Knowledge/Previous experiences with SEO companies: I always ask them first of all what they know about SEO and have they ever hired an SEO business for their business before. This will let you know where you stand in terms of what their expectations and previous experience may be. For example, I’ve worked with clients in the past who have hired SEO companies before that have not delivered on any of the ‘promises’ they made and have left a bad taste in the business owner’s mouth. In these instances, you have to work hard to build trust with the client and explain exactly how you are going to deliver the client their desired results.
Experts also attest to the quantity, diversity, and speed of reviews to play determining factors in how reviews are used in search algorithms. Hopefully, this gets you started in thinking about the importance of reviews and how they factor in your local search marketing plan, I’ll be doing a more extensive post to do the topic justice given its importance. In the meanwhile, for a comprehensive look at getting positive reviews on Google Places, make to read this post.
They don’t get into work and think: “You know what I should do today?? I should go and leave the SEO company working for us a testimonial! I should spend my day trying to find referrals for this SEO company!”
The third challenge you are going to face is getting clients, so you may have to spend a good amount of money sourcing for clients both online and offline. You may have to make cold calls, talk to clients face-to-face, run ad campaigns online, etc.
Essentially, the more often your business listing is consistent across the multiple data providers, the more likely it is to be trusted, and the more likely it is to be served up by Google or any of the other search players when someone types in a keyword. Quality and relevance above all is the key to remember.
But I also made mistakes like getting a Google penalty from hiring a bad link builder. My goal is to show you how to start a local SEO business while avoiding the mistakes I made. I will provide you with an SEO audit template, freelancers and local SEO firms to hire, and tools. It took me years to get this down so I hope you find it helpful.
This helps demonstrate your expert knowledge of a particular subject, and with the pubs distribution and syndication channels helps gets you (and your business) exposure and promotion at scale. And the only cost is your time.
When starting out, the first website you should work on is your own. Ensure it’s rock solid and follows Google’s best practice. It’s best to lead by example and often times it’s the first thing a prospect will ask – “how are you ranking?”
Today, it seems to me, it’s much harder. You really have to earn the rankings by providing true quality to the visitor. So, it seems to me, SEO (if it’s alive at all) is now much more about helping clients build quality sites — quality content, putting the quality content in front of the right audiences and of course having a strategy for profitable keywords, etc….
“What is the lifetime value of every new customer/client you gain?” – This can be a brilliant question as if they do know the exact number then you can then look at the potential monthly search volume for all keywords and say something like; “Well, once we’ve got your website to number 1 for all these keywords, you will be receiving roughly around 40% of the total number of people searching which would be around [X amount] new visitors every month. Even if you only converted 1% of these new prospects in to new customers/clients, you’ll still have gained [X amount] new customers/clients. Based on the lifetime value of each new customer/client you get, that should be new customers/clients every month you will be gaining which have a lifetime value to the tune of [X amount]… And that’s not even including the future customers/clients they will recommend through word of mouth!”. One thing about this example is that you need to have proficient arithmetic skills, if you don’t then just take a calculator with you to meetings. If the business owner doesn’t know how much the lifetime vale of each customer/client is, then still do the calculation of visitors versus a 1% conversion rate and present them with the final number that way, it’ll still be effective.
If I had to go back to when I first dipped a toe in the client services side of the SEO business, and was able to give myself one piece of advice – it would be to carve out a specialization and focus on it, hard.