You have to get high-quality SEO leads if you want to sustain your digital marketing business. Thankfully, there are many outreach strategies out there that will connect you with SEO leads who are likely to convert, build relationships with prospects, and showcase your expertise.
Here are the most effective outreach strategies you can try, from online approaches like sending emails to offline like attending events.
1. Build a targeted email list
Most articles online only talk about email outreach for link building. But in reality, email is one of the foundations of online outreach in general, whether you are building links via guest posts or getting SEO leads. If you want to have a successful email campaign, you have to have the right prospects to email to, and one way to guarantee this is to build a targeted email list. A targeted email list is a database of contacts likely to have a genuine interest in your SEO services, making these contacts valuable because they are easier to convert into real paying clients.
- Compile a list of potential clients. You can scour the internet to build a list of potential clients. There are manual ways to build an email list, such as manually going to websites and social media profiles of potential clients and getting their email addresses. There are also automated ways, such as the use of online tools like D7 Lead Finder to compile a list of SEO leads for you, with lead segmentation options based on industry and location.
- Divide your email list into segments. Don’t just compile a list of random SEO leads and call it a day. Divide your email list into segments based on different criteria. Here are interesting criteria ideas for lead segmentation: company size, industry, and geographical location. Your SEO leads will have different needs and wants. This is why it’s important to divide them into segments. You will be able to tailor your messaging for each segment.
- Keep your email list updated. Clean up your email list regularly. Remove inactive and irrelevant email addresses, which tend to build up naturally when you are compiling SEO leads. You should also consider removing unresponsive email addresses, especially when this is not your first email campaign with the email list.
2. Write personalized outreach emails
Your targeted email list is useless if you can’t take advantage of it. Make sure the emails you send to this email list will actually be received and read. The best way to ensure this is to send personalized outreach emails, not just generic one-size-fits-all messages that appear spammy and suspicious. Personalization shows that you genuinely care about your SEO leads and want to build a real and meaningful connection with them. They are not just prospects that can make you money.
- Avoid spammy tactics. All of us are victims of email spam. Surely, your SEO leads know how to detect spam too, even from just the email subject line. Avoid spammy subject lines. Don’t make exaggerated claims with words like “100% free” and shady promises like “No hidden costs.” Even if the email recipients don’t manually detect these as spam, you can’t say the same for automatic spam filters that will send your emails right into the spam folder.
- Focus on the value proposition. Personalize your email by using the recipient’s name and including their challenges and pain points. When you are that specific, the recipients will know you are not sending templated emails. Don’t just address their business concerns. Position your SEO agency as a solution provider to solve these challenges and pain points. When they see their problems and the solutions in front of them, they are more likely to respond to your email.
- Include a call-to-action. Another way to make your email recipients more likely to respond is to add a call-to-action at the end. Even simple phrases like “I would like to hear from you” or “Give me a call” can go a long way for your email’s open and response rates.
3. Try strategic cold calling
In the age of digitalization, you may think that cold calling no longer works as an outreach strategy. But it has its advantages over online executions like email campaigns. Cold calling is much more personal. It’s also an immediate interaction, unlike emailing where you are not even sure if your messages are going to be read. With the right approach, cold calling can get you numerous SEO leads.
- Research before calling. Like email campaigns, strategic cold calling requires building a list of prospects and personalizing your outreach. Build a list of businesses who will genuinely be interested in your SEO services and then segment them into categories. Know their challenges and pain points, so you can customize your message and tailor it to their specific needs and wants.
- Deliver a great SEO pitch. SEO pitches are not always full-blown presentations in front of clients. They can actually be delivered quickly, like in an elevator or wherever else where you have limited time. You are in a limited time span when you are cold calling, so make sure the time is worth it for your SEO leads. Tell them who you are, address their needs and wants, and position yourself immediately as a solutions provider that will benefit their business by solving their challenges and considering their needs and wants.
- Listen to your prospect. When cold calling, remember that there is another person at the other end of the line. Cold calls are not monologues. Let your prospects speak. They may have concerns, doubts, and questions. When you let them voice these, you can immediately address them. Letting them speak is not just a sign of attentiveness. It’s also a sign of your wanting to build a reciprocal relationship.
4. Engage in social media
Maintaining social media profiles on the most popular and niche social media platforms can be an effective strategy for getting SEO leads. Social media has become so powerful that you can use it not just for lead generation, but also for authority building, customer engagement, and more.
- Optimize your social media and business profiles. Make sure that your profiles contain the right information regarding your SEO agency, such as your agency’s name, address, and phone number. Further optimize your profiles by adding descriptions, pictures, and links to your website. Also, take note that Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are not the only social media platforms out there. You can also create business profiles on websites like Google Business Profile, TripAdvisor, and Yelp.
- Share valuable content. Create and share content that will be valuable for your target audience – in this case, those who are seeking your specific SEO products and services. SEO best practices, success stories, tips, and trends are popular choices. These kinds of content can help not just in lead generation, but also in authority building.
- Engage with your audience. Audience engagement is not just about replying to the comments on your social media posts. It’s also about participating in conversations and relevant discussions in your audience’s industry or niche. Use these techniques to build authority and relationships. SEO leads will soon follow from your social media and business profiles. If you want an even more active approach, you can also personally message your audience and prospects.
5. Host or participate in industry events
Hosting or participating in industry events is a strategic way to make your presence known, network with SEO leads, and position yourself as a thought leader in the SEO space. There are many events you can leverage, such as conferences, local meet-ups, workshops, and even webinars. Interact with the people there, which can lead to SEO inquiries, partnerships, and valuable relationships.
- Host engaging webinars and workshops. Host webinars and workshops about general or specific SEO topics, such as link building and local SEO. Provide valuable insights into SEO strategies and trends. You can also share case studies to strengthen your position. You can make the sessions interactive to encourage audience participation. When your SEO leads are actively participating, they become much more receptive to your advances.
- Attend networking events. You don’t have to host events yourself. You can simply attend those that are hosted by others, whether the hosts are SEO industry leaders or leaders of other industries where your target SEO clients may be. Those who attend events like conferences and meet-ups are usually decision-makers in their businesses. They are valuable SEO leads because they can pull the trigger and become real paying SEO clients.
- Prepare your elevator pitch. When you are in these events, you don’t have time to convince your SEO leads with a full-blown SEO sales pitch. Your pitch has to be quick and to the point. Just give out the important details: who you are, what SEO problems you solve, and what benefits can clients expect. But remember not to be too sales-y. Event attendees feel it when you are just there for the money and not for the relationships.
6. Run targeted ads
When digital marketers hear outreach strategies to get SEO leads, they instantly think about cold calls, emails, and the like. Using targeted ads is still an outreach strategy. After all, you are still reaching out to a specific audience. Run ads in the most relevant spaces and optimize your creatives to increase the effectiveness of your ad campaigns.
- Try PPC advertising. Invest in pay-per-click advertising in search engines like Google. Your ads will show up on relevant search results, so you can get high-quality SEO leads. As the name suggests, you only pay every time someone clicks your ad. If you optimize your ad well, it can be very cost-effective. Create compelling ad copy and add a call-to-action to increase clicks and conversions.
- Run social media ad campaigns. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are some of the biggest social media platforms out there where different kinds of people needing and wanting SEO services frequent. Run targeted ad campaigns there. Thankfully, their ad infrastructure is great because of their detailed targeting options. Make sure to target businesses and individuals that match your ideal client profile.
- Place ads on industry-specific platforms. The SEO leads you are looking for may be more active and receptive in very specific online communities that are not necessarily social media platforms. Industry-specific forums like Reddit and websites like Amazon are great examples. Ads on these industry-specific platforms and websites can even give you more success compared to PPC and social media ads.
7. Get into local SEO
Tailor your online presence to the specific needs and wants of businesses and individuals in your geographical vicinity. This will position you as an accessible SEO provider in your community. When you have this position, businesses and individuals in need of SEO products and services are more likely to employ your SEO agency because of the impression that you know the locality compared to other SEO agencies who may have a more general SEO approach. Partner this technique with other outreach strategies and you will get numerous SEO leads.
- Optimize your Google Business Profile. There are many business profiles you can create online, such as TripAdvisor and Yelp. One of the most powerful among these profiles is the Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business. When you have a Google Business Profile optimized for your locality, you are more likely to appear when someone in the area searches for SEO products and services.
- Optimize for local keywords. Look for relevant local keywords. Incorporate these keywords into your content, from your website and social media profiles to your business profiles. You can also create location-specific landing pages to cater to the unique needs and wants of businesses and individuals in a particular area.
- Get into local directories. List your SEO agency not just in the most popular platforms like Google Business Profile but also in industry and location-specific ones like local business associations and chambers of commerce. They improve the online footprint of your SEO agency in your local area.
Reach out strategically and get numerous SEO leads
There are many ways to reach out and get SEO leads. There are online approaches like ad campaigns, email campaigns, and social media, and offline approaches like networking events. And there are also approaches that don’t involve actively reaching out to SEO leads, like building a social media presence and optimizing for local SEO.
All these strategies are effective in their own ways. You can even combine these outreach strategies to get even more SEO leads.