Between providing excellent service, exercising creative direction, and generating profit, you know just how challenging - and exhilarating - running a digital agency can be. The powerful engine behind it all, of course, is your clients. It’s this base that keeps your agency moving forward and growing.
So, how do you ensure that you’re continually finding new clients? If you’ve spent enough time in the industry, you probably have the basics down: a website, a carefully formulated brand identity, and at least one marketing channel that’s directing a decent number of new leads your way. (Side note: If you’re still exclusively depending on referrals for new business, it’s time to change that. Trust us - you’ll thank us later.)
This article is for those agencies looking to accelerate their lead generation and tap into new markets. Guided by the collective experience of thousands of agencies that are providing web services with Wix, we present practical tips for how to get new web design and marketing clients.
Before you start: Shift away from the global marketing trend
Before we introduce some of the more practical suggestions, we want to present one idea that is fundamental to lead generation. Even though today it seems like everyone’s focusing on the global market, we strongly recommend prioritizing your local market instead - as counterintuitive as it may sound.
Yes, the global arena can be tempting with its seemingly endless demand for web services, but having an international clientele comes with its own set of risks: pricing challenges that eat up your margins, language barriers that complicate communication, and awkward mishaps caused by cultural differences. And don’t get us started on how tough it is to work with different time zones.
Instead, focus on your immediate surroundings. This is where you can create stronger, long-term relationships - at higher price points. Plus, every satisfied client becomes another voice solidifying your place in the market. It’s here that you can easily establish yourself as a subject matter expert and offer impeccable service to people who trust you, for years to come. To make this vision a reality, the following eight best practices are here to guide you through the process.
01. Approach your SEO in a new way
First things first, you’ve got to have your basics covered. For easy reference, we’ve included a checklist here:
Indexing your site.
Optimizing your page titles and site content with relevant keywords.
Choosing simple, descriptive site page URLs.
Adding alt text to images.
Developing content or an FAQ page to answer the most common questions prospects ask.
Once your SEO groundwork is laid, it’s time to implement a more advanced strategy. Primarily, one that articulates a precise match between your web presence and your average searcher’s intent. To begin, assess how many visitors convert into leads - and ultimately into clients - and if you can identify any patterns or points of commonality amongst them. That intel will lead you to your most profitable audience. Once you have that answer, begin tailoring your SEO efforts to attract this type of traffic.
These are some areas you can cover in your web presence to zero in on your target audience:
Location: Many clients would prefer working with a local agency, and search accordingly. Establish yourself in the local market by incorporating names of cities, counties and even states in your page titles and site content. We also recommend spending time crafting content that’s meaningful from a local perspective. What are the unique challenges and opportunities for clients operating in your city or state? Demonstrating your awareness of these factors - as well as the particular skill set you possess for addressing them - will reassure visitors that your agency is a reputable choice. We strongly recommend investing some time into this. Good, quality content keeps potential clients happy and helps your search engine ranking. It’s a win-win.
Services: Figure out what kinds of services your customers are searching for. This will give you a good indication as to what interests them. And if you don’t offer a specific service, don’t worry. You can still position yourself as relevant to these clients by creating engaging, educational blog posts that speak to related topics. Using keywords naturally within the body of these posts will help draw your audience in and bring you traffic.
Clientele: You’ll also want to think about the types of clients you serve. Is there one type that turns to you more frequently? For example, you may build websites primarily for restaurants or law firms. If so, be sure to include this in your website. One option includes creating separate pages on your website for those two types of clients. Fill out each section with unique keywords, terminology, and blog content that are familiar to those client profiles and signal that you know what you’re talking about. This is another great way to establish yourself in the market, and it will help these types of clients feel more confident choosing you.
02. Invest in paid advertising
Paid advertising is the most predictable and dependable source of leads - once you figure it out. Its inherent cost means more is at stake, though, so it means approaching this investment with a wisely-crafted plan. Your goal is to reach a point where your ROI is positive and the amount you make exceeds the amount you spend by a big enough margin.
If you’re just starting out, prepare for it to take a little time as you experiment with different avenues until you find the one (or ones) that are financially worthwhile. Whether it’s Google, Facebook or LinkedIn, just start by jumping in and creating campaigns on each to find your niche. Remember that when it comes to generating leads, you shouldn’t focus on increasing your reach. Instead, aim for precision, targeting exactly the right audience with the right message - even if it means consequently decreasing your reach.
Finally, be careful about how you measure success. At the end of the day, your campaign works depending on the amount you earn - not views, clicks, leads or projects.