Members' Insights

10 Ways to Get More SEO Clients: Tips From an Agency Owner

Jon Nastor
Last Updated: Apr. 26, 2024
Get More SEO Clients

If you want to scale your SEO agency or start your journey as a freelancer, you have to find SEO clients. 

You need a solid system for generating new leads and turning those leads into clients. This will allow you to consistently work on new SEO projects. 

In this article, I’ll show you what we do at Digital Commerce Partners to find and win SEO clients. 

I also encourage you to check out TTT’s 7 Figure Agency course, where Nick Eubanks shares how he grew his marketing agency from a personal consulting firm to a $1 million+ revenue agency.

Ready to dive deeper into getting new clients and growing your SEO career?

Let’s get started! 

How to Find SEO Leads 

There are many ways to get SEO clients. However, I narrowed down my list to strategies you can implement right away. 

1. Create SEO Content

As an SEO consultant or agency, you need to focus on your own SEO. Converting leads to clients who found you organically through your content is always easier than converting cold leads.

When potential clients find your content ranking high in search results, it helps build trust and credibility. The more valuable and informative your content is, the more likely potential clients will see you as the SEO expert they’ve been searching for. 

We actively use this strategy at Digital Commerce Partners to attract new leads with SEO content. 

To start, we identified several target audiences that might benefit from our digital marketing services. As a next step, we published optimized articles educating our potential clients on how they can grow their businesses with SEO.

Here’s an example from our Banks guide under our Finance category.

DCP Marketing for Banks

The outcome?

The optimized guide for Banks hit the Google front page and appeared in four SERP features

Semrush Organic Search for DCP Finance Banks

2. Share Your Expertise on Social Media

If you strategically share your expertise, social media can be a goldmine for attracting SEO clients. 

So, pick one platform where your audience actively hangs out and start sharing your thoughts. It can be SEO best practices, industry trends, quotes, and thought-provoking posts that can help you establish yourself as a thought leader.

People are drawn to success stories and impactful case studies. They inspire and show what’s achievable through hard work and the right approach. Seeing others overcome challenges and achieve goals can motivate potential customers to seek expert advice from you.

For example, here’s one of my former LinkedIn posts, where I shared how our team boosted the client’s organic traffic by 233%! 

This post is just one example of how a success story can become a lead magnet and help get SEO clients on LinkedIn. And you don’t have to go viral in order for this to work — this post landed us a client with a six-month retainer to start.

Jonny Nastor Social Media Post

3. Ask for Referrals 

After successfully completing a client project, ask them, “Is there anyone you believe would be interested in our services?”

You’ll have to be a salesperson for a while and get used to rejections. 

But it never hurts to ask, right? 

Satisfied clients are great advocates for your business, and you’ll often see testimonials from happy clients in the best agency pitch deck examples.

Past clients have experienced the positive impact of your work and are more likely to recommend you to businesses facing similar SEO challenges. A warm introduction eliminates the need to build rapport from scratch and helps you make the sales process smoother.

Remember, referrals can open doors to new clients you might not have reached otherwise.

4. Attend Networking Events 

Online and offline networking events offer many opportunities to connect with potential SEO clients. 

Networking events often attract a diverse range of professionals, including business owners, marketers, and decision-makers who may need SEO help or know someone who does. 

Engaging in conversations at conferences or industry meetups can spark genuine connections with business owners struggling with SEO. Sharing your insights during discussions can position you as a trusted advisor and plant the seeds for future collaborations. 

Effective networking isn’t limited to offline events. The online world offers a vast and powerful landscape for connecting with potential SEO clients.

Unlike physical events with limited capacity, online SEO workshops and conferences allow you to connect with a much larger pool of potential clients worldwide. 

The more people you meet and leave with a positive impression, the wider your reach will become.

You can learn more about upcoming in-person and virtual events in TTT’s article about SEO conferences

5. Host Local Events to Promote Your Business

Stepping outside the digital world lets you connect face-to-face with business owners and marketing managers who might need your expertise.

These events provide a platform to showcase your knowledge and problem-solving skills in a live setting. They create a space for open discussions and let you showcase your expertise in a friendly and approachable way.

Local meetups also foster a sense of community, allowing you to connect with business owners on a personal level and develop lasting relationships. Which means you have a warmer audience for your future SEO client outreach. 

In addition, such events are often recorded and promoted online. This will help expand your reach beyond the local area and attract new leads. 

One of my favorite examples is how TTT co-founder Nick Eubanks used to host the technical SEO meetup in Philadelphia. It helped Nick connect with local businesses seeking technical SEO help. 

Nick’s page has also ranked first for the local keyword “Technical SEO in Philadelphia,” spreading the word about his capabilities to more potential clients. 

Philadelphia Technical SEO Meetup

6. Contact Local Businesses

Let’s imagine you want to get local SEO clients in New York. 

Where do you start? 

Type any local business keyword in the search bar, such as “Flower Delivery NYC,” and open a few links from the 3–5th search result pages. Now, you can quickly assess websites with Semrush Site Audit to discover critical issues impacting rankings. 

For example, I picked a random website and ran a quick site audit. Without any in-depth analysis, I could immediately spot issues with a sitemap. Two pages were displayed by mistake in the sitemap. Other essential pages might be excluded, which can negatively impact crawlability and indexability

You can contact these local businesses, share your findings, and offer your SEO help. I bet they’ll listen to you because they’ve just witnessed your genuine interest in their success and your keen eye for optimizing their online presence. 

They won’t see you as a salesman but as a potential partner who understands their local market and can translate that knowledge into results.

Remember, many local businesses lack in-house SEO knowledge, which makes them prime candidates for your guidance. So, don’t underestimate the power of a friendly conversation — it could start a long-lasting client relationship.

Semrush site audit

7. Join Online Groups and Communities

Online communities let members share ideas, spread knowledge, and help each other. The deeper you engage in discussions, the more you’ll position yourself as a thought leader. 

While exchanging ideas, look for businesses subtly mentioning their SEO struggles or frustrations. This is your chance to shine! You can reach out to your potential customers with personalized messages, addressing their specific SEO issues and explaining how you can help them. 

Remember, building relationships is key!

When you consistently provide valuable insights, you become a go-to SEO expert in the community, attracting potential clients already familiar with your capabilities.

If you want to build a network of like-minded people and find SEO clients, learn more about joining TTT Academy

In addition to 200+ hours of expert SEO content, you’ll join the exclusive Slack community with fellow SEOs and seasoned experts who will help you accelerate your SEO journey. 

TTT Academy

8. Connect With Your Target Audience on LinkedIn 

Sending cold messages on LinkedIn is like blind fishing. You cast a net into an ocean, hoping to catch a specific fish without knowing its location. 

Tailored outreach, on the other hand, is like spearfishing — targeted and efficient. It’s a much more pleasant experience for potential clients who have probably been bombarded with generic messages.

By leveraging LinkedIn’s advanced search, you can directly target marketing managers, business owners, and digital strategists — your ideal client base!

Craft personalized connection requests that highlight your SEO expertise and the specific pain points you can solve for their businesses. Don’t just connect, though. Engage with their content, leave insightful comments, and share valuable SEO resources. 

Remember, it’s not about selling. Instead, it’s about establishing yourself as a trusted advisor.

As you become a reliable source of SEO knowledge, potential clients will naturally turn to you when they’re ready to invest in ranking higher in search results. 

9. Find a Strategic Agency Partner 

Suppose you offer SEO services while your friend has a design agency. Why not team up to help each other? 

You can significantly expand your reach when you find a complementary agency, like a web design firm or a content marketing agency. These partnerships allow you to tap into their existing client base, offering SEO expertise to businesses who might not have considered it before.

It’s a win-win scenario: You gain access to potential clients, while your partner can offer SEO help in addition to their services. 

10. Utilize Service Directories 

Clutch, Manifest, and Semrush Agency Partners are a few well-known service directories where you can promote your business. 

More importantly, your potential clients can find service directories in organic search results while looking for a suitable SEO partner. This is where your profile should stand out! Craft a compelling description of your SEO expertise, showcase past case studies, and encourage satisfied clients to leave positive reviews.

Clutch and Manifest employ sophisticated search and ranking algorithms. Optimizing your profile with relevant keywords can increase your chances of being discovered by potential clients.

I recommend starting with local directories, like “SEO companies in Detroit” or “SEO services in Toronto.” These are low-competition keywords that can help your profile rank higher. 

Best SEO Companies in Toronto Semrush

How to Convert Leads and Get SEO Clients 

Attracting SEO leads is a crucial first step, but converting those leads into paying clients is where the real magic happens. 

Next I’ll show how we convert prospects into loyal SEO clients at Digital Commerce Partners. 

I’ll cover everything from optimizing your website for conversions to crafting winning proposals. You’ll learn how to showcase your expertise, build trust, and ultimately win more clients.

1. Create a Website to Capture Leads 

A well-designed website acts as a silent salesperson, working 24/7 to build trust and capture new leads. 

When potential customers discover your website organically, they’re already halfway interested. So, this is your chance to convert them. 

When it comes to capturing SEO leads on your website, optimization is key. Here’s how you can turn your website into a lead-generation machine.

  1. Create landing pages: Build dedicated pages for every SEO service you offer. These pages will rank on Google, communicate your value to potential clients, showcase benefits, and feature lead capture forms.
  2. Share impactful case studies: Your achievements and the results of your work differentiate you from your competitors. If you can talk numbers, showcase how you helped your clients achieve their business goals. 
  3. Share your story: An effective About Us page goes beyond listing names and positions. It’s your chance to connect with your potential customers on a human level and showcase the values that drive your team. 
  4. Include testimonials: Feature positive client testimonials on your website. Social proof helps build trust and encourages your prospects to submit a contact form. 
  5. Add frictionless forms: Design user-friendly lead capture forms. I recommend collecting only essential information, like name, email address, and a message. Ensure all contact forms are optimized for mobile devices.
  6. Use compelling call-to-actions (CTAs): Don’t confuse your potential customers. Include clear CTAs to help them make the next step, like submitting a contact form or downloading a free resource.
  7. Use pop-ups wisely: Consider using an exit pop-up to capture leaving users. You can increase the visitor-to-lead conversion rate by offering valuable incentives like a free SEO checklist. 
  8. Feature your awards: Did a respected industry leader acknowledge your achievements? Don’t be shy! Feature those awards on your website to build instant credibility.
  9. Test chatbots: You can add a live chat feature to address visitor questions and capture leads in real-time.

2. Create Tailored SEO Packages 

After offering digital marketing services for years, I realized that a one-size-fits-all approach falls flat.

The key to winning clients is creating SEO packages catering to their needs and budgets. Businesses have unique challenges and goals and respond best to partners who understand that. 

Take local businesses, for instance. Their SEO needs differ significantly from ecommerce giants. By creating tailored services for specific niches or locations, you can demonstrate a deeper understanding of their competitive landscape and target audience. This will set you apart from competitors offering generic packages.

Imagine you own a law firm and you’re looking to invest in SEO. Would you choose a generic SEO company or one who specializes in what you do? Rankings.io is a perfect example.

Rankings io seo company

3. Show the Impact of Your Work

Clients are results-oriented. They want concrete evidence that your SEO efforts can lead to success.

Simply talking about your services isn’t enough. Don’t just tell them you’re great. Prove your worth with data and client testimonials. 

Highlight SEO case studies that demonstrate how you’ve increased organic traffic, improved keyword rankings, and boosted website conversions for your past clients. I recommend quantifying the results whenever possible. 

  • Have you achieved a 20% increase in organic traffic for an ecommerce store? 
  • Have you improved a ranking position from 10 to 3 for a target keyword? 

Make sure to showcase these impressive metrics to potential clients.

Visuals are powerful tools, too. Use charts, graphs, and before-and-after comparisons to clearly show the positive impact of your work. 

If you’re wondering how to organize a case study to capture more SEO leads, here’s how we do it at Digital Commerce Partners.

We demonstrate the positive impact of our work upfront and explain how we achieved it. From the beginning, our potential clients see the results they crave — increased website traffic, improved rankings, or boosted conversions. 

This builds trust and motivates them to dive deeper into our case studies to see how we achieved those impressive results. 

Check out this case study headline. It highlights that we helped ADD.org reach 114,548 more people each month in a hyper-competitive market.

DCP Case Studies Figures

Remember that numbers are powerful! They resonate with potential clients far more than words alone.

4. Do a Discovery (Not a Sales) Call

The primary goal of a discovery call is to share how you can help your potential client and whether there’s a mutual fit. 

Not every discovery call will eventually turn into a closed deal. That’s normal! 

Think of these calls as collaborative consultations, not sales pitches. Ask open-ended questions and actively listen to your prospect’s pain points and goals. 

Here’s what I strive to uncover and communicate during the discovery call with a potential client: 

  • Understand the client’s unique challenges and pain points.
  • Identify the client’s perception of potential solutions.
  • Get the client’s budget estimate.
  • Explain our pricing categories.
  • Note impactful client results.

Capturing a few impactful quotes directly from the call can add a personal touch to your SEO proposal. It will also demonstrate that you were truly attentive to your potential client’s challenges and needs. 

While the discovery call allows you to qualify potential clients, it’s also a chance for them to evaluate your expertise and approach. That’s why it’s essential to come prepared. This will lay the foundation for a productive partnership built on mutual trust and understanding.

5. Focus on Providing Value During the Discovery Call 

Let’s say during a call you identify a critical SEO issue on the prospect’s website that they might not have been aware of. You point this out and offer expert advice to address it. This way, you instantly demonstrate your knowledge and genuine interest in their success. 

A complimentary mini-consultation builds trust and sets you apart from pushy salespeople. Moreover, it will help make your potential clients far more receptive to your services when the time comes to discuss a proposal.

Remember, it’s not just about what you can do for potential clients. Instead, it’s about showing them you genuinely care about their website’s health and growth.

6. Create a Value-Based Proposal 

Let me give you one piece of advice that will save you time and money: Don’t waste time creating a proposal before agreeing on a price with your potential client. 

I’ve been through many cases when prospects didn’t know their budget but insisted on creating a proposal. If your pricing is beyond their budget, they’ll likely say no or won’t respond at all (happened many times). That’s why I suggest communicating your price ranges before the proposal stage.

You can start working on a proposal if you get a green light from the client during the discovery call. 

There are a few things to focus on when creating client proposals. Here’s an example proposal you can check out. 

A persuasive SEO proposal is about showcasing your value.

Your client wants tangible results. That’s why I recommend focusing on the return on investment (ROI) they can expect by partnering with you. Show them how your SEO efforts will translate into increased organic traffic, leads, and revenue growth. 

At Digital Commerce Partners, we always show our potential clients what they can realistically achieve before going into the details. Here’s an excerpt from our sample proposal that shows the current website’s state and the projection we’ve assessed.

DCP Proposal Room for Growth Panel

Remember, clients are willing to pay a premium for expertise and a clear path toward achieving their SEO KPIs. However, you can do a few more things to close the deal. 

Approach pricing with care. Even if you have a client’s preliminary approval, they might still be hesitant after reviewing your proposal. That’s why I recommend creating a few custom pricing plans. This way, you’ll offer various collaboration opportunities depending on your level of involvement. 

DCP Proposal Pricing

7. Sign the Contract 

A deal isn’t complete until a contract is signed by both parties. 

Following a successful discovery call and proposal presentation, capitalize on that momentum by swiftly getting your contract signed by your new client.

Make sure to promptly address any questions or concerns your client might have about the contract since this may significantly delay the project. Once both parties have signed, you can celebrate the official start of your SEO partnership! 

Build an Agency that Wins SEO Clients 

If you want to scale your SEO business and capture more clients, check out TTT Academy’s 7 Figure Agency course.

This comprehensive training program will equip you with a roadmap for building a thriving SEO agency with 7-figure potential. You’ll learn how Nick Eubanks transformed his personal consultancy into a leading high-growth business.

Ready to attract new SEO leads? Click here to learn more about starting your journey.