How to Find SEO Leads

Whether you’ve just launched your search engine optimization or you’re an old veteran, there’s one thing every SEO agency needs – clients. But in a competitive field, finding SEO leads is often easier said than done. 

If you’re not operating at peak workload, this piece is for you. In it, we’ll look and tried-and-true strategies for generating more SEO leads, pitching them on your services and closing the deal. But first things, first…

What is an SEO Lead?

An SEO lead is a potential client who has shown interest in your service or services. These could be businesses looking for someone to oversee all their organic search efforts or just looking to add a missing piece to their digital marketing mix.

How to Find SEO Leads

Choose a Niche

While many SEO agencies offer the full spectrum of digital marketing services, many others have specific services they provide or verticals they serve. 

For example, certain agencies specialize in performing SEO for YouTube, helping clients get found on the video-sharing platform, while others are experts at performing keyword research or building links. 

Other SEO professionals find it beneficial to primarily focus on one industry, for example law firms, aviation companies or optometrists. Virtually any industry you can imagine has a need for dedicated SEO. By choosing to specialize in one field, you can cut down on competition and find higher quality leads who are more likely to convert into clients.

Find Your First Leads

Once you’ve landed on your vertical and/or SEO specialization, it’s time to start finding potential clients. There are two approaches you can use here: 

  • Inbound marketing – They discover you via search, referral, etc.
  • Outbound marketing – You reach out to them via email campaign, cold call, networking events, etc.

Ideally, you’ll want to use both these forms of marketing to maximize your impact and improve your chances of landing clients. Let’s take a closer look at each of these and what you can do to optimize your lead generation:


Because you’re so focused on your clients, it can be easy to overlook your own site’s SEO. Don’t do this. 

68% of online experiences start with a web search. This means your soon-to-be clients are looking for you. Make sure they find you – and not the competition. 

Apply all your hard-earned SEO skills to your own website, making sure it’s using the right keywords, generating links from reputable sites and meeting the same standards you deliver for your clients. 

Use high-quality blogs to target search intent, utilize long-tail keywords and provide value to web searchers. Don’t forget about the power of guest posting. If your selected field has web directories, make sure you’re listed in them. 

Regardless of which inbound marketing channels you use, everything should have a clear call to action. This could be “contact us to learn more,” “book a discovery call,” or “download a free eBook.” Whatever it is, make sure you’re asking the searcher to take action and collecting their contact information.


No one likes cold calling, but cold outreach is essential for any business. To improve your chances of success, look for websites in your niche that are in dire need of an SEO overhaul. There’s an obvious, but often overlooked place to find them – on page 2 and beyond of Google search results. 

Once you get deep into the results pages (page 5 or so), you’re going to see sites that have performed little to no SEO – which makes them perfect for you. Identify some sites that look promising (i.e., are not abandoned) and reach out to the web master.

A short email bulleting a few of the ways you could help them rank higher and improve web traffic will open a lot of doors. Just don’t discouraged if you get no reply – think of how many emails you delete without even opening them. Persistence is the name of the game.

Alternatively, you could buy an email list and reach out to the people listed there. Some marketers will warn against this, as there are legal conditions about who can and can’t be messaged without opting into correspondence, so use these at your own discretion. 

If you’re more comfortable making your pitch directly, you can try cold phone calls, or even better networking events. Find what types of conferences and exhibitions the players in your chosen niche attend and get yourself a ticket. Making the rounds, shaking hands and collecting business cards can help you build a quality lead list in no time. 

Tips for Maximizing the Effectiveness of Outbound Marketing

A generic one-size-fits-all approach to outreach is unlikely to offer quality returns. To improve your conversion rates, keep these things in mind:

  1. Customize your pitch – Tailor your messaging to the lead’s unique situation.
  2. Make it easy for them to take the next step – CTAs should be clear and simple, whether it’s a verbal ask or a request to fill out a form.
  3. Keep it short – Don’t waste your prospects’ time. Be forthright and to the point.
  4. Keep it casual – This will vary by culture and industry, but in the U.S., keeping a conversational tone in-person, on the phone and in digital communications is generally more successful than stiff formality.
  5. Don’t overpromise – Search ranking depends on a lot of different factors. Don’t promise you’ll get a lead onto the front page overnight, because you know that’s unrealistic. Don’t set yourself up for failure by promising the moon.  

Qualify Your Leads

You don’t want to waste your valuable time chasing after leads who aren’t likely to convert into clients, so you’ll want to develop a qualification process to decide who is worth pursuing. 

Generally, you’ll want to spend the most time going after leads who:

  • Are in a profitable industry and can afford to outsource SEO .
  • Will benefit from your services.
  • Are open to being approached.

Make sure you follow up with your leads. Many of the decision makers will be overseeing multiple things at once and it’s easy to forget about the SEO agency pitching them. Keep regular contact to keep yourself at the top of mind. 

Scale Up Your SEO Services

Once you start landing clients, it’s time to deliver. The best way to get more done in less time is by using the power of technology to scale operations. Which is exactly why you need evisio.

Built to streamline the entire SEO process, evisio will help you get more done in less time by automating formerly manual tasks. Regular scans will identify and keep you up to date with any new or recurring SEO issues on a website, while automated reporting will arm you with the data you need to prove your worth. And those are just two small pieces of its powerful functionality.

See if for yourself. Contact us for a free trial.

< Go back to The SEO Program page.