SEO client retention is obviously important if you want to succeed in your digital marketing business. There are many strategies out there to retain your clients, but they all boil down to one ultimate strategy – to keep your clients happy and engaged.
Clients who are happy and engaged are more likely to stay, helping you build long-lasting relationships, improve your authority and reputation in the SEO industry, and just generally keep your SEO business afloat. Here are the strongest tips on how to keep your SEO clients happy and engaged.
1. Personalize your approach
Clients value the feeling that their business is unique, and therefore, has unique needs and wants. Your clients will want to feel that your SEO approach is catered specifically to their business. You may think this is obvious, but some SEO agencies and professionals use templated SEO strategies, communication emails, and even SEO executions. Personalizing everything for your SEO clients will keep them happy and engaged.
- Look at the size of their business, industry, and competition. Business size, industry, and competition are three things you should look into if you are looking to personalize. These are the biggest factors that influence personalization. Look at the business size – an international corporation will have different needs compared to a local store. Look at the industry – a home service business will need a different approach compared to an e-commerce store. And look at the competition – a company that needs global SEO may require a more aggressive SEO strategy compared to a mom-and-pop shop that only needs local SEO.
- Establish an appropriate line of communication. Some clients prefer to see you in person. Some prefer video calls in Zoom, and some prefer just emails. Different clients will want different communication channels depending on their business and even personality. Make sure to find the most appropriate ones. They will appreciate your effort to adjust.
- Personalize your reports. When you are reporting their SEO progress, include personalized insights based on the data in your reports. This shows your commitment to giving them a personalized SEO strategy, not just a copy-paste and one size fits all strategy. Don’t forget to add your logo to your reports for bonus branding points.
2. Control their expectations
Some SEO clients have unrealistic expectations. When you don’t fulfill them, they may think that you are a failure and you may lose their business. This is not always their fault. They don’t know much about SEO, so they have delusions of grandeur. But as the SEO agency or professional, it’s your duty to put them on the right track. Control their expectations. When expectations are realistic, they are much easier to achieve, and when you do achieve them, you will keep your SEO clients happy and engaged.
- Don’t oversell yourself in your SEO pitch. You need a great SEO sales pitch to win clients. But don’t go overboard. If you oversell yourself, your new clients may have unrealistic expectations. And if they have unrealistic expectations, they will only be ultimately disappointed in your performance and leave you for another SEO agency or professional.
- Set realistic expectations from the very beginning. When you are onboarding a new client, tell them from the get-go what to expect from your SEO campaigns. Tell them that SEO is a long game. It’s a continuous process of patience and perseverance. It’s important to set boundaries immediately. If you don’t set them up quickly, they may think you are simply moving the goalpost because you can’t deliver. This will result in distrust for your SEO products and services.
- Give actionable insights. You need to perform an SEO audit whenever you get a new client. This will help you understand their current SEO situation and what you can realistically do in the short term and long term. With your findings, enumerate actionable insights, so your client will have a more concrete and measurable metric to look into your performance. Here are some examples of actionable insights: increasing organic website traffic, improving keyword rankings, and building more links.
3. Show them even the smallest improvements
Yes, there are quick wins in SEO. But generally, it’s considered a long game. As such, small victories need to be celebrated, as these show progress to your clients. Progress, no matter how small, is a good way to keep your SEO clients happy and engaged. They are paying you for your SEO products and services. And progress means they are seeing some results with the money they have spent.
- Align your key performance indicators with their business goals. What are your client’s broadest objectives? Do they need more website traffic, improve keyword rankings, or boost conversation rates? Whatever they are, make sure your key performance indicators align with them. For example, if your client wants better keyword rankings, consider using some of these metrics: keyword ranking positions, click-through rate, bounce rate, and organic traffic.
- Use visualization tools. When auditing, you are probably using SEO audit tools like Ahrefs, Google Analytics, and Moz. Thankfully, most SEO audit tools have visualization tools like charts and graphs. Make sure to use these when you are tracking key performance indicators and reporting your findings to your SEO clients.
- Give regular reports. If you want to keep your SEO clients happy and engaged, don’t keep them in the dark. Report to them regularly to show improvements in their SEO situation. Celebrate milestones, add insights, and offer action plans and recommendations. This way, your SEO clients always know what you are up to.
4. Go the extra mile
Delivering results, no matter how small, is great. But do you know what’s greater? It’s taking additional steps to demonstrate your commitment to them as SEO clients. No, going the extra mile is not just about delivering more success in the SEO campaigns. It’s also about communicating well with your clients, addressing their concerns and feedback, making adjustments to campaigns, and other little things that SEO clients appreciate.
- Be proactive in communication. Clients like it when their SEO contractor has the initiative to communicate, so this is exactly what you should do. Reach out to your clients regularly, providing them with updates, asking them if they have any concerns and feedback, and scheduling meetings to talk about their SEO situation. Your competitors may technically be better than you in digital marketing, but you can actually gain the competitive edge if you know how to talk to and handle clients.
- Offer value beyond their needs and wants. Some clients have very specific SEO goals. For example, they may have approached you to get help for gaining more organic traffic. Yes, you should respect these goals. But this doesn’t mean you can’t suggest more. Maybe they can use some link building too to further improve their organic traffic, not just content creation. This is a great way to upsell and cross-sell your SEO products and services, and at the same time, make your clients feel that you provide more value than they have initially thought.
- Have a flexible SEO strategy. Templated SEO strategies and executions are the worst. Many SEO agencies and contractors use these because they make scaling their digital marketing business easier. But templates are not flexible. You want SEO strategies that you can update and revise based on your clients’ changing needs. After all, when they are with you, they are going to experience growth. And with growth comes more challenges that need to be addressed.
5. Provide excellent customer service
You can be the best SEO company in the world with insane results, but if you have poor customer service, are you really the best SEO company? Client satisfaction is not just about delivering results. It’s also about creating a positive experience and nurturing a supportive environment for your SEO clients’ journeys.
- Give your SEO clients reliable accessibility. It’s not always feasible, but if you can, provide 24/7 communication access for your clients. This way, they can immediately contact you for their issues instead of waiting for your official business hours. This shows your commitment to giving excellent customer service. There are many communication channels you can try, such as emails and phone calls. Some of the bigger SEO agencies even have client dashboards.
- Have a problem-solving approach in everything. Your problem-solving approach should not be limited to the SEO strategies and executions themselves. It should extend to your customer service as well. Always think about how you can improve. Consider sending client feedback surveys, establishing a feedback loop with your clients, or scheduling regular check-ins and meetings.
- Don’t be afraid to be honest and transparent. Sometimes, bad things happen. For example, there may be an algorithm update that hits your client’s website pretty badly. Don’t be afraid to share the news with them. Be completely honest and transparent about their SEO. They will appreciate it. But don’t let your competence and reputation take a hit. When delivering bad news, make sure to include insights and action plans to solve the issues.
6. Educate them about SEO
Your clients probably don’t know much about SEO. It’s the reason why they are hiring you in the first place. But this doesn’t mean they should not learn SEO. If they know a thing or two about it, it can help them decide on their SEO objectives and goals and participate in achieving them. A deeper understanding of SEO can also help them understand your strategies and executions and have a greater appreciation of you and your efforts.
- Provide educational resources. Let them dive deep into the world of digital marketing and SEO on their own. Simply provide the educational resources they need. These can be blogs, case studies, e-books, white papers, or whatever else. Case studies are particularly great because the clients will be able to see SEO strategies, the reasonings behind them, and their executions.
- Organize workshops. Schedule meetings, Q&A sessions, webinars, and other workshops and specifically talk about SEO topics, particularly those that are involved in the strategies and executions for your clients. Make the workshops interactive to keep your clients engaged and willing to learn.
- Walk them through your SEO tools. Even when they are not the ones doing the SEO heavy lifting, it helps for them to understand the SEO tools involved in their campaigns and strategies. Walk them through the SEO tools you are using for them, and explain the key performance indicators you are using as well and the reasoning behind them. If they understand your tools, they will have an easier time making sense of your SEO executions and reports.
7. Keep them involved
If you want to keep your SEO clients happy and engaged, keep them involved. With the help of your education, they will know enough to make informed decisions about their SEO goals and objectives. When they feel that they are connected to the process and its progress, you build a strong working relationship – a relationship that may make them stay.
- Nurture a collaborative environment. Discuss with your clients their long-term and short-term objectives. You can lead the way with your expert advice, but don’t disregard their input. A collaborative environment ensures that both parties are on the same page and are working towards the same goals. Clients can also help in the SEO process. For instance, you can ask them for ideas for their blog content.
- Be open to client feedback and input. Create an environment where clients feel comfortable sharing their ideas and observations. Incorporating these into your SEO strategies and executions shows that you value their opinions and you are willing to adapt based on their insights.
- Present new SEO opportunities. As an SEO professional, you will see a lot of new SEO opportunities for your clients along the way. These could be new content formats, emerging digital platforms, or unique targeting strategies. Make sure to share them with your clients and ask them what they think.
8. Show the value of your work
When clients can clearly see the impact of your SEO products and services on their business, they are more likely to continue with the partnership. They are also more likely to recommend you to their peers, potentially giving you more leads. Show them the value of your work. Make them feel that their SEO investment is justified and worth it.
- Share case studies and success stories. Case studies and success stories are great at bringing in new SEO clients and building your reputation. If you can show that your campaigns and strategies are effective, leads are more likely to hire you. Make sure to include numbers, insights, strategies, and the reasoning behind them in these case studies and success stories.
- Analyze their ROI. Businesses want some kind of return on whatever investment they make. In this case, the investment is in SEO. Regularly analyze the return on investment of your SEO executions and include your analysis in your scheduled reports to your clients. When your executions lead to reduced ad costs and increased conversions and revenue, it becomes clear that your work has value.
- Show the interconnectedness of SEO and digital marketing. SEO is essentially just a part of digital marketing. It greatly contributes to the digital marketing aspect of your client’s business. With good SEO, you may see a significant change in other channels, such as advertising and social media. Make sure to highlight the impact of SEO in these channels.
Satisfied SEO clients are clients you retain
The digital marketing and SEO business is not just about results. It is also about personalized strategies, exceptional customer service, and collaboration. If you are good at these things, and you partner them with good SEO results, your SEO clients will be happy, engaged, and retained.