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How to Get SEO Clients and Grow Your Business

Julia McCoy
Tuesday, 21st May 2024
how to get seo clients

You’ve mastered the art of optimizing websites. You know the ins and outs of search engine algorithms like they’re second nature. But now comes a different challenge — how to get SEO clients who need your expertise.

You might have tried reaching out through cold emails or posting about your services on social media platforms. Yet, you’re not seeing the results you hoped for.

Sound familiar? Don’t worry; we’ve all been there.

The good news is that getting SEO clients isn’t as mysterious as it seems. With some targeted strategies and a bit of persistence, you’ll be filling up your client roster in no time.

Table Of Contents:

Identify Your Ideal SEO Client

The first step in getting SEO leads is to know who your ideal customer is.

And I’m not just talking about “small businesses” or “e-commerce sites”.

You need to go deeper than that.

What industries do they operate in? What specific pain points and challenges are they facing? How much can they realistically afford to invest in SEO each month?

Answering these questions is critical for developing a targeted client acquisition strategy.

Understand Their Pain Points

I’ve found that the best way to identify your ideal SEO client is to first understand their biggest struggles.

Are they getting crushed by competitors in the search results? Is their website traffic and online lead generation stagnant or declining? Do they lack the time or expertise to handle SEO in-house?

Make a list of the most common pain points your target audience faces when it comes to SEO. This will help you craft a compelling pitch and position your services as the perfect solution.

Research Their Industry

Next, dive deep into your ideal client’s industry.

What are the latest trends and developments? Who are the major players and competitors? What keywords and search terms are potential customers using to find businesses like theirs?

The more you understand about your client’s industry, the better equipped you’ll be to develop effective strategies in getting those elusive SEO leads.

Determine Their Budget

Finally, you need to have a realistic idea of what your ideal client can afford to spend on SEO.

While every business owner would love to invest heavily in online marketing, the truth is that budgets vary widely depending on the size and stage of the company.

Do some research to determine the average monthly SEO budget for businesses in your target industries. This will help you create service packages and pricing tiers that align with what your ideal customers are willing and able to pay.

By taking the time to clearly define your ideal SEO client upfront, you’ll be able to develop a highly targeted and effective client acquisition strategy.

Trust me, it’s worth the extra effort.

Create a Strong Online Presence

If you want to attract high-quality SEO leads, you need to practice what you preach.

That means creating a strong, visible online presence that showcases your expertise and builds trust with potential customers.

Here are three ways to do that:

Optimize Your Website for SEO

Your website is often the first impression potential clients will have of your business. So it needs to not only look professional and modern but also be optimized for search engines.

  • Make sure your site is fast, mobile-friendly, and easy to navigate.
  • Use relevant keywords in your page titles, headings, and throughout your content.
  • Build high-quality backlinks from reputable sources.
  • Don’t forget about technical SEO factors like sitemaps, schema markup, and clean URL structures.

Remember, if you can’t rank your own website for relevant keywords, why should a potential client trust you to do it for them?

Showcase Your SEO Expertise

Your website and online profiles are the perfect places to show off your SEO knowledge and successes. Share case studies and examples of how you’ve helped past clients improve their search rankings and drive more organic traffic.

Publish blog posts, articles, and guides that demonstrate your thought leadership and provide valuable insights to your target audience.

The goal is to establish yourself as a trusted authority in the world of SEO so that when a prospect is ready to hire an expert, you’re the first person that comes to mind.

Engage on Social Media

Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are powerful tools for connecting with potential SEO leads and showcasing your expertise. Share your blog content, engage in relevant industry discussions, and offer helpful advice to those in your network.

You can also use social media advertising to target your ideal customer persona with laser precision. For example, LinkedIn allows you to filter by job title, company size, industry, and more. This can be a highly effective way to get your message in front of the right people at the right time.

Just remember that social media is all about building relationships and providing value. Don’t just spam your followers with constant promotional messages. Focus on starting conversations, sharing insights, and being a helpful resource.

The leads and clients will follow naturally.

Develop a Targeted Lead Generation Strategy

Alright, you’ve identified your ideal SEO client and started building a strong online presence.

Now it’s time to start generating some SEO leads.

Here are a few of my favorite strategies for filling your pipeline with high-quality potential clients:

Leverage LinkedIn for Networking

LinkedIn is an absolute goldmine for connecting with decision-makers in your target industries.

Start by optimizing your profile to showcase your SEO expertise and highlight the results you’ve achieved for past clients. Then, use the search function to find and connect with potential SEO leads.

Look for people with job titles like “Marketing Manager”, “VP of Digital Marketing”, or “CEO” at companies that fit your ideal customer profile.

Once you’ve made a connection, don’t just immediately pitch them on your SEO services. Instead, focus on building a relationship.

Comment on their posts, share relevant content, and offer helpful insights or advice.

Over time, you’ll establish yourself as a trusted resource and be top-of-mind when they’re ready to invest in SEO.

Attend Industry Events and Conferences

Offline networking can be just as powerful as online networking when it comes to generating SEO leads.

Attend industry conferences, trade shows, and meetups where your ideal clients are likely to be. Come prepared with business cards, case studies, and a compelling elevator pitch.

Focus on making genuine connections and offering value, rather than just trying to sell your services.

I’ve landed some of my biggest SEO clients by simply striking up conversations at conference happy hours and offering to do a free website audit. It’s all about being in the right place at the right time and being willing to put yourself out there.

Offer a Referral Program

Word-of-mouth referrals are one of the most powerful forms of marketing, especially in the world of B2B SEO.

If you’re doing great work for your clients, don’t be afraid to ask them to spread the word to their colleagues and industry contacts.

You could even set up a formal referral program where you offer incentives like discounts or commissions for any new business they send your way.

I know some SEO agencies that get over 50% of their new clients through referrals alone.

The key is to make it easy for your happy clients to refer you. Provide them with email templates, social media posts, and other assets they can use to quickly and easily share your information with their network.

By implementing a mix of online and offline lead generation strategies, you’ll be able to consistently fill your pipeline with high-quality potential clients. Just remember to always focus on providing value and building real relationships, rather than just trying to make a quick sale.

Offer a Free SEO Audit or Consultation

Want to know one of my favorite ways to land high-quality SEO leads?

Offer them a free SEO audit or consultation. This is a tried-and-true method that I’ve used for years to demonstrate my value and expertise upfront.

Analyze Their Current SEO Performance

Start by diving deep into their website’s current SEO performance. Use tools like Semrush or Ahrefs to analyze their keyword rankings, organic traffic, backlink profile, and technical SEO health.

Identify areas where they’re struggling or have room for improvement. Maybe their site is slow to load, or they’re missing out on valuable keywords in their niche.

Provide Actionable Recommendations

Once you’ve completed the SEO audit, it’s time to put together a report with actionable recommendations.

Don’t just point out their problems — provide specific, step-by-step solutions.

For example, if their site is lacking quality backlinks, suggest some relevant sites they could reach out to for guest posting or broken link building opportunities.

If their on-page SEO needs work, provide optimized title tags and meta descriptions they can implement.

Make your advice simple and actionable so that potential clients know exactly what steps to take to boost their SEO.

Demonstrate Your Value

Here’s where the magic happens. Use your SEO audit and recommendations to demonstrate the immense value you can provide as their SEO consultant or agency.

Highlight the potential traffic and revenue growth they could achieve by implementing your suggestions. Use case studies or examples from past clients to show the real-world impact of your SEO strategies.

Make it crystal clear that by working with you, they’ll see a significant return on their investment. Position yourself as the SEO expert they need to take their online presence to the next level.

I’ve found that when you offer tangible insights and value upfront, potential clients are much more receptive to your pitch. They can see firsthand the depth of your SEO knowledge and how you can help their specific business grow.

So don’t be afraid to give away some of your best ideas in your free SEO audit or consultation. It’s a powerful way to showcase your expertise, build trust, and ultimately land those dream SEO clients.

Craft a Compelling Cold Email

Cold email outreach can be a game-changer for landing new SEO clients — if you do it right.

The key is to craft compelling, personalized emails that grab their attention and provide immediate value.

Personalize Your Message

First things first: ditch the generic templates. If you want your cold emails to stand out, you need to personalize every message.

Do your research on each potential client. Check out their website, read their blog, and follow them on social media.

Look for specific pain points or areas where you could help improve their online presence. Then, use that information to craft a highly targeted email.

Mention something specific about their business or industry to show you’ve done your homework. Compliment a piece of content they’ve published or a recent achievement.

The more you can tailor your message to their unique situation, the more likely they are to engage.

Highlight Their Pain Points

Once you’ve established that personal connection, it’s time to dive into their pain points.

What SEO challenges are they currently facing? Are they struggling to rank for important keywords? Is their website traffic stagnant or declining?

Use your research and SEO expertise to identify these pain points and bring them to the forefront. Show them that you understand their struggles and have the knowledge to help overcome them.

For example, you might say something like: “I noticed that your website isn’t ranking for some of the most valuable keywords in your industry, like [keyword 1] and [keyword 2]. This means you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to drive qualified traffic and leads.”

By highlighting their specific pain points, you create a sense of urgency and demonstrate the value of your SEO services.

Provide Value Upfront

Finally, don’t make your cold email all about you and your services.

Instead, focus on providing value to the potential client right off the bat.

Share a quick SEO tip or insight they can implement immediately. Offer to conduct a free SEO audit or consultation (like we discussed in the previous section). Link to a helpful resource or case study that’s relevant to their business.

By giving them something of value upfront, you establish yourself as a trusted authority and increase the likelihood of a response. You’re not just another SEO agency looking for a quick sale – you’re a partner invested in their success.

Remember, the goal of your cold email outreach isn’t to close the deal on the spot. It’s to start a conversation, build a relationship, and demonstrate your expertise. By crafting compelling, personalized emails that provide real value, you’ll be well on your way to landing those high-quality SEO clients.

Build Relationships with Complementary Agencies

One of the most overlooked strategies for getting more SEO clients is to build relationships with other agencies. By partnering with businesses that offer complementary services, you can tap into a whole new pool of potential clients.

Identify Complementary Services

The first step is to identify agencies that offer services that complement your SEO offerings. Some examples might include:

  • Web design firms
  • PPC agencies
  • Content marketing agencies
  • Link building services
  • PR firms
  • Social media marketing agencies

These types of businesses often work with clients who also need SEO services. By partnering with them, you can provide a more comprehensive solution and share the benefits.

Propose a Partnership

Once you’ve identified some potential agency partners, it’s time to reach out and propose a collaboration.

Start by introducing yourself and your SEO agency. Explain how your services complement theirs and how a partnership could be mutually beneficial.

For example, you might say something like:

“I noticed that your web design agency creates beautiful, high-performing websites for clients in [industry]. However, I know that many of those clients also need help with their SEO to drive traffic and leads. That’s where my agency comes in – we specialize in [your SEO niche] and have helped many businesses in [industry] achieve incredible results. I think our services could be a perfect fit for your clients, and I’d love to explore a potential partnership.”

Emphasize how the partnership could benefit both of your businesses. You could offer to refer your SEO clients to them for web design services, and in turn, they could recommend your SEO services to their clients.

Offer Referral Commissions

To sweeten the deal and incentivize agency partners to send business your way, consider offering a referral commission. This means that for every client they refer to you who signs up for your SEO services, you’ll give them a percentage of the revenue.

Referral commissions can be a win-win for both parties. Your agency partners are more motivated to recommend your services, and you get a steady stream of new clients without having to do all the legwork yourself.

Be sure to clearly outline the terms of your referral program, including the commission percentage, payment schedule, and any other important details.

You might even consider creating a formal agreement to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Building relationships with other agencies can be a powerful way to expand your reach and attract new SEO clients. By identifying complementary services, proposing mutually beneficial partnerships, and offering referral commissions, you can create a network of business allies that will help your agency thrive.

Showcase Your SEO Success with Case Studies

Want to know one of the most powerful ways to attract high-quality SEO clients?

Case studies.

I’m talking about real-life examples of how you’ve helped businesses crush it with SEO.

Highlight Specific Strategies Used

When creating your SEO case studies, don’t just focus on the end results. Dive into the specific strategies and tactics you used to get those stellar outcomes.

Did you revamp their on-page SEO? Implement a killer link-building campaign? Optimize their site architecture for better crawlability?

Spell it out step-by-step. This level of transparency not only showcases your expertise but also helps potential clients envision how you can help their business.

Share Quantifiable Results

Now, let’s talk numbers. Clients love seeing hard data that demonstrates the impact of your SEO work. In your case studies, include metrics like:

  • Percentage increase in organic traffic
  • Number of keywords ranked on the first page of Google
  • Improvement in average search engine rankings
  • Boost in leads or sales generated from organic search

These quantifiable results give prospects a tangible sense of what you can achieve for their business.

Demonstrate ROI

At the end of the day, clients care about one thing: return on investment (ROI).

They want to know that the money they invest in your SEO services will pay off big time.

In your case studies, showcase how your SEO efforts directly impacted the client’s bottom line.

Did your work lead to a 150% increase in revenue? Did you help them cut their customer acquisition costs by 30%?

Translate your SEO results into real business outcomes.

By demonstrating the incredible ROI you’ve achieved for others, you’ll have prospects lining up to work with you.

Continuously Refine Your SEO Client Acquisition Strategy

If you want to keep growing your SEO agency, you can’t just set it and forget it. You need to continuously refine your SEO client acquisition strategy. And that means analyzing your results, testing new tactics, and adapting to industry changes.

I’ve been in the SEO game for over a decade now, and let me tell you, things are always changing.

Google’s algorithms are constantly evolving, new competitors are popping up, and client expectations are shifting.

If you’re not staying on top of these changes, you’re going to fall behind.

Analyze Your Results

First things first, you need to analyze your results. Take a look at your current SEO lead generation efforts and see what’s working and what’s not.

Are you getting a steady stream of high-quality leads? Are you converting those leads into high-quality clients? If not, it’s time to make some changes.

One thing I like to do is track my client acquisition metrics in a spreadsheet. I keep tabs on things like the number of leads generated, the conversion rate, and the average client value. This helps me identify trends and spot areas for improvement.

Test New Tactics

Once you’ve analyzed your results, it’s time to start testing new tactics.

Maybe you’ve been relying heavily on cold outreach, but you’re not seeing the results you want. Why not try out some new lead-generation strategies, like speaking at conferences or partnering with complementary businesses?

The key here is to be willing to experiment. Don’t be afraid to try something new, even if it’s outside your comfort zone. You never know what might work until you give it a shot.

Adapt to Industry Changes

Finally, you need to be ready to adapt to industry changes.

One way I stay up-to-date is by attending industry conferences and networking with other SEO professionals. I also make a point to read SEO blogs and follow thought leaders on social media.

By staying informed, I’m able to adjust my strategies and stay ahead of the curve.

At the end of the day, refining your SEO client acquisition strategy is an ongoing process. You need to be constantly analyzing, testing, and adapting if you want to keep growing your business and attracting potential SEO clients.

So, if you’re serious about scaling your SEO agency, make sure you’re dedicating time and resources to refining your client acquisition strategy. Trust me, it’ll pay off in the long run.

FAQs: How to Get SEO Clients

How to get new clients for SEO?

Showcase your success with case studies, offer free SEO audits, and build relationships with other agencies.

How to sell SEO to clients?

Highlight their pain points, provide actionable recommendations from an audit, and demonstrate the ROI of your SEO services.

How to get leads from SEO?

Create pillar content on your blog posts that target potential client queries. Optimize it for search engines.

How to pitch SEO clients?

Email marketing works best: personalize cold emails highlighting specific industry issues and how you can fix them.


If there’s one thing I’ve learned over years in this industry, it’s that getting SEO clients takes more than just technical skills — it requires strategy and tenacity.

From leveraging LinkedIn connections to offering free audits that showcase real value — you’ve got tools at your disposal ready to use today.

Written by Julia McCoy

See more from Julia McCoy

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