An SEO Business in 6 Steps
An SEO business can be a great career for someone who is self motivated, knows the search engine marketing space and is comfortable with constant change. Here are 6 things you can do to start a successful SEO business.
Know What You Are Talking About
The first thing in any SEO business organization is to know - really know - what you're talking about. Google updates their algorithm multiple times per day, and most changes aren't noticeable in visitor traffic, page views and rankings, but obviously there are some large algorithm updates that arrive with all the subtlety of a Category 5 hurricane.
So, you need to know what you're talking about - what is good content that can rank well? How important is tagging the title and description fields? What's the impact of multiple 404 errors across hundreds of pages? How critical are links for ranking better? If you can accurately address these and more, you won't have problems getting clients.
Be Honest and Transparent In Your SEO Business
Do you know why I get so many people who want to learn SEO? It's because they've spent hundreds of dollars per month, for years, and are clueless about what the SEO agency did - or did not do - to their site. The most common complaint I hear is this: "I spent all this money, nothing happened, and the SEO guy never told me what he was doing. I got no reports, no results."
Look, I realize you might be afraid that if you spill the beans, that prospect will take the information and run with it. A few will, but the majority will look at the scope of work and realize that their efforts are best used to develop business and interact with customers. So relax with telling prospects exactly what you're going to do for their site to get it t show up higher in search results.
Have The Right Tools
I can't tell you how many SEO consultants I've spoken to who refuse to pay for SEO software and tools. I actually had a guy tell me he can do an SEO audit manually by hand without any tools. That might have worked years ago, but it won't fly today. If you're a professional who is serious about starting an SEO business, open up your bank account and spend some money on a few tools that will help you do keyword research, inbound back link analysis, web site audits and ranking results. Seriously, don't be a cheap amateur. If you can't afford to buy any tools, you really can't be in business.
Treat Your Customers With Respect
Respect the customer. He or she has expertise in their business vertical just as you have SEO expertise. Tell them the truth, treat them with kindness, courtesy, dignity and respect. If you don't get along with them, fire the client and get others. Work with people you like and respect.
Communicate Well And Be A Team Player
Always work hard to communicate clearly, even if the news you have is less than happy. The client deserves to know if her site tanked, and why. If it was beyond your control due to Google throwing a large algorithm update out there, be honest, and lay out the steps to fix the drop in rankings. Write clear emails, talk plainly on the phone and in meetings. Be tactful, but tell them what they need to hear.
Play well with others on the team. Web developers, graphic designers, branding experts, marketing specialists all have their own high priority tasks to get done. Work with them to meet common goals and deadlines. OK, so maybe you can't get all the on page work done before launching a site. It's not ideal, but it's not the end of the world either in most cases. Learn to give and take and negotiate fairly.
Have Fun In Your SEO Business!
Don't make this life or death. I hope you enjoy search engine optimization work; I do! I recently restructured client work to get back to more SEO work and less marketing automation, because I realized my heart wasn't in doing marketing automation software work. I gave it a try, but I listened to my gut, and because of that, I'm much happier today. Be passionate about applying SEO the white hat way to get the most success for your clients!
Want to learn more about starting an SEO business after getting mad search engine optimization skills? First, learn SEO with Invenio, then see how you can start your own consultancy quickly with great success.
You can jump start your SEO business by learning the basics of SEO in our online class.
Until the next time, keep it between the ditches!
All the very best to you,
Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net