This is a great post, it gives me something to strive towards. I’m still starting out, I know how to rank websites well with SEO, but up until now I’ve ranked mainly personal websites so I don’t have any testimonials other than my own. Based on what other companies do for SEO, I know what I is top tier, but it’s difficult to get top tier clients without past clients. Any suggestions?
I could list the many examples of emails I have sent out to businesses in the past using Power Leads Pro X but to save this guide from turning in to a never ending story, I’m not going to bother… Don’t worry though! I’ve included one of the emails I used which got me a number of enquiries from business owners in the bonus download at the end of this article. It’s in there beside lots of other priceless goodies I’m giving away to you guys today absolutely FREE! Keep reading to find out about the other bonuses I’ve got in store for you in the free download…
SEO is far from an exact science- it is constantly evolving as old internet trends fade out and new ones emerge. The key to starting a successful SEO business is to stay on top of new developments and advance along with the industry.
If you go to freelancer.com and search for user bdkamol, he’s the same guy who optimized all my websites to load in less than 1s. He’s done every one of my speed optimization projects and has improved load times by over 13 seconds in GTmetrix! At $20/hour, 10 hours should be enough for a huge improvement (which I have charged up to $700 for). That’s $500 profit and all you have to do is send your client a “before and after” report in GTmetrix. It’s ridiculously easy.
Don’t charge the lowest, honestly charge the most you can get away with. Always give yourself extra time on a deadline so never say the first date you could have it done because shit happens in life and you could end up missing that “easy” deadline.
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.
We all want to become our own bosses right from the start, but truth is that you need to work somewhere for at least one year. And not necessarily because you gather knowledge, but because you gain an insight view into a business. You see how things work, you get to go to various conferences on this topic, know people from the field and so on. All this is going to be really useful when you will start your own 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.
Please remember that you must take extra care of clients that come from your partners. If they’re unhappy, the first person they will complain to is your partner. That’s not good for future referrals.
If you like a regular routine, regular hours, and task specialization, then looking for a SEM job within an established search marketing firm might be the way to go. If you prefer a high degree of control, variety and the knowledge that all the rewards will flow to you for the successful work you undertake, then starting your own business might be a good way forward.
If you are new to the profession altogether and need to learn SEO, two courses to consider are DistilledU and the Google Analytics Individual Qualification. Completing both certifications should take under 90 hours.
“Google’s research shows that 1 out of every 5 of the 16 billion Google searches a day are in regards to a local business. Just based on these keywords alone, you can see that [X amount]* of people are actively searching for the exact product/service that you provide. They are finding the solution, but unfortunately at the moment it’s your competitors who are profiting from it. “ – Again, this highlights to the business owner that their competitors currently have the jump on them when it comes to the search engine ranking positions for their targeted keywords. This should act to again create urgency and fear in the business owner as they have been made aware that their main local/national/international competitors are taking the lion’s share of the visitors/leads/customers that are searching online for the exact same product/service that your potential clients offers.
They then said they would possibly reactivate my account if I were to edit the site in question to “bring it into compliance”…except I don’t own the domain. Never did. It was an affiliate ad (for a benign family-friendly product I should add) that I ran years prior. When I brought up the absurdity of the solution they simply said, “not our problem” which is, of course, pretty much their standard line.
Sometimes, I see some SEO firms marketing their business using only paid advert methods such as Google Adwords. I would never hire such professionals because their mode of advertising only shows their incompetence. If they were really experts in SEO, they would have used SEO to market their services; not paid ads! Even if you will adopt other online marketing strategies, you must give a good account of yourself by working on your website’s rankings first.
With new online businesses and e-commerce sites popping up every day, starting an SEO business can be a great way to profit using your expertise in generating organic traffic and maximizing revenue potential.
Thanks for the great info Neil! You really put the smaller clients into perspective and I like how you seem to focus on the Pumpkin strategy and building bigger clients. I think that’s one area that I can use a lot of improvement in. Needless to say I’ll be updating my companies strategies and plan of attack based off of some of these recommendations.
Thanks for sharing this Kristi, I have new website about my services for web designer and need to be in good place on Google, Bing and others. Your article makes me learn how to start SEO with your easy understanding words. If you have time please visit my website and give me a feedback. Thank you.
Local pack results are evaluated and ranked in a way that is similar to traditional organic results, but there are some important steps that need to be taken by business owners in order to optimize their site’s performance in local results. Here’s how to do exactly that.
You don’t need a 35 page business plan (a lot of the economics of a service based business in particular are fairly straight forward), but you do need to work on lining up a few clients first (if you’re planning to start a services business)…
This is a huge business – what the hell is an SEO nowadays? In many ways SEO has become an umbrella term for online or digital marketing and many SEO’s will provide an overview of what the opportunities are online and how you can execute on them.
Apart from your relationships with local professionals, you need to also build a network online. Be very active on social media and join industry related groups. You can build a loyal following and attract potential customers from these platforms.
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.
You can use a tool like Bright Local to check out any existing citations you have and then update them so that they’re all consistent. You can also use the tool to track your competitors’ citations and add your own to the same websites.
You mentioned hustling Craigslist when you first started out. I’m in a similar situation, I just emptied my change jar to keep my internet turned on for a little bit longer while I try to get a business started. Any suggestions on what to try to do to get SEO customers?
Another great tip that I picked up from Greg Gifford‘s recent talk at BrightonSEO was to create a page on your website that gives instructions to your customers on exactly how they can review your business (i.e. yourwebsite.com/review-us/). You won’t believe how effective this is when it comes to getting in touch with customers, especially the non-technical ones!
Getting better rankings and traffic is important, but you can still lose clients by not showing them the true value of what you are doing. Once I started keeping track of attribution on various aspects like calls, leads and revenue it became much easier to show results and retain clients.
Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.
“I’m calling because I emailed the business owner a couple of days ago regarding a local joint venture business opportunity and am yet to hear back from them. I thought I’d just follow up with a phone call to make sure that the email reached the right person.”
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.
Reviews not only drive a higher click-through rate to your site, but are listed on search engine page results (serps) and according to an extensive study conducted by Digital Marketing Works, reviews play a critical role in determining inclusion and ranking for Google’s local “carousel results”, that appear at the top of a serp.
For many people and businesses, the word ‘marketing’ conjures up visions of pricey marketing strategies and excessive expenditure. However, it doesn’t have to be expensive: there are plenty of free ways to market a business. In this post, we share 30 things you can do right now to market your online business for free.
Whether a client is referred to you or they found you through some other means, sooner or later they are going to leave you. SEO is a business with a high churn rate… it’s very rare that someone will stick with you as a client for three years.
Of course, it goes without saying that one should never compromise on the work quality in order to build client relations, however, how do find that fine balance between finding inexpensive resources who might turn in a great quality work as well?
The Limited Liability Company and Corporation are the 2 most common legal structures. A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a hybrid business entity having certain characteristics of both a corporation and a partnership. The primary characteristic an LLC shares with a corporation is limited liability, and the primary characteristic it shares with a partnership is the availability of a pass through income taxation. Corporate tax rates are typically higher than tax rates at the personal level, therefore having income taxed at the personal level may help save on taxes. A Corporation is an independent legal entity owned by shareholders. Corporations are more complex than other legal entities because they tend to have costly administrative fees and complex tax and legal requirements. Because of these issues, corporations are generally suggested for established and larger companies.