How to get SEO clients and survive in times of crisis?

Search marketing agencies are losing clients due to the coronavirus crisis and it has created a scenario similar to the 2008 recession. Successful marketers who have built success through the recession offer advice on how to survive these tough times.

How to get SEO clients and survive in times of crisis?

A moment for philanthropy

Reverend marketer John Henshaw (@henshaw) is one of those people in the SEO journal industry that I admire because he consistently delivers meaningful insights.

He published an article titled ATTN: Digital Marketers and Webmasters, Storefronts and Restaurants Need Our Help

In the article he suggests that this is our moment to stand up and help our local communities. Moreover, he says that this is not the moment to make profit but the moment to help our neighbors.

John wrote: “My next-door neighbor owns a restaurant, and one of my best friends runs a storefront. The Covid-19 pandemic in the US is currently crushing their business.

They don't need to be your new clients. They don't have money to pay you. You need to help them keep their small business alive. This is a moment for altruism, not an opportunity."

After writing John A lists some things that search marketers can do to help local businesses thrive.

Your community is an ecosystem of which you are a part. We are uniquely talented to be heroes in our communities.

That advice is my personal one. I myself recently worked for free for a non-profit organization affected by the coronavirus crisis.

Does it hurt to help make your corner of the world a little better?

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How to retain SEO clients?

The SEO Journal Research Report asked three marketing savvy people for their experiences as well as advice on how to survive the 2008 recession.

Aleda Solis

I asked international SEO expert Aleida Solis (@aleyda) what she's doing to retain customers.

Aleyda is someone I respect for her ability to think outside the box and create innovative solutions.

His advice has great insight into adjusting SEO goals so that clients are relevant to their customers in the moment to retain customers and be there when the crisis is over.

He points out that he only has one client in the travel industry and they keep him going because they understand that there is value in engaging potential clients even if they are at the top of the sales funnel.

His strategy is to identify real results that he can help the client achieve.

This is how Aleda explained it: “SEO: is a long term game and they know now all losses for next three months from conversion point of view. But, I am helping them a lot to optimize their landing page for coronavirus.”

So you see SEO as more than just ranking for sales related keywords, but rather creating content that keeps potential clients engaged in the crunch?

"Indeed! Plus for informational questions about the brands/services they offer plus crisis/coronavirus/cancellation to help keep those customers and also, even if it's a very top of the funnel query, for people doing research, they can get In their funnel with caution.

It's about changing/expanding targeted questions to rank for the most meaningful/popular/relevant questions asked by existing customers at the moment, which is different, and being there for them: explaining what they're doing as a business at this point, their Demonstrates their values ​​and responsibility to customers as well as employees and the community, while giving customers options to avoid simply cancelling”

Christine Churchill

Christine Churchill (@ChrisChurchill) is a widely respected search marketer who was involved in the creation of the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO).

Here are his suggestions based on his experience:

“One of the things that helped our company through the 2008 recession was the industry mix among our clients. This is a philosophy we continue to this day.

Our hospitality clients are having a tough time at the moment but luckily we also have some in the medical space who are doing great.

I look at the client mix like I look at stocks. Diversification spreads risk.

Interestingly, some of the clients who suffered losses during the last recession are still clients. I remember that time and I remember some things to help them.

In some cases we have actually stopped or curtailed operations for a short period of time. We also helped them prioritize their marketing efforts so we focused on those efforts that yielded the greatest return in the fastest time.

By working with clients and helping them in their time of need, they have become very loyal customers who have stayed with us."

Debra Mastler

Next Debra Mastaler (@debramastaler) was asked about her experience as a search marketing consultant during the 2008 recession.

Debra is involved in search marketing and is an authority on link building. I have a lot of respect for his work.

Here are Debra's suggestions:

“I offer very specific link building and content strategy services so most of the clients we serve are experts in SEO.

They are educated in the discipline and understand the need to continue services to stay visible especially when there is an economic downturn.

But everyone has a financial and emotional threshold. When it comes time to look for ways to step back, we meet to focus on key skills and discuss how best to promote them.

If Product A generates the most revenue, I'll realign our marketing efforts behind those areas and lighten or eliminate them among others.

When it comes to my agency, one of the advantages of being small and online is low overhead. Aside from tools, newsletter subscriptions, and some basic office expenses, my biggest expense is salary.

After struggling in 2008, my CPA husband suggested that I put three months of payroll into the account to squirrel down time, and I did just that! I sleep well and no one has to furlough within the contract.

I'm often asked if there's one SEO tool I can't live without, and my stock answer is always the same: invest in a kick-ass copywriter and hire the best accountant you can find.

One may not be an SEO tool but a good accountant will help you navigate the tough times, claim every expense that comes your way and plan for the future.”

Solidarity with clients and communities

A common thread in the above suggestions seems to be one of feeling solidarity with clients. As John Henshaw says, this is a time of altruism.

Altruism is defined as "selfless concern for the well-being of others."

Altruism does not mean giving services for free. It means feeling concern for others.

Something I've done for clients that experienced a drop in income was to rethink the services provided to something they could afford and that was still helpful to keep them in the game.

When business resumes everything is back to normal. But most importantly I earned their loyalty.

I didn't reconsider my services to buy their loyalty. I offered it out of concern for them, to see what I could do to help them.

As Jon, Aleda Christine, and Debra illustrate, concern for your client and your community means reaching out and mapping out a strategy that can help sustain both the organization, the client, and the consultant.

be careful

Business is suffering. Agencies are losing clients. It's happening now.

It is in your best interest to be proactive to see what you can do to help them survive, as Aleda, Christine and Debra did.

Additionally, there is value in helping your local community overcome a crisis, as John Henshaw suggests.

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