You will earn a lot of karma points, and you’ll notice that people will start saying great things about you to other businesses or people, which eventually will get you more business. But the key is to not expect anything in return when helping people.
By ranking your website for keywords like ‘SEO [INSERT YOUR CITY NAME]’, ‘[INSERT YOUR CITY NAME] SEO’, ‘Buy SEO [INSERT YOUR CITY NAME]’ etcetera etcetera, assuming these keywords have good search volume (which of course you will have researched beforehand using Market Samurai), then you will have these local business owners actually contacting you! If you find yourself in this powerful position then that’s when you can really scale your business up and start earning large amounts of money.
Cool to hear your story Neil! You getting that first company such great results is what catapulted your SEO career. So many so-called SEO companies are robbing small businesses and not producing results. Good to hear you’re not on the “dark side” my friend.
Transparency is huge when selling any service. People want to see and hear the person they will be working with. On the other hand, if you were selling a product like a printer, nobody would care who you were. But when you sell SEO services your potential clients want to work with people they know, like and have a relationship with. You can start that relationship on your SEO website by being super transparent. This is beyond important, and so many of your competitors won’t do this. Add real-life photos of you (and members of your team) throughout your website, not just your About page. Create videos of you talking. Let potential clients see and hear you, and you will win more business than your competitors. That is a guarantee!
“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 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.
This software also comes with a built in mailer. This means that once you have scraped thousands of business listings from Google Maps on autopilot, you then import these business listings in to the Power Leads Pro X mailer at the click of a button.
Google Analytics & Google (PPC) Pay-Per-Click Online Advertising, Facebook Ads(These tools are commonly used by many businesses and are very easy to use. Google Analytics allows you to track your website traffic and its various sources, Google Adwords allows you to find out exactly what keywords your target audience is searching for, Google Adwords + Facebook Ads allow you to create target ads on their respective platforms)
E.g., I remember a project – the client had some money to spend (a government agency) and had some very vague idea. There was no clearly defined scope with clearly set expectations of deliverables. I took it. Man, it backfired. It turned out there were several other people in the picture, “stakeholders” as they would call them in my field, and they all had strong and loud ideas for what they wanted to be done, and there was no consensus. I ended up spending endless time facilitating endless discussions with them of what should be done etc etc etc, all of which after the contract was already in place. The end result: I spent ridiculous amounts of time, nobody was happy, the amount of money was small and totally not worth it, and I was to blame for everything. Man, I learned a lot from that one project.
As an entrepreneur, you have to get to the point where you simply stop explaining your vision to your family and friends – they’re just not going to get it. We’re wired to seek security and I guess a job provides security in many people’s minds.
From reading sites like Search Engine Watch and SEObook, I started getting the hang of SEO. I made on-page changes to my own site, and learned how to build links by talking to people like Patrick Gavin on a weekly basis.
You’ve probably been asked “how do you go about SEO?” I start by telling clients I follow Google’s local search ranking factors to make sure their core SEO elements are in place (people love that). You can break this down into Google My Business, citations, reviews, and geo-targeted landing pages (on-page SEO). Then I ask them a couple questions about whether they need help in these areas. I’d say 80% of people end up working with me when I use this sales approach.
According to Google, roughly four out of five consumers use search engines to conduct local searches. Yet many small businesses have not claimed even a single a local business listing online, which is a huge missed opportunity.
Interesting article! Although I know quite a bit about SEO, I don’t think I would ever want to start an SEO company. One reason is that some shady SEO companies are ruining it for everyone by sending out mass spam emails. Check your spam box – probably 50 from people selling male enhancement products and 10 from SEO services claiming to make your traffic skyrocket. These emails leave a bad taste in people’s mouths. Another reason is that Google keeps changing their ranking algo. This will most likely lead to unhappy customers is they get deindexed or slapped in the rankings regardless of whether it is your fault or not.
Awesome post! Thanks for sharing your experience. My question is does this still hold water? has the SEO agency or digital marketing agency field gotten too crowded to compete or are there still ample opportunities to carve out a niche and provide good services, SEO or otherwise, to businesses? Thanks again, big fan!
My personal preference is to keep my team small and service a limited number of clients, well, because I want to work on more of my own stuff (and family stuff) rather than put more time into building a bigger team and managing them.
Having a business plan will not only help you to get loans, but it also contributes to getting the attraction of huge companies. You never know what will happen in future so making a plan and implementing that will be a unique thing for any business.
Use a piece of software called SEO Power Suite. This software has many brilliant features that will assist you in your day to day running of your SEO business but more importantly it can create very professional looking SEO reports that you can then use as free SEO reports to pass on to your clients.
First things first, if you haven’t already, you’ll need to claim your Google My Business page. As for how to set it up, there are tons of resources available online that explains this process in detail, such as (How To Set Up Your Google My Business Page | Local Internet Marketing).
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.
Have a process in place that delivers the result. Break down the process into segments. Train others to implement the segments. Train someone to manage the segment implementation process. Build a business that runs without you.
2,000 Words – Hardly anyone does this because they are super lazy or just don’t know that this simple strategy works like a charm. If you’re targeting “SEO Albany” on your your SEO services page, then make sure that page has at least 2,000+ well written words or more. This worked for me and the data has shown this to work as well. Check out this graph below by serpIQ. As you can see, there is a direct correlation between having more words on a page and higher rankings in Google.
Power Leads Pro X is a piece of software that automatically searches Google Maps listings for businesses in any niche that you specify using the business name. It can also gather businesses on a country, state or city level! If I decide I want to promote my services to lawyers in London for example, all I have to do is select London from the UK section of Power Leads Pro X, type in the keyword ‘Lawyers’ and hit the search button.
PageSpeed Insights – With PageSpeed Insights, Google analyzes how fast your webpage is and will provide suggestions you can implement to improve the speed with which it loads on both desktops and mobile devices. Your website’s page speed can impact SEO, so it’s important to monitor its performance to ensure your relevancy on search engines like Google.
Having a consistent sales pipeline in place is essential for the growth of your agency. I always tended to focus more upon the fulfilment side of the equation as I have a high customer service expectation for our team, but the lack of sales pipeline was hampering our growth. Now I’d like to think we’re developing a balance between the two.
As simple as it may sound, but a lot of those strengths and weaknesses are not immediately clear and only become clear with experience and time and trying various things, which can take some years. Also, opportunities based on your strengths may not be readily available, so one needs to put focused effort in that direction. For ex., I have realized by now that there are some things I am really good at, they come natural to me (to the point that I was taking them for granted), and they happen to be difficult for a lot of people/competitors. So I am now trying to focus on that.
Your website is the hub of your SEO business. In the 10 years I ran my agency, I had at least 15 different sites. Pay attention, because I’m going to save you a lot of time, energy and AB testing by telling you exactly what worked and what didn’t work. To make this easy, just remember two simple words, “clean” and “simple”. Forget everything else, and ignore everything you see in web design today. Most website are terrible, even the ones created by amazing and talented graphic designers. Here’s why. When a customer comes to your website they want to know three things. Who you are, what you’ve done and how to contact you. That’s it. Everything else is bullshit. This isn’t just my opinion. It’s a conclusion based on analytics and years of obsessive studying and experience.
When it comes to working for yourself, it’s hard to underestimate the freedom of picking your own areas of working to your own timetable. These are real benefits. If your goals align more closely with a job i.e. a regular income and a regular time schedule, then you might decide that getting a job with an employer will suit you best. If you value autonomy, then running your own business might suit you better.
Editing all of those directories can be time consuming, especially when you’re trying to run a business! Check out Vistaprint’s Local Listings service, which makes it very easy to submit your NAP data to directory data aggregators. It will also highlight where incorrect NAP data exists and correct it for you, all in one click!
Killer post and very similar to how we created https://liftedwebsites.com/ with a few new things to consider so thanks. To add to the tools section Ahrefs/SEMrush we use every day, and education section backlinko is another great source. Thanks again for sharing your story.
The same goes for internet marketing, or for those people who want to start their own SEO business. This requires many daunting tasks, such as; learning all about the different optimization techniques, finding an initial set of clients to work with, creating your own fully-optimized business site with a good online reputation, etc.
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!
Accordingly ensure you’re always delivering value outside of just the number of rankings or which keywords are ranking #1. Help clients improve their conversion rate, create videos, content, paid marketing and/or other areas you’re already competent in.
Great post Neil I am also a young entrepreneur/author/SEO and I am really glad I stumbled across your blog today. Congratulations on all your success so far man!! Look forward to reading your future posts and I’ll see you at the top!