We all know that first impressions are everything, so it’s no surprise that the way you onboard new SEO clients dramatically affects the way your relationship will develop. Following the 5 steps outlined below will help you design an onboarding process that builds relationships and leads to more successful campaigns.

Understand The Client

Get to know your client on a personal level. What are their interests? What passions drive them? What’s their backstory? Show them that you’re human too. Don’t be afraid to make a connection.

Understand Their Business

Learn as much as possible about your client’s business. What’s their business model Who is their target audience? What are their main business goals? Have they previously done any marketing (traditional or digital)? Once you understand their business and their goals, you can identify which key performance indicators (KPI’s) are best suited to demonstrate return on investment (ROI) to your client.

Understand Their Goals

Pinpoint your client’s main goals for their campaign. Some clients maybe focused on gaining visibility, others may want to see conversions, and others may not have any idea what they’re looking to get out of a digital marketing campaign. Start a back-and-forth dialogue with your client so they feel comfortable with the campaign as it progresses.

Earn Their Trust

Perform a preliminary audit of their site and begin the actual work of optimization. Be sure to clearly communicate deadlines to the client and consistently follow through with those deadlines. Even a simple weekly check-in email goes a long way in building trust between yourself and the client.

Maintain The Relationship

Once you’ve begun building trust, it’s crucial to keep an open line of communication with your client. Ensure that their concerns are addressed promptly. Continue to check-in as often as possible. Make sure that the client understands the value of your work by providing relevant explanations.

While SEO is a data-driven discipline, it’s important to keep the client at the front of your mind. Digital marketing is, after all, about understanding how humans interact with the Web and tailoring your client’s site and its content to these interactions. Without a detailed understanding of the client, their business, and their goals, it’s impossible to create a campaign that will meet their definition of success.

Once you understand their needs, you can better communicate realistic expectations to the client. By beginning the relationship with open communication, you ensure that the client will feel comfortable coming to you with their concerns. The business relationship begins the moment a client hires you, but the personal relationship between yourself and the client takes time to build. Gaining their trust early is key to a successful partnership moving forward.

They key to successful new client relationships is maintaining a client-first mentality throughout every step of the way.

Bonus Infographic: Our team has built a great infographic to reference when handling the onboarding of a new SEO client. Check it out below and get your free download!



Growth Marketing Manager at |

Andrew has serviced SEO clients across a variety of industries including large-scale e-commerce, retail, home services, and more. As Growth Marketing Manager for UpCity, he works every day to improve our Marketplace experience for agencies and business owners alike.