This acts as a big number that they now have in their head and hopefully if you convince them well enough, they won’t want to drop any of the keywords you have proposed and will sign up to have you optimise their site for all of them.
Thanks. Basically for a while now I have been looking into starting a digital marketing agency and only in the past year or so started studying more seriously from sources such as yourself and Brian. Also, I started studying about sales at the same time. My end goal for this project is to have a strong,self-funded business with offices around Europe, but for the basics I think that I need someone to be my head of sales and another person to be the head of seo or something like that, because I do not have enough experience to do these on my own yet. The couple of questions I wanted to ask you at this point are the following:
Another wonderfully written and descriptive post Neil! As usual you laid everything out and like you mention people are lazy so half of us wont bother to do as you say. Hey don’t forget to go meet the guy for lunch that got you started!
This is the most basic element. Search engines, fundamentally speaking, process your search query by finding website contents that are identical and/or related to the keyword that you have searched. It is important for websites to be able to incorporate certain keywords or keyword phrases on their website’s contents to increase the probability of a higher ranking search result.
Include any Market research you have done. Outline your distribution channels. Outline any strategic alliances you have. Outline your promotion plan. Prepare a Marketing budget. How will you appear credible in the eyes of your target market?
However, you need to understand your relative positions in order to negotiate well. If you’re offering a generic search marketing service and there are ten other similar providers bidding for the job, then your position is likely very weak unless you’re the preferred supplier. Personally, I’d avoid any bidding situation where I’m not the preferred supplier.
NOTE: When I first started in this business, I had absolutely no experience of face to face selling. However, after landing only my second meeting using the techniques I’ve already explained in the guide so far, I managed to secure my first client in only my second meeting with a business owner… And it was a deal worth £2,000 (~US$3,200) per month!
One of the most important things I’ve learned from running my own agency is that I don’t have enough time to do everything. It’s important to outsource and to not spread myself too thin. For example, outsource your links! Outsource any web development work you can and focus that time instead into managing clients and sales.
A HUMAN FACE – Use your photographs and a detailed ‘about us’ page to make your business look trustworthy. Putting up an email address and phone number is also another important step on how to start an SEO business. Having a physical address to show also earns the trust of some clients.
One of the problems with a crowded industry, like search marketing, is that generic, descriptive names won’t stand out. “Search Marketing Agency” may describe what you do, but such a name makes it difficult to differentiate yourself. A quirky name, like “RedFrog”, make be memorable, but may do little to convey what you’re about.
In return, perhaps you’ve had a confused or overwhelmed look on your face, wondering ‘what exactly is local SEO?, ‘how’s it different from your existing SEO efforts?’, and ‘how exactly do you get started?’
Keep in mind that the competition can be fierce as any lucrative niche will likely already have many competitors. Also keep in mind that Google is likely gunning for you, as there have been clampdowns on thin-affiliates in recent years i.e. affiliates who don’t provide a great deal of unique and useful content.
It’s also important to get your business’s name, address and phone number (NAP) on the major citation data aggregators like Infogroup, Neustar (aka Localeze), Acxiom and Factual. Always make sure that your company’s NAP is consistent on as many of these directories and citation sites as possible. Discrepancies like misspellings, abbreviations, lack of suite number and wrong phone number can create havoc when Google can’t determine which information about your business is correct. If Google’s not sure, they may display incorrect information — or not show your business at all in search results.
The other elephant in the room is stress. The stress of being the breadwinner is stressful enough, but if you have no safety net or if your business is brand new (thus more unstable than 9-5 corporate stuff) as well then it is really stressful. This is something to keep in mind and something you might want to try and emotionally reconcile before you start.
Making sure your solutions and product offerings are scalable. There are certain things that worked as an “employee” that simply don’t translate well when trying to open up your services to multiple companies.
Taking a step back, you’re enterprise content plan for the example used above might look something like this. At each stage, there are paid, social graph, or syndication options that go beyond traditional SEO and can work synergistically.
What creating any SEO business, it’s vital that you start with developing your personal brand. The first thing I would recommend is to decide who you want to be in this industry and how you want to differentiate yourself.
This tactic still may not work for some partners, but it will work for many, and the partnership will then be much more valuable in their eyes than simply “having to give up link juice” without any apparent benefit to them.
Many companies net out in the middle – high profile executives and writers or product people are authorized, encourages, and reviewed and compensated based on their social authority and the metrics of the content they create and promote on ‘earned’ platforms.
If you use WordPress on your own domain, you are in luck. Adding title tags and meta descriptions to your pages is easy using free plugins such as All in One SEO, Platinum SEO, and SEO by Yoast. You can also get SEO suggestions by using premium plugins such as Scribe SEO.
This is why you need to gather the initial understanding of how SEO can work effectively into a company’s marketing strategy by working within an industry and among established professionals before taking the plunge and starting your own business.
Do have experience starting a local SEO business or working as an SEO freelancer? I would love to hear your feedback if you want to leave a comment below. Also feel free to ask me any questions about this article or local SEO in general – and I’ll be glad to answer them.
If you’re new to SEO and the business in general, it would be a good idea to rank a few sites first. Experimenting on client sites is a recipe for disaster, you’ll need your own sites at least for this alone.
The other thing that is absurd about banning your AdWords account for something that happened almost a decade ago is that people change over time. You may have been advertising something that was wholesome that later became sleazy (maybe after a change of ownership). Or you may have been working on a client project where the domain and site were later sold & became sleazy. Google wants a lifelong ban based on them changing their guidelines after the fact & applying them to you (even though you may not even be associated with the businesses they look down upon). There was also a report of a rogue employee doing spammy crap on the side & then coming into the company office and logging into Google, thus getting the company account torched as well. So you can have ex post facto stuff applied to anything you may have glancing experience with a decade ago & they can buy sites violating their own guidelines & all is well.
“Best of luck”: He’s going to need it!! Jill Whalen announced she’s quitting her SEO career because “the tricks to beat and spam Google, no longer work as well.” MozSEO.com became now Moz.com. You said it yourself in a reply to Mo Johnson: “now it is all about quality sites and information.”
I do offer one caution about learning SEO from the Internet. There is an abundance of information out there, some good, and much bad. You must quickly become aware that not everyone who proclaims themselves to be an expert is really an expert. (Tip: If they claim they know “the trick” to getting #1 rankings in Google, overnight, guaranteed no less, they are NOT the experts you want to follow.)
Ahrefs has grown in popularity among digital markers and SEO managers. A main feature of Ahrefs is insights on your competitors. By analyzing your competitor’s activity, you can make better-informed decisions about SEO strategy. Ahrefs also provides tools for finding content and keywords, checking backlinks, and crawling your website. Ahrefs offers advanced analytics so you can track your website. A seven-day trial costs $7 while pricing plans start at $99 per month.
You need to become obsessed and fight like crazy to get to page #1 of Google for SEO service related keywords in your geographical area. Usually, the best keyword to target customers is “SEO” + your city. In other words, if you’re starting an SEO company in Albany, New York, you should target “SEO Albany”. I’m sure some of you are getting worried right now because you live in big cities where other SEO companies dominate the first page of Google. Stop worrying. While you’re fighting your way to page #1 of Google for a very competitive keyword, target low hanging fruit like “SEO services Albany”, “seo company Albany NY”, or “Albany SEO company”. The trick is that you have to be on Page #1 for something. This will give you credibility when it’s time to close the deal. Not only will potential customers find you, but in sales meetings you can also point that your SEO business is on the top of page #1 of Google for “SEO company in Albany”. Your potential customers have no idea which keywords are the hardest keywords to target in SEO; being on page #1 among and ahead of your SEO competitors will impress the heck out of potential customers. I can’t even count the number of customers who told me they purchased our services because we were on the top of page #1 of Google, ahead of our SEO competitors.