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According to Internet Live Stats, Google fields as many as 3.5 billion searches a day. If your clients could get just a slice of that daily search volume to their sites, well, they’d be set for life. And, more importantly for you as a web design agency, those same clients would more than likely be happy to pay you for SEO marketing services.
Or at least they would be willing to pay you if you were offering SEO services.
How do you get started on the SEO gravy train? What steps are needed to expand your service offering?
If you’re looking for advice on adding “website SEO” to your web design services, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to see how you can make more money while offering your clients an end-to-end web design and marketing solution.
Laying Down the Groundwork
So for the sake of discussion, let’s just assume that your service expansion is still in the let’s-offer-SEO-services phase. What issues should you be concerned about? What internal conversations should you be having?
Here are measures that every agency should take before adding SEO to its marketing repertoire.
1. Figure Out What Service You’re Selling
At first glance, you may have read that suggestion and said, “We’re trying to sell SEO. Duh.”. But when you get right down to it, there are multiple types of SEO services to choose from.
Are you planning to do keyword research and content production? Are you going to offer full-scale backlinking or are you maintaining a strictly on-page strategy?
This might sound really basic but it’s a crucial first step. Once you have a solid grasp of what you’re selling and what it looks like, you’ll have a much easier time arranging the rollout you’re looking for.
2. Refine Your Offer
Okay. So you’ve pinned down the list of SEO services that you will and won’t provide. Now you’re at the part where you can start fine-tuning your offer.
Here’s what we mean:
Let’s say that you’ve decided to offer content writing, keyword research, and backlinking. While that’s a nice list of services, it doesn’t really help customers understand why they need to snap your offer up.
Maybe you should offer varying levels of service so that clients on your enterprise plan are receiving more content and keywords than the ones on your solopreneur plan. Perhaps you should package your SEO services based on need so that businesses in their growth phase have a customized plan that differs from the one you’d be offering to a startup.
What you decide here will have a lasting effect on your marketing options. As such, you’ll want to take your time as you hammer out the finer details of your strategy.
3. Compile Your Resources
Imagine lying on a surgeon’s operating table and learning that there are no surgical tools in the building. It’s hard to picture, isn’t it?
In the same way that you would expect your accountant to have financial spreadsheets or your grocery store to carry food, your clients will be expecting you to have all the subscriptions and resources you need to carry out their SEO campaigns.
Will you be using keyword tools? Are you planning to rely on SEO tracking software and backlinking tools for certain parts of your work?
You’ll want to write up a list of needed resources and estimated costs.
At this point, you’ve already done the high-level strategizing. Now’s the part where you begin working on your processes and your framing. In our experience, here are a few of the concerns you’ll want to sort out:
1. Who Will Deliver Your SEO Services?
Do you have SEO-knowledgable personnel onboard? If so, maybe you can get away with building an in-house SEO division. But if you’re “Okay” at SEO but you’re hoping to attract enterprise-level clients, you may be better off opting to outsource your SEO services.
That being said, outsourcing may be easier in the sense that you can get the services of a team for the price of one full-time or part-time employee. However, if your account manager leaves or the people who work on your campaigns are reassigned elsewhere, you have significantly less control over the quality of your white label SEO campaigns.
Nobody can tell you which option is the right choice for your business. But you will want to weigh the pros and cons before you pull the trigger.
2. How Will You Position Your Agency Brand?
If there’s one thing that we’ve all learned in today’s world of social media influencers and online reviews, it’s that branding matters. And while on paper SEO services might seem like a good thing for your agency, you’ll still want to spend some time thinking about how you can roll out the service while keeping your company brand consistent.
Are you the straight-shooting, tell-it-like-it-is company? Maybe you should frame your SEO campaigns as your agency’s latest effort to ensure that your clients aren’t left behind by skyrocketing PPC costs.
Have you positioned your agency as a team of web design specialists that prides itself on not doing the whole “Jack of all trades and masters of none.” thing? Then you may have to spend some time setting the table and explaining why you’ve chosen to expand your service offering.
As a general rule of thumb, you don’t want to have other people creating their own narratives around your brand. This is your chance to set the table and tell your own story.
3. Build Your Portfolio
When it comes to your design work, chances are that your agency can put together an epic web design portfolio in a flash. Website SEO often works a little bit differently.
Have you taken the time to work on your homepage SEO? Do you have a few articles trending near the top of the search engine rankings? The more results that you can show your future customers, the easier it will be to sell them on your agency’s ability to run effective SEO campaigns.
Getting SEO Clients
For the sake of discussion, let’s assume that you’ve put together an incredible portfolio and you’ve also figured out your branding and your angle. Now it’s time for the moment you’ve been waiting for.
It’s time to talk about the process of landing SEO clients. Here are some of our top client-getting tips:
1. Talk to Your Current Clients
It’s estimated that retaining customers can be six times cheaper than acquiring new ones. As an already established web design agency, you already have a book of business that you can use to kickstart your SEO service launch. Furthermore, your past web design clients are more than likely people who will at least hear you out when you tell them that you can promote their websites.
All you have to do is let them know that you’re offering SEO services.
Whether you plan to reach your current and past clients by email, phone, or pigeon, you can drive some fast sign-ups simply by letting your past, current, and future customers know that you now do SEO.
2. Create a Separate SEO Marketing Strategy
Upselling your web design services with an SEO campaign isn’t your only option — you can also create a sales funnel designed to specifically attract your ideal SEO clientele.
Imagine you’re a business owner who’s looking for non-PPC advertising methods. You’ve heard about keywords and SEO, but you don’t have the time or the knowledge needed to roll out a full campaign. So, like any internet-savvy individual, you enter the words “X industry SEO company” into Google and you find a company blog that’s practically reading your mind as it answers all of your questions.
After seeing this demonstration of skill, you’re at least hopping on the phone and booking a consultation, right?
To be fair, you might not be planning to attract SEO clients with SEO. Perhaps your marketing strategy involves PPC or networking at industry conferences. Either way, however, creating a separate marketing strategy for your SEO service can quickly give your agency a revenue stream that’s difficult to overlook.
3. Showcase Your Skills and Experience
Freelancing Digest once wrote an article on the importance of trust markers. From a marketing standpoint, these are the little touches that say, “We know what we’re doing.”.
Maybe your team is full of cutting-edge SEO experts with over 100 years of experience between them. Maybe you’ve got a long and storied history of ranking clients on the first page of Google. For all we know, maybe you were working for Google when the algorithm was getting updated in the first place.
Here’s the bottom line:
If you’ve got badges, certifications, and awards to show for your SEO skills, don’t hesitate to put that information front and center. It will impress your future clients while making them more likely to hire you.
Elevate Your Web Design Agency With Your Killer SEO Services
Running a web design agency isn’t easy. You have to do your own marketing while dealing with clients. And then, as your advertising campaigns work out, you have to knock everyone’s socks off with your top-notch deliverables.
But here’s the good news:
Clients who are looking to buy responsive and professionally designed websites are often interested in finding new ways to market their sites. Given the circumstances, adding SEO services to your list isn’t just a nice idea — it’s a decision that makes a ton of sense.
Are you ready to take your SEO marketing to the next level? Book a call for a free strategy session.