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When first bringing on a new client, you might feel a bit excited. I know I do. But sometimes, the relationship sours. Sometimes the client just up and cancels out of nowhere after a few months. No matter the reason, the experience can leave you wondering if you’ll ever get a healthy set of clients that will stick it out for the long-term
The good news is that you absolutely can get and keep clients who value your SEO services for more than a few months at a time. It just requires employing some client retention strategies. Let’s get started.
Stop Taking on Crap Clients
It might sound harsh but it’s the honest truth: sometimes, clients just aren’t a good fit for your SEO agency. They’re too needy, too cheap, or impossible to please. Whatever the reason, you need to start learning to say “no.”
That is, don’t agree to take on a new client if they’re giving you any red flags or if they seem like they’re trying to haggle you down to basement-level prices. Don’t take them on if they are incessantly picky or question your expertise — after you’ve proven it — and pass if the client’s expectations seem grossly out of line with what is realistic.
I know it’s easier said than done but you need to stop taking on crappy clients if you have any hope of building a stable client base. Thankfully, you can do this by using my method of vetting leads in my local SEO sales process guide.
To complete this process, you just have to ask a series of questions of the prospect. If their answers aren’t correct, don’t pursue the relationship. You may be tempted to, especially if desperate for revenue, but trust me — don’t do it!
Dedicate More Time to The Relationship
It’s not enough to simply do good work for your clients. You could build a great SEO strategy that results in boosted conversions and improved search engine rankings but you won’t necessarily retain these clients unless you put in some real effort to build a relationship with them.
How can you do this?
For starters, communicate more. Business owners love to chat about their business goals, so it makes sense to set aside some time each month to have a one-on-one chat with them. During this scheduled sit-down, answer any questions they may have, provide additional details about what you’re currently working on, and lay out any milestones on the horizon.
Think of these meetings as times to focus on retaining clients and taking the relationship beyond that of what is typical of an SEO company and a website owner. A few things you may wish to discuss include:
- What organic search goals the client has for the future.
- What other marketing services (if you offer them) they might be interested in.
- You can ask if the client would like to see additional metrics on the performance of search engine optimization, bounce rate, or link building.
- If the current SEO campaign is working or needs some retooling.
- You can ask about the client’s website in general to see how they feel about it.
- Inquire about lead generation and if the client wishes to add or change their tactics.
- Open it up to questions. See if your existing clients have any questions about your content marketing efforts, PPCs, SERPS, and everything in between.
Remember to keep the conversation light and professional.
Sometimes it’s truly the little things that aid in client retention. It’s the little things that make your SEO business stand out. One thing I find helpful is to create a simple loyalty system for my clients. It could be something like an Amazon gift card or discount on their client anniversary — it doesn’t need to be more complicated than that. Or even a gift card for Starbucks if you know your client is a coffee lover.
Simply add it as a recurring task to Asana or whatever project management tool you use and voila — done!
Another nice touch might be to send out celebratory thank you postcards on their anniversary date. If you use Autopilot, you can schedule these postcards to go out on certain dates. Just a simple “Thank you” will do.
Small gestures like these do a lot to make a client’s perception of you as their SEO consultant become more esteemed — and you really don’t need to put much effort in.
Value Proposition / Perceived Value
The last way to retain SEO clients we’ll discuss here today is how you can tweak your value propositions for maximum effect. For clarity’s sake, a value proposition is an innovation, service, or feature intended to make a product or service more attractive to customers.
So, think about what you can do to make your digital marketing SEO agency stand out.
These should be small extras you can throw into your service listing that make clients fell like they’re getting more for what they pay. Anything that makes your clients feel as though their dollar is being used at maximum capacity stands to improve retention.
Now, you don’t need to give away services for free or make unnecessary work for yourself. Simply, add on services that make them feel like they’re getting a greater value for their money. A few good examples of services/features to include are:
- Website uptime monitoring
- SSL certificate through Let’s Encrypt
- Google algorithm monitoring
- Monthly KPI reports
I recently implemented a good example of this on my monthly reports. I include a section that spells out the Google algorithm changes that took place the previous month, whether or not it affected the client’s website, and what I’ll be doing about it.
At the very least, this approach makes clients feel as though you’re on top of things and have their backs. Should something happen with the algorithm, they’ll know they can trust you to fix the issue quickly.
Retain SEO Clients and Build a Stronger Business
Hopefully these tips will help you retain more SEO clients and improve your client relationships in the future. Best of luck!
Looking for SEO training? Check out “Bring Home the Bacon“.