How Many of You Mostly got Your Clients from Search Engines?

Charlie
Hey hey hey…..
Out of curiosity, how many of you use actual SEO methods to get your clients?
What I'm getting at is 95% of my business is word of mouth. So I'm debating on investing more time/effort to support my site.
Maybe you get yours through cold email? Sales? Other?
Search numbers for things like "SEO agency near me" just aren't that high.
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Aaron
I find it funny, the number of "SEO Agencies" that reach out to me, that fail to even rank for their own agency name or brand.
You should be able to use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to prove your worth to clients.
– Run a search for "My agency name" and look at the results.
– Run a search for "services I provide in local area" and look at the results
– Run a search for "sample keywords I'm ranking other sites for"

Henry » Aaron
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Charlie ✍️ » Aaron
Good points
Rienzi
It's a reality. Some of us just don't have extra resources to spend building our own websites – coz we're damn busy with client sites.
But if one is looking for more leads means they have the time. Then definitely, building your own brand site is worth the trouble. I can only imagine how many leads guys like Matt Digitty get from their website/YT.
Jaclyn » Rienzi
I agree with you! They are all commenting and laughing at SEO users that are not ranking for their own site. As an SEO freelancer, I am working on my clients sites. All people have to do is send their results of client work or reviews. You really don't need to rank for your own site. However, it would look better but what decent SEO person has the time and energy to do that when they are working on their clients? Hey! If you got business coming in, don't worry about your site so much!
Igor
In theory, yes. But, for agencies and freelancers, getting SEO work happens just like other service businesses: word of mouth. Doing all the client work takes up significant time and effort, and one happy client can occupy an agency with referrals for years.
I'm a founder of a digital agency and we've struggled with our website for years. Our site is not representative of our work. But our client sites are.
Its like going to a carpenter and judge them by the state of their staircase. They may not even have a staircase, but they can show dozens or even hundreds of spectacular builds for clients.
What matters at the end though, is how that service provider will do the work for YOU. Despite their site and all the case studies they'd show you.
Aaron » Jaclyn
not exactly.
When I get a cold spam email from an "SEO agency", using black hat contact form spam.
I Google their Agency name. And they don't even rank for their own branded name.
At the very minimum, if you are operating a legitimate business, as an SEO agency…
You had at least be ranking for your own brand name.
Jaclyn » Aaron
not exactly. If I'm getting business and getting clients on page 1.. you don't need to spend all the time and energy ranking for your own site if you can show owners results and great reviews. Also I would not suggest spammy emails.
Good business is working on the people around you and that is paying you. Not spending all your time focusing on yourself. However, I do agree that it's great and looks good to be ranking on page 1 for your site as an SEO agency but definitely is not necessary if
you are getting business! For me I'd rather spend my time serving others.
Aaron » Jaclyn
if you rely on "word of mouth", how are clients who are referred to you, able to find you by name?
Jaclyn » Aaron
hmm seems like you got triggered. I'm not into arguments. I just want to offer advice for what is working for me. I am always getting phone calls for my services due to my good reputation. People are way more likely to buy if their friend used your services and had a great experience.
Aaron » Jaclyn
I'm not the one that is triggered 🙂
I have the opinion that if you are in business, legitimately, generating revenue from clients, paying taxes, using proper white-hat SEO practices…
That AT THE VERY MINIMUM, your own website should be SEO optimized to at least be ranking for your business name.
Example: If your business is "Mile high SEO Agency" headquartered in Denver CO. Even if you don't rank for "Denver SEO company", you should at least rank for someone searching for "Mile High SEO Agency".
I don't care if you get leads, or your phone rings, etc. Because black-hat spammers can generate revenue and leads and sales.
Which is why, if you look back to my original comment… I find it funny when so-called "SEO's" reach out to me cold, with a link to their website… and I do a Google search for their company name, and they are NOWHERE to be found.
It begs the question, WHY can they not be found for their actual company name?
Are the legitimate?
Is it a brand new site?
Has it been blacklisted/slapped by Google?
WE as knowledgable SEO people can see the red flags, but unfortunately, clients can't always see those red flags.
Jaclyn
Do you man.

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Davis
Tbh word of mouth gives good quality leads. Ranking for SEO queries means filtering idiots who haven't even figured their business model and wanting free brain storming sessions. Likewise it does provide more trust for on boarding corporate clients, but ranking alone doesn't get you them.
Tyler » Charlie
I work at a decent sized fintech in the marketing dept. and the first thing we do is evaluate a contractor's personal success. So if you do SEO, design, lead gen, etc., but you aren't doing it well for yourself, we wouldn't even consider you. 🤷‍♂️
Ben Allen 🎓
Ironically there are a few industries whose marketing isn't really conducive to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – industries where inbound marketing requires a lot of leads that know they need it – and I feel like SEO is one of them. Bigger cities obviously are a little different in that there is more search volume for most keywords, but still, not a lot of people actively seek out SEO users by the term itself.

Charlie ✍️ » Ben Allen
Right. That's why I asked. But it's a good point to look the part if you want to land more clients.
Ben Allen 🎓 » Charlie
It probably helps and I agree with the logic but I actually have never once had a client ask me about my or my clients' rankings before. I used to work for two SEO agencies who had more clients than they could possibly handle and their rankings were terrible lol.
Holgate » Ben Allen
Can you remember how those 2 agencies got so many clients without showing cases studies.
Ben Allen 🎓 » Holgate
Good sales and marketing departments. The last agency I worked at had a sales department that took up a whole floor and the SEO department was like 50+ people. Terrible SEO but their sales people knew what they were doing.
The agency before that was smaller but they had a deal with our local newspaper to white label their services. And they got kind of locally famous from their web design. But their SEO was terrible. My boss came to me one time thrilled because we ranked #6 for "Buffalo Search Engine Optimization" like anyone in their right mind would ever Google that lol.
Charlie ✍️ » Ben Allen
This proves that there are a lot of shitty agencies out there. I can show results if ever asked. I just don't have the time to focus so much energy into some thing that has never been asked of me before
Ben Allen 🎓
Agreed. And yeah, I would go so far as to say the majority of agencies offering SEO are shitty.

Evan
Word of mouth for three years, recently started poking at my own site just because I thought it was hilarious I had such good clients with such an awful site and now my damn phone won't stop ringing. I'm turning away more new/potential clients than ever across the country. Wasn't ready to expand just yet but now I'm restructuring the business for payroll and looking to start hiring in the next couple months if not sooner. Life's good. Do good business though and you'll never have to rely on your website for new clients. People who use you don't want to lose time to other clients in my experience so keep your rates up. Overloading yourself with new clients leads to bad work. Just up your rates if your income is getting weird. They will gladly pay. Be confident in what you do and what you charge, but also be realistic.
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Kumar » Evan
realistic? , but what if the client says that no leads we're generated yet from your work.. How can we trust what they say?
Elliott » Evan
this is amazing!
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Evan » Kumar
I know when my work leads to revenue because I measure correctly using analytics and various other tools. I make sure I become a part of their business that they absolutely cannot afford to not keep on payroll. If I can't generate what my clients need, I refer them to someone who can. This further solidifies my reputation as being a trustworthy business partner who has his clients' best interest in mind at all times. Because again, I know if they are getting paid, i am getting paid.
Lastly, it's usually night and day difference when I come on with a new client. Their business is slow, they are kinda beat down and tired. Within the first month, this all turns around. Our third or fourth call after I start doing what I do, they are constantly jumping off the call to take new business calls, they are energetic, ecstatic that they found someone who can actually produce what they say they can produce. There really is no question about whether or not what I'm doing is working for them or not 🙂
By realistic I mean don't charge your client more than what you are worth to them. Be realistic about your skills and honest when you don't know what to do. There's nothing wrong with saying "I don't know. Let me talk to some colleagues and get the proper answer for you". But instead I see people always, ALWAYS trying to be the know-it-all for some reason. And they end up destroying businesses as well as their own.
Aasim » Evan
Very nice mindset. So much impressed with your honesty.

Janka
Part of the problem is trying to rank for SEO Agency because most companies aren't searching for that. You'll do better ranking for "digital marketing" or something along those lines.
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