s important that you play on one strength at a time—this prevents you from over-promising and failing to meet the needs of your SEO clients.
Your expertise doesn’t only depend on your agency’s capabilities, though. Educating your clients is a great approach to show you are an expert at what you do, and this you can achieve by providing them with digital marketing collaterals and resources.
- SEO reports – Showing SEO prospects reports that detail key areas they need to work is strong evidence of your strategies.
- Case studies – Publishing case studies provide SEO prospects and existing clients the confidence in your methodology.
- Digital marketing guides – Distributing free industry guides updates SEO clients with industry changes, as well as provides you with extra material to pitch your service.
Focusing on your market, using the right tools and technology, and showcasing your expertise – what ties these all is the value that SEO clients can get from your business. If you can show the added value of working with your agency, you can easily build bridges to your SEO prospects.