How to Get SEO Clients for Your Digital Marketing Agency in 7 Steps [Course & 20+Templates]

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Team Slam
Helping you win online

So, you've got a digital marketing agency, but you’re struggling to find SEO clients. Well, you've landed in the right place!

In this blog post, we will share seven effective strategies so you can generate more SEO leads that will help you grow your digital marketing agency.

As we guide you through how to get SEO clients for your digital marketing agency, we will cover:

  1. Defining your niche and ideal client more specifically 
  2. Crafting SEO services that add true value 
  3. Generating SEO leads through inbound and outbound marketing methods
  4. Optimizing your website for SEO 
  5. Nurturing SEO leads through email marketing 
  6. Offering lead magnets to attract SEO clients
  7. Encouraging word of mouth referrals

At Slam Media Lab (Slam), we know a thing or two about how to get SEO clients for your digital marketing agency (it’s kind of our superpower). We’re a digital marketing and web design agency in San Francisco that started during the pandemic and grew to serve over 30 clients in just three years. Now, we specialize in Webflow design and development, content writing, SEO, and brand strategy, helping our clients slam dunk their digital goals.

For a deeper dive, check out Slam's How to Start an Agency course taught by our founder and CEO, Silvia Li Sam. With 10+ hours of instructional content, over a dozen course modules, and a full suite of agency tools, you can set your agency up for success!

Here’s a sneak peek at what you could be learning: 

Defining Your Niche and Ideal Client to Be More Specific 

When you're competing against so many other digital marketing agencies, finding your niche is about carving out your own space, standing out from the crowd, and offering something unique to your clients.

A truly niche-focused agency can deeply understand its clients' needs and pain points to offer customized, specific solutions that a generalist could miss.

Remember, trying to cater to everyone might result in not appealing strongly to anyone. It's better to focus on being the perfect fit for a specific group of potential clients rather than trying to please everyone.

Finding your niche can be a tricky process, especially if you need help conducting market research and evaluating solutions. We have a module dedicated to this in our course, but at a high level, we recommend following these steps: 

  1. List potential niches
  2. Narrow down your niche list
  3. Make a short list of 5-10 of these niches that you'd like to serve
  4. Conduct market research
  5. Evaluate problems and solutions
  6. Understand the business impact of these solutions
  7. Make your final decision

Drilling Down Deeper to Find Your Ideal Customer Profile

If you are struggling to find SEO clients, it could be that your target audience is too broad. One way to fix this is by choosing your niche category, then drilling down deeper by choosing a subcategory.

Say you really want to help retail clients, but are struggling to get any SEO leads. You can get more specific by deciding that you want to help small grocery retailers instead. 

Diving into a more specific subcategory within your niche can heighten the likelihood of connecting with your ideal clients. While the initial client volume might not be substantial, prioritizing quality clients from the beginning can streamline your pitching process, rather than throwing a lot at the wall and hoping something sticks. 

Your ideal client should align with your identity and values as the founder and CEO of your digital marketing agency. If you are passionate about your ideal client, this will exude through your content marketing strategy, your networking abilities, and your pitching process. 

Understanding Your Customer's Journey

Once you've solidified your customer profile, it's time to put yourself in that customer's shoes. From the initial awareness stage to the final decision-making process, map out your customer's journey and identify key touch points along the way.

Ask yourself:

  • What types of search queries or keywords might my ideal customer be searching for to learn more about SEO?
  • What types of lead magnets are my competitors offering clients?
  • Can my agency provide value to clients through a free resource like an ebook, whitepaper, or template in exchange for their contact information? 
  • When a potential client reaches my site, how can I entice them to fill out their information and enter my sales funnel? 
  • After they enter my sales funnel, what types of email marketing campaigns are resonating the most with them and getting them to engage with my site? (e.g. blogs about SEO tips and tricks, agency promotions and offerings, video content)
  • How many times, on average, does it take for a client to engage with my site or content before they fill out a lead form or a request for consultation?

Act out this process as if you were an SEO client to understand what the standard path-to-purchase looks like.

You should also rely on tools like Google Analytics, Ahrefs, Keyword Insights, and ConvertKit to help you make data-driven decisions to streamline your overall digital marketing strategy and eliminate the need for excessive trial and error. 

Getting Clear on Your Agency’s Brand Identity and Values 

Your agency's brand identity is more than just a logo–it's the essence of who you are as an agency. Defining your brand identity and values signals to potential clients what you stand for and what you want to be known for, helping you get in front of the right audience.

Ultimately, this starts with your vision as the founder and CEO of your agency.

For example, Slam is all about helping impact-driven companies  in areas like education, healthcare, immigration, environmental protection, technology, and investing.This brand ethos comes from Silvia's original inspiration for launching Slam, which was to help underrepresented Hispanic communities with their marketing and SEO needs. That's why Slam is dedicated to supporting companies that want to make a difference in people's lives and serve the greater good.

The original “why” you had for starting your agency should be evident throughout all aspects of your brand and should shine through in everything you do.

If this seems intimidating, our course will teach you what it takes to develop this trailblazing mindset that is required of a successful agency CEO. 

Establishing Your Unique Selling Proposition 

In a crowded marketplace of SEO agencies, standing out is essential. What sets your agency apart from the competition?

Whether it's your innovative approach to SEO, your unmatched customer service, or your track record of delivering results, identify your unique selling proposition and make it the cornerstone of your brand.

Once you have solidified what your unique selling proposition is, you’ll be able to appeal to your target audience’s specific needs. 

Crafting SEO Services with True Value 

Your agency's SEO services serve as the definitive roadmap for your clients’ ability to achieve online success. Mastering the craft of tailoring bespoke SEO solutions and monthly packages that not only fulfill a potential client's needs, but also deliver tangible results, is our expertise. 

It starts with: 

  • Crafting your service framework
  • Making your offer unique
  • Choosing your pricing model (e.g. fixed rate, retainer)
  • Choosing how you will work with clients (e.g. done for you vs. coaching)

From there, you can begin to tailor solutions and make a personalized offer to clients, and then iterate and refine what those offers look like over time based on client feedback.

Here are some SEO services that you can provide to clients that will add true value:

  • Comprehensive Website Audit: Start by conducting a thorough audit of your client's website. Identify areas for improvement, such as site structure, on-page optimization, and technical SEO issues.
  • Keyword Research and Analysis: Complete thorough keyword research to uncover valuable insights into your client's industry and target audience. Identify SEO-related keywords with optimal search volume and competition levels and educate your clients on how to choose keywords for SEO.
  • On-Page Optimization: Optimize your client's website content, meta tags, and URLs to align with targeted keywords and improve search engine visibility.
  • Content Strategy and Creation: Develop a content strategy that resonates with your client's audience and addresses their pain points. Create high-quality, relevant content that not only educates and entertains but also drives organic traffic to their website.
  • Monitoring and Reporting: Regularly monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) such as keyword rankings, organic traffic, and conversion rates. Provide detailed monthly agency SEO reports to track progress and demonstrate the impact of your SEO efforts.

Creating Monthly SEO Packages with Competitive Pricing 

Once you have established your SEO services, create package options to provide for new SEO clients that are priced competitively enough that they help you beat out your competitors while also staying profitable. These packages can combine a variety of services at one fixed price. 

By offering competitive pricing for a combination of services, you can position your agency as a cost-effective solution without sacrificing quality or value, which may be especially appealing for small business owners and local businesses.

Here are some general examples to get you started on creating SEO packages for your agency:

  • SEO Starter Package: Ideal for small businesses or startups needing SEO to establish their online presence. Includes essential services such as a website audit, keyword research, and on-page optimization.
  • SEO Standard Package: Perfect for businesses looking to enhance their SEO strategy and increase organic visibility. Could include everything in the Starter Package, plus additional services like content creation and link building.
  • SEO Premium Package: Tailored for businesses with more extensive SEO needs and aggressive growth goals. Could include all services from the Standard Package, along with advanced strategies such as competitor analysis, technical SEO optimization, and ongoing consultation.

It is possible to tailor your pricing strategy to attract new SEO clients, while remaining profitable and sustainable. 

You can do this by:

  • Conducting thorough market research to understand pricing trends, offerings, and client expectations
  • Segmenting your client base into flexible pricing tiers according to industry, size, and budget 
  • Utilizing introductory discounts, referral incentives, seasonal promotions, or complimentary services 

We go into more detail in our  How to Start an Agency Course if you want to learn how to price your SEO services while still making a profit. 

Generating SEO Leads Through Inbound and Outbound Marketing Methods

Once you've set the foundation of your digital marketing agency, it’s time to generate some buzz using inbound and outbound marketing methods. 

Inbound marketing involves generating leads by drawing customers to you through relevant and engaging content.

Outbound marketing, also referred to as interruption or traditional marketing, revolves around delivering marketing messages directly to potential customers.

There are several marketing methods you can implement to acquire more SEO leads that turn to clients for your digital marketing agency. We’ll explore these tried and true methods:

  • Optimizing your website and content for SEO  
  • Nurturing SEO leads with email marketing
  • Offering lead magnets to get more SEO clients
  • Encouraging word of mouth referrals for organic growth

Optimizing Your Website and Content for SEO 

If you are looking to get SEO clients, you first need to establish your SEO agency as a trusted authority by applying SEO best practices to your website to help it rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).

This includes implementing on-page SEO techniques such as keyword optimization, meta tags, headings, and internal linking, as well as off-page SEO strategies like building quality backlinks from reputable websites.

At Slam, we've achieved remarkable success through this strategy, with 50% of our new leads and customers originating from our SEO initiatives. While this approach demands patience and persistence since results accumulate gradually, the payoff is worth the investment of time and effort. 

We’ll break down five methods to optimize your website and content for SEO:

  1. Technical SEO audits
  2. Local SEO 
  3. Interactive content
  4. Content marketing strategy 
  5. Website design  

Running a Technical SEO Audit 

Technical SEO ensures that your website is structured, secure, optimized for search engine crawlers, and centered on delightful user experience (UX).  

Technical SEO issues come in various forms, each affecting your website's performance. These issues include: 

  • Website structure and navigation
  • SSL
  • XML sitemaps
  • Structured data markup
  • Crawling and indexing
  • Core web vitals 
  • Website speed and performance 
  • Mobile responsiveness 
  • …and more! 

Tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console are helpful to identify these issues and ensure your site is optimized effectively for search engines.

To learn how to fix technical SEO issues in more depth, you can check out our recent guide, Decoding Your Site’s Technical SEO Issues to Rank Higher on Search Engines. You can also use our Technical SEO Audit template to help identify problem areas on your site and fix them with ease. 

Making Use of Local SEO 

To attract local clients, you can optimize local SEO channels like Google Business Profiles (GBP), which increases your visibility in Google Maps and Search.

When potential customers search for businesses like yours, your profile can appear prominently in local search results, making it easier for them to find and contact you.

You should make sure your profile contains accurate business details and regular updates with fresh content to boost visibility and engagement.

Here are some best practices for maximizing your local SEO strategy:

  1. Claim and verify business listings on key local directories, maintaining consistent NAP information (Name, Address, and Phone Number) across all online platforms
  2. Encourage satisfied clients to leave positive reviews on GBP profiles and other relevant platforms, and promptly respond to feedback
  3. Produce location-specific content, such as blog posts and videos featuring local events and attractions
  4. Localize website content with city names, landmarks, and neighborhoods
  5. Target local directories and business listings 
  6. Add local business schema markup to relevant site pages 

Creating Interactive Content to Engage Audiences

You know what they say, content is king! We all know that producing high-quality, informative content that showcases your agency's expertise can help position you as a leader in your field and rank you higher on search engines.

To take it a step further, you need to engage your audience with interactive content that encourages user participation and captures client data that drives lead generation efforts.

Start by creating various types of interactive content that captivate your audience's interest and encourage active engagement. 

Here are some examples: 

  • Quizzes
  • Surveys
  • Assessments
  • Calculators
  • Interactive videos and webinars 

Not only does interactive content increase dwell time on your platform, but it also provides an opportunity to gather meaningful data from your target audience that can inform your marketing strategies.

You can make your content “gated” so that it requires users to provide their contact information to access the content or receive personalized results. 

This seamless lead capture process ensures that you're building your contact list while providing value to your audience. You can use this data for targeted email campaigns that nurture relationships and guide leads through the conversion funnel.

For an example of interactive content to attract SEO clients, check out our free SEO ROI calculator.

A picture of Slam's free ROI calculator as an example of interactive content.

While we’re on the topic of interactive tools and resources, here are a few more of our favorites:

Building Out a More Comprehensive Content Marketing Strategy 

If you are struggling to attract SEO clients, make sure that your content strategy is comprehensive enough to appeal to different audiences across different platforms. 

Though your ideal client should remain the same, everybody is different! Some clients prefer longer form content like blogs and case studies, while others prefer bite-sized, short form content. Having an array of all types can ensure you are covering your bases.  

Consider building out your content strategy to include:

  • Blogs: Give you the chance to provide practical tips, tutorials, and guides that readers can implement to improve their website's search engine visibility. This gives your SEO agency the chance to get in front of the right eyes and convince those looking for SEO help to look no further!
  • Case studies: Often include data and analytics that illustrate the effectiveness of specific SEO strategies for your agency clients and prove a tangible ROI that can attract future SEO clients to your services.
  • Videos Content and Webinars: Informative video content, webinars, and online courses educate your audience on SEO and content marketing best practices, trends, and strategies. (Psst - our How to Start an Agency Course is a perfect example!)
  • Podcasts: Foster a sense of community among listeners who share a common interest in SEO – many podcasts have dedicated online communities for listeners which can also help increase brand awareness!
  • Infographics: Distill complex SEO concepts into easy-to-understand visuals. 
  • Short-form content: Short-form content like TikTok videos help you share quick tips about digital marketing and show off your agency’s personality, leaving potential clients yearning for more. Check out our small business TikTok ideas to engage your audience and grow your brand! 

Partnering With a Design Agency

A marriage of web design and SEO best practices can be key to creating captivating brand experiences that resonate with audiences.

By forging a strategic partnership with design experts–whether that be a design agency or an individual–your digital marketing agency can benefit from an improved user interface (UI). This will make the site user’s experience better, and solve some of the technical SEO issues like website speed and responsiveness in the process..

Here are some benefits of partnering with a design agency to attract SEO clients:

  • Ensures that your agency's brand messaging remains consistent across all digital touchpoints, creating a cohesive brand identity that leaves a lasting impression
  • Brings your agency brand to life through compelling imagery, typography, and user experiences
  • Enhances intuitive user interfaces (UI) and user experiences (UX) that prioritize functionality, accessibility, and ease of use
  • Uncovers reasons why clients might not be converting and solutions to improve conversion rate optimization 

Nurturing SEO Leads with Email Marketing

Another great way to attract SEO leads is by building an email list of subscribers who have opted in to receive updates, promotions, and content from your business and nurturing those leads over time. This means you will need an area on your website dedicated to collecting subscribers like Slam does in the blog section of our site.

Once you collect emails, you can send targeted email campaigns to provide valuable information, share agency promotions, and drive conversions, segmenting your emails based on the interests, demographics, and preferences of your subscribers. ConvertKit is one of our favorite tools for this.

Offering Lead Magnets to Attract SEO Clients

Offering lead magnets is a strategic approach to attract potential SEO clients by providing valuable resources or incentives that address their pain points or challenges related to improving their online visibility. 

Lead magnets serve as enticing offers that compel prospects to engage with your brand by exchanging their contact information, and entering your sales funnel.

Providing Free SEO Audits to Entice Clients

Let’s face it, everybody loves getting free stuff! If you want to get SEO clients, then a great "freebie" to draw more of them to you is to offer free SEO audits

A free SEO audit is a pretty irresistible way to address issues faced by potential clients, provide a tangible solution, and prove your expertise in the process. 

If you have the opportunity to virtually meet with free SEO clients to gather their information and establish connections, seize it. 

This approach not only allows for more face-to-face interaction with clients but also helps you expand your network, laying a foundation for potentially lucrative client relationships.

Other free products you can offer include ebooks, checklists, and templates. You can offer these resources as free downloads in exchange for contact information, and don't forget to promote your lead magnets across your website, blog, and social media channels!

Encouraging Word of Mouth Referrals for Organic Growth

Another very powerful way to get new clients is through word-of-mouth marketing. 

Think of how many times you've taken a friend's recommendation to try a new restaurant or shop at a new store. It's probably a lot, and the same goes in the agency world!

Implementing a Referral Program

Once you've established trust with your clients through exceptional service and results, capitalize on this by transforming satisfied customers into enthusiastic brand advocates who actively promote your agency within their networks. 

You can encourage clients to recommend you by implementing referral programs that reward satisfied clients for bringing in new leads, like product or service discounts, exclusive access to resources and templates, or monetary rewards.

Prioritize delivering exceptional results and ensuring a positive client experience, as this investment yields long-term rewards. 

By consistently surpassing expectations and delivering measurable value, you solidify the trust and loyalty of your clients, increasing the likelihood of them recommending your agency to others.

Adding Social Proof to Your Site

Another powerful way to enhance your agency's credibility is to incorporate social proof elements on your website. 

These elements should highlight positive client experiences with compelling testimonials that validate your agency's effectiveness, while including concrete data and metrics to showcase the measurable impact of your campaigns.

Check out an example of a great client testimonial from our Community Skills Initiative case study:

An image of a quote from Summer Hess, of Community Skills Initiative, talking about her great experience working with Slam Media Lab.

Utilizing storytelling techniques will help you craft engaging narratives detailing project challenges, strategies, and outcomes that captivate your audience and make case studies relatable and inspiring for prospective clients. This will showcase your agency's capacity to overcome obstacles and achieve impressive results.

Developing a comprehensive portfolio of your successful projects, campaigns, and collaborations is a great way to illustrate expertise and build trust with potential clients, and you can grow it over time. Just make sure you get client approval before mentioning their company name on your site.

How to Get SEO Clients for Your Digital Marketing Agency with Slam's Masterclass

If you are hoping to get those sought-after SEO clients for your digital marketing agency, Slam's How to Start an Agency Masterclass is a one-stop shop to learn how to start a successful agency from scratch, with modules ranging from choosing your ideal client profile, to setting yourself up legally and financially, to establishing a better online presence to generate SEO leads. 

You can get access to 20+ tools and templates, our agency processes, and 10+ hours of modules and videos. 

By implementing the insights, tools, and support provided by this course, you can learn how to not only attract but also retain high-value SEO clients, fostering long-term growth and sustainability. 

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