| Oct 31, 2023 | | 12 min read

How to Get SEO Clients: 5 Tips to Stand Out in a Crowded Market


Key takeaways

  • Cater to client needs by understanding their objectives and offering personalized SEO solutions.
  • Attract niche clients by showcasing your tailored expertise and leveraging your professional network.
  • Develop comprehensive service offerings that include SEO audits and competitive pricing strategies.

As an SEO expert, it's vital to understand what your clients need so you can create strategies to help them succeed. But before you can do that, you need to figure out how to find SEO clients in the first place. That means knowing where to look and how to reach out to them.

Get your free step-by-step checklist for a complete local SEO audit. Download the checklist right here, right now.

Follow along as we show you how to master the art of finding and getting SEO clients, performing local SEO audits for prospects, and generating more leads for your business.

What makes a good SEO prospect?

Before we begin looking at tips to find SEO clients, it's important to first nail down the characteristics that make up a good prospect. Understanding these traits will help you focus your efforts and ensure that you're approaching businesses that are the most likely to benefit from your partnership. Here’s what you need to know to get started:

Identify market niche

First, evaluate the prospects' market niche. A good SEO prospect could be a business operating in a specific industry or targeting a particular audience. By offering tailored SEO services to these prospects, you can demonstrate how your expertise aligns with their unique needs and challenges.

Online presence

Additionally, consider their online presence and website quality. A well-maintained website with room for improvement is a good sign, as it shows that the prospect values their digital presence.

Look for websites that have some basic SEO elements already in place, such as:

  • Relevant content.
  • Clean URL structures.
  • On-page optimization.

These clients are generally more receptive to SEO recommendations since they already understand the importance of being visible online.

Compare the competition

Next, assess the prospect's competition and industry. If their competitors seem to be dominating search results, this could be an opportunity for you to step in and level the playing field.

Illustrating the competitive landscape can help to showcase how your SEO reporting insights will make a tangible difference in their online performance.

Gauge potential

Are they a startup with ample room to grow, or an established business seeking to expand their online reach? Identifying clients with a hunger for growth and an appreciation for online SEO will help you to more likely encounter a mutually beneficial partnership.

Related topics:

1. Understand the needs of SEO clients

To do well in SEO and keep a good connection with your clients, it's important to know what your local businesses want in the first place. Your clients might be in different industries and have different hopes and goals in mind.

If you're an SEO expert, you should really get to know their businesses and understand how what you do matches with what they want to achieve. You can do this in several ways:

Visibility in Google Maps

You should think about how Google Maps SEO can help your local businesses. Using the right methods can boost their chances of showing up near the top of search results, helping companies that depend on local customers to stay afloat, gain a competitive edge.

Concentrating on these local factors demonstrates to your clients that you know the ins and outs of their industries and what it takes to get results.

NAP information

Another crucial area to concentrate on when working with clients is NAP data in SEO. Ensuring their business information—Name, Address, and Phone number—is consistent across all online platforms is key for strengthening local SEO.

Many folks tend to think the journey of a user and their experience with a brand kicks off when they reach out via phone, email, or spend time on a company's website. However, the journey starts much earlier.

According to Google, there are five key touchpoints that typically lead to a purchase or some positive action on a website:

  • Using a search engine.
  • Visiting a physical store or other location.
  • Checking out a retailer's website or app.
  • Exploring another website or app.
  • Using a map.

The user's journey actually commences when they first encounter your brand, be it in search results, the Local Pack, on a map, or at your brick-and-mortar store.

Here's why having a consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) is vital: Users need reliable information to smoothly continue on their journey.

We often assume that users discover our local businesses and brands primarily through our websites, guest posts, outreach efforts, and Google Business Profile listings. However, users come across our brand via a variety of online platforms, including the directories where we create citations and listings (Search Engine Journal).

So how can you lead your client on the right path? Guide them through how to optimize their local listings and explain the significance of accuracy and consistency in their NAP information to enhance search engine rankings.

Keep things transparent

Finally, it's essential to keep things clear and wide open. Ensure that your clients grasp the worth of your services and have a good idea of when they can expect to see results. Always offer them updates and reports that are easy to understand, so they can track the progress you're making.

When you're transparent and approachable, you'll earn their trust and loyalty, which will help you maintain long-term relationships with your clients.

Understanding your SEO clients' unique needs and adapting your approach accordingly will result in more successful campaigns and happier customers.

2. Find prospective SEO clients within a niche

It's perfectly fine to cast a wide net, but there are times when you can reel in bigger opportunities by narrowing your focus when finding SEO clients. Concentrating on a specific niche offers several advantages. It gives you a competitive edge when crafting customized strategies, allowing you to grasp your SEO clients' needs more effectively.

Moreover, it provides an opportunity to gain valuable insights into the industry and what resonates most with your intended clientele. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can achieve this:

Determine your niche

To get started in finding your niche SEO clients, you first need to identify industries or markets that could benefit from your expertise. You might choose to specialize in serving restaurants, from there you can boil it down to only ones that sell sushi, for example.

Once you've determined your niche, focus on local search strategies that can elevate your clients' online visibility and enhance their connection with their target audience.

Package your services

People don’t want products, they want solutions to problems getting in their way. To find SEO clients in your niche, create services that touch on these pain points and match their needs, goals, and budgets. This way, you'll not only meet their requirements but also build your reputation and attract more clients.

Also see: Resell SEO in 5 quick steps

Leverage your network

Connecting with professionals who also specialize in your niche, like web designers, content creators, and marketing agencies, can help point you in the right direction to find more SEO clients. Working together with these experts can expand your reach, gain valuable knowledge, and create more opportunities for your business.

Harness social media

Using social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook is a powerful way to show your stuff and get new SEO clients, and here's how:

Let's say you post a case study about a local bakery that saw a significant increase in website traffic and foot traffic after implementing your SEO strategies. You can showcase the specific steps you took, the results achieved, and the impact on the bakery's revenue.

This real-life example not only demonstrates your knowledge and expertise but also provides potential clients with a tangible success story.

Additionally, you can actively participate in relevant groups and discussions, offering advice and solutions to common SEO challenges within your niche. Consistently is the name of the game in social media. That means sharing your expertise and engaging with your audience regularly will help to establish yourself as a trusted authority in your field.

This approach not only helps you attract new SEO clients but also positions you as a go-to resource for businesses seeking SEO solutions tailored to their specific needs.

Serve up excellence

Finally, stay engaged with your existing clients and nurture long-term relationships by providing excellent customer service and ongoing support. Happy customers are more likely to refer you to their network, which can help you find new SEO clients within your niche.

3. Establish yourself as an SEO authority and expert

When you’re a local business, budgets can be tight, and for most, that means treading carefully when choosing where and how to spend it. To draw in risk-averse clients, it's important to establish yourself as a trusted expert in the field.

Proving your expertise can build trust and credibility, making it more likely for potential clients to pick your services over others. Here are some helpful tips on how to position yourself as an SEO authority:

Stay in the know

Firstly, continually educate yourself on the latest SEO techniques and industry trends. Stay updated on algorithm changes, search engine marketing tactics, and local SEO strategies. This knowledge will not only help you serve your clients better but also display your commitment to staying at the forefront of the industry.

Share your knowledge

Secondly, create and share valuable content that showcases your expertise on your website. This can include blog posts, case studies, webinars, and as we mentioned previously, social media updates. All these pieces of content should be focused on helping businesses improve their online visibility.

Regularly publishing insightful content reinforces your reputation as an accessible and knowledgeable SEO expert.

Engage with your peers

And finally, network with other professionals in your area. Attend industry events, join online forums, and contribute to thought leadership discussions on social media. By engaging with others in your field, you can learn from their experiences, share your own knowledge, and potentially find opportunities for collaboration. These connections can lead to referrals and further expansion of your SEO client base.

By following these steps, you'll be well on your way to building your reputation as an SEO authority, attracting new clients, and growing your SEO business.

4. Define the scope of your SEO services

By taking the time to clearly outline what you can offer, you'll be able to pitch your services more effectively and land more local SEO clients. Here’s what you need to do:

Identify your strengths

Begin by identifying the specific areas of SEO expertise you excel in, such as on-page optimization, off-page optimization, or technical SEO. This will give your potential clients a better understanding of how your services can benefit their online presence and search rankings.

For example, you may choose to specialize in upgraded new features for local search or focus on improving keyword rankings through AI.

Design a game plan

Next, consider the deliverables you'll provide to your clients. This could include:

  • Conducting keyword research.
  • Analyzing competitor websites.
  • Providing actionable recommendations to improve their site's search performance.

By clearly stating the tasks and responsibilities involved in your SEO services, you'll help your clients understand the value of your work and build trust with them.

Stick to the facts

When defining your SEO services, it's important to avoid making exaggerated or false claims. Stick to factual, evidence-based explanations of how you can improve a client's search ranking and be transparent about any limits of your expertise.

This honesty will go a long way in building lasting relationships with your clients. Remember, successful SEO is often a gradual process, and setting realistic expectations from the beginning is important.

Consider white-label services

Think of an effective SEO strategy like a jigsaw puzzle. Without all the pieces, it is incomplete, and will never satisfy the goal you set out to achieve. That’s why you should consider offering white-label SEO services as an option for your clients. Delivering a complete, well-rounded professional suite of SEO tools can be a valuable addition to your offerings and fill in any gaps in the services you currently offer.

Offering white-label services can also be an attractive strategy, as it can enhance search rankings for your clients while freeing up resources to scale your business.

5. Master the art of SEO audits

Performing a thorough SEO audit can significantly improve a website's performance and visibility, helping your clients drum up even more business. In this section, let's explore the key steps to winning clients by mastering the art of SEO auditing.

Run an SEO Audit

Start by running a meticulous SEO audit to evaluate your potential client's website performance. This step-by-step process will be your foundation for understanding their online presence and demonstrating your expertise. Some things you can do while performing your audit include:

  • Crawl the website
  • Perform a keyword analysis
  • Determine on-page SEO
  • Evaluate content quality
  • Performance a technical SEO audit
  • Backlink analysis
  • Determine local SEO ranking
  • Run a competitor analysis
  • Identity performance metrics

Utilize tools like Google Analytics to measure key performance indicators (KPIs), such as organic traffic, bounce rate, and conversion rates. From there, you can identify areas for improvement and make recommendations.

By conducting a thorough SEO audit, you not only uncover areas for enhancement but also showcase your expertise and understanding of the prospect’s unique needs. This data-driven approach allows you to provide your target customers with actionable insights and a clear roadmap for improving their online visibility.

Optimize their website

Once you have reeled in your prospect, it’s now time to look for ways to optimize their website for local searches. A great way to do this is by focusing on "near me" searches. By improving their website's rank in local searches, you can drive more foot traffic and conversions, ultimately increasing their satisfaction with your services.

When conducting an SEO audit, pay special attention to both the front-end and back-end aspects of the website. On the front end, focus on content quality, ways to remove redundancies, improve keyword placement, and optimize HTML metadata. For the back end, look for ways to perform proper indexing, mobile rendering, hosting, and shortened loading times.

Leverage SEO tools

To speed up the SEO auditing process and make it more efficient, utilize appropriate tools, and implement a well-defined workflow. This approach not only saves time but also simplifies your life and leaves a better impression on your clients.

Present your findings

Finally, make sure to communicate your findings to the client in a clear and concise manner. Highlight the improvements you can make, along with the projected benefits of implementing your recommendations. By showcasing your expertise and the potential results, you'll be well on your way to getting your first SEO client and many more to follow.

About the Author

Mary-Margaret Bennett is a Social Media Content Specialist at Vendasta, with a versatile background spanning business development, IT project management, and work as a writer and graphic designer across various industries. Outside of her professional endeavors, she enjoys birdwatching and crafting work for local art exhibitions.

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