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Fire Up The SEO Referral Engine

Learn How to Get SEO referrals

As SEOs and inbound marketers, we know the massive value of constant traffic flowing into our client’s websites.  Once you set up the system, the visitors just keep coming and they turn into leads, qualified leads, and eventually customers.

A funny thing happens when we turn the lens on our own business and take a deep look.  Are we setting up these systems for ourselves?  Have we put the processes in place to generate consistent leads for our own business via referrals or some other method?

The answer is likely no, unless you’re a well-established agency and have already gone through these growing pains.

Rev Up the Referral Engine

How to Get SEO Referrals

It doesn’t have to be this complex.

There are a few simple things you can do to increase the amount of referrals that you get from past clients.  It will take you an hour or two to set these up and they will pay huge dividends down the line.

Set up a Google Form

Google Forms are badass.  They’re incredibly easy to set up and very flexible.  Set one up for your business as a post-engagement survey of your work.  Here are the questions that I included on mine:

  1. What is your name?
  2. How was your overall experience working with me?
  3. What is one thing that I could have done better for you? (Be harsh! I won’t cry)
  4. Do you know anyone that would be interested in my services? (Input for name/email)
  5. Can I use your feedback in a testimonial?

That’s it.  I’ve sent this out to clients in the past and gotten wonderful testimonials, great constructive criticism, and warmed up leads that I already have a connection to.  You can use the testimonials on your website or follow up and ask them to copy/paste the testimonial on your LinkedIn page, Google+ Local page, or any other review site online as well.

Set up a mailing list

This is a pretty obvious tip, but it’s one that a lot of us aren’t doing well enough for our past clients.  An important thing to think about is the idea that your job does not end when you’ve been paid and you’ve performed the agreed-upon work.  You should be offering value to past clients in these ways:

  • Friendly check-up on their business
  • Latest news in SEO (if it changes some of the work that you’ve done for them in the past)
  • Helpful tips on their site if you notice any changes that they have made, or simple mistakes that need to be cleared up

You’ll be surprised how appreciative business owners will be when you reach out like this.  Most of the consultants that they hire barely email them back in the first place…so you are going to be far and away the first person that comes to mind when they are looking for more work, or to recommend someone to a friend.


Get these systems in place THIS WEEK in your business and reach out to all of your past clients with a helpful note, or even just a “How’s business going?” email.  Take action and pretty soon you’ll start to see the referral engine start to rev up and fill your inbox with new leads.

Thanks for reading this article! If you found it interesting and actionable, feel free to share it with your friends. If you're interested in checking out serpIQ, you can get a fully-featured 7-day free trial by zooming on over to our main website!
I'm the marketing and operations guy at serpIQ. When I'm not working with serpIQ, I run my own inbound marketing consulting business and I'm also involved in the sustainable food, hydroponic, and restaurant businesses.


  1. Most smaller SEO agencies rely on referrals to keep our business going and I can see how doing all these can help bring in more clients. I find that reaching out to them in regular intervals with updates in the SEO industry actually helps to keep the contact (potential or past clients) warm because many of them are too busy to keep up with what’s happening on the Internet.

    • Totally agree Wayne…Have you experimented with pushing out the SEO updates via a newsletter to scale the value you’re delivering to past clients?

      I agree that small agencies could benefit a lot from this as larger agencies generally are doing a decent bit of outbound marketing as well and have deeper pockets to reach into for marketing in general. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Agreed about keeping them up to date with a newsletter.. Even if they don’t understand anything you’re talking about, you still can keep them in the loop and let them know that you’re trying to educate them :)

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