When you begin your business you will have to make a choice whether you are going to target short term black hat SEO tactics or are you going to climb the more difficult, business building model which focuses on white hat strategies?
If you are at the point where you need to make a decision or want to make a decision down the road, there are key points to keep in mind but financial variables are some of the most important variables in this equation.
Your one year plan might be focused on SEO, but your five year plan might be to provide the very same things SEO provides today – qualified visitor traffic – no matter what form the source of that traffic will take in five years time. The value proposition to the client, will be much the same. So, your five year plan might include learning about general marketing concepts and studying new digital marketing channels as they arise.
As I spend ever more time in this career field and meet more and more of my peers, industry colleagues, and of course, the noteworthy thought-leaders in this field, I’ve come to realize how many varied paths there are to becoming a working SEO. And let’s be clear: the career of being an SEO is not just one skill set or task. There are many career opportunities in the field of search engine marketing, with SEO being just a subset of that, and then there are many areas of specialization within SEO itself. There are many people who make full careers by specializing in any of the following:
My advice for you, if you really want to do SEO, is to specialize in a particular service or industry. Get really good at link building or E-Commerce SEO…or specialize in travel or real estate SEO… something very specific that you can master. Once you build connections in a particular niche (writers, site owners, bloggers, directories, etc. etc.) the results will be much easier to attain and duplicate. Then you build a name for yourself in that niche and you can easily sell potential clients and get tons of referrals from existing ones.
We are a premier provider of digital marketing solutions to agencies worldwide. With heavy investment on research and development, our digital marketing technology is cutting-edge and our methodology is effective. Through our agency partners, we serve businesses from small brick and mortar stores, national retail companies, to Fortune 500 multinational corporations.
At first glance, the skills you will need to learn might appear tedious and complicated, but the good news is that there are a variety of sources on the internet where you can quickly and easily learn them.
One of the biggest transitions from a regular job to running your own business, if you’re not used to working in sales, is that you will need to negotiate deals. Those working 9-5, especially in technical roles, don’t tend to negotiate directly, at least not with prospective clients and suppliers.
SEO businesses offer to created legitimate techniques and methods to help drive traffic to clients websites. Now, that may sound complicated, but all it means is that they help to build links that point to a site which attracts visitors.
If you’re not sure what keywords to use, try entering some preliminary ideas on Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool to get suggestions. Or, if you really want to get into the keyword research process, check out the KISSmetrics Guide to Keyword Research – Part I and Part II.
When you start an SEO Business, you should consider setting a legal entity as soon as possible. A Legal structure as you may know is important for legal purposes. In additional to the legal benefits, it may also help you save on Taxes. Setting a legal entity early also helps develop a track record for the business and is helpful when you decide to sell the business at a future time.
Great article! I guess I was one of the “lucky ones” – a new, entry-level hire for in-house SEO work. Because it was so new for the company, I have been reading and reading and reading about all things SEO through top blogs like SEOmoz, Distilled, Internet Marketing Ninjas, etc. (and now I’ll be adding The SEO Ace!) as well as volunteering my new skills elsewhere to get more experience for the past year. While I’ve been mostly concentrated on content development and linkbuilding, I’m happy to see there are so many other opportunities out there. Thanks for the great resource!
Because we know very well what’s happening these days. And in online we see lots and lots of cases where your partner won’t work well or want to break the company. In some cases not getting equal share might be a problem along with many legal litigations etc.
Starting an SEO agency from scratch is probably the most difficult. The startup costs are pretty low, because all you really need is a website and a way to fulfill services. Setting up is easy, but getting clients is tough. Trying to get organic visibility for SEO services will be tough because you will be competing with SEO agencies that have been doing it for years. These agencies will have a track record, organic rankings and testimonials.
Hi just started my own SEO business and we are finding getting customers is really hard as lots of businesses still don’t even know what SEO is and seem to think you just click a few buttons and your at the top of the search engines.
Social signals. Set up as many social accounts as possible. Provide useful content, gain followers and link social accounts to your site. Make sure your website has your local keywords in your content.
Use sites like Upwork.com to find inexpensive admins that will send cold emails to your target market. This is key because cold emailing is far below your pay grade. An admin level person should be doing this, not you. If fact you can find someone in Asia or India to cold email for a couple dollars per hour.
Why? Most bloggers and internet marketers need to make a coin every time they meet a client to survive. It is not until they make that coin that they will be free to lock in great 6-figure deals or work for big companies. for free to earn the name.
As an SEO company, look for ad agencies to partner with as there are a number of ad agencies that are way bigger than SEO agencies. Feel free to cold call them and offer free help with their own websites. If you do well, they’ll drive a lot of clients to you.
Once you have that data, you should try to fix the identified issues. If you do this with your customers on a monthly basis and you see the survey responses improving, you are doing well. If not, you have an operational problem within your business.
This method has the power to bring you in new clients every month without even having to lift a finger to get them. The basic premise of a referral program is that you pay individuals (in this case business owners or employees) a certain commission for referring new clients to you who buy a product or service you provide. This is also known online more commonly as an affiliate program.
At worst wear trousers, a shirt and a tie. It’s all very well lounging about in your pyjamas at home working but when meeting real, offline world business people; you have to make a bit of effort if you want them to part with their hard earned money.
Amazing post Neil! It’s not always easy to lay down a to-do list for a career in this manner. But it’s good to know that you have succeeded in doing so, and I guess following your footsteps is a good choice to make.
Keyword research is one of the most important ways you can make sure your site is “speaking the same language” as your visitors. If you operate a local restaurant, do you think more people are searching for “tacos” or “meat with a tortilla folded around it”?
Keep in mind that is easy to rank for a unique brand name. If it’s unique, it tends to be memorable. So my two cents for anyone in a crowded industry is to go for the unique over the generic and descriptive. You can also tack on a byline to the end of your name to remove any uncertainty.
Good explanation regarding SEO for newbie ans as I am new to this SEO related job and I am still in learning process, this guide will help me a lot. Thanks a lot indeed for sharing such excellent stuff.
I am thinking with an agency, if someone charges 1k a month on a retainer (I know you charge more but I’m using that as an example) and gets 10 clients that’s 10k a month… but with an authority site some people are earning the same amount.
This similarity in the contents can lead to the lowering of the ranks of the website. In case the website has wrong name and contact number, it can cause a lot of issues in them. But this misconception has to be eradicated as soon as possible.
When you’re in meetings with clients, it’s essential that you really hammer home the benefits of SEO and why they NEED the service you are offering. Here are some statements and facts that you should learn off by heart and all of them should be used in your meetings with clients;
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.
Hey Nathan, I am just starting my agency. This will surely help me avoid mistakes that would have cost me dollaaaarrs. Again thanks a lot! And also have bookmarked your blog keep writing awesome stuff. 🙂
The SEO approach for smaller businesses needs to be about a lot more than just SEO, it needs to be more about SEM – with strong emphasis on the “M” (arketing) in order to avoid the fate outlined in the link above. Google looks deficient if people can’t find the big brand names, but few will notice if a small, generic operator falls out of the index as another relative unknown will take their place.
I make a very good living online using various methods which I am going to teach you how to do absolutely FREE! If this is your first time visiting the site, take the time to read through my tutorials and reviews. If you find one you like, then focus on that one method and if you put enough effort in, there’s no reason why you can’t eventually make a good living online too.
Answer the Public is a free tool for finding out what people are searching for. This website helps you find keywords, brainstorm content ideas or understand your overall field. Answer the Public is a good place to get started and pairs well with something like Google Trends, which will be able to tell you how popular a term or search is compared to another.