How to Get $5k+/mo Corporate SEO Clients in 2019 (Blueprint)
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How to Get $5k+/mo Corporate SEO Clients in 2019 (Blueprint)

– What’s up everybody? Welcome back to another
episode of 100 Days of SEO. My name is Brendan Hufford,
I help SEO clients ranging from $90 million
venture backed startups to bloggers making a 100K a month
to local window washers and real estate agents
and interior designers and I’m so excited ’cause today I’m gonna explain
to you exactly how I got my first
big clients starting out. In one of my previous videos,
you can check in the link below,
I explain the whole idea behind how I wrote proposals. But I just wanna talk
to you about how to find these clients, how do
you find your first five to 10K a month, client? Let’s get it. (whistling) Alright, what’s up
everybody Brendan here. We are in my computer,
we’re gonna do something a little bit different today. We’re just gonna
kinda do a screen share, and a walk-through
of exactly how I find, exactly how I provide value for, without doing a ton of work,
and exactly how I position myself as an expert,
to corporate SEO clients. One of the places I
love to start, as lot of people start with their Google
search, trying to find these. I think that’s a mistake,
you’re missing a huge opportunity by starting
with a Google search, you find people who
are already ranking. Now there’s some
ways around that. You can look at
people who are running ads, but not also ranking,
I think that’s a good start. But for corporate SEO clients,
I like to look in the Yellow Pages, ’cause you
can get some good details. So I’m looking here
in Chicago, Illinois. That’s the main
industry that I operate in. Let’s say I wanna
look for engineering. I wanna look for an engineering
firm, or something similar. So I drop that in,
and we’re gonna take a look at the results here. I see like, True Value,
Elite Electrical Contractors, and what I’m looking for here,
is I’m looking at the reviews, but what’s
really cool is something that goes a little bit deeper. So, I know from my background
that while local matters, I also love industries
where I know that there’s a lot of money to be made,
and I’ve kinda happened on this one,
Document Destruction Company. So let’s take a
look at this company. Wow, all right, so two things
really stand out to me here. Number one, no reviews,
in Yellow Pages, interesting. But they’re paying for
Yellow Pages preferred, which means they’re
spending money on marketing, and they’ve been in
business for 36 years. This looks like
a prime candidate. Let’s see what they’re doing,
over on their website. Oop, oh no, oh no, this is, oh, I love it, the paper shreds. It actually shreds over
there on the left, okay. Alright, great, this
is perfect, first of all, the website isn’t secure,
they don’t even have a free
Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate. Their page title
is not optimized, it says Document
Destruction Company, it’s cool that
their company name does talk about what they do. I love those very
obvious names, but this website is straight out of 1997, I
know this, ’cause it’s kind of when I started
looking at websites. So my point is,
here’s what I wanna do. I wanna find somebody
with really bad on page SEO. Definitely start there,
that’s where you can provide the most value upfront. And here’s how
I would take a look at it. So we found somebody. This is a prime candidate. Now we have to provide value,
and here’s the way I do that, make sure
you’re writing this down. So the way that I’m
gonna pitch them, and the way I’m gonna reach out to them,
is I’m just gonna send them a
quick email, just to say, hey, I put together a
report about your website. I think there’s a
lot of opportunity. Would you like me
to send it to you, or, if you’re a little
more sales-y, and you understand how to
close clients, I have some videos on that,
closing SEO clients, even if you’re just starting out. If you’re more savvy,
you can reach out to them and say, hey, do you
have time for a 15 minute free strategy call?
I think I have some opportunities for your website. Show you’ve done your homework. Talk about like, I know
you’ve been in business for 36 years, you
obviously provide a really good service, right? It’s
almost impossible to reach the 20 year mark in business,
and if they’ve reached, if they’ve been in
business for 36 years, and they’re paying for
Yellow Pages preferred, they clearly are
doing something right. So I would
always start with that. I would reach out to
them first, and if they reply and say they
wanna get on a call, if they reply and they say,
send me the report the you’ve put together, then
you put together the report. I wasted so much time early
on putting together reports and getting no response.
Then it’s like, do I just send it to them,
it’s kinda thirsty. Especially when you’re
starting out, you’re gonna have to hustle and grind
to get those first couple clients, and get that momentum,
until you have case studies that
you can send them. That’s a great way to follow up. Hey, I sent you this thing,
we had this talk, I also want to
send you this case study of another business
similar to yours, and the results that we got them,
that’s great. So I would start there. Make sure they’re interested,
get them on the hook first for a call, or
get them to at least commit to say yes, send me the report,
and then put this together. Two things I wanna notice
right away, it’s not secure. The website also, I love
to just take the window, and drag it
over, oh okay, that’s not responsive at all,
that’s a mess. As expected, so those things
are gonna be really important. Letting them know,
they’re missing out on every single person whose
looking for them on mobile. Letting them know that
their website isn’t secure, so it kind of
shames them in search. But here’s what else I wanna do. I wanna find ones
with a bad on page SEO. I could dig into,
you know, we could do a little inspect here. I can open up the
page source next to it. Let’s take a look there,
there’s nothing even here. So there’s obviously
some big issues going on with this website. The next thing I wanna do,
it I wanna pop open Screaming Frog. Now if you’re brand new,
you can just go to, if
you’re brand new, you just starting out, you
can use this for free. It’ll crawl up to 500 pages,
that’s more than enough for getting out your
first pitches, until you get enough paying clients, so
you can afford to pay for it. I get this
question all the time. “Brandon, what SEO
tool should I use?” The answer is, if you’re
worried about getting them for free, or whatever, if you
don’t have a $100 a month, for Ahrefs, you
don’t need Ahrefs. Get your first client
that’s 500 bucks a month. Use those first $500,
buy Screaming Frog, buy SEMrush or Ahrefs,
whatever you prefer. Buy those tools and
invest in your own business in the first month, then
have those conversations. But don’t think you
need to buy the tools before you get
your first client. You can pitch them
and land them, and provide a lot of value, again
even if you’re a beginner, upfront, completely for free. So you can use Screaming Frog,
obviously I’m using the paid version here,
but what I wanna do is take their URL,
drop it over here into Screaming Frog,
so what I wanna do here in Screaming Frog,
is drop their URL, and now, a lot of times,
what will happen is, I get a really
good breakdown of titles and metas, but I can
already tell you, exactly what just happened here. It’s not gonna crawl those,
because this website is just, it’s a hot mess. So what I wanna do, is I
wanna take a look and see what Google
actually has indexed. So if I hop up here, and I
type “site:” in front of it, it will let me know. So it looks like they
are indexing other pages. They do have the shredding
and pricing, containers, who do we serve, et cetera. It’s gonna be hard to
pull with the Screaming Frog report, and that’s
really a way that we wanna take a look at it,
’cause we can put together a really pro report. But if you notice here, one,
two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight total pages,
only eight of them are indexed in search,
again that’s really huge. We could just pitch
them on a call, with this. Just talking through
the basics of their website. Really, what they
don’t need at this point is, SEO, really what
they need at this point, is a new website, and it’s
kind of your responsibility, it doesn’t make for a
great video on my end, but it’s your
responsibility to tell them, that what they really
need is a new website. You’re not gonna be
able to rank this, by doing some optimization. Like you can’t even
optimize some of this stuff. So this is a great
example of something that just, like an ethical SEO,
instead of pitching them, trying to make money, we wanna
actually take a step back, and just let them know,
hey, we noticed this stuff is really wrong in your
website, I would love to help you with SEO, but
here’s some things I think that you should take
a look at right away. We’d be happy to refer
you to some people who can put together a really great
corporate website for you. And this is actually
perfect for the sake of this video, because what I’m gonna
do, is hop right back in here, in the Yellow Pages, hit
the back button, and we’re hop right back into the search,
and we’re gonna run through the process again,
because when you’re starting out, your
gonna run this process over and over and over. So as I scroll
down a little bit more, what I’m gonna find is
a really good option here. To just kind of open up,
and what I might even do now at this point is
just open up a couple in different tabs, just
in case they don’t pan out. So I’ll look at
this Finkl and Sons. It says that they’re
consulting engineers, 40 years in business, so let’s
take a look at their website. So we notice already, Home,
Finkl Steel, they don’t have an optimized home page. Definitely a much better,
more modern looking website, then what we’d seen previously. It looks like they
have some video here, some other things,
this is a good website to take a look at, it is secure. Let’s take a look at
when we drop this into Screaming Frog,
let’s see how this looks. In fact, I’ll even
open up the page source, ’cause I wanna take
a look at it as well. When I look here for title,
I can see they are using Yoast, which is a good start,
it shows at least they have the sense to know,
but they still don’t have that optimized. When I
look for the description, if I could title that correctly. Nothing, so let’s take a look. Let’s drop them into
Screaming Frog and see what we find, and see if
there’s any value that we can provide for them here. So again, what we’re
gonna take a look at here, you can see they have
their content, the status code, is it index-able, et cetera,
et cetera, and really what I’m gonna do here in a
second, is gonna export this, drop it into Google Sheets
and take a look at where we can actually
provide opportunity for them. So I’m actually
going to export two things. I’m gonna export
a crawl overview. And then I’m also
going to export this, in general SEO elements report,
so I want to title those, and I’ll drop those
into Google Sheets, and we’ll fast forward
over there, and I’ll show you those as well, and
show you how we’re gonna format them for the client. So, let’s talk about how
to format this for a client. I like to take out
anything that’s gonna lead them down a rabbit hole
or be distracting. So I’m gonna delete this
stuff about Screaming Frog. I’m gonna call this,
The Finkl SEO Overview. Now remember, I’m only
putting this together if Finkl has said yes,
let’s hop on a call, yes I’m down for a strategy
session, et cetera, et cetera. I’m gonna pull out
everything out of here, and notice, I’m
highlighting the whole row. I like to pull out
everything out of here, other than stuff that
we’re gonna really be able to help with, so I’m
gonna delete all of these rows. And pull it back up to here. So when we look at page
titles, again, just doing some quick formatting,
making sure here, it looks like they don’t have any missing,
or duplicate page titles. We can commend them on that,
right, good work, good job, good for you, we’ll make them
green, and we’re on our way. Now here’s some important
stuff, they don’t have any meta descriptions
on any of their pages. So we wanna highlight that,
we’ll make sure, I always like to color
code these, because I really feel like it drives
the point home. Meta keywords, this
is more distraction. Meta keywords aren’t
used in SEOs so we’re not gonna mess with those. H1 tags, H2 tags, how they? We’re missing,
we have some duplicate. Alright, cool, let’s make
sure we talk to them about that. H2 tags are
missing and duplicate, great, let’s talk
to them about that. Their images on the website,
most of them are huge and almost all of
them are missing alt text. We can talk to them
about that as well, why? Because having really
large images makes your website extremely slow,
we could even show them some free Google page speed scores,
or, to show them the
page speed scores and show them how that affects. Alt text, we have to explain
to them that anybody using, not only is it
bad for SEO, but it’s also bad for accessibility. Anybody using a screen
reader or assistive device, is not gonna hire them, because
their website, the images especially, are not accessible. So I like to start here. Next, so this is a great kinda starting point for a report. I can delete pagination,
canonicals, and all the rest of this stuff. While it’s extremely helpful,
there’s no reason to distract with it, in this
sort of brief interaction now. In terms of this, I like
to title this, something, now that we’ve established,
oh, they’re gonna ask, this begs a follow up question,
oh, tell me about those meta descriptions, tell
me about those titles and how we can make those better,
so I like to title this, hey, I’ve already thought
that through, I understand. Titles and Meta Descriptions. Again, a little bit,
we’ll delete this row. I like to format this.
I like to as much as possible, View Freeze the first row,
just so we can scroll down through, and again, I really
wanna clean this data up. The content, it’s not
super helpful for them. The status code
is not super helpful. All of these things. I like to just to give them,
again, like I said, the most important information. The title length can be good,
’cause we can tell them where there
titles are too long. Same thing with meta
descriptions, so pretty much everything after this,
I wanna delete. So, I delete that, we
can keep the H1s, the H2s, we talked about those,
and then everything over here I get rid of, just again,
there’s just no reason to have it, et cetera. And now we can kind
of get into something a little bit more valuable. I’m also gonna take this
just for the sake of viewing, and clip the text,
so they can see it a little bit more clearly. Perfect, if you want,
you can also kinda freeze the first row. What we’re gonna show
them here is, they have a tremendous amount
of stuff indexed here. As far a overall pages,
not a ton, but again, we wanna show them, Home,
Cold Work, Services, et cetera. These are not
extremely valuable, titles that people
are searching for. I like to go a step further
even, and kinda change this website URL, or even website
address, let’s leave it with URL for now, and give
it a little bit of, add some branding to it. Whatever your brand colors are.
If you’re like, yeah we use a lot of blue in stuff,
let’s make my stuff around titles,
we can make that orange, we can make my meta
descriptions stuff green, and just kinda make
this look formatted, so that when they get it, they’re like,
wow, this person took at least a minimal
amount of time to think this through, it also makes
it much more presentable, visually appealing for them. I always like to use in the
header, this is such a silly thing to do, but I like
to use a really dark color, sometimes even black,
and I think it just gives it a much more
professional aesthetic, when you’re
showing this to them. Even though we’ve used
Screaming Frog to generate this, I love that it just
reeks of being professional, when they receive it like this. So again, Screaming Frog is
free, if you’re a beginner. I’m giving you the
exact step by step tools, and kind of process that I used
when I was getting started. If you wanna land your
first corporate SEO client, this is a great place to start. Then finally,
hopping back over to Finkl, take a look at about them,
read about their website, read who they are, read
what’s important to them. Like they don’t have
a bad website at all. But they’re a steel company,
they definitely have budget, they
definitely do good work. They’ve been in
there for a long time. They have a pretty strong team,
you can take a look at who their leadership is,
and just see, who am I gonna
reach out to here. Who am I gonna
build a relationship with. I would probably reach
out to somebody really smart, Art’s already super smart,
if he’s the VP of sales and marketing, that’s a
two overlapping skill sets. That means he’s
really good at sales, if you’re gonna pitch him
and sell him from a sales perspective, you’re
gonna be really good, because he works in the steel
industry, and he does sales. The thing is though,
he’s in charge of both sales and marketing. So if you can take some
of that marketing off of his plate, and maybe do
something special, and say hey man, here’s something
you can present to the team. Here’s some things
you could work on, I’d love to help with this. You can take a look at his
LinkedIn, learn more about that. See if you have
something in common. There’s so much stuff,
again there’s another video, that I’ll link below,
about pitching and proposals and stuff,
but this is where I wanted to start, it’s like, hey, it’s
not that hard to get started. You can put together
some great resources, just sending them
an email just saying, hey, I found some opportunities. Again, I’m not trying to say
they’re doing things wrong. I’m not trying to shame
them in any sort of way. I wanna look at it
from a sense of opportunity. And if they’re
willing to hear out what their opportunities are, that
already positions you as an expert to help them take
care of those opportunities. I hope this has been
sincerely helpful for you. I would love it if
you would check out, if you wanna look at, end to
end, exactly how to execute for clients like this,
like you’re getting clients, how do I actually fulfill
services for these clients? What should my process be,
in thinking this through? If you have any questions,
about how to get SEO clients, please leave those in
the description below, I will answer them perfectly. I wanna be the person that I
had when I was getting started. When I reached out to
Glen Allsopp, from ViperChill, when I reached out to Ani Sanyal
from Green Room Creative. And I got these amazing,
super smart mentors who helped me
get my first clients. I wanna be that for you,
so if you’re trying to land SEO clients, let me
know in the comments below, what questions you have. I will
answer every single comment. Check out the One
Ranking Away challenge, it’s free, it runs
through everything from site performance to
creating content based on search intent, and then
getting links to that content. Everything you would
need to do for a client. End to end, whether
you’re a beginner or a veteran, I guarantee, you’re
gonna learn something from it. You can check that at I’ve been Brendan Hufford,
don’t forget to work hard, be nice to people
and don’t get too lost trying to create
something that matters.


  • Alex Vasev

    This is a solid process, Brendan!
    I would probably remove .js, .css, and any other resource files from the Website URL list in the report.

  • Colin Clapp

    Nice share Brendan. I especially like the tip about not doing the report before they say yes to connecting! Been guilty of that 🙂

  • Abhishek Kurve

    Another great vid, Brendan. However, I'm still skeptical if it's a good tactic to use Yellow Pages to find businesses that need help with SEO. I mean, can every type of business listed there benefit from SEO? I mean what if it just isn't the type of business that acquires customers via online searches? Or am I missing something here? 🙂

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