6 Proven Methods to Get the Local SEO Clients You Want

Wakas Javed

Want more local SEO clients? Attracts companies interested in investing in SEO. It is how you get customers you want to work with eagerly.

Local businesses are often the most attractive SEO clients because of the creativity and strategy required to target local markets.

Although the basics – Google business profile optimization, localized content, etc. – are still relevant, local businesses often have to think outside the box when trying to rank locally.

Attracting this type of customer also requires skill. Attracting positive, ambitious, and proactive local SEO clients is ideal for SEO professionals.

Here are some tips; on how to find Local SEO clients that you want to work with on a long-term basis.

1- Start A Conversation With A Local Business Owner

About a year ago, I needed a plumber and started looking online for plumbers. I saw a plumber with good reviews on Google, so I checked his website to find out more about his prices.

Unfortunately, I was greeted with the message Careful! Your link is not private on his website. As a webmaster, I know this because the company does not enable SSL certificates on his website.

So I called him to make an appointment and personally told him that he had a security issue with the website. The owner is unaware of the problem and runs his own site, so I offered to set up his SSL for free.

He then paid my team to diagnose additional Technical SEO issues and continued a longer engagement.

The lesson here is that often the best way to get local SEO clients is to start an actual conversation.

This doesn’t have to be as obvious as a site security issue, but if you can identify the need, the company will likely appreciate you letting them know there’s an issue affecting their business.

Also, they will thank you for warning them and helping them not to miss out on new offers.

For example, a local business may not know that their Google Business Profile address has expired. Or they have a 404 error on their website. Or their contact form is not working.

Often your advice can be seen as a big help and a lasting commitment. Or at least open the door to a referral business once they see you as a local SEO expert. Whether you’re looking for a plumber, shopping for a latte, or picking up a gift for a friend, keep your eyes open.

If you find an SEO problem and take the time to offer free value, you may be surprised how it can turn into a new customer or referral link.

2- Identify Companies Investing In Marketing

It is well known in the marketing community that clients on a tight budget are often the most demanding clients.

That’s not to say that a small budget makes you a bad customer, but that the mindset of getting more for less is often backwards in marketing.

In short, your ideal local SEO clients are those who see the value of marketing and are willing to invest in it to achieve a bigger goal.

They want to invest their marketing dollars to generate long-term growth.

As in the previous example, simple oversight resulted in security issues on the website, but otherwise the company was ready with the optimization of their GBP (Google Business Profile) and social media marketing.

Owners are open to feedback and see value in improving their web presence.

When looking for local SEO clients, look for companies that meet the following criteria:

  • Do you they own a responsive website? If so, does it seem to be updated regularly?
  • Is the company constantly posting on social media?
  • Does the company run paid advertising?
  • Are the active with on their blog and content marketing?
  • Does it seem like they have done some level of SEO?
  • Do they update their website with new offers, events, and deals, etc.?
  • Have they optimized their local search presence?

A company that appears to be investing in its marketing is more likely to be a great customer.

You want clients who understand their marketing needs and play an active role in growing their business.

Once you’ve identified local businesses that seem to tick some of these boxes, get in touch with them and put a free offer; such as an audit or friendly consultation. It may help you to achieve longer engagement.

3- Attend Lectures, Webinars, And Social Events

I’m a fan of letting your local SEO knowledge speak for itself.

Instead of sending boring messages to business owners with commercial offers, it’s best to offer free and unconditional value first.

This could be a friendly email or, in this case, sharing your knowledge at an in-person or online event.

One of the best sources of local SEO prospects for my business is through lecture events — specifically lectures and webinars designed for Real Estate (my target market).

You can often attract clients by sharing your expertise in technical presentations, online interviews, networking events or conferences.

And remember, business owners who proactively attend such events are often good customers.

Here are some tips for getting events to generate leads:

Find events tailored to your preferred market (if any). For example, if you work primarily with technology companies, you should attend Tech conferences. On the other hand, perhaps the annual real estate seminars could be successful if you want to work Real Estate sector.

Apply to speak. If there is a chance to speak at an event, grab it. If you know the art and feel confident in public, this can be a great way to attract attention and get potential clients.

Many social events have parties or happy hour after the event. Others host lunches. This could be your opportunity to build relations with the local businesses owners.

When you talk, it doesn’t have to be a non-stop pitch. You should engage them to have a fruitful conversation. Clear the minds to get them on board.

Participate in online interviews and webinars. There are many ways to talk online. Look for interview opportunities for blogs and podcasts. Then offer to speak at an online webinar or on YouTube. Share this content again.

Never miss the follow up. If you socialize online or in person, you will receive their contact information. Then message them after the event is over. Thank them for the opportunity to meet and encourage them to contact you if they need anything. Or continue private conversations online.

Demonstrating genuine knowledge with business owners in your niche is one of the best ways to get engaged customers.

4- Connect With Business Owners On LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a leading business-to-business (B2B) platform that helps professionals build new relationships and find customers.

However, it is a platform that is often abused – marketers spam users with cold offers and spam.

Don’t be “that person”.

Instead, use LinkedIn to build real relationships with business owners so they look forward to working with you.

How to use LinkedIn Professionally to get local SEO clients:

Optimize your profile. Add professional photos to your personal profile. Fill in the tagline and about section for what you do. Ask for recommendations from past clients and colleagues to improve your profile.

Publish valuable content. Publish videos, articles, images, and posts that are valuable to your audience. Discuss questions, topics and stories related to their business needs.

Send connection requests to agencies and local business owners. Feel free to present yourself; though don’t speak about your services. Imagine you meet someone at a conference and shake their hand.

Maintain follow-up. Once somebody accepts your connection request, send them a follow-up message. Ask questions about what they are working on, what interests them, etc.

Follow niche accounts and respond to their posts with comments or questions. Also send connection requests to other users who follow the same account. Again, inbound marketing is about creating value first.

If you encourage real engagement, users will start seeing you as a local SEO expert and they might even contact you.

When you’re deep enough in the conversation, offer to help the business owner solve the problem. If they are interested, it could be a free audit, consultation or resource.

Remember that the best clients are those who want to work actively with you, not those who are tied to a project.

5- Hold Your Business Cards Efficiently

Don’t underestimate the value of traditional marketing. Many of the local shops are small mom and pop shops who love the personal touch.

You want to connect with real people, not impersonal agencies.

When you travel, have your business cards ready. Stay focused on discussions where business owners are looking for marketing solutions.

Even if someone doesn’t want to work with you right away, at least they have connections to offer references. Referral businesses are one of the other top sources of referrals.

You’ll find that people are much more receptive to working with you if you strike up a friendly conversation first.

Having your business card means you are always ready to offer your information and keep the conversation going in a business relationship.

6- Creating Partnerships With Marketing Agencies

I’ve talked about several ways to connect directly with local business owners, but there’s another smart solution to getting more local SEO clients: agency partnerships.

Chances are there, many marketing agencies in your area that offer marketing services.

However, not all offer SEO. Creating a partnership can be a great way to get business references or white labels for your services.

Here’s how it works:

Find a Marketing Agency. Search Google for a marketing agency near you. Make a list of those who don’t seem to offer SEO services.

Write down their contact information. For the agency that created your list, find their contact information. Phone number or email address is preferred (before the contact form).

Send them a message. Contact the agency by email or phone with the following message (or something similar):

“Hello (Company A, B, C), then mention your name; I am a Local SEO Professional in (Your city name). I contacted you because I saw you also offer marketing services in the [city] area. If SEO isn’t in your wheelhouse I’d like to know if we can partner where I’ll recommend a service (service you don’t offer) and you’ll send me local SEO requirements. I’d like to continue this conversation if you are interested. You can contact with me at (phone number) or (email address).”

Agencies that see this as direct competition may not contact you, but others may see the value of a two-way partnership.

For example, you can send leads to them and they will send SEO clients to you. Or you can give a percentage commission on new businesses that are sent to you.

This can be a great way to passively acquire new customers without active marketing.

In addition, agency partners can have many other benefits such as: guest posting or networking opportunities.

There Is No “Secret” To Attracting Great Clients

You will find that the key to a great local SEO client is a real relationship. Whether it’s networking, talking, partnering, or providing free value, the best way to attract great customers is to build meaningful connections.

Skip the cold topics and think in advance about how you can support a local business or agency.

You’ll find that many people are open to professionals who take the opportunity to meet them, solve problems, and have friendly conversations.

Do you want more local SEO clients that you really want to work with?

Use this method to build relationships and maintain long-term partnerships.

Featured Image: FreePik.com

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