Starting off this way has risks too (might not be as stable as a large corporation for example) but you can learn a lot about the overall and day to day processes that make that particular person or group successful. I’m not for the idea of building your personal brand on the back of someone else’s brand equity but if your brand develops from the hard, quality work you do for someone else then that’s great.
When Google acquired BeatThatQuote it was violating their guidelines. I highlighted that & they banned it. Then 14 days later BeatThatQuote began ranking again, without even fixing the overt issues I highlighted. So they give themselves the benefit of the doubt, even when they flagrantly violate their own guidelines.
This is always the question on every potential client’s lips and I always give the same/similar answer; ‘In most cases what happens is that you will start to see positive signs after 3 months, then page 1 listings within 4-6 months, top 3 listings within 6-9 months and number 1 listings within 12 months.
Google Analytics – Use Google Analytics to learn more about the visitors to your website. In particular, monitor your organic search traffic sources to see what keywords people are using to find your website in search results. By setting up goals, you can see which keywords lead to visits where visitors do what you want them to do on your website such as sign up for a mailing list or purchase a product. This will help you learn what keywords you should be targeting with your SEO campaign.
When you are building your agency, you need to focus on getting clients that pay you six figures a year. It’s hard to build a profitable agency and provide great results when someone only pays you a few grand a month.
There are lots of new SEO companies that come out the gates, do a load of dodgy link building and rank for their head terms (SEO company in Birmingham, etc.) and then think they know all there is to know.
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I used to work in the SEO department for a basement systems company and you have no idea how intricate a proper SEO company is. They owned a network of thousands of quality domains, blogs and websites whose sole purpose was to constantly build links back to the multiple business properties they owned. They had one main business but owned multiple domains to rank in different states and regions. Not to mention the managing of their anchor text, and conversion testing to see how a keyword would perform. The on page stuff is basic, the real value an SEO agency can provide now a days is a proper network of diverse high quality sites to provide links and knowing how to give those links and for what keywords.
The next step is to run some searches on Power Leads Pro X to harvest the details of all the printers, accountants, web designers and any other business that works on a business to business basis in your area. Once you have all the details of these businesses, first thing you should do is compose an email using the Power Leads Pro X mailing feature and send it out to every one of these businesses.
Starting my own agency seemed like a fun and easy idea in the beginning. It was portrayed to look easy by all the courses and “gurus” who promoted the idea of starting your own agency. I soon realized the one issue. Getting clients is not easy. Not at all. I learned that I needed to put in a lot of work and figure out a strategy if I was serious about getting clients for my new agency.
It’s important that you get your business listed correctly and consistently on top online business directories, like Yelp, Merchant Circle, Citysearch and others. You will also want to seek out respectable local directories to get your business listed on. Check with your local newspaper’s website and your Chamber of Commerce to see if they have a local business directory you can get listed on. You can also do a search for keywords like “[your city] directory” to find other local citation sites or directories.
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.
Ryan, thanks! My breakdown of in-house vs. agency was done in broad brushstrokes, and exceptions always exist, but the general point is solid. I’m glad you found the post interesting. Keep coming back to this blog — we have big plans for more in the near future!
Be sure to add your business details to all local and major national online business directories. These listings are not only good for taking advantage of the traffic on these directory sties but the listings also act as good citations to help boost your Google Places/Maps listing in the search engines.
How many projects are you working on right now? You may already have a few clients from your time as a freelance SEO, or you may be starting from scratch. Either way, you need to grow your market to start making money. Obtaining a leads list from a lead generation company gives you a head start.
The truth is, the average consumer will read 2-3 reviews before choosing to buy from you, so start encouraging your customers to leave a good word about you. It can be on your website, social media pages, or online directories such as Yelp.
I went over the article again and I think I like the public speaker engagements as a sales channel. So next month I will get some training on this. But how do I find the events that would be willing to have me as a speaker even if I pay for it? Hope you can provide some advice on this.
EXTRA BONUS: In the coming weeks I’m going to be giving away FULL lists I’ve scraped in Power Leads Pro X absolutely free. Head on over to this post on the forum and let me know what niches you would like the leads for and I’ll see what I can do. Join my newsletter below to be updated as soon as I post these lists on the blog:
Sounds like you need some guidance on how to create quality content. Well, to be honest, it’s simple. Just make sure you are providing value and are an educational resource to your niche. Create context within your links to avoid being seen as spam. When you do things naturally and write from experience, it shows. Focus less on the ends and more on the means.
Thanks for the great info again. Your SEO practices and tips have been more than useful for me. I always come back for more. Blogging and helping out other bloggers have proven to be useful for you. I have taking note. Cheers Neil.
Louisa, if you have the resources in house then you should definitely do it in-house. However, most companies do not have the resources which is why they outsource to other companies. It all depends on what you feel comfortable doing. In my experience the best agencies will do better than any in-house entity. Primarily because their main focus is SEO.
Using search, you know where 100% of your budget is going. It won’t be wasted so long as you target correctly. Targeting is what search marketing does so well. If you enjoy figuring out what people want, matching them up with a page that allows them to do that thing, and beat your competition at doing so, then search marketing is a good game to be in. Whether you do that using SEO, PPC, social media, or likely a mix of all three, the demand for qualified visitors will always exist.
About the Author: Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. Her blog Kikolani focuses on blog marketing for personal, professional, and business bloggers. You can follow her on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.
Seriously, I’ve never thought of starting an SEO firm. I actually have a clue of how difficult SEO is to do effectively. Good SEOs are hard enough to find, and WordStream seems to be a nice place to meet some of them.
All the above – Knowledge is King, and Experience is Queen. If you can get both, then you’ll be the front of others. Sometimes people can talk but cannot deliver. This is why many SEO Guru, cannot becoming the next billionaire.
Again, I’m not an attorney, but this is what I did. I waited a few months before creating an LLC for my business. I made a little money first, then incorporated. The reason I did this is because incorporating costs money. In Illinois it’s about $500-$600, plus $250 per year. No need to waste that money if you never get business. I asked my accountant, Gaurang Patel of Southloop CPA in Chicago, IL, about this. Here’s what he said:
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.