Finding SEO Customers: Strategies for Acquiring New Clients

Finding new clients as a salesperson in the world of SEO can be challenging, especially with the constant changes and updates to s earch engine algorithms.

However, by leveraging social media effectively, being present at events as an attendee or speaker, and using email marketing, you can connect with potential clients and offer your expertise to help them navigate the dynamic landscape of SEO.

Lee Gaul

Finding new clients as a salesperson in the world of SEO can be challenging, especially with the constant changes and updates to s earch engine algorithms. However, by leveraging social media effectively, being present at events as an attendee or speaker, and using email marketing, you can connect with potential clients and offer your expertise to help them navigate the dynamic landscape of SEO.

The first step is to define your ideal customer profile. If you haven’t done that already, here is a quick primer on understanding your customer profile and targeting them:

  • Understand your target audience: To effectively market your SEO services, it is essential to understand who your target audience is and what their needs and goals are. This will help you tailor your marketing efforts and messaging to appeal to the right people. To identify your target audience, think about the types of businesses or organizations that would benefit most from your services. For example, if you specialize in local SEO, your target audience might be small businesses in your area. Alternatively, if you offer e-commerce SEO, your target audience might be online retailers.
  • Tip: set up a free SEMrush account and look for the “Winners and Losers” report to see who had the biggest shifts in rankings in the previous month versus the current month.

Social media

Once you have an idea of who may be in need of help, it’s time to find the person or people who are responsible for a given site’s performance. I will typically head to Twitter and LinkedIn to see if any of the people from the companies listed in the Winners and Losers report are actively engaged in conversations about rankings.

Try searching Twitter for #SEO as a starting point and refine your search from there. It’s also useful to follow SEO experts such as Lily Ray (@lilyraynyc) or Anatolii Ulitovskyi (@UlAnatolii), as they will likely be fielding questions from users and fellow SEOs. Remember to actually actively participate in the conversation rather than spamming your pitches — people will instantly tune out an overeager salesperson.

The SEO community is surprisingly small and tight-knit. Brands, consultants, agencies, and even Googlers themselves can be found discussing the issues of the day. Ask a question, and you’ll see a flurry of answers, comments, and a few “it depends…”. If you are serious about SEO, Twitter is where you need to be. It’s also a great place to gauge the impact of an algorithm update.

LinkedIn also provides a great opportunity to find your potential customers.

Creating engaging posts, asking questions, or posting polls will put your ideas in front of potential clients and show that you are an expert in your field. Monitor the engagement and keep an eye out for anyone in your ideal customer profile reacting or commenting on your posts. Then, reach out and start a conversation. You can even share your findings about their specific site and ask if they are interested in learning about how you typically solve these problems for your own clients.

For people in Search Marketing, there is a perpetual dance with the companies that control search engines, the most important and influential of which is Google. Engineers at the search giant are constantly releasing tiny adjustments and updates to the product. This process is never-ending (with as many as 12 changes per day!).

Normally, users don’t notice these tiny incremental shifts because they are so small and are often temporary, or are part of an A/B test from Google Search engineers.

Even if a company is hyper-focused on having a technically solid website, they are regularly creating fresh content, and thus even minor changes to the algorithm can make a well-ranking site drop a few positions on the first page of Google (or even onto the dreaded 2nd page!).

That’s why it is important to understand that the rules of the SEO game can change at any time and you, as a salesperson, should be there to offer your expertise to help regain any lost rankings that may occur when Google drops an update.


Depending on your level of experience, you may also have the opportunity to represent yourself or your company at a marketing or SEO conference. This is another excellent opportunity to build interest and gain new customers.

Presentation skills are something we’ll leave for another post, but generally, it is essential to have a well-thought-out and polished presentation ready to go that is compelling and tells a story about how you add value for your clients.

Be prepared to bring evidence. This should be a relatively easy thing to do because there is a wealth of evidence regarding the very real principles of good SEO, as well as events that are impacting the web as a whole. The key is to demonstrate how your strategic approach can help and to share examples of how you have made meaningful impacts on your clients in the past.

  1. Find out who the leading sponsors are and search LinkedIn to see if you are connected with anyone from those companies. If so, reach out and ask if they have a sense of who is attending or if they can share an attendee list. What you want to achieve here is to better target attendees from the event and make a plan for connecting in person.
  2. If a partner company is sponsoring an event, check to see who their clients are by going to their website and looking for the ‘who we work with/our clients’ section of their website. There may also be testimonials from clients with their names, titles, or pictures. This is basic prospecting for most, but for an SEO salesperson, it can be wildly successful. Why? Because you’ll be able to differentiate yourself by identifying a problem with their performance and success while providing data specific to their challenges and solutions to solve them. *Bonus points if this company wasn’t already aware of the problem!
  3. Once you have collected a list of high-priority prospects, create a spreadsheet that includes names, companies, roles, and PICTURES of each person. Having a picture included as a part of your prospecting research is key because it allows you to quickly scan a room for faces instead of approaching people and squinting at their lanyard for a name and a company. As a bonus, recognizing someone’s face puts someone at ease since they will then begin to think to themselves, “Oh, no! I must have met this person before. Be cool and don’t let on that you don’t remember them.”



By this point, you’ve been able to capitalize on a major SEO event by taking the time to understand what the industry is talking about, along with doing your own research about the impact of the event on different levels. You have attended an event, and hopefully, you have been able to connect with your ideal prospects to see if there is genuine interest in working together.

However, if you have followed these steps but were not able to make the right connections in person, your last resort is sending an email.

People are always changing, and our online habits are constantly evolving, but until the next new innovation comes along, email remains the most common and reliable way to do prospecting. But remember that your competitors are also emailing your prospects, so you need to differentiate yourself by getting their attention.

I receive over a hundred emails a day in my inbox, and I’m very unlikely to open the vast majority of them, let alone reply.

This is where a solid subject line is key. If you have taken the time to try and understand someone’s business, as well as their competitors, you have a recipe for a great subject line. You can mention a competitor in the subject line and how you can help to CRUSH them by implementing x, y, z changes.

Or use loss aversion to create a sense of impending loss and offer ways to help protect against that loss.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to using email marketing to find new SEO clients:

  1. Identify your target audience: Before you can start reaching out to potential clients, it’s important to identify who your target audience is and what their specific needs and challenges are. Use social media, events, and other resources to research potential clients and learn about their challenges and needs.
  2. Create a compelling subject line: The subject line of your email is the first thing potential clients will see, so it’s important to make it compelling and engaging. Use keywords and phrases that are relevant to your target audience, and avoid using spammy or salesy language.
  3. Provide valuable information and insights: In the body of your email, provide potential clients with valuable information and insights about your services and how you can help them improve their search engine rankings. Use examples, case studies, and testimonials to illustrate the value of your services and the benefits that clients can expect to receive.
  4. Include a call to action: At the end of your email, include a clear and concise call to action that tells potential clients what you want them to do next. This could be to schedule a call, visit your website, or download a free resource. Make it easy for potential clients to take the next step and engage with your services.
  5. Follow up and stay engaged: After sending your initial email, follow up with potential clients to continue the conversation and build a relationship. Stay engaged with your network of potential clients and continue to provide them with valuable information and insights about your services. This can help to nurture the relationship and increase the chances of converting potential clients into paying customers.


Selling is hard, but selling SEO is special because you can use data as evidence to back up your value proposition. You should leverage a multi-channel approach to finding new customers, including social media, in-person events, and email. Just remember to be strategic and to demonstrate why your vision will benefit your clients.

Good luck and happy selling!

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