Overall, this is a very good post that brings up a lot of good points, but if anybody is serious about starting an SEO/SEM company… it’s all about strong sales and reliable cashflow, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.
An SEO audit is a great way to start working with a client. Download my Local SEO Audit Template in a Google Doc. It’s 18 pages of solid recommendations and assumes the client needs work in these areas:
I love this because it is so simple. That’s it! These three steps and progress is made. I have been thinking way too long about creating my SEO business. I just need to dive in and get started. I know what I need to do and now I’ll just do it! Thanks!
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.
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:
[sociallocker id=”571″]If you have any questions at all about this tutorial then please feel free to either leave a comment below or click the link below to download the Bonus Download file. Once you’ve downloaded the file, you will have to unzip the folder. If you don’t know how to do this, you can download the free software called 7Zip to do it for free.
I’ve been involved in digital marketing for over a decade, since 2006. Marketer’s Center gives digital marketing consultants the ability to easily scale their local marketing agencies in a way that isn’t labor-intensive and still very profitable. If you want to get my “6 Month SEO Plan” please request a free reseller dashboard account here. You’ll also be able to download a price list for all of the services we offer.
A friend of mind recently pointed out to me that all the individual health insurance plans do not cover maternity costs. You can get coverage for that under a group policy but unless you have employees you are going to be paying roughly 4x the cost of an individual plan for you and your family.
If you’re new to SEO and the business in general, it would be a good idea to rank a few sites first. Experimenting on client sites is a recipe for disaster, you’ll need your own sites at least for this alone.
So, I would advise you to choose it as the platform for your website. For the design, you can hire a professional website designer for a few hundred bucks. But if you are on a tight budget, consider buying a fully customizable professional theme.
I’ve also experienced the frustration of self-purchased health insurance. Aside from taxes, it’s my largest expense- and they fight me on everything. It’s a constant battle to get things covered and their argument is always that “I’m not part of a group so exceptions apply”. I’ve seriously considered canceling it and just sticking the money in an account for a sort of self-insurance. Of course, when a few days hospital stay can cost six-figures it’s never that easy.
I really like the idea of setting out exactly what is wrong with a client’s approach and the process they need to take to improve, it really helps to show the value in the SEO service delivered, and backing this up with real life data that demonstrates the cash to their business is the clincher.
I would help them with SEO audits, citations (core online profiles/directories), on-page SEO, speed optimization and Google Search Console. In 3 months my website was getting around 500 visitors/day resulting in about 2 inquiries/day for my services. This was on top of the $600/month affiliate income through my blog.
One great way to get links from non-competing businesses, like suppliers and partners, is to simply offer them a special or discount exclusive to their own customers, subscribers, etc. — if only they’ll list a link describing it on their site.
The point remains that there are many options available to you to help figure out if working for someone else or yourself is really the best fit. In either case, working and studying harder (and longer) than others is a solid base to start from 🙂
For beginners interested to start an SEO business I recommend heavily focusing on learning project and account management in addition to improving their improving their proficiency in the service they offer-search engine optimization.
My SEO company landed the business of many of the top real estate firms in Chicago simply by adding our name and link in the bottom of a small real estate agent’s website we were working with. We got this guy to page #1 for “Chicago condos” and of course, all of the big real estate firms wanted to know how we did it and if we could do it for them.
Neil, great article shows me that their is a lot of potential in the SEO business even though it’s going so mainstream. I want to ask you your opinion of a business motto i’m currently working on, whether or not you think it could be profitable for me.
A lot of articles are either overly complex or somehow miss the basics. I always feel like if people have a good foundation to start with, they can add to it later vs. starting out missing the basics and having to make up for it later.
In this guide I will be teaching you how to start an SEO business. I currently own a local SEO company myself and have been running it since 2009 with good success. By the end of this guide you will have all the tools and know how to go ahead and start your very own local SEO business, all you will need to do is read this tutorial and take action.
Most importantly, don’t put up fake reviews or pay others to do so! It has to come about organically, and users will be able to smell a rat. Doing so may result in penalisation by the search engine instead.
If you really wanted to start an SEO business, then you must have a mindset to acquire new things. For most people, this learning curve may take a few years, but if you are a well-known expert who already knows SEO, then you must sharp your skills by learning new SEO techniques.
According to the 2015 Form Conversion Report by Formstack, only about 1% of small contact forms (about 4 fields) get filled out on websites. That means only 1 out of 100 people that visit your SEO company’s website will fill out your contact form. The other 99 will leave your website and probably never contact you for SEO services. This is a huge problem. So many potential clients who need SEO visit and leave your site forever, never having contacted you. You need a way to get way more of your visitors, and potential customers, to give you their contact information when visiting your website. As I pointed out earlier, relying on your contact form isn’t good enough.
Hi Muhammad! There are plenty of sites online (ours included) that have lots of information about SEO that you can learn from. I myself didn’t know much about SEO until I started reading about it online.
In terms of revenue potential, most SEO engagements start at $1,000/mo and typically much higher. Josh Steimle wrote a great post on how to plan and budget for SEO on Forbes. Most small businesses pay between $1,000/mo and $5,000/mo. Larger small business may pay $5,000/mo to $10.000/mo and much high depending on many factors such as the level of competition and geographic scope.
If we hadn’t accounted well for that time in the pricing we established for our services then we would have had to eat that time and really have gotten paid less than we’d actually charged for the audit.
It takes a lot of work Troy, but as you develop your skills and talents, you can begin to outsource a few things here and there to a virtual assistant. Spend time focusing ON your business in addition to IN your business
Discrete content elements – web pages, images, PDFs, videos, social profiles and brand pages, local listings, and off-site (reviews) pages all require on-page optimization. This means knowing the target keyphrase for the content and getting it into the right places – the title, description, copy, etc.
In this business you’ll notice that there are many agencies who specialize in one area of digital marketing. That could be web design, mobile, social media, PPC, online PR, etc. Often times, their clients will ask them about SEO services which they don’t offer. You want to partner with these agencies. Offer them a standard 10% finders fee if they send you any business. In other words, if they send you a client that you sign for $20,000, send them a check within 5 days of signing the new client for $2,000.
Stop looking for loopholes and strategies to beat the Google. The algorithm changes too quickly to capitalize on loopholes. You’re much better off creating good long-term value for your clients. Play for the long term by providing value and focusing on user experience above all else.
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:
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.