Since your core task as an SEO company is to increase your clients’ organic traffic, which in turn will increase their conversion / revenue; then it is necessary you know some of the basics terms and how they work. Examples of such terms include:
It is good to start earning money once you get clients. You, however, need to start outsourcing your work when you are burdened with work. That’s when you need to outsource. Outsourcing is crucially vital to help you succeed as a freelance SEO. Initially, you can start outsourcing your work to selected people. But once you start getting more, more work, you can register your firm.
Never short change yourself. Believe in the quality of the service you can offer and stand by your pricing structure. Your customers will appreciate your service and what they pay when they start to see the results.
I love this question. There are ample opportunities to learn about SEO for free because of the preponderance of information available and the willingness of SEOs to share their knowledge publicly. I strongly recommend that an SEO newbie read and reread both the Google SEO Starter Guide and the SEOmoz Beginner’s Guide to SEO documents.
If you have a content problem – or a lack of content problem – then this needs to be fixed. If you haven’t had a chance to implement markup yet (Schema.org, OpenGraph, RDFA, MicroFormats, etc.), this should be a priority.
The nice thing about these businesses is you can “moonlight” and build out a stream of revenue without quitting an existing job, and start to get a sense for where additional clients / revenue will come from once you’re full time and building a business.
Many of these are interrelated disciplines. For example, PPC advertising is now growing to cover paid ads in Facebook, the ultimate social media venue. PPC requires effective keyword development, as do many SEO disciplines. Social media marketing often ties in with local and mobile search. Analytics can now be done with Facebook pages as well as with websites and PPC campaigns.
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.
If you are already doing SEO for your own websites, have tons of curiosity, and can communicate well, you should be able to get a job in the SEO field (and getting a job is easier than getting a client not everybody is good with business. You may have a degree in marketing or lots of experience in this domain, but you will still need some skills in order to run your own business. Take courses on tax preparation, finance, bookkeeping, business plan writing and any other topic that you don’t master. In this way, you will have a couple of advantages when you will start up the business.
One emerging element of technical SEO is the creation of open data sets or APIs. If your business will thrive by getting your inventory or content into as many places as possible, consider creating data feeds or APIs for third-party developers to use.
Obviously using Power Leads pro X isn’t the only tool you can utilise to make getting new SEO customers a breeze. There are many other methods you can use to get the phone ringing off the hook with business owners wanting to use your services. Here are some of them;
Hi Gotch, this is like a manifesto of my life! So much of what you write resonates with me it’s scary. Of all your points I think the one that is THE most liberating, as a local SEO, is getting rid of clients who are demanding, time wasting, blood sucking leaches. Once I had the first “sacking” under my belt life as an SEO became so much easier.
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.)
Great post. Most of my SEO clients come from referrals and they are converted from leads to clients by, as you say “giving away the farm” (I like to call it consultative selling). Once they see what can be done its a no brainer. I now need to get some bigger clients to turn my agency from 6 figure to a 7 figures.
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!
Pricing is alway a tricky topic to discuss because everyone tends to price their SEO services a little different. Pricing is based on experience and industry standards. Since there is no turn key solution, pricing tends to fluctuate a lot in the SEO industry. It’s not like buying a printer or a car, so you have to be very strategic in order to get business. It’s also not an industry where the lowest bid wins the client. There are many factors that come in to play.
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.
The facts are that if you have explained how your service works properly and what they stand to gain (or more importantly lose if they don’t subscribe to your SEO service) then you will be paid promptly every month without any problems.
Most websites will have a hard time generating enough organic links to raise their rankings in search engines. This is why link building is such a popular services. But you can get started on building quality links by doing some of the following activities.
Don’t get me wrong, this takes a lot of hard work to do, but essentially you only need to know the basics of SEO to get started. There are lots of sites online that you can learn how to do this (OnlineIncomeTeacher is a good place to start!), but once you learn, you can begin to turn it into a business.
Be very specific when choosing a niche. Who would you really like to work for? What, specifically, would you really like to do? “Search marketing” is perhaps a too wide of a niche these days, but how about exclusive search marketing for tourism businesses?
DISCLAIMER: In the spirit of currently discussing all things law and legal, I should explain that I can’t guarantee that this contract would stand up in court should the terms of the contract be breached or for whatever other reason a client may exercise any sort of action against you. If you really want to be safe then feel free to have a solicitor write up a contract for you.
Link building is probably one of the most talked about (and debated about) SEO tasks. The basic goal of link building is to get other websites to link to yours. If you think about ranking at the top of search results as a popularity contest, then links are like votes saying your website deserves to be ranked highly. Getting links with keyword anchor text will help you rank specifically for the keywords that are linked to. For example, Adobe Reader ranks number one for the keywords click here because so many websites linked to it using the anchor text click here to download Adobe Reader.
Only 31.3 percent of websites are using this markup — and most are only using the basics. You can make your local business stand out (and possibly rank higher than your competitors) if you add structured data markup to your site where appropriate.
This means that you would essentially be selling the service to your prospective clients and then paying the SEO reseller company to do the work on your behalf. You then collect whatever the difference is between what you pay the SEO reseller company and what your client is paying you, what’s left over is your profit.
I’ve struggled with this when clients have moved to another agency. Especially when I’ve done such a great job. Sadly, it’s just part of the agency cycle and can be for many reasons, such as a new marketing manager that has worked with a certain agency in the past and had good results.
I think it’s better to start with local clients. You can pick them up more quickly via networking meetings or just by happenstance. In fact, my first client was my Mercedes repair shop when I needed my car serviced. We started talking about internet marketing, and it was on from there.
The point I am trying to make is that a lot of people reading this may feel that it’s all too much for them and the fear of failure will prevent them from being able to succeed. I’m here to tell you that no matter who you are, you CAN succeed at running your own successful SEO business; you just need to take everything on board in this guide and actually put it in to practice.
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.