Landing Local SEO Clients. A Dummies Guide

by Alex on June 17, 2013

Right Brain Thinking will get you more local seo work

Today I wanted to share with you one of the easiest and quickest ways of landing local clients, whether it be to provide SEO, consulting, web design or all of the above.

As bloggers and internet marketers we all have an incredible skillset at our disposal, and more importantly we have a knowledge that others would (and should) pay handsomely for. The problem that most of us face however is figuring out how to

  1. Find these potential clients and,
  2. Convincing them to make that investment and spend their hard earned money with us.

Now I know I am speaking for hundreds, if not thousands of you out there because, well I was one of you. To a point I still am I guess but now I am lucky enough that I make money doing what I love and have a long list of very satisfied clients who pay me to handle their online marketing and SEO. But it was not always like this.

I think the biggest problem is that there is nothing tangible about SEO. If I was selling cars (for lack of a better example) then it would be easy to convince you to buy one. A car is incredibly tangible – you can touch it, you can feel it, you can drive it – hell, you can even smell it… (mmmm new car smell) so no matter what angle I choose to take to try and make you part with your money, the job is half done because I can simply hand over the keys and let the vehicle and the inherent emotion do the talking.

With SEO however it is a different story. You cannot see a backlink and you cannot really see content or social engagement. Sure I can show you statistics that reveal the ROI is better than any other form of marketing, and I can draw pie charts and graphs until we are all blue in the face, but more often than not, this just drives the potential client further away. (Chances are this information will be over their head, and making a person feel stupid is not exactly a winning formula)

The Key to Positive Engagement

Marketing and engagement are the same whether you are building a landing page on an affiliate site or trying to land a major local SEO client – the key lies in the emotional connection. This is why I talked about tangibility earlier, because without something concrete it is hard to get that emotional connection. To go back to my earlier example of car sales, it is easy for a sales person to convince you to buy a particular car because they can play on that emotional connection. A good sales rep will be able to read your reactions and will build a sales pitch around the aspects of the vehicle that get you the most excited, whether it be fuel economy, performance, or simply looks.

With SEO however it is a little different… or is it?

Today I want to share with you a little trick that I have used to convince dozens of local businesses to invest their money with me and to focus more of their marketing budget in the online world.
This is a method that works simply because it makes something intangible become real, and in so doing it allows the emotional connection that is so important in sales to come into play. And once that emotional connection is made – the rest sells itself.

My “Landing Page to Landing Clients” Method

Ever clicked on the Google Ads in search results and noticed how badly targeted the landing page is to the keyword?! Heck, there’s usually not even a landing page – just their home page. It’s because most successful offline businesses like trades etc have no idea. In fact they don’t even care. They’re doing well without search traffic and have only tried Adwords because it seemed like a good idea.

Now – you could contact them and tell them that their landing page (or lack thereof) stinks but they won’t listen – they genuinely don’t care. Not only that, they are probably getting spammy emails everyday from various “SEO” companies offering their services. The last thing you want to do is put yourself into the same box as these spammers.

BUT..
If you put together a landing page (hosted anywhere) that targets the exact keywords they are buying and employs all the elements of their current site (like header graphic and navigation menu options etc) then the whole game changes.
Now you are providing this potential client with something tangible! Something they can see and read, and if they can see and read it then there’s a good chance they will ‘Feel it’ too.

The boss only cares about making more money – so if you show him/her a good quality landing page (you’ll have to do your homework relevant to the industry obviously) then you allow yourself the opportunity to connect on their level.
That boss doesn’t want to hear about SEO and stats and conversion rates BUT he knows his business and more importantly he knows his customers. He’ll look at your landing page and it will be hard for him to ignore the potential something like this could have for his business … you’ve managed to create an emotional connection from an otherwise intangible subject (go you good thing!)

Of course add to that the fact that you aren’t in his ear pitching him … All you’ve done is send him a link to your new ‘idea’ with a brief message introducing yourself.

He/she will call you back to discuss – and now the ball’s in your court. The whole conversation changes at this point because you are not pitching them anything, in fact they are pitching you!

“Want more like this? What’s that – you want to discuss the whole gamut of online ideas and the potential it brings? Sure – just sign on the dotted line and I can take care of everything, month by month ;)

How to Create the Landing Page

The first thing I need to point out is that when I say ‘Landing Page’ I am simply referring to the page you land on from a Google Ad. I am perfectly aware that it is illegal to send paid traffic to a ‘squeeze page’, and I am well aware that as Internet Marketers we tend to think of landing pages as the same thing. In this post I am simply calling them that for lack of a better word.

I find the most effective way to build these mock up pages for potential clients is to take a screenshot of their current site and then use the header image and the nav menu as one static image on the top of your new page. Granted the navigation buttons will not be clickable, but that is not necessary at this point. You simply want to showcase how the information in the body of the page should be presented in relation to the keyword they are paying for.

By copy pasting the header and nav menu into your own site you not only save yourself a tonne of time and effort, you also give the potential client something they can relate to and understand. If they see their exact site presented to them, with a call to action within the body that is actually targeted and relevant then your chance of that ‘call back’ increases exponentially!

I use and recommend Elegant Themes to showcase these landing pages because of two main reasons:

  1. They are insanely good value for money! $39 for basic membership and only $89 for Developer Membership gets you access to over 85 themes and a myriad of plugins to make building a site incredibly easy
  2. They are easy to build, with absolutely no technical skills or coding required! (The $89 Developer Membership provides you with a drag and drop type plugin that allows you to literally drag and drop all the elements of your site into place. No lines of code required, no CSS, no PHP – just drag it into place, and drop your potential client an email with the finished product!

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Yvonne A Jones June 17, 2013 at 12:45 PM

As someone who does a lot of work in the local market, I find this post refreshing as it highlights
thinking of meeting the needs of the prospective client and giving him or her something of value.

This immediately breaks down a lot of barriers and can lead to building strong relationships, new
business, and customer loyalty.

Thanks for sharing these ideas!

Reply

Alex June 18, 2013 at 10:23 PM

Hi Yvonne, Thanks so much for your input. You have quite eloquently summed up the whole post! I especially like your point about how this approach can lead to ongoing relationships – something that is lacking in B2B communication these days :)
Thanks also for the shares and comments on Twitter – I really appreciate it :)

Reply

Matt Smith June 17, 2013 at 9:19 PM

Hi Alex, you have a good holiday?

Nice idea about creating a landing page for potential clients to see. Can really see how this would help make someone stand out from other SEO providers. I get tons of emails from “so-called” SEO experts, yet they never give the impression that they are talking to me – simply sending out the same generic message to all sites. If they were to tailor their initial email and even send me an example of the kind of work they could provide, it would certainly get my attention.

Great post Alex! Nice to have you back :)

Reply

Alex June 18, 2013 at 10:21 PM

Hey Matt, thanks man – it’s good to be back… OK who am I kidding, I’d rather still be in Fiji LOL.
I know what you mean about the emails you get – heck they don’t even take the time to find out your name (even though it is all over most posts you publish) – they simply refer to you as admin LOL
Yeah nice personal touch … NOT
Thanks for the comment and the shares mate, muchos gracias mon amigo

Reply

Clair Trebes June 17, 2013 at 11:01 PM

Hi Alex

Ah see, some things are worth the wait, and their weight in gold … and as ever a post from you is worth both!

I like this idea a LOT – I receive loads of emails on my 2 main sites I run from people offering services, most sent right grom the contact form, which you know has been copied and pasted …. IF I was presented with something more specific and eyecatching, who knows, the boss might well end up seeing it!

Defo a LOT of food for thought here, even for those who are outsourcing SEO services they sell!

Reply

John Paul June 17, 2013 at 11:59 PM

Very nice walk thru Alex… can we put a disclaimer in?

“Make sure you know how to do SEO first” haha

Reply

Alex June 18, 2013 at 4:01 PM

LOL! Good point JP. quite a valid point on the sad state of things really ;)

Reply

lodiko June 19, 2013 at 5:48 AM

“Make sure you know how to do SEO first” – that’s the essence of our business :)

Reply

Jeffrey Morgan June 19, 2013 at 6:14 AM

Hi Alex,

Elaborate if you would on why “it is illegal to send paid traffic to a ‘squeeze page’”. I’ve never really had a problem!

Reply

Lavindra July 5, 2013 at 5:22 PM

Nice plan concerning making a landing page for potential purchasers to ascertain. will extremely see however this might facilitate build somebody stand out from alternative SEO suppliers

Reply

Aisha July 18, 2013 at 4:15 PM

I like the concept of “Landing Page to Landing Clients”.The first tip is optimizing the title tags of the landing pages with business name along with the type of service they offer and the name of the city/ town and state. Insert your location specific keyword in the title tag.

Reply

Adam Dukes August 12, 2013 at 3:41 AM

This is a great approach and something I have not thought of. I tend to shy away from PPC a a service, but it seems 9 our of 10 business owners send the traffic to their home page. I cringe when I see that. I am talking with a cosmetic dentist (sends traffic to home page) about doing someone online marketing and might just put together a mock up together for her. I like the idea that is is “tangible”, in a way.

Thanks for the idea!

Reply

Jessalyn Rae August 15, 2013 at 5:46 AM

Thanks for this post, you give some good ideas. It’s interesting that business owners are still going with traditional print, television, even radio ads (presumably because they can see, hear, and sometimes touch them) even though they are usually significantly less profitable. You have to be somewhat of a psychologist in this business to work around it. :-)

Reply

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