Client retention is constantly on the mind of agency owners. It’s one of the key factors to keeping your agency successful if you want to avoid hitting a growth plateau.
But how do you continuously highlight your marketing agency’s value to your current and prospective SEO clients? By showcasing the impact you’re making on their business’ bottom line.
Oftentimes, people are willing to spend money on things if it’s guaranteed to change their life in some positive way. Think of buying a new vehicle. Consumers know they’re paying top dollar for it, but the minute they leave the dealership, the value depreciates in front of their eyes. But they make the purchase anyway because of the value it’s promised to bring into their life.
You may have taken your client from 0 to 1,000 organic visits a month, but imagine a scenario in which those 1,000 monthly visits remain stagnant for a few months. Where peaks, valleys, and plateaus are the norm, you'll have to go the extra mile to prove your agency’s worth.
We’re going over five ways for you to prove the value you’re bringing your SEO clients so they stick around for the long haul.
1. Prioritize Your Client Relationships
4. Explaining the Importance of Momentum
5. Acknowledge the Good–and the Bad
Let’s get into it!
1. Prioritize Your Client Relationships
This is the first step for a reason, so don't underestimate it. Remember that at the heart of your business partnership is a genuine, human relationship. There's a real value, though not directly quantifiable, in being transparent, approachable, and sincere.
Being able to connect with people in thirty seconds or less at a window over ice cream is a huge life lesson I’ve learned in my past. Because, in marketing, that's essentially what you're doing–trying to figure out where your customer is at, their journey, and kind of meeting them there, and figuring out how to get the sale. Even though we’re in digital marketing, it’s super important to make that connection human-driven.
– Christina Cypher, Director of Marketing, Click Control Marketing
The best way to do this is through consistent communication. Train your teams to ensure they build a connection with their client and have regular touchpoints with them, whether via email, phone, or a simple automated (yet personalized) report. Check in with your client’s preferences on how frequently they’d like to be updated on the campaign progress and what KPIs and metrics they’re interested in hearing about.
Agency Tip: Many clients don’t know the detailed ins and outs of SEO marketing, nor do they have the time to understand it. Your agency is the expert–they’re not. If you know that granular data points aren’t their forte, keep their reports visual with lots of explanations to translate what value you’re bringing to their business.
When you have regular meetings with your clients, use client reports and marketing dashboards to keep everyone on the same page. That also gives them a bird's eye view of how your agency is helping them stay ahead.
Sending out automated SEO reports keeps you in frequent contact with clients that just like to check in on their progress and don’t necessarily need to schedule a meeting. With a good relationship as your foundation, the partnership should be able to weather any storm.
AgencyAnalytics keeps your clients in the know with automated SEO reports. Start your free 14-day trial today.
Build more personal client relationships by including:
A calendar link in their monthly report email,
We coded a button into our monthly client report email that prompts the client to schedule their monthly account review directly on our calendar. This has reduced the back-and-forth communication required for manual scheduling and has made the process much more efficient, reducing time and stress for everyone involved.
–Adam Binder, Founder & CEO of Creative Click Media
Or a video walkthrough to explain their campaign results
We like to include written summaries and walkthrough videos directly in the reports that help to qualify the data and highlight key points.
–Ryan Hayes, CEO of Sparrow Digital
2. Show the Big Picture
As a marketing agency, it’s your job to demonstrate how your clients’ investments are getting them real-world results.
Explaining real-world results is crucial for clients of all sizes, but even more so for those with small business budgets who rely on local SEO to bring in leads.
AgencyAnalytics has helped us connect the dots from what our clients are spending money on to their phone ringing. Which I’ve always found really historically hard to do.”
– Lane Rizzardini, Co-owner of Marion Relationship Marketing
Connect more than 75 marketing channels at no extra cost and give your clients a holistic view of their marketing performance. Get started with your free 14-day trial.
SEO takes time, especially with a new client who is starting from zero. Therefore, it's fine to talk in abstract terms when it comes to early SEO results, but after the initial growth phase, it's important that you provide real results that can be tied to the client’s bottom line.
Show the platforms their calls are coming from and which resulted in a quote or other action
Quantify the value of every website visit
Highlight the number of converting website visitors
Calculate exactly how much revenue their campaign is generating for them
Numbers are inarguable, and your agency should be in a good position if the marketing metrics justify the cost of your agency.
3. Go Beyond the Data
Showing your clients a list of keywords is one thing, but explaining how those keywords get them more visits to their website is another. Better still, show how those website visitors turn into leads and customers.
At our agency, we understand that our clients don't just want to rank #1 for a search term, they want leads. This is why we focus on strategies that drive real business results and not just rankings. We use AgencyAnalytics to track leads and ROI, so we can see how our campaigns are directly impacting our client's bottom line.
– Kurt Schell, President, Lithium Marketing
Although everyone at your marketing agency understands the benefits of SEO and how it ties into a larger marketing picture, do your clients? For example, SEO helps them:
Stay ahead of the competition on the SERPs when customers are searching for related topics
Improve user experience by optimizing website structure, content, and navigation
Boost website credibility and generate more leads
Depending on your agency's strategies, another benefit of SEO could include the brand visibility benefits of off-site content syndication or brand reputation. These are technically peripheral values, but they do directly and positively influence the strength of your clients’ campaigns–they're just notoriously hard to pin down in a quantifiable way.
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Including custom goals in your client reports is a great way to tie all of their marketing metrics together and paint a bigger picture. Custom goals show specific metrics across their SEO strategies, PPC ad campaigns, and beyond!
Reporting is the only way we can prove our work and effectiveness. AgencyAnalytics allows us to show our clients the work, ROI, and growth. It helped keep our clients longer by a factor of 15 months–on average.
– Ruben Roel, President & Founder, Investigator Marketing
Essentially, it's a visual representation of your agency's success, strategically presented to your clients so they can’t miss it!
4. Explain the Importance of Momentum
Remember that SEO isn't about short-term results; it's about long-term gains. Remind your clients that there's a compounding value to the work you're doing and that every article, page, video, or another piece of content you create is going to last indefinitely on the web, retaining its authoritative value and possibly sending more and more referral traffic along the way.
It's difficult to calculate this, but your agency doesn’t need to present a precise figure. You just need your clients to understand that one month of costs doesn't only reap one month of value because that value carries on beyond what you can currently measure.
Ensure you give yourself enough time to make an impact with your SEO strategies. As local SEO is more of a long-term growth strategy, clients can find it difficult to justify spend when results aren't immediate, so ensure you're including enough hours to have some proven work and results to show the client at the end of each month.
–Bec Moloney, Senior Account Manager, Redsteps Consulting
But what do you do when a client simply can’t afford to continue with the project? Perhaps it’s a slow period for them, or they are attempting to recession-proof their business.
At this point, it’s important to acknowledge the client’s current circumstances while reinforcing the importance of momentum in an SEO campaign, noting that your past SEO efforts have accumulated to get you to this point, and to abandon them now could derail that momentum, forcing them to start from scratch at some later date.
We have tiers that allow us to flex clients if they hit economic tough-times. We try to be that partner that has your back. We tell them, ‘Let’s bump you down to this, and that way, you won’t lose any of the results, but we can continue to work together and figure this out.’
–Trevor Shirk, CEO & Founder of Terrayn Dispensary Marketing
Don't think of this as holding your client hostage; instead, explain how it's just a loss of opportunity.
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5. Acknowledge the Good–and the Bad
This opinion may be unpopular, but it points back to building strong client relationships. If something isn't working or isn't working well enough for your client to be satisfied, you need to be upfront with your client about that and work on a plan to change it.
And the same can be said about positive gains!
I tell my team, ‘Don’t save everything up until the end of the month. If you’ve changed the meta descriptions on their website or optimized a keyword, tell them!’ And if we made a mistake, we send an apology and own up to it. Having those conversations [with your clients] is so important.
– Claire Daniels, CEO of Trio Media
The point is to keep constant communication to build unbreakable trust with your clients. And if your agency needs to correct a mistake, or if you need to increase costs for your clients, they will appreciate your honesty and trust that your goal isn't purely profit but rather to legitimately help them achieve their goals.
Retaining SEO clients at a marketing agency is crucial for building a successful and sustainable business. However, without the right reporting system, it can be difficult to quantify the SEO results your agency is delivering. By demonstrating the value of your services, setting clear expectations, and delivering measurable results, you establish trust and build long-term relationships with your clients.
At the end of the day, marketing is still an expense, our job is to show our clients that their investment is actually generating revenue to cover their expense and more. I can show them beautiful numbers, traffic patterns, increase in rankings, etc. But at the end of the day, they're paying us for a service to increase their revenue.
– Ruben Roel, President, Investigator Marketing
And don’t forget about the value of regular communication, ongoing optimization, and proactive problem-solving that helps keep clients satisfied and engaged with your agency.
By prioritizing client retention and investing in your clients’ success, you can position your agency for long-term growth and success.
Position your agency for long-term growth and success with client reports that are made in-house, in minutes. Say goodbye to manual updates, spreadsheets, and screenshots! Showcase your agency’s professionalism with SEO reports that include backlinks, keywords, and all the SEO analytics your clients want to know. Start your free 14-day free trial today.
Richelle Peace is a joyful writer with a degree in Journalism. She loves writing web content, blogs, and social media posts. Whatever the topic, she’s fascinated by learning and sharing.Read more posts by Richelle Peace ›