In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, getting high-quality SEO leads is just the first step. How do you nurture these leads and turn them into real paying clients? As an SEO agency, there are techniques you can use to educate, engage, and ultimately convert your SEO leads into long-term and satisfied clients.
1. Understand your SEO leads
Lead nurturing is about getting leads and building relationships with them. When you have a good relationship with them, they go from just another email address you have collected to real paying clients. If you want to nurture your SEO leads, you must understand them first. Who are they, and what do they need and want?
- Collect more information about them. Some agencies just collect email addresses and other contact details and bombard their leads with aggressive marketing campaigns. This can be very annoying, not to mention overwhelming, especially when your leads don’t know much about SEO. Collect more data from your leads first using analytics and certain metrics.
- Develop buyer personas. If you know your audience deeply, you can create content and messages that resonate with them deeply. These pieces of content are more likely to convert than random marketing materials. Create a customer profile, including their challenges, goals, and even preferred communication channels.
- Do lead segmentation. Not all SEO leads are the same. There are high-quality SEO leads that are already naturally easy to convert, and there are others that may need more pushing. There are also leads at different stages of the buyer’s journey. Some may be actively looking for an SEO partner while some are testing the waters. Segment your leads into categories based on their characteristics.
2. Do lead segmentation
Lead segmentation is about categorizing your leads based on specific criteria. It ensures that you are not treating all your SEO leads as a monolithic group. You are treating them like the diverse group that they are, with different challenges and objectives. When you segment your leads, you engage with each of them in ways that are more relevant to their specific case.
- Categorize your leads based on specific criteria. There are many ways to categorize your leads. For instance, you can categorize them based on demographic data, such as their company size and industry. You can categorize them based on their behavior, like on how they engage with your content and how responsive they are to your communication efforts. And you can also categorize them based on their stage in the buyer’s journey.
- Develop a lead scoring system. You can rank your leads based on their readiness to convert. High-scoring leads are those who are actively looking for an SEO partner and are basically on the decision stage of the buyer’s journey. Meanwhile, low-scoring leads are those who are just on the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey and are likely to just be there to learn more about SEO. Develop a scoring system, so you can prioritize high-scoring leads and educate low-scoring leads.
- Customize your content and communication accordingly. Once you have successfully segmented your SEO leads, it’s time to customize your content and communication efforts for each segment. Personalize the content you send to each segment, so you directly address their challenges and objectives.
3. Personalize your outreach
If you personalize your outreach efforts, your SEO leads will feel valued and understood. They will know that you are sending them very specific messages, not just random marketing materials to make them convert. Personalization just increases the chances of nurturing leads through a sales funnel because they know you are trying to address their specific needs and wants.
- Tailor your content and offer custom solutions. Create content that’s relevant to your targeted lead segment. For instance, if they need help with local SEO, write articles, send them case studies, and offer other resources related to local SEO. Make it appear like you are providing solutions specific to their businesses, not just sending them generic proposals and service offerings.
- Follow up on interactions and respect their communication preferences. If leads have interacted with your content before, acknowledge it and reach out to them. For example, when someone downloads your SEO guide, message them and start a conversation. But you should also respect their preferred communication channels. Some people prefer emails, but some find phone calls more personal and engaging.
- Be responsive, but also align with their schedule. When your leads have questions or need assistance, respond to them promptly and really address their concerns. Don’t just send templated replies. Also, when you are sending messages, consider sending them according to your leads’ schedules. The timing of your messages can affect responsiveness.
4. Offer valuable content
High-quality content doesn’t just engage and nurture SEO leads. It also positions your SEO agency as an authority in the field. This is important. Your leads are not just there to be impressed by your SEO knowledge. They are also there to gauge your position in the world of SEO and digital marketing in general. When they like what they see, they are more likely to be converted into SEO clients.
- Create educational resources and address their specific needs. Develop content that educates your segmented leads on SEO-related topics. There are many kinds of content you can make, from blog posts and infographics to e-books and videos. Make sure that your content addresses the specific SEO problems of your segmented leads.
- Update your blog regularly. One way to consistently publish and distribute content is through maintaining a blog, which is usually already on your agency website. Talk about SEO best practices and trends and share case studies – all the while addressing the specific needs and wants of your segmented leads.
- Make industry contributions. You don’t need to be alone in the SEO world. In fact, it may even be necessary to contribute to reputable industry websites and publications to build your reputation and gain more SEO leads. One of the best ways to do this is through guest posting. With your guest posts, you can also improve the backlink profile of your agency’s website.
5. Create regular marketing campaigns
Marketing campaigns can help get SEO leads, maintain engagement, build brand awareness, and ultimately, drive leads toward sales. There are many marketing strategies you can try, such as content marketing, email marketing, and even social media marketing. They all have one thing in common – you have to understand your leads first to make your marketing campaigns more targeted and effective.
- Develop a content calendar. Consistently publish high-quality content that your segmented leads can find helpful. You can publish on different online channels, such as your website, social media profiles, and even business profiles like your Google Business Profile. Address various stages of the buyer’s journey – awareness, consideration, and decision.
- Send personalized emails. Email campaigns are still effective. They can involve newsletters, product announcements, exclusive discounts and events, and more. Make sure to personalize the emails you are sending, from the headline to the body of the email itself. This way, your audience will not think you are disingenuous. Consider making different campaigns for different lead segments. After all, they have different needs and interests.
- Try PPC campaigns. Run pay-per-click advertising campaigns that target keywords relevant not just to your location and services, but also to your leads. You may have to do keyword research for these campaigns to be effective, and a/b testing may be necessary to optimize these and make them cost-effective.
6. Provide free products and services
People love free stuff. By providing free products and services to your SEO leads, you nurture them and convert them into paying clients because they see your goodwill and commitment to helping them succeed. This approach also builds positive relationships and fosters trust. And who knows – maybe your free products and services take off and bring in even more new SEO leads. Marketer’s Center, for example, has Entity Explorer, helping businesses with entities and keywords.
- Provide free SEO consultations and audits. Offer initial SEO consultations for free. Assess the lead’s current SEO situation, including their current SEO strategies. Provide insights on how you can improve. Free SEO audits can also go a long way. Highlight the areas that can use some improvement. With consultations and audits, you showcase your expertise. Keep these informative and actionable for a better conversion rate.
- Host free webinars and workshops. Webinars and workshops are great because they accomplish many things at once. They don’t just nurture SEO leads because of the free SEO education. They also build your authority in the field of SEO and demonstrate your agency’s competence and knowledge. Physical seminars and workshops are also great networking opportunities. You may meet high-quality leads there that you can convert with a killer SEO pitch.
- Develop free SEO tools. Backlink checkers, keyword research tools, and website analysis tools or some of the most popular SEO tools you can develop and offer for free to your SEO leads. They provide real value to your SEO leads and position your agency as a helpful SEO resource. Some of the biggest agencies like Ahrefs, Moz, and SEMRush use this strategy.
7. Build social proof
People tend to follow the actions and decisions of others. If other businesses have hired you, your SEO leads will think you know what you are doing and are likely to hire you too. Building social proof involves showing client satisfaction and results, industry expertise, professionalism, and reliability. Build on social proof, attract high-quality SEO leads, and convert them into real paying clients.
- Write case studies and share success stories. Case studies highlight successful SEO campaigns. They should focus on specific challenges, strategies, and results. They show that your agency can give a positive result for its clients. Make sure that your case studies tell a compelling story, not just a generic SEO campaign. Describe the pain points and how you have combatted them.
- Showcase client reviews and testimonials. Reviews and testimonials are great at showing your audience that you know what you are doing. You can showcase these on your website. You can even quote and screenshot them for your other content and marketing materials. There are platforms out there, such as Google Business Profile, where reviews and testimonials are also encouraged. Ask satisfied clients to leave some.
- Display your awards and recognitions. If your agency has received industry awards, certifications, and recognitions, let everybody know. Display these prominently on your website, social media profiles, and business profiles. The accolades validate your expertise in the field of SEO, making SEO leads more confident of your abilities and likely to employ your products and services.
8. Consider remarketing
Remarketing is about re-engaging. For example, you can optimize your ads, so they show only to users who have previously visited your website or shown interest in your products and services. You can also manually reach out to these people to follow up. Remarketing is great at nurturing SEO leads because the leads you have here are already showing interest. Remarketing may be the little push they need to convert them into paying clients.
- Resegment your SEO leads. If your users didn’t do the action you want, such as filling out a contact form or requesting a quote, consider resegmenting them. You may be missing some segments that give you more opportunities to retarget your marketing campaigns more effectively. A good technique here is to resegment based on their actions. For example, you can make a segment for leads who have visited your services pages.
- Optimize your ad campaigns. Create ad content that is relevant to your new SEO lead segments. Address their specific challenges and objectives. Showcase your agency’s unique value proposition. Again, a/b testing is important here to optimize your ad campaigns and make them more effective and cost-efficient.
- Try manual outreach. Take a look at the contact details and preferred communication method of your new SEO lead segments and consider reaching out to them manually. Why didn’t they do the action you want? Is there anything you can improve? Reach out to them and start a conversation, but don’t appear too sales-y and disingenuous.
Nurture SEO leads and convert them into clients
Getting SEO leads is one thing, and nurturing them and turning them into real paying clients is another. Thankfully, there are many strategies you can use as an agency to nurture SEO leads. With proper lead segmentation, marketing, and brand building, you can definitely convert these leads into real clients.