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11 Proven Ways To Get Local SEO Clients in 2024

Last updated: Feb 19, 2024

How to get local seo clients

I will show you my exact methods on how to find local SEO clients on auto-pilot. Many people will tell you the “what”, I’m going to show you the “how”. 


My tactics to get local SEO clients are proven, field-tested, and work 100%. Pick one of the methods, follow my advice thoroughly, and I guarantee you will find your first local SEO client soon. 


Skip to the methods

Identify Your Target Group

Before you start looking for clients, you need to identify your target audience. You don’t have to be very specific here; it’s just for you to know who you will work with. Finding someone is hard if you don’t know who you’re looking for.

Who are potential clients?

If you’re offering local SEO services, there are three types of clients you can potentially work with:


  1. Local businesses: Local businesses like service-based businesses or retail businesses. These are the ideal clients. 
  2. Local SEO agencies: These clients serve local businesses or other agencies. They may be looking for people to outsource specific tasks to. You could offer white-label services to those agencies. 
  3. Freelancers: Since local SEO doesn’t necessarily require you to have a big company with many employees, many freelancers outsource parts of their work to other freelancers and agencies. 


Now that you know who you will target, you must understand your target group’s needs. Different clients will have different expectations and perceptions of your services. After all, you want to close the deals, not lose the leads.


Focusing on the needs of potential clients will help you determine the appropriate services to offer.

Local Client-SEO Services

Before searching for clients, you must know what services you want. Only then can you determine who might need them. 


Here is a list of local SEO services you can provide:

  • Google Business Profile optimization
  • Google Business Profile maintenance
  • Local keyword research
  • Google Business Profile reinstatements
  • Google Business Profile spam removal
  • Website management
  • Local content creation
  • On-page optimization
  • Citation building
  • Link building
  • Web design
  • Location page creation
  • Google Ads management
  • Reputation management
  • Conversion rate optimization
  • Auditing (website/GBP+citations)


Tip: Pick the ones you think you’re great at. In the beginning, focus on one or two primary services. You can add more later if you want.

Where do your ideal clients spend their time?

Where do clients go to find people like you? You will have to do some research to find out. Don’t worry too much; I’ll give you my best guess. 


Here are the top places to find clients online: 


Now, it depends on what sub-niche you want to target. If you’re an expert in SEO for a specific local business type, it will be easier for you to land clients. People prefer specialists over generalists. 


Someone who only takes on lawyers as clients is a better catch than someone who takes on every business. Many bigger agencies have several departments that target different niches. 

What makes a good client?

The following factors describe a good client:


  • Budget: The ideal client has a larger budget. On average, smaller client budgets come with problems. You want to look for clients who can afford your services and understand the value you’ll provide to their company. 
  • Believe: Clients hire you because you’re the expert. They believe in your expertise and trust your advice. Clients who always know it better than you should be avoided. Usually, it’s not their fault; it’s how you present yourself. If you have doubts about your services, clients will feel that. Be sure you believe in your services as well.
  • Realistic Expectations: Your ideal clients know that SEO takes time. They know how long it can take and that there is a risk involved. An investment is always a risk. Nothing is for sure in business and life. 
$500 client vs $5000

How to Get Local SEO Clients?

Now that you know your best clients’ characteristics, where they hang out online, and what they need, it’s time to find them. Or better, let them find you! 

1. The Value Method

This is my personal favorite for finding local SEO clients. It’s a magic method, and if you follow every piece of advice in this section, I guarantee you will get your first client. 


    1. Join a social media platform


Join a social media site or forum where your ideal client spends their time. 


If you decide to use Facebook groups, join 3-5 local SEO-related groups.

Note: Don’t make the mistake of joining too many of those platforms at once. One is enough for now. Otherwise you risk losing control, which can negatively affect the overall progress of this strategy.

    2. Spice up your profile


Each of those platforms allows you to add specific information about yourself. The goal is to make it look professional and create trust. 


  • Be sure to use a professional profile photo. Don’t use your dogs or cats. (I know they’re cute too!) 
  • Add a cover image that contains your offer. Use Canva to create those banners. 
  • Add a bio. Be sure to include your name, what you do, and why people should reach out to you, followed by a strong call to action like “message me” or “join my group” etc. You need to clarify what you want people to do on your profile. 
  • Social proof. Ask people to leave a review on your profile. Do some free jobs to gather reviews if you haven’t done any client work yet. 
  • Add your website, other social profiles, email, and landing pages to the profile. 


When you’ve completed your profile, move on to the next step. 


    3. Provide value


This is where the magic happens. You want to provide value to the people interested in your niche. 


  • Search for local SEO-related questions on the platform. 
  • Answer every single question you can find. 
  • If you don’t know the answer, Google it or ask AI. Be sure to verify the accuracy of the information before you answer someone’s question. If multiple sources confirm the answer, it’s more likely that the answer is correct. 
  • Do that every day for a couple of hours. 


When I started, I did just that for 14 hours a day. The result was a full inbox and dozens of warm inbound leads. I landed my first well-paying client after 10 days. A retainer of $2,5k. Not bad, huh? I didn’t know it was that easy. 

how to get clients for local seo from facebook groups

     4. Learn from my mistakes


When I first tried this strategy to attract clients, I made many mistakes. Please read these points carefully; they will spare you a lot of headaches. 


  • Share value. Don’t be like the other guys who purposely hold back information. That’s bad marketing. Share everything you know- every little hack! This is the only way to compete with bigger brands and experts who have been in the industry way longer than you. We live in an information age where information is accessible for free. Keep this in mind. 
  • Don’t promote your services. If you share your services without being requested, you may be banned from using most platforms.
  • Be friendly, polite, and professional. People will notice, and potential clients will be more inclined to do business with you if you’re kind. 
  • Don’t get into ego discussions about whether a specific SEO tactic is good or bad. That is a waste of time. You will only get angry and end up in a bad mood. Nobody cares about you being wrong or right anyway. You’re not the police, and it’s not your job to consult and preach to people. Help people who need it, consider constructive feedback, and ignore negativity. If necessary, report the specific person. Discussing tactics is fine. Wanting to be right doesn’t make sense. 

Note: This strategy will get you expert status in no time. A great benefit is you’ll learn a lot along the way. Teaching others is one of the best ways to learn.

2. The Value Method Offline

The same tactic we’ve just discussed can be used in the offline world as well. Instead of joining an online platform, we go out into the real world. Yes, in the real world with real people 😉 


The replacements for the online platforms can be the following:


  • Join local business events (you can find them in local Facebook groups)
  • Find Meetups (The Meetup platform has lots of visitors)
  • Attend entrepreneur events (search for them online)
  • Sign up in local coworking spaces (use Google Maps)
  • Build relationships (with your dentist, doctor, barber, etc)

See these events as a gathering of people in Facebook groups. They come to a place to meet like-minded people, find clients, or build business partnerships. They’re in the same boat as you are. 

  • Provide value. Now, you don’t need to answer every question as in the above scenario. That would be just awkward and not socially acceptable. Instead, you want to have good conversations with everyone. Listen to people in the first place. Listening is a very rare trait. People love to talk about themselves, do them a favor, and listen. 
  • Ask questions only so you can listen more. Be genuinely interested in the other people. There is a lot to learn from everyone. 
  • If someone asks you a question, answer and then start the conversation about yourself. 
  • At some point, someone will eventually ask you what you do. You can tell them what you do without pitching them anything. Don’t make this mistake. This is not a sales conversation. Tell them what you do, period.
  • For best results, you should join these events/meetups regularly. People will recognize you. I found that when people saw me again, they introduced me to other people with “Oh, here comes the local SEO guy”, which is great as that’s exactly the type of branding we need. Plus, everyone can relate to what we do: Most people we meet have used Google Maps at least once in their lives. That makes it easier to explain. 


I’ve landed many clients through this method in the last few years. It’s inevitable. You start talking, and if you’re passionate about local SEO, you will convey that energy to other people. And in return, they want to know more about you and may even help you find clients. 


Keep this in mind:


  • Be friendly and polite. Real life doesn’t need as much professionalism as online. People see your face. That’s already lots of social proof. 
  • Work on your self-development. The better your communication skills, the easier it will be to land clients (and women or men)
  • Have a good hygiene. Since you’re going out into the real world, be sure to look at least normal, brush your teeth, wash your hair (every once in a while), and smile. 

3. The Value Method Advanced

This method is similar to the ones before, but this time, we’re going to push marketing fully. That means we’re going to assume potential clients’ questions and post the answers unsolicited to our favorite platform feed. 


For you to start, you need to pick one of the following platforms:


  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Youtube
  • Instagram
  • TikTok


Our goal is to become an authority in our field: Local SEO. You only need to post great content regularly on one of these platforms. Don’t make the mistake of posting to multiple platforms in the beginning. It will eventually overwhelm you, and you’ll end up posting nothing. 

If you’re just starting out with this method, it will take a while to land your first client. But if you pull through, you can’t even imagine why people would throw their money at you. After a year of consistent posting, all my inboxes were filled with business requests. It is that crazy! When you’ve mastered posting consistently to one platform, add the next. 

Avoid Typical problems

  • The biggest hurdle people face is posting consistently. It means posting daily to Facebook, Linked, Instagram, and at least weekly to YouTube. Don’t miss days or weeks. 
  • If you don’t know what to post, relax. The good news is, you don’t need to. Post what comes to your mind, especially when you’re just starting out. The whole reason for posting is to do research and to figure out how the audience reacts to certain types of posts. You can post tips, illustrations, other people’s content (be sure to give credit), memes, and more. When you get some feedback, do more of what works best.
  • It will be a monologue for the first months. Don’t stop just because you don’t get the desired feedback. It can take up to a year to see results if you post consistently. 
  • If you should decide to post to other people’s Facebook groups, be warned: Many admins don’t accept value posts, even if they don’t contain any promotions or violate their rules. They will perceive you as threatening to their business model. I was kicked for providing too much value from 3 of the biggest Facebook groups, which led me to create my own group. 


I can highly recommend the book “Expert Secrets” by Russell Brunson. It describes the whole process in much more detail. 

4. Google Ads Method

1. Find flaws in their ads campaigns. 

  • Geographic targeting issues – if they target countries they can’t even serve. 
  • No negative keywords list – if they rank for keywords they shouldn’t rank for.
  • Flaws in their Google Business Profile. Audit the GBP and find critical issues. 
Google Ads client Acquisiton

 2. After you’ve found some flaws, contact those businesses and tell them what’s wrong with their business listing and ads campaign. You don’t have to be very precise; just make sure they understand what they’re doing wrong. 

Google Ads Outreach

3. What happens is that a percentage of those businesses will reply to you and thank you. Some will leave it there; others will be open to discussing more. You’ll need to pitch them your services at some point in the discussion. The best time is as soon as possible. That would be the second email you send them. You can phrase it like this:

					“Thanks for getting back to me. I’m happy to help. We’re specialized in … I can see there are many things you could improve to save money on your ads/GBP. If you want, I can get you a more detailed audit free of charge. Please schedule a call with me here: “

Or something along those lines. Believe it or not, I got a client from the first 5 emails I sent. I don’t think that is a valid benchmark, but should show you that it’s a working method.

5. The Local Search Method

Google Business Profile Local SEO Agency

Optimize your listing

  • Get reviews. This is the main conversion driver. You know that as much as I do. If you’re just starting out, do some free work for family members, colleagues, friends, friends of friends etc. The goal is to get some social proof – Google reviews. 
  • Upload a logo, a selfie, and a cover photo showing what you do. 
  • If you don’t serve people at your own location, clear your address field and add a service area to the listing. This will ensure no one shows up unannounced at your address, and it could even prevent people from leaving negative reviews because of a location they cannot be helped. 
  • Add your services and select the correct category.
  • If you don’t have any ideas about what to post, post a discount, screenshots of reviews, or results from another client. 

Check out my Google Business Profile Checklist for more information. 

6. The Free Leads Method

This method is great because it immediately demonstrates your expertise. For it to work, we must create an asset and send free leads to potential clients. 


Here is what you need to do:


  1. Buy a domain in a local niche of your choice. 
  2. Create a WordPress site and connect the domain.
  3. Create landing pages targeting specific keywords you want to rank for. The easiest keywords are geographical long-tail keywords like “plumber in Miami Beach” 
  4. Rank those landing pages for said search terms. 
  5. Forward some incoming leads to a local business of your choice using a call-tracking app. 
  6. Call the local business and tell them about the leads. Mention the date and time and the names and ask them how much they’re worth if they want more. If they don’t want more of them, contact their competitors. Usually, businesses that buy leads will continue to buy them if the quality is great. If they should stop paying you, stop forwarding the leads and send them to their competitors. 
  7. Be sure to create multiple landing pages and sites as not every site might rank and not everyone might be willing to work with you. 

Note: the better you are at targeting the right people, the easier it is to close the deals at the end. The quality of your landing pages determines the value of the client.

7. The Freelancing Method

For this method, I will use Upwork, but you can use any other freelancing platform as well.


Freelancing platforms:

  • Upwork
  • Freelancer
  • Guru
  • Toptal 


Upwork is a freelancing platform where you can offer your local SEO services to potential clients. 


When you create a new profile on Upwork, make sure you fill it with relevant information. Your goal should be to persuade prospects and attract the ideal local SEO client.

Target The Right Audience

  • Optimize your profile. 
  • Upload a professional profile picture.
  • Create a well-written bio.
  • Select your skills. 
  • Target clients for local SEO, not website design, not e-commerce SEO, not web design. If you target everyone in digital marketing, you will likely target no one.

Enable Notifications For Fast Response

As you haven’t gotten any work yet, someone will unlikely choose you for their next task. That leads us to the next step, enabling notifications for work you’d like to take on. 


Here’s the clue: most clients send out their job offers and get dozens of applications from potential workers. The Upwork system allows someone who sends out a job offer to see 10 applications per page, categorized by date. That means, the faster an application is sent to the client, the more likely it is to be seen by the client because it will land on page 1, not 2-10. 


Even though the listings are sorted for “Best Match” by default it’s not unusual for a fast application from someone who optimized their profile will be seen by the system as a great match.

upwork client for local seo

Tip: You can pay for a listing boost to make it instantly visible, which will greatly increase your chances.

Your job now is to make your application letter visible. No one who sends out a job offer checks out applications on page 3+. If your application makes it to page 1, your chances of getting the job increase tremendously.

Optimize Your Application Letter

The third step is to customize your application letter. Most people make the mistake of standardizing their texts. They don’t refer to what the actual job is about. When I’m looking for someone who can take on a job, I want someone who really wants to work on MY project and not on any project. So make sure you’re reading the job offer and then reply in a personalized way, addressing the job offer’s problems and facts.


If you’re following this guide, you’ll likely get to work on your first project very soon.

8. Ask past clients for referrals

Getting clients for local SEO can be super easy sometimes. You just need to free yourself from your mental restrictions. I was shocked when I first asked one of my clients if he knew any other people or businesses who would need services like mine. I was shocked at how easy it was to open the door to a couple of more business opportunities. 


He immediately said, “Yeah I know some, and I will definitely ask them”. Everyone likes to provide value to other people. If you’re doing a fantastic job, then referring you to other businesses would make them look good in the eyes of those people. 


There is not much for me to say; this is all you need to do: Ask existing clients when you’re in a meeting with them if they know someone who needs help with their local SEO. Don’t necessarily ask them who could fill your pockets with good money. Be polite and frame it in a way they can help someone. Then, it will be easier for them to think about the situation more deeply. 


Be sure to ask in person or on the phone, as that will give your question more importance than in a chat that is easy to ignore. For them, this question is not important. 


Don’t be disappointed if they don’t know anyone – sometimes they’re not considering some options at this very moment and might come back to you later. 

9. The Oldschool way

This one might surprise you. Back in the day, people sent sales letters via mail. It was the type of letter we call “sales page” or “funnel” today. It worked; you just had to send lots of letters. 


Here’s the catch: This tactic still works. And it works even better because the competition you face is much smaller. No one sends real mails anymore. 


If you decide to do it, you need to design it in a specific way:


  • It shouldn’t look like a typical advertisement. 
  • The letter needs to be personalized as much as possible. That increases your conversion rate. 
  • Define your target audience before you send out those letters. Google’s local search and Maps can help you find businesses that struggle with local marketing. 
  • Make it visually appealing.
  • Provide value upfront. (some businesses included a gift card in their letters.)
  • Include an incentive to create some sense of urgency. 
  • Include social proof. (insert your reviews)
  • Before you send, be sure to consider country-specific privacy laws. 


This is how a letter like that could look like:

sales letters via mail

10. The Local Gym Method

When I first came across this method, it was a big eye-opener. The gym method means, joining a local gym to connect with people from your target audience. But that’s not all. You need to join the most expensive gym in your area. 


The people in those gyms are usually high achievers. They tend to want more from life. You will usually meet lots of business people and celebrities in those gyms. 


That’s also a great tactic to surround yourself with like-minded people. When you go to the gym more often and socialize with other members, they may ask about your profession and potentially refer you to potentially interested clients.


I see this quite regularly, high-achievers and hard-working people love to connect you with people who need help and want to help you. That’s kind of like in their nature. They want to provide value and improve every day. 


Check out Google Maps for the local gyms in your area and find one that looks more exclusive with good but not too many reviews. If you live in a rural area this might be a little harder to achieve. It works great in metropolitan areas and city centers. 

11. The Free Way

Not the freeway, sorry. The “free way” means providing services for free. Don’t worry, you’ll make money soon enough. Providing services for free has a couple of goals:


  1. It’s an easy way to get your first review, and you can use it to convince more clients.
  2. It’s unlikely that the same person who hired you for free will be inclined to pay you for future services, given that the initial work was of high quality and satisfied the client. 
  3. This free job might lead to paid referral work. 

Don’t make the mistake and take on a huge project for free. Your clients won’t pay much attention, and neither will you. Money is a huge attention driver. If no money is involved, people will make your life harder than it should be. They will not answer your calls, reply to emails or messages, or provide necessary information or media. Don’t take on a job that requires ongoing communication with a client. 


So, whenever you offer free or very cheap services, offer small services like a citation campaign, on-page optimization for a single page, or page restructuring. Those tiny projects will be finished quickly, and you can get what you want: a review, eventually referral clients, or a follow-up job from the same person to whom you’ve provided free services. 


These are my top 11 methods for finding local SEO clients. I’ve tested all of them, and you can be assured that they work. If you have anything to add or any questions, please feel free to comment below. Thank you for reading this guide! 

About the author

Picture of Tim Kahlert

Tim Kahlert

Tim Kahlert is the founder & CEO of He is a passionate SEO professional who has been helping agencies and small business owners succeed on local search and Google Maps for the past 5 years. He's regularly sharing high-quality local SEO & Google Business Profile strategies on his channels. Tim is also a contributor to the Whitespark Local Search Ranking Factor Study. Click on the author name or the social icons below to learn more and connect with Tim.

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