SEO is one of the most difficult industries to acquire leads for because SEO providers typically have mastery over most conventional lead generation methods. Everyone is competing for the same first page SEO rankings, PPC positions, and Social Media ad spots. These professional SEO providers, however, have been able to separate themselves from their competitors with their innovative lead generation methods:
1. Trade value for contact Info (eBooks)
“Our single best method of generating leads,” said Roberto Mejia of Zizinya Web Solutions, “is finding creative ways to offer free useful content in exchange for contact information. The idea is to create something the intended audience would find valuable. For example, we offer a full inbound marketing eBook that covers just about everything you need to know about inbound marketing. Most of our clients would be interested in this, but to download it, we simply ask that you fill in your name email and phone number.”
2. Connect through Linkedin
“I worked for a large marketing agency in central London,” said Michael Moriarty, Director of Sales and Marketing at Go Fish Digital, “and every day I walked passed the non-profit ‘Save the Children’. Finally, I looked up their head of online marketing and sent her a message through LinkedIn saying that I keep walking by their office each day and know that we could help them with their SEO and would love to be able to see inside their building!
I’ve since done this with other companies while working at Go Fish Digital in the Washington, DC area.”
3. Network through local referral groups
“I find that local referral groups such as BNI & theChamber of Commerce,” said Brandon Howard, Owner of All My Web Needs, “have been successful ways of bringing in new clients for SEO. Having those 1-to-1 relationships with individuals in those groups allows us to better explain what SEO is and why it is beneficial. Ideally we would then provide some of those members with SEO services. Furthermore, when that client / group member is happy with your service they will continue to send you referrals on a regular basis (since that’s the whole point of the group to begin with).”
4. Lead Generation through Groupon
“Some of the challenges with identifying a strong SEO lead,” said John Clark, founder of Fuze SEO, Inc., “is knowing the business is truly invested in growing their business through marketing and actually willing to put money behind it. I have found success focusing on businesses who are currently buying Adwords or offering local deals on Groupon.
There is a Groupon API to get all deals for a location – immediately identifying local leads. There is a manual process to retrieve the contact info, however, tools like Buzzstream or Rapportive help tremendously with this process.”
5. Demonstrate your authority through helpful infographics
“Infographics bring traffic like clockwork,” said Jordhy Ledesma, founder and Online Producer at Information Providers. “A solid infographic distribution strategy includes placing your art in free infographic sites and getting links from bloggers that want to use your content in various formats.
First, prepare a list of key bloggers in your industry to share your content with. By the way, having a list of key go-to bloggers is as crucial as having a dependable mail list, these can be industry bloggers as well as casual bloggers with a significant audience, focus on relevance but don’t limit yourself, exposure is also key. After you have compiled a list of bloggers and distribution sites we are ready to move on.
Second, split the infographic into slides and craft a presentation out of the same content, posting it to a couple of document sharing sites (maybe Slideshare.net and Scribd for example). Use your targeted keywords and links when uploading the presentation. Finally, promote your info-graphic and presentation with links to your website by sharing it in free infographic distribution sites. Google ‘free infographics’ and submit your creation to the top 10 distribution sites, that is all you need.
P.S. – Don’t forget to include a link to your site and relevant keywords with each submission.”
6. Sponsor local events
“A creative way I generate qualified leads,” said Matt Watson of Adjunct SEM, “is via sponsorship of events geared toward the parents of middle and high school activities such as sports and academic endeavors.
One recent example was being a sponsor of a best ball golf tournament geared toward fundraising. I handed out business cards and developed a landing page with a strong call to action specifically targeting small to medium business owners whose children were either a part of the school or they were participating in the golf tournament to show support for someone’s child. The qualification of the lead occurred within the copy on the landing page.
The money and time invested were quickly returned along with numerous other referrals from satisfied new clients.”
7. Market through Yellow Pages directories
“One of the most creative ways to generate leads for my online marketing company,” said Christal Mckinney-DeLoach of The Media Hog, “is through the Yellow Pages directories. The reason is because these businesses believe in advertising. It is also a good resource because these advertisers are some of the slowest to switch over to digital advertising/marketing.
I love using this method because many other SEO companies are too busy scraping other online sources for leads.”
8. Connect with web designers and developers
“When I first started my agency,” said Brian Dean of Backlinko, “I had no connections and no clients. But, I knew what I was doing. So I reached out to web designers and told them I’d give them a cut of my monthly retainer as a finder’s fee. It was a total win-win-win. The designer made a recurring monthly commission, the client got routed to someone that actually knew SEO, and I got clients handed to me on a silver platter.”