As the readers of my blog know, I’m passionate about helping people improve their SEO and master what is otherwise a tricky and technical topic. After all, chasing new leads and selling to new customers is a difficult endeavor, and one many businesses solely focus on.
The trick to real success as an SEO agency, however, isn’t in the gimmicks – it’s about getting better at leveraging revenue per client.
The data is pretty clear on this: the likelihood you’ll be able to sell your product to a new customer is only around 5 to 20 percent, whereas the probability that you’ll sell to one of your existing customers is a lot higher – perhaps 60 or 70 percent.
When it comes to marketing, you get much better bang for your buck by targeting clients who already know you.
So what does this mean in practice? How to increase revenue from existing customers? How can your SEO agency increase revenue per client? Here are ten ways to make it happen.
Ask Your Customers For Referrals
Many of the top companies in the world, like Apple and Tesla, don’t do an enormous amount of marketing. In the case of Tesla, it’s practically zero. Instead, they rely on hordes of committed customers to do the job for them.
They know that their customers love their products so much that they will evangelize about them, telling everybody they know how good they are.
It turns out that this kind of peer-to-peer marketing is far more effective than anything your company could do. Customers trust other customers infinitely more than they do your business, which is one of the reasons why asking your customers for referrals is so important.
How to increase revenue from existing customers? Referrals. They are, in a very real sense, your greatest marketing asset.
Incentivise referrals by offering existing customers discounts or a reward for making the introduction. This is one of my top strategies to boost sales.
Highlight And Celebrate Client Successes
When it comes to Search Engine Optimization and Online Marketing, customers want to know that they’re getting good value for money. Is their conversion ratio improving? Are they ranking higher in search results? Has their revenue jumped while using your service?
Keeping track of these key performance indicators or KPI’s is essential for measuring the success of your agency and proving to clients that you’re creating value. Often you’ll find that when you celebrate successes with customers, they become more willing to part with extra money, allowing you to upsell them on additional services.
Breaking through key milestones with clients is a proven way of reducing their resistance to purchasing other services and paying higher fees.
Stay In Regular Contact With Clients
You don’t need me to tell you that there are a lot of Digital Marketing agencies out there, all vying for business from your customers. This is why it’s a good idea to stay in regular contact with each of your clients. You need to constantly remind them of your existence so that when they have an online marketing issue or problem, they immediately think of you before one of your competitors.
But what should you talk to them about? In general, you want to focus on two things.
The first is updating them on what’s going on in the world of SEO. The rules concerning SEO are always changing, and so it’s important to keep them abreast of new processes and how those may affect their business.
The second is to provide lots of information, like I do, on how to make more money online. The more helpful information you can provide, the more likely they are to spend their precious marketing dollars with you.
Give Away Stuff For Free
You might think that giving away stuff for free is a bad way to generate increased revenue per client. But if you can produce something which provides people with genuine value, then it can work. Take Moz and Hubspot, for instance, two of the biggest SEO-focused sites in the world.
Although it costs them a lot of money to do so, both give away free guides, tools, blog posts and videos.
Why do they do it? It’s not just for altruistic reasons. They know that if they can create content with real value for their customers, they’ll attract millions of people to their site every month, many of whom will later part with their cash.
As an SEO agency, this probably makes a lot of sense to you. It’s no secret that we’re moving towards the world where inbound marketing is king.
Start Cross-Selling Your Customers
Most SEO agencies are focused on upselling – putting clients on higher-value versions of their core service with higher margins. But that isn’t the only way to generate more revenue from each customer. Another favorite method is cross-selling – or selling a client on a complementary product.
You see this sort of thing outside of the SEO agency world all the time. If you’ve ever been on a site like Zappos, you’ll see a section which says “customers who bought this item also bought…” followed by a list of complementary products.
Zappos does this because they know that if they show their customers products that work well together in concert, they’ll buy more. SEO agencies, therefore, should add value for their existing clients by demonstrating them what to buy next.
Bundle Your SEO Services
E-commerce retailers have been bundling services since the beginning of time. The reason for this is that customers like the idea that they’re getting a comprehensive service and tend to believe that anything that comes in a bundle must be better valued than bought separately.
Bundling works for SEO agencies too: you’re able to put your most popular services alongside your less popular services, proving to your customers that these services have value too.
Don’t Put A Cap On Your Retainer
Many SEO agencies like to use retainers to guarantee a fixed monthly income. But retainers can wind up being more of a straight-jacket than a money-maker in my experience. The reason for this has to do with the fact that the SEO landscape is in constant flux.
One moment, one particular strategy is the most effective, the next, it’s another. What’s more, the price of providing these services isn’t always a fixed dollar amount. Some services are just more expensive than others, meaning that retainers aren’t always the best pricing option.
If you’re going to use a retainer, make sure you leave yourself plenty of room for a changing environment. You want to leave the door open to increase the scope of your SEO services should the need arise. Consider an hourly pricing model.
Automatically Renew Your Contracts
Once you’ve worked with a client of a while, they quickly get used to all the benefits that your work brings: higher conversion rates, more sales, and greater value per customer. But over time, they can start to take your work for granted. When the contract comes up for renewal, they might believe that their success has less to do with you and more to do with their prowess.
To prevent this from happening, establish ground rules when you sign your initial contract. Be clear with clients about the circumstances under which their contract should renew. Set out clear, measurable objectives that both parties agree upon. If those targets are met, then a new contract should be automatically rolled out so that you can continue to do your work and improve your clients’ businesses even further.
When Pitching, Focus On Profit (ROI), Not Rankings
If you’ve just set up a new SEO agency, it can be tempting to focus your client’s attention on your internal targets, such as page ranking, conversion ratios and so on. But even though these metrics are the lifeblood of your trade, they’re not really what your customers want. What they want is more profit.
Many successful SEO agencies see a huge bump in the number and size of their contracts when they make the switch to profit-focused enterprises. They work out how much a company will have to spend on SEO services to get the results they want, and then they calculate how much additional revenue these are likely to generate.
The difference between the two is extra profit available to the firm. Using this method with your existing customers encourages them to spend more on your services, especially if they can see that the more they spend, the more profit they will generate.
Be A Niche Player In a Crowded Online Market
Because there are so many SEO agencies out there, it usually doesn’t pay to be a generalist. Why would a client use your general SEO services, when they can approach a company that specializes in their particular industry? Competing with all SEO companies out there is tough. But competing in a niche tends to be a lot easier.
Many SEO agencies, choose a particular area of business and stick with it, like legal firms or VC-backed startups. Being a niche player makes it easier to build connections in an industry and decreases the chance that your clients will go somewhere else. If they believe that you’re the best service that can help them, they will stick around for longer.
I hope this advice helps your SEO agency increase revenue per client.