How To Get Local SEO Clients

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Team Finleeds
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Key Takeaways

  • Getting local SEO clients is about more than technical skills. It’s about understanding local businesses’ needs, building trust, and positioning yourself as the go-to expert in your area.
  • Target the right clients. Not every business is a good fit. Focus on those with realistic budgets, a need for your services, and the potential for a mutually beneficial partnership.
  • Demonstrate your expertise, not just talk about it. Case studies, your own optimized website, and client testimonials are powerful proof.
  • A mix of proactive and educational strategies works best. Network actively, offer value upfront (like a mini-audit), and position yourself as an authority through content and speaking engagements.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of reputation. Encourage reviews and showcase them prominently. This builds trust with potential clients.

Defining Local SEO Services

Think of local SEO as the key to getting your business found at the right time.  It’s all about optimizing your online presence (website, listings, etc.) so you show up when people in your area search for services like yours.  For example, if you own a bakery in Chicago, local SEO helps you appear in results for searches like “best cupcakes Chicago” or “bakeries near me.”

Targeting Specific Industries

Not all businesses face the same SEO challenges. Local SEO strategies that work wonders for a restaurant won’t necessarily be the right recipe for a legal practice or a dentist’s office.   That’s why understanding the unique needs of different industries is a major asset. It helps you tailor 

your approach for the types of clients you want to attract.

Demonstrating Your Agency’s Own SEO

Talk is cheap, right?  Potential clients want proof you can walk the walk. That means having your own agency website rank well in local searches.  If you show up prominently for terms like “[city] SEO agency” or “local SEO services [region],” it builds trust and shows that you know what you’re doing.

Showcase Your Success Stories

Numbers speak louder than words!  Potential clients want to see that your SEO strategies actually deliver results.  That’s where case studies come in.  Highlight past clients you’ve helped, showcasing specific improvements like:

  • Increase in website traffic from local searches
  • Higher rankings for important keywords
  • More leads, calls, or online bookings

Importance of Review Management

Online reviews on platforms like Google My Business and Yelp are incredibly influential for local businesses. Positive reviews not only boost your reputation, but they also act as a powerful signal to search engines.  Help potential clients understand how to:

  • Proactively encourage happy customers to leave reviews
  • Respond to negative feedback professionally
  • Use reviews to improve their business

Comprehensive SEO Services

Local SEO isn’t a one-trick pony.  Outline the range of services your agency offers, giving potential clients a clear picture of how you can help. This might include:

  • Website optimization (technical structure, content, etc.)
  • Google My Business profile setup and management
  • Local link building and citation cleanup
  • Reputation management (like we mentioned above)

Structured Data (Schema Markup)

This might sound technical, but it’s a simple way to help search engines understand the key information about your clients’ businesses.  Think of schema markup as little labels you add to your website’s code that tell Google things like:

  • Business name
  • Address and phone number
  • Hours of operation
  • (and more!)

Local Citation Cleanup

Consistency is key for local SEO.  Having accurate business listings (Name, Address, Phone – called NAP) across different online directories and websites is crucial.  Mismatched or old information can confuse search engines, harming rankings. Offer this as a service to fix those inconsistencies.

Reporting and Feedback

SEO isn’t a “set it and forget it” strategy.  Clients want to see that their investment is paying off.  Provide clear, regular reports that track:

  • Ranking improvements for their target keywords
  • Increases in website traffic
  • Growth in leads and phone calls
  • Changes in overall online visibility

Establishing Thought Leadership

Don’t just be another SEO agency; position yourself as an authority in the local market.  How can you do this?

  • Speak at local events: Share your knowledge at Chamber of Commerce events or industry-specific meetups.
  • Host webinars: Offer value with free online workshops on topics like “Optimizing Your Google My Business Listing.”
  • Blog about local SEO: Write articles solving common pain points for businesses in your area.

Offer a Localized Audit Demo

Giving prospects a taste of what you can do is a powerful way to win their trust. A free, mini-localized SEO audit can uncover a potential client’s current online strengths and weaknesses. It positions you as both helpful and knowledgeable, making them more likely to want your full suite of services.

Target Local Awards and Recognition

Getting featured in “Best of [City]” lists or winning local business awards builds serious credibility.  This instantly sets you apart from competitors and shows potential clients that you’re a top player in your region. Actively seek out these opportunities!

Craft a “Why Choose Us” Section

Your website should have a dedicated page or section that answers the question every potential client has: “Why should I hire you over the competition?”.  Highlight:

  • Local Expertise: Emphasize your deep understanding of the local market.
  • Industry Knowledge: If you specialize in specific industries, let that shine.
  • Client Success Stories: Back up your claims with real-world results.

Active LinkedIn Networking

LinkedIn isn’t just for job hunting. It’s a goldmine for connecting with local business owners. Here’s how to use it effectively:

  • Optimize Your Profile: Highlight your local SEO expertise and services.
  • Join Local Business Groups: Engage in discussions and offer helpful insights.
  • Direct Outreach: Send personalized messages to potential clients (but don’t be spammy!).

Leveraging Speaking Events and Webinars

We touched on this earlier, but let’s go a bit deeper. These public-facing opportunities aren’t just about showing off your knowledge; they’re lead generation tools:

  • Collect Contact Info: Have a way for interested attendees to sign up for more information.
  • Follow Up: Don’t let those leads go cold! Get in touch to discuss their needs.
  • Promote Your Services: Include a brief pitch about your agency at the end.

Engaging Directly with Local Businesses

Don’t wait for businesses to come to you! Sometimes, a direct approach is the best way to get your foot in the door. Here’s how to do it right:

  • Target the Right Businesses: Research local businesses that seem like a good fit for your services. Do they have outdated websites or poor online visibility? This is your opportunity!
  • Personalized Outreach: Avoid generic emails. Show that you’ve done your homework on their business and point out a specific problem you could solve.
  • Offer Value First: Can you give them a quick, actionable tip (even without becoming a 

paying client)? This builds goodwill.

Choosing the Right Potential Clients

Not every lead is a good lead.  Qualifying potential clients early on saves you time and heartache. Ask yourself:

  • Budget Fit: Are their expectations realistic for what they can afford?
  • Service Alignment: Do their needs match the services you offer?
  • Mutual Respect: Does this feel like a partnership where you’ll both be valued?

Using Public Speaking for Visibility

Speaking at industry events or local conferences puts you in front of a targeted audience.  But how do you turn that exposure into clients?

  • Memorable Presentation: Don’t be boring! Give practical tips and real-world examples.
  • Clear Call to Action: Tell people how to contact you for further help.
  • Networking Time: Make the most of breaks to connect with attendees individually.

Traditional Offline Marketing Strategies

Even in the digital age, don’t underestimate the power of traditional marketing channels.  Here’s how to integrate them for local SEO lead generation:

  • Local Sponsorships: Sponsor a little league team or community event to get your name in front of a local audience.
  • Print Advertising: A targeted ad in a local magazine or industry publication can be effective for some niches.
  • Direct Mail: While it might seem old-school, a well-crafted mailer with a compelling offer could work, especially for older demographics.

Partnering with Marketing Agencies

Other agencies that offer complementary services (web design, social media, etc.) might have a client base that needs your SEO expertise.  Here’s how to build those win-win relationships:

  • Identify Potential Partners: Research agencies in your area with a similar target market but non-competing services.
  • Propose a Collaboration: Outline how you can add value to their clients.
  • Referral Agreement: Set up a mutually beneficial referral system.

Performing Local Searches

Put yourself in the shoes of your potential clients!  What are people searching for to find businesses like yours?  Try these searches:

  • “[Industry] in [City]”: See who ranks well and analyze their strategies.
  • “[Service] near me”: Note which businesses appear in map results.
  • “Best [industry] [city]”: Check out who makes these roundup lists.

Becoming a Local SEO Authority

Going beyond the basics positions you as the go-to resource in your community. How is this a lead generation strategy? It establishes trust and naturally attracts clients who want to work with the best. Here’s how to do it:

  • Publish High-Quality Content: In-depth blog posts, local SEO guides, or even downloadable resources (like checklists) showcase your knowledge.
  • Contribute to Local Publications: Write guest articles for well-respected local websites or magazines.
  • Get interviewed: Pitch yourself as an expert to local bloggers, podcasters, and journalists.

Starting Conversations with Local Business Owners

Building relationships is key in the local business world. Here’s how to strike up those conversations organically:

  • Comment on Local Blogs: Share insightful feedback on relevant local business blog posts.
  • Social Media Engagement: Interact with local businesses on social platforms. Offer compliments or share their content.
  • Join Community Groups: Be a presence in local Facebook groups or online forums where business owners gather.

Identifying Businesses Already Investing in Marketing

Businesses already spending money on marketing understand the value of investing in their visibility.  This makes them promising leads.  Look for signs like:

  • Running Ads: Are they active on Google Ads or social media advertising?
  • Content Creation: Do they have a blog or active social media presence?
  • Event Participation: Do they attend trade shows or sponsor local events?

Networking on LinkedIn

We briefly touched on LinkedIn earlier, but let’s dive deeper. Here are some more specific tactics for network building:

  • Targeted Search: Use LinkedIn’s search function to find decision-makers (owners, marketing managers) within your desired industries.
  • Engage with Content: Like, comment on, and share posts from potential clients or relevant local groups.
  • Share Your Expertise: Publish short articles on LinkedIn to showcase your industry knowledge.

Keeping Business Cards Ready

You never know when an opportunity to connect might strike!  While a digital world, a well-designed business card still makes a strong impression. Make sure it includes:

  • Clear Description: Emphasize that you specialize in local SEO.
  • Contact Information: Website, email, and phone number should be prominent.
  • A Memorable Element: A unique design or tagline helps you stand out.

Creating Agency Partnerships

We discussed this previously, but let’s look at the action steps involved.  How do you actually go about forming those partnerships?

  • Start with Outreach: Introduce yourself to potential partner agencies and explain the value proposition.
  • Host a Co-Webinar: This showcases your expertise and their services to both of your audiences.
  • Offer Exclusive Discounts: Incentivize referrals with packaged deals for mutual clients.

Setting Up a Google My Business Account

This seems basic, but it’s shocking how many SEO agencies neglect their own Google My Business (GMB) listing!  Here’s how this turns into a client attraction tool:

  • Optimized Profile: Complete every section of your GMB profile, using relevant local keywords.
  • Encourage Reviews: Ask past clients to leave 5-star reviews on your listing.
  • Post Regularly: Google My Business has a “posts” feature – use it to promote offers, share insights, etc.

Utilizing for Client Reviews and Content Creation

Platforms like hifivestars can streamline reputation management. But here’s a twist to turn those reviews into lead generation assets:

  • Embed Reviews on Website: Showcase testimonials to build trust with visitors.
  • Turn Reviews into Social Posts: Share snippets of rave reviews on your social channels.
  • Feature Positive Case Studies: With client permission, turn a great review into a mini-case study.

Using Freelance Platforms to Offer Services

Platforms like Upwork or Fiverr can be a way to supplement your client roster, especially when starting out.  Here’s how to use them strategically while attracting higher-paying clients over time:

  • Niche Down: Specialize in a specific industry or local SEO task.
  • Price for Value: Avoid competing solely on price. Undercutting yourself hurts your brand.
  • Showcase Your Success: Use freelancer profiles to highlight client wins.

Optimizing Websites for International SEO

While the primary focus is local, don’t overlook potential opportunities for businesses serving customers in multiple regions or countries.  Here’s where this can be valuable:

  • Targeting Expats: Businesses with offerings that cater to specific expat communities.
  • E-Commerce: Online stores with potential buyers from other locations.
  • Tourism-Focused Businesses: Hotels, attractions, etc., can benefit from international visibility.

Networking through SEO Forums and Communities

Connecting with other SEO professionals isn’t just about knowledge-sharing; it expands your network. Here’s how to make the most of it:

  • Be Helpful: Offer valuable advice to those with questions and challenges.
  • Join Collaboration Projects: Some communities offer opportunities to contribute to joint content pieces, raising your profile.
  • Find Potential Partners: You might find web designers, content writers, etc. to team up with on future projects.

Employing Content Marketing and Social Media

Consistent, high-quality content positions you as the local SEO expert. While lead generation takes time, it builds long-term authority. Here are some ideas:

  • Local SEO Tips Blog: Answer common questions local businesses have.
  • Infographics on Local Stats: Create shareable content highlighting local search trends.
  • “Local Business Spotlight” Series: Interview clients or noteworthy local businesses.

The Power of Hyperlocal Content

Location-specific content can be a major differentiator.  While “SEO tips for restaurants” is helpful, going hyperlocal with something like “The Top 5 Google-Friendly Patio Dining Spots in [Neighborhood]”  is a whole other level of targeted value.

Expanding Your Reach with Local Partnerships

Teaming up with non-competing businesses that serve a similar clientele can open doors. Here are some ideas:

  • Cross-Promotion Packages: Bundle your services with a web designer’s or social media expert’s for a comprehensive package.
  • Host Joint Workshops: Share your insights to reach a wider audience and benefit from your partner’s following.
  • Guest Posts for Each Other’s Blogs: Boost visibility and offer value to both client bases.

Don’t Overlook the Power of Directories

While Google is king, specialized directories still have value in local SEO.  Here’s how to use them to your advantage:

  • Industry-Specific Directories: Legal, medical, and other professions often have niche listings.
  • Local Chamber of Commerce: Their website can drive relevant traffic and boost authority.
  • Hyperlocal Portals: Many cities and towns have community directories for businesses.

Conclusion: Building a Thriving Local SEO Agency

Winning local SEO clients requires more than just technical expertise. It’s about demonstrating your value, building relationships, and positioning yourself as the go-to authority in your market.  By implementing the strategies we’ve covered, you’ll be well on your way to attracting high-quality leads and building a successful agency.

Remember, local SEO is an ongoing journey. Don’t expect overnight results. Focus on providing consistent value, adapting to changing trends, and continuously refining your approach. With dedication and the right strategies, you’ll establish a strong reputation and achieve long-term success in the local SEO space.

Ready to take action? Here are a few next steps:

  • Choose 2-3 lead-generation strategies from this guide to implement immediately.
  • Start tracking your results to gauge what’s working and where you need to adjust.
  • Commit to continuous learning about local SEO and the ever-evolving search landscape.

I’m confident that with the knowledge you’ve gained, you’ll  excel at attracting the right local SEO clients and grow your agency to new heights!

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Local SEO Client Acquisition

If your business relies on attracting customers within a specific geographic area, local SEO is crucial. Signs you need it include not appearing in local search results, struggling to compete with nearby businesses online, or lacking a strong online presence in your community.

Local SEO can significantly improve your visibility in local search results, increase website traffic from relevant searches, attract more foot traffic to your physical location (if applicable), and boost leads and sales.

Local SEO takes time. While you might see some initial results within a few weeks, significant improvements often take several months of consistent effort. Think of it as a long-term investment, not a quick fix.

The cost of local SEO varies depending on factors like your location, industry competitiveness, and the scope of services needed. Expect a typical range of $500-$2,000+ per month for ongoing services, with additional potential costs for specialized services or content creation.

Top factors include a well-optimized Google My Business profile, accurate and consistent NAP citations across the web, high-quality positive reviews, location-specific content on your website, and backlinks from relevant local websites.

While not a direct solution, local SEO can help reduce spam calls by improving your overall online visibility. A strong, legitimate online presence makes it easier for real customers to find you, reducing the chances of scammers filling that void.

Look for agencies with a track record of success, positive client testimonials, transparency in their methods, and a focus on ethical SEO practices. Be wary of agencies promising overnight results or making guarantees.

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