Previously we interviewed Marc Heighway about his Bournemouth SEO agency, but decided to catch up with him again as he’s now branched out into another city offering SEO services to clients and businesses in the Southampton area. In this interview he gives some insight into how SEO consultants can win new business in what is a very competitive industry.
1. Hi Marc, so what have you been up to since we last interviewed you on the Voices of Marketing website?
It’s been quite a busy few months to be honest. When we last spoke I’d been focusing very much on offering SEO to companies in the Bournemouth area, but since then have now launched an SEO Company in Southampton which is my home city – it’s where I grew up. I’ve got a new office space here and have been working really hard on winning new clients down here to keep us busy. The website is currently a bit of a work in progress, but you can see it at Expert SEO Southampton on that previous link.
2. Can you share with us any tips on how to win clients for people wanting to work in the SEO sector themselves?
Yes sure. I’m getting a lot of success at the moment with laser targeted advertising which pushes potential clients down a sales funnel. As an example, I’ve been placing ads on LinkedIn.com. Their advertising platform is great for SEO companies because you can target an advert very specifically – so in our case I only target users in Southampton, who are owners, leaders, marketing managers or decision makers of local Southampton businesses.
When those users click the ads, it takes them through to a page on our Expert SEO Southampton website which contains a video. Basically the video is me talking to the potential client about how we are different from other SEO companies, what we can do, and how limited the offer is. For example, the offer might be something along the lines of the fact that we are offering a free Southampton SEO trial for one month. Underneath the video is a form which the potential client can fill out.
Once the form is submitted it goes into our CRM system so that we can then call them up and arrange a meeting to discuss our Southampton SEO services with them. The conversion rates on this kind of advertising approach seems to be working very well at the moment.
3. What other methods are you using today to bring in new SEO clients in Southampton?
Nine times out of ten we work on recommendations. We pick up a huge amount of clients just through existing customers telling other businesses about us. I am very proud of that as it means we must be doing something right.
Obviously we get a ton of enquiries via the major search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo when a potential client searches for SEO in Southampton or some similar kind of search keyword and query.
4. How do you differentiate yourself from other SEO agencies and companies in Southampton?
Well, first and foremost it down to results with SEO. We can easily show a broad range of case studies from various industries, some of which are highly competitive. Nothing beats being able to show a client real life examples of how you have ranked websites highly in Google. The proof is very much in the pudding.
Secondly, we really do have an expert approach to SEO. Southampton businesses often come to us complaining that they’ve used local agencies in the past and their websites have now taken a hit in Google. This is nearly always down to the fact the local Southampton SEO agencies, in the main, have been using out of date SEO methods with their clients. Of course, there are some very good SEO companies in Southampton aside from us, but it is a trend I am noticing more and more.
Needless to say, Expert SEO Southampton only uses methods that are in line with Google’s terms of service. This means that our clients can sleep well at night knowing that it’s highly unlikely that their websites, and ultimately their business, is going to be affected by bad search engine optimisation or SEO. Your readers can find out more about us as a company on our SEO services page.
5. What are you doing today to achieve results for your clients in terms of link building?
Link building can be quite a hot topic in SEO due to the recent algorithm updates by Google. One of the major factors at the moment for us as a Southampton SEO company is educating our clients as well as really getting to understand their business. You would be surprised at the range of assets that businesses might be sitting on that they don’t realize could actually be used online for their advantage and actually generate some awesome natural back-linking. I think I mentioned this in my previous SEO interview though so won’t go into too much detail here.
Other recent methods have been to look at the partnerships that our clients have and to see how these could potentially be harnessed to generate some good back-links. For example, if you run a business and order lots of products from one particular supplier, then it’s worth seeing if they have a testimonials page where you leave some positive feedback with hopefully the pay-off of a relevant and valuable back-link for SEO purposes.
6. Finally, what do you like to do when you are now working and running your SEO companies?
My wife and I are the proud parents of a 16 month year old little boy who (as you can imagine) takes up a lot of our time. We live on the south coast in the New Forest so luckily have plenty to go and see to keep him occupied.
I am personally a huge fan of Southampton Football Club so try to get to as many matches as possible. I also like running to keep fit and so get out in the forest as much as possible for trek running.
We also love travel and spend a lot of time in the United States and Asia when time permits. We’re nomads at heart and are always looking for the next place to live or experience. We spent the last couple of years living in Switzerland so who knows where we might end up next.