If you are an SEO agency, and you want to get the best clients, you should understand that the client acquisition process requires you to do a number of things. This process requires a lot and thorough planning, prospecting, and fault-finding, and in case you fail in one of these steps of the process, the entire client acquisition process will crumble.

Each and every step of the process should be well-though-out and executed in a well-planned and timely manner. This is particularly important, especially when it comes to creating your outreach strategy, outreach automation, as well as lead generation. Some of the important things that you need to know are:

  • Whom to target
  • How to contact your prospective clients in the right manner
  • How to write a customized pitch that’s hard to ignore

One advice you will get from SEO experts is that the process of creating and sending out cold emails shouldn’t be random and arbitrary. You should never make and take random plans from the dark—unless the feeling of rejection starts creeping on you.

Rather, you should know:

  • Whom exactly you want to send your cold email
  • Reasons why that particular contact is relevant
  • The best possible way to approach that person or company
  • What are their major imperfections and how you can assist in fixing them

When approaching your prospective clients, you need to understand that all clients are not equal, and at times, it’s not all about the quantity, but quality. Sending out well-written cold email works best for anyone who wants to win SEO clients who are new to the industry, and your success in the area mainly depends on these steps:

  • Finding out your Ideal Customer Personas (ICPs)
  • Assessing them and targeting the highly-qualified prospects
  • Understanding how to write effective cold emails, which will capture their attention
  • Using the best outreach automation, and ensuring that your offer is the best and cannot be disregarded

So, how can you land more and better clients for your business? By following these basic lead generation steps and effective (spam-free) outreach strategies.

Step 1: Finding/defining your ICPs

This is the most critical step when it comes to lead generation, but it’s also one of the most overlooked steps. Most companies normally skip this process of finding out who their ideal ICPs are and move directly to sending out their pitches to anyone out there in the field. However, this is an ineffective tactic, which ends up wasting a lot of valuable time and resources.

For instance, if you want to make apple cider vinegar, you must do research to find out the best apple variety that’s ideal for making the best vinegar, why this variety is the best for making the vinegar, and where to find it. By visiting the market and buying the first apple that you come across won’t make you make the best apple cider vinegar in the world.

This is the reason why you need to do some research and find out the best client who fits your ICP/target audience image. The most important thing in this step is understanding who your ideal ICPs are, and recognizing the ones with the potential of turning into long-term clients.

Once you are sure that you have a better understanding of your target audience, you now need to find out some relevant and important information about them. This is what you will need to do:

  • Perform background research on their competitors
  • Find out the SEO agencies they have been working with
  • Find out the content they create
  • Find out the pitfalls in their business model

As time goes by, you will realize that this information is priceless, and it will prove to be beneficial later.

Step 2: Targeting the highly-qualified SEO prospects

Also known as Goldilocks Zone clients, these clients have an already established success when it comes to organic search, but there is some room for improvement. Ideally, these clients are not some of the top-ranked sites in search engine results pages, but they have the potential of reaching the top rankings on SERPs. With these clients, we can say that they are not cold, but not hot either.

Here, you shouldn’t be targeting the prospects who are not in SERPs at all, together with the prospects at the top of SERPs. Prospects who are already enjoying the top position in SERPs probably don’t need your assistance, whole those who are not ranking at all are not ready to spend their money in SEO services.

Please note that it’s important to target SEO prospects that come from the niche that you are well conversant with, and in which you have some or well-proven success and experience. This way, you will have the perfect opportunity to use your previous SEO success as case studies and testimonials that will assist you in convincing your potential clients why they need to hire your agency.

Therefore, the plan here is to develop a strong strategy, which will assist you in focusing on the prospects who recognize the value, as well as the potential effects of SEO. These will be the Ideal Customer Personas you should be searching for.

The following are 2 simple and practical steps to do that.

Identify your target keyword(s)

Your target keywords should be performing well in the industry and niche you are targeting. And with this, you will need to find the best keyword research tool that suits your needs and then choose the keywords performing well in the niche that you want to attract your new clients. Some of the best keyword research tools out there in the market include Ahrefs, Google Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest, and SEMrush, among others.

Track down quality prospects with a quality link prospecting tool

This is an important step, but not many SEO agencies understand its significance. When you get your target keywords, you need to start doing something practical on them—and this is the step where link prospecting tools come in hand.

Link prospecting tools can assist you in finding a useful or practical list of prospective SEO clients, and this list will assist you in finding the ones whom you think you’ll be able to work with. One of the best tools that you can use in this step is Dibz, and it’s a tool that will make your link building and influencer opportunity research process simpler, and assist you in targeting the potential clients who are suitable for your agency.

You will only need a number of steps to find your potential SEO prospects

  1. Searching
  2. Sorting
  3. Filtering
  4. Cherry-picking

One thing you need to understand about client prospecting is that it best suits those who want to collect valuable information about their future SEO clients and do away with those clients whom you think are not worth your efforts and time. Basically, you will be searching for clients with a tangible potential of improving their SEO.

Step 3: Automating your outreach, and perfecting your pitch

When you believe that you have found your perfect prospective clients, it’s time to make sure that you have a strong prospect that cannot be ignored. At this step, you will need to reach out to these clients with something tangible—and this where outreach automation comes in handy. Creating strong and informative, but yet concise outreach emails are what you will need to do, as it’s the step that will get you that client.

Your pitch should have the following:

  • Pertinent SEO insights that show and explain the current SEO situation of the client.
  • Graphics and actionable steps showing what needs to be done for the client to improve their rankings.
  • Your previous case studies showing how you assisted your old clients to rank better.

Your cold emails should be:

  • Straight to the point
  • Fluff-free
  • Actionable
  • Personalized
  • Convincing
  • Easy to read

You will need to prove to your clients that you are experienced and know your way around SEO.

Assembling the perfect, data-driven pitches

One thing to remember is that every SEO prospect has some room for improvement. In addition to this, every prospective client has some shortcomings in their SEO strategy, and they would rank better if they didn’t have them. Here, you will need to prove to your prospective clients that you exactly:

  • Know what their major pitfalls and challenges are
  • The solution to this

With this, you don’t need to beat around the bush with irrelevant data—you need to give a straightforward solution that will assist them in solving the problem at hand.

Here are 3 approaches to outreach email

Explain to your clients how they can improve and capitalize on certain keyword opportunities

Do research on the crucial terms for the potential client’s website, do a keyword search to determine the reasons why they are not gaining from the keywords. Explain to the clients what you can do just to gain more traffic for that main keyword.

Highlight the gaps in their keyword strategies, and explain what you can do just to assist them in filling out the missed opportunities

Find the keywords that look to be strong for the website, but they are not attracting enough traffic to the web pages. Ensure that you try and find out some of the less visible keywords that the prospect overlooked but have the potential of getting the job done.

Explain to them why their competitors are successful and show them how you can assist them to catch up with their competitors

There is something interesting about untapped link-building opportunities—they will always deliver the best results. Therefore, you need to try and stress out how you can assist them in boosting their inbound link profile by researching the most powerful and influential backlinks that their prospects are using, but your potential client’s website isn’t.

Bottom line

The client acquisition process in SEO or other field is guided by the following three steps:

  1. Know whom you want to target (define your ICPs)
  2. Select the best prospects
  3. Create a compelling outreach strategy, as well as cold email pitches that cannot be ignored

In addition, you should never give up in case your efforts don’t pick up right away. What you need to understand is that it can be a challenge to avoid trial and error in these processes, and you should always embrace it and capitalize on it.