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As I said, luck is usually the sum of preparation + opportunity. Give yourself a pat on the back for being so “lucky,” then keep up the good work. This field changes so often that it’s almost impossible to stay current on everything and still have time to apply that knowledge to your actual work! That’s why I suggest specializing in a particular aspect of the field. It narrows your focus, concentrates your skills, and makes you more valuable to clients (not to mention employers!). Congrats on your success, Vanessa!
Your blog is good and impressive.. even we also in same catogory if you want to know more about Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Website Designers, Website designing Companies, Social Media Marketing…
It is important that you have the right tools and resources to help you measure the success of your SEO efforts. If you don’t have this, then you will not be able to tell which of your strategies is effective and which you need to develop on.
Really great post. I am currently in the process of structuring my SEO Digital Agency name Fancy Apples Digital Agency. However, I am stuck on a few things, such as how to register the name of the company, Corp S, LLC, ect? If possible i would love to get your expertise on structuring my business to see which works well for a SEO AGENCY. Thank you I appreciate your time.
Wow, what a great article, Rick! Great chart outlining the differences as well. And Rand’s advice is priceless. My own way of learning SEO was working for free! I’ve been learning, blogging and doing free SEO for about a year before I was able to formulate my own services and started providing them!
Before starting your own business, it is advisable to work at least one year offering SEO solutions. In this way you can improve your expertise by attending conferences (such as Pubcon, MozCon and SEMPDX), optimizing your websites, write a blog and even an eBook. This is particularly useful for the marketing process, but you can also practice your research and get to know more about SEO.
I think it would work as it builds trust. If you find that it is hurting you, you can then start blocking some of it off and creating paywalls. But overall giving away the farm really helps build trust and loyalty. I’ve found that it causes more people willing to open up their wallets.
At that point you should be able to confidently take on clients and provide some sort of marketing value. Is this the best way to go about starting a consulting company? No. you going to make a ton of mistakes? Yes. Will the company become successful? It depends on your desire to succeed, your ability to perform for clients, your ability to market your services to other clients, your ability to run a business and stay organized.
Having tools at hand are handy to help you along but experience and making mistakes are all part of the learning process to run your own SEO business. I encourage all SEO’s to have their own learning sites, perhaps run a small businesses on the side to learn the finer mechanics of small business.
Search engine optimization is a continuously growing and evolving industry, and the demand for SEO providers only increases with time. In today’s blog, I want to talk to everyone out there that’s just starting out in the industry. I will dispel some of the most common misconceptions about SEO, and tell you what you need to do to get started.
Recent changes to search engines’ algorithms have made very easy to overdo on-site optimization, but backlinks remain very important for raising a site’s position in the SERPs. And good backlinking is hard. I read an article by Todd McDonald recently that likened it to being beaten up – long, painful and frustrating!
Having a career as an SEO today is very different that it was 5 or 10 years ago. Today, businesses need more than just “technical SEOs”. They need digital marketing experts, with all that such a title implies.
Good stuff as always Neil. Really appreciate the insight and strategies. Many of them are strategies we stumbled into and have implemented without the roadmap you outlined. Wish this post was made 5 years ago lol.
95% of IM’ers have great relationships with clients who also advertise offline and with other people. Stop missing out on that cash and leverage into it. PM me if you are an established marketer and want to find out how.
Thanks for a great post here Kristi – it helped fill in some of the blanks for me. Also worth reminding myself that there’s not much point creating content with blogposts etc and then not bothering to take an extra few minutes to optimise internal links, and promote the content through social media channels at least. I think of SEO as being consistent with a series of small steps, rather than trying to do the ONE big thing!
Moz’ Rand Fishkin carried out an interesting experiment with his Twitter followers to see the impact of a large increase in SERP CTR on search rankings. The results were pretty huge — he saw several position ranking increases in less than an hour!
Unfortunately, it’s not the kindergarten sort of nap. NAP stands for name, address, and phone number and it’s some of the most important information search engines need to understand about your business. Publishing this prominently on your homepage is an important step for search engines to confidently display this information within the search engine results page (SERP).
My main gig was writing, but I have a personal passion for technology and for helping people succeed. SEO fit the bill for me nicely. I realize I was a lucky beneficiary of serendipity by landing a position with Microsoft’s search engine team. It was a “right place, right time” kind of thing. But not completely. If I had not been a successful writer, taken on new work I was not specifically hired to do, and not had the passion and interest to quickly learn about the field, I would not have lasted.
If you’re new to the business, you might think you need a great website to start, not true. While an excellent looking website helps, I’ve seen many SEOs sell their asses off with rough-looking websites or no website at all. So don’t let this be a reason to hold you back from starting initially, it’s just not a core factor to your success.
We have a beta license and beta certification in development right now, and while these programs are not yet available to the general public, you can learn more about SEO certification and contact us to be put on the early notification list.
Reaching out to related (but not competitive) businesses to see if they will link to you. A good way to do this is to see if the businesses you work with have link pages on their site for partners, vendors, suppliers, etc.
You need to set a clear bottom line and walk away if you don’t get it. This can be very difficult to do, especially if you’re just starting out. The exception is if you’re simply trying to get a few names and references on your books, and don’t care so much about the price at this point. In this case, you should always price high but say you’re offering a special discount at this point in time. Failure to do so means they’ll just perceive you as being cheap all the time.
It’s true that SEO isn’t as easy as it once was. You used to be able to follow a script: incorporate this title tag, put this keyword on your page, repeat it a few times, get links with the keyword in the link text, get even more links with keywords in the link text, and when you’ve finished doing that – get a lot more links with keywords in the link text.
To ease the process of receiving funds from your clients, you need to integrate a reliable payment processor into your website. PayPal is one of the most popular options. Many SEO firms also accept payment via credit cards, too. If you have some fears, you can stick with the old-fashioned method of receiving your payment via cheque or bank transfers.
So many times you see the “Used Car Salesman” turned SEO as his friend said SEO was an “Easy” way to make quick money, the individual has no technical background and outsources all link building on Fiverr it is a recipe for disaster.
I like the title, ‘giving away the farm’ because we did something similar, not in terms of us giving information but we made the decision to break even on some deals that we did, so after our costs, we didn’t earn a bean!