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5 Ways to Find New SEO Clients (Also Great for Web Design and PPC Client Hunting!)

Posted on 9.22.2014

:: By Travis Bliffen, Stellar SEO::


You would think that an SEO company would have no problem generating all the leads they can handle. While for some this may be true, the majority of SEOs find themselves wondering where all the clients are.

While SEO is a great way to find and close clients, there are still a lot of people who do not know about SEO or online marketing and are not searching for it. If you have ever found yourself searching for leads and coming up empty, here are a few ways to find new clients.

1. Footprint Hunting

Have you ever stumbled upon a website and thought “wow, this thing is ancient,” “looks like a toddler made it,” or “time to leave the 90s?" The next step you probably took was to scroll to the bottom and see who made the site. Sometimes you find out it is a template based site builder or a DIY job. Other times you will see the name of the company who created the masterpiece. If you do find the developer, you now have footprint. Simply head over to Google and search “website designed by Example Company” (or whatever phrase they used on the site) and you may uncover several pages of websites that need work. This also works for sites that have a footer link out to a marketing agency. Create a list of the sites and reach out them and educate them about what a new site and online marketing strategy could do for them.

2. The Time Machine

Everyday business owners are handing over thousands of dollars for outdated advertising strategies. Newspapers, phone books and billboards are just a few examples. As you know, the problem with those methods is that they do not reach the most targeted audiences. Let’s say you find a business with a few ads in the phone book. Call the phone book company and find out how much they charge for those ads. If the amount is reasonable for an online strategy, put together a sample plan and present it to the business owner, explaining how their current spending could help them reach targeted customers who are ready to buy. The math will do the selling for you in most cases and the client will be glad for the ride into the future.

3. Network and Bundle

Reaching out to Web design companies and offering them a commission for referring their clients to you when SEO comes up is a great way to get leads. If you do SEO and not Web design, you could make the offer even better by ranking pages to collect Web design leads and exchanging them with the design company. If you show up with a few ranking pages and a list of leads, it will be hard for them to tell you no. You can also offer them special pricing so they can directly sell your services for a markup. They can control how much they make per sale and you get plenty of clients in return. Repeat the process with logo designers, printing companies, and other companies that are likely to interact with your target market.

4. Find and Convert

Last week we covered how PPC can sometimes be a cheaper option than SEO. In other scenarios, SEO is a much more cost effective strategy. To find clients using this method all you need to do is locate businesses using PPC advertising in expensive niches.

Once you have dealt with PPC in several niches, you will have an understanding of which fields are best to target. 

Here are a few to get you started:

Cosmetic Dentistry

Plastic Surgeons

Chiropractors

Lawyers/Attorneys

A couple weeks back I showed you how to use SEMRUSH to create a list of people advertising but not ranking organically for keywords. You can find clients without any tools by simply going to Google and searching keywords that have a high cost per click. Look for ads linking to websites that do not appear on page one or two of the organic SERPs. Make a list of these websites along with contact information for each of them. Since you are targeting a keyword and not a specific company you can make a generic proposal showing how much the client could be saving using SEO. Contact each person on your list, ask for a time to speak with them and an email to send them some cost saving information. Repeat the process until you have all the clients you want.

5. The Rental Property Approach

If you are calling companies or even responding to leads, this is one way to make your proposal nearly impossible to refuse. When you speak with a business owner they may not know what SEO is but almost any business can understand an offer to generate more leads for them. Most SEOs will make a very similar offer. Work with us for several months and we can help you get more traffic and leads. Now, if you called the same client and said “I can start getting you more leads today with SEO,” they are going to choose you almost every time. How can you say that confidently though? Rank a site in the niche and then rent it out to a business.

Let’s say that you are going to reach out to attorneys and offer your SEO services. Pick a few areas where a significant amount of search traffic and competition exists for attorney related keywords. Create a dummy website with content relevant to the area and services that you are targeting. Rank the site in the top five of Google. Contact attorneys not on page one and offer to rent the site out to them. The key selling point here is to rank for keywords that have a high cost per click. Show the client how much cheaper it is to rent your ranking site than it is to use PPC. They have no risk because if the site stops ranking, they don’t have to pay any longer. This is also a great foot in the door for upselling them on ongoing SEO for their website, again emphasizing how ranking their own site would offer a lower cost over the long run.

Even if you only use one of the methods discussed above, you should be able to consistently find new clients. If you use and master all of them, your growth will explode!

Are you using these methods to find new clients? Which one is your favorite?


Author Bio: Travis Bliffen is the founder of Stellar SEO, a search marketing and design agency located near St. Louis, Mo. Travis loves researching and writing about SEO strategies and implementing innovative strategies for his clients. Connect on Twitter @theseoproz.

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