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Ten Ways to Get SEO Clients
. . . beginning with your local market
By Robin Nobles
If you're a professional search engine optimizer, the field is
wide open for you as far as clients are concerned. But how on
earth do you find them?
Let's face it: virtually every single business Web site is a
potential client. But if you send out bulk e-mail, you risk
getting tar and feathered by the E-Mail Spam Police.
So, how can you get started in this industry if you have little
to no advertising budget, and how can you build a clientele?
1. Consider starting on a local level where you have some
personal connections. Join your area's Chamber of Commerce, and
make it a point to meet and get to know as many of the members as
you can. Once you find out that they have an online business, ask
them about their business and their traffic. How pleased are they
with the results they're getting from their Web site? That's a
perfect opportunity for you to casually explain your services and
how you can help them.
2. Form relationships with area Web design firms, hosting
companies, and Internet Service Providers. Offer them a referral
fee for any SEO clients they send you. Then, turn around and send
them business as well.
3. Look into other local clubs and organizations that you might
consider joining. Examples might be the Kiwanis Club, the Lion's
Club, or the Rotary Club. Even if you don't join, let it be known
that you'd enjoy speaking to the group about search engine
marketing, which is certainly a topic of interest to anyone with
a Web site.
4. Consider purchasing a small ad to run in your local newspaper
advertising your services. Your ad doesn't have to be long or
expensive. What about:
Do you have a Web site that is struggling for traffic? Do you
know that Web sites don't attract traffic by themselves?
5. Try to get on a local radio or TV station to talk about search
6. Is there a Board of Realtors in your area? A legal
association? A convention and tourism office? What other industry
is known for having Web sites? Any of those would be excellent
places to recruit new clients. Again, work out a relationship
that will benefit all parties. Offer a discount to anyone who is
a member of the tourism bureau, for example. Offer to speak at
one of their meetings. Offer multi-site discounts for any clients
with more than one site.
7. Work hard for all of your clients, going much further than
giving them 100% in the beginning until you can prove to them
that you know what you're doing and can bring results. Those
clients will begin recommending your services to other clients,
and your business will continue to grow, eventually outside of
your local area.
8. If you're going after many clients in a local market, consider
purchasing a couple of local domains yourself, using your locale
in the name of the domains. In other words, set up a directory of
Web sites for your location. This will help you build link
popularity for your clients. Plus, you can allow other local
businesses to submit their sites, which are now prospective
clients for you as well. Offer services like enhanced listings,
positioning services, directory submissions, affiliate offerings,
and so forth.
9. Set up a domain to advertise your services, and then get it
listed in all of your area's online yellow pages and business
directories as well as the major search engines and directories.
Believe it or not, I know many professional SEO's who don't even
have their own Web sites!
10. Write articles, both for your local newspapers, as valuable
content for your site, and to submit to related online resources
to "prove" that you're knowledgeable in search engine marketing.
Always list your name, company name, and URL at the bottom of
your articles in your byline. Then, spend some time promoting
your articles online. You'll be building name recognition,
credibility, and link popularity at the same time.
Let me give you a final bonus . . . #11.
11. The Academy of Web Specialists
(http://www.academywebspecialists.com) and Search Engine
Workshops (http://www.searchengineworkshops.com), in a joint
effort, are in the process of having a job data bank set up to
where companies who are looking for full- or part-time SEO's can
search through the database for trained optimizers. Optimizers
will be able to enter their data, and companies can search
through a variety of variables, including location, experience
level, training, full or part time, etc.
Students who have taken a class under me in the past, through the
Academy, or through Search Engine Workshops are eligible to enter
their information in the database. We're hoping that the job data
bank will be open for business within the next month or two. This
will be a wonderful resource for both trained search engine
optimizers looking for work and companies who are looking to hire
Search engine optimization as a full- or part-time career choice
is wide open with possibilities. If you'll start with your local
market first, you'll rapidly gain clients and prove yourself in
the industry. From there, only the "Web" is the limit!
Robin Nobles, Director of Training, Academy of Web Specialists,
(http://www.academywebspecialists.com) has trained several
thousand people in her online search engine marketing courses
(http://www.onlinewebtraining.com) and is the content provider
for (GRSeo) Search Engine Optimizer software (http://www.se-optimizer.com).
She also teaches 3-day hands on search engine
marketing workshops in locations across the globe with Search
Engine Workshops (http://www.searchengineworkshops.com).
Copyright 2002 Robin Nobles. All rights reserved.