In today's digital world, search engines are the go-to resource for information and solutions. This means that businesses are in dire need of SEO services to ensure their online presence is top-notch. Starting an SEO business can seem overwhelming, but don't worry — we're here to help.
In this complete guide, we'll walk you through the essentials of building a successful SEO business. This article covers everything — from the basics of SEO to developing a winning sales process. So, whether you're a seasoned SEO pro or just starting out, let's dive into the world of SEO and start your business journey today!
Everything You Need to Start an SEO Business
Starting an SEO business is a challenging but rewarding journey. With the right approach and knowledge, you can set up a successful business that helps clients achieve their online marketing goals. Let’s see how.
- Understand the SEO Industry and Potential Clients
Before starting your SEO business, it's essential to understand the industry and potential clients. The SEO industry is constantly evolving, and staying up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices is critical to success. Take the time to research your target audience, including their pain points, needs, and goals. For instance, small businesses may need help with local SEO, while larger companies may require technical SEO expertise.
Example: Let's say you're targeting small businesses, like a local coffee shop. It may need help with optimizing the Google My Business page, improving its local search rankings, and running PPC campaigns. Understanding specific needs can help you tailor your services and pricing.
- Develop Your SEO Expertise and Skills
To start an SEO business, you need to at least have a working understanding of search engine optimization and related skills. This includes technical SEO, keyword research, link building, content marketing, and analytics. Continuously expanding your SEO knowledge and skills is essential for staying competitive and delivering results for your clients.
Example: To enhance your technical SEO expertise, you could create a blog post that provides a step-by-step guide on how to conduct a website audit. This can showcase your SEO knowledge and attract potential clients who are looking for technical SEO services.
- Define Your Niche and Services
Defining your niche and services is crucial for building a successful SEO business. Your niche could be a specific industry, such as healthcare or e-commerce, or a specific service, such as local SEO or content marketing. Offering a niche service can help you stand out from competitors and attract potential clients who are looking for specialized expertise.
Example: Let's say your niche is content marketing. You could offer a comprehensive content marketing package that includes blog post creation, social media management, and email marketing. This can demonstrate your expertise in the field and attract clients who want to improve their content marketing strategy.
- Develop Your Sales Process and Pricing
Developing a sales process and pricing strategy is vital for attracting and retaining clients. Your sales process should include a clear and concise pitch, a presentation of your services and value proposition, and a follow-up plan. Pricing strategies vary depending on your niche, services, and target audience. You can charge hourly rates, project-based fees, or monthly retainers.
Example: To demonstrate your pricing strategy, you could create a pricing template that showcases different SEO packages and their respective prices. You could also include case studies and testimonials to demonstrate the value of your services.
- Build Your Online Presence and Network
Building your online presence and network is essential for attracting new clients and establishing credibility in the industry. Develop a professional website that showcases your services, portfolio, and pricing. Use social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to connect with potential clients and share your expertise. Network with other SEO professionals and attend industry events to expand your knowledge and build partnerships.
Example: To showcase your online presence, you could create a video tutorial on YouTube that demonstrates your SEO skills and offers tips and advice for potential clients. You could also use outreach strategies to connect with influencers in your niche and offer them your services.
Once you have a solid understanding of SEO and its various components, the next step is to start building your brand. This includes creating a website, business cards, and other marketing materials. Your website should showcase your SEO expertise and include details about the SEO services you offer. You can also use your website to showcase case studies and testimonials from satisfied clients.
It's important to establish a presence on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to gain more exposure and reach potential clients. Share helpful tips and information related to SEO on your social media pages, and engage with your followers by answering their questions and responding to comments.
Starting an SEO business requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and consistency, but with the right skills, knowledge, and approach, it can be a very rewarding and successful venture. By following the best practices and tips outlined in this guide, you'll be on your way to building a thriving SEO business in 2023 and beyond.
Who is a White Label SEO Service Provider?
A white label SEO service provider is a company that offers SEO services to other businesses under their own brand name. In other words, a white label SEO provider works as an invisible partner, helping other companies to provide SEO services to their clients. This type of service is ideal for businesses that want to offer SEO services without having to invest in a full-time SEO team, or for those that want to expand their services to include SEO without having to invest in extensive training.
For example, let's say a digital marketing agency wants to offer SEO services to its clients but doesn't have the in-house expertise to do so. They can partner with a white label SEO provider who will handle all the SEO work, but the digital marketing agency can still offer the SEO services to their clients under their own brand name. The clients will never know that the work is being done by a third-party provider.
Another example is a web design agency that wants to expand its services to include SEO. By partnering with a white label SEO provider, the web design agency can offer SEO services to its clients without having to hire a full-time SEO team. This allows the agency to offer a more comprehensive suite of services to their clients and increase their revenue without incurring the additional costs of hiring and training new staff.
What Services do SEO companies offer?
SEO companies offer a variety of services to improve a website's visibility in search engine results pages. Some of the common services offered by SEO companies include:
- Keyword research: One of the essential services that SEO companies provide is keyword research. It involves finding the right keywords that are relevant to a client's business and optimizing their website to rank for those keywords.
For instance, an SEO company may help a restaurant business rank for keywords like "best Italian restaurant in [city]" or "fine dining restaurants near me."
- If you want to learn more about SEO keyword research, check out this comprehensive Scalenut blog on “How To Do Keyword Research for SEO and PPC” for more information.
- On-page optimization: On-page optimization is the process of enhancing the client's website's content and HTML source code to improve search engine rankings. This includes optimizing page titles, meta descriptions, and header tags, among others.
An example of on-page optimization is optimizing a blog post about "best SEO practices" with the appropriate header tags and meta descriptions.
- Content marketing: SEO companies may also offer content marketing services, which involve creating high-quality, engaging, and shareable content for client websites.
For example, an SEO company may create blog posts, infographics, videos, or social media posts to attract more traffic to the client's website.
A popular content marketing strategy is creating pillar pages. Do check out this in-depth Scalenut guide on “What Is Pillar Page And How They Help With SEO Ranking?” and empower your content marketing services with this strategy.
- Link building: Link building is the process of acquiring high-quality backlinks from other websites to improve search engine rankings.
An example of link building is an SEO company's outreach to other websites to request a link to a client's website.
- Local SEO: Local SEO involves optimizing a client's website for local search results. It is an essential service for businesses that want to attract customers from a particular location.
An example of local SEO is optimizing a business's Google My Business profile with accurate and up-to-date information.
- Technical SEO: Technical SEO involves optimizing a website's technical aspects to improve search engine rankings. This includes optimizing the website's site structure, page speed, and mobile responsiveness.
An example of technical SEO is optimizing a website's URL structure to make it more search engine friendly.
- NLP SEO: Another service offered by SEO companies is NLP SEO, which involves using natural language processing (NLP) technology to optimize a client's website's content. NLP helps search engines understand the context of the content and the user's search intent, allowing for more accurate and relevant search results.
For example, an SEO company may use NLP to optimize a client's website for long-tail keywords that match the user's conversational search queries. This can improve the website's visibility in search engine results pages and increase organic traffic.
NLP SEO is particularly useful for businesses that offer complex products or services that require in-depth explanations, as NLP can help to match the user's search intent with the most relevant content on the website. Refer to this in-depth guide on NLP SEO: What Is It And How To Use It For Content Optimization to get a better understanding of this service area.
These are just a few examples of the SEO services that companies offer. The specific services a company provides may vary depending on the client's needs and the company's expertise.
How Clients Choose SEO Companies (the psychology behind it)
One of the most important factors to understand as you start your SEO business is the psychology behind how clients choose SEO companies. There are many factors coming into play when a client decides to work with an SEO company. Understanding some of the factors can help you make informed decisions on how to market your business and attract potential clients.
Firstly, it's important to recognize that trust plays a significant role in the decision-making process of potential clients. Clients want you to deliver results and handle their website and online presence with care and commitment. To build trust with potential clients, it's important to establish yourself as an expert in your field.
This can be achieved through publishing blog posts, creating helpful videos on YouTube, sharing useful content on social media platforms, and networking with other professionals in the industry. It's also important to have a clear and transparent pricing structure so clients know what they're paying for.
Another factor that can influence a client's decision to work with an SEO company is social proof. When potential clients see positive testimonials or case studies from satisfied clients, they're more likely to trust your business and believe that you can deliver results. Be sure to collect testimonials from satisfied clients and share them on your website, social media platforms, and other marketing materials.
Lastly, it's important to remember that clients are looking for results. They want to see improvements in their search engine rankings, website traffic, and, ultimately, their revenue. It's important to have a solid track record of delivering results for clients backed up by case studies and other evidence. This can help potential clients feel more confident in choosing your SEO services over those of your competitors.
By understanding the psychology behind how clients choose SEO companies, you can make informed decisions on how to market your business, build trust with potential clients, and ultimately, attract more clients and grow your business.
How To Launch Your SEO Agency
Starting your own SEO agency can be a daunting task, but with the right plan in place, it's possible to succeed. Here are some essential steps you can take to launch your SEO agency:
Learn SEO Marketing
Before launching your SEO agency, it's essential to understand the ins and outs of SEO marketing. There are several online courses, blogs, and tutorials available to help you learn the basics of SEO marketing. One such platform is Moz Academy, which offers a range of courses on SEO marketing, including keyword research, on-page optimization, and link building.
In addition to learning SEO marketing, it's also essential to keep up with the latest trends and updates in the industry. You can do this by subscribing to industry-specific newsletters and blogs, attending conferences, and joining online SEO communities. This will help you stay on top of the latest SEO strategies and techniques, giving you an edge over your competitors.
Build A Website
Your website is the face of your SEO business, and it's important to make it professional and appealing to potential clients. When building your website, make sure to include information about your services, pricing, testimonials, case studies, and contact information.
In addition to these essential elements, your website should also have a blog section where you can publish SEO-related content to showcase your expertise and attract potential clients. A well-written blog can also help improve your search engine rankings and drive organic traffic to your website.
Best Website Platforms To Use For Your SEO Agency
When it comes to building a website for your SEO agency, there are several website platforms to choose from. Some popular options include WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace.
WordPress is a popular choice for many SEO agencies because it's easy to use and offers a range of SEO-friendly plugins and themes. Wix and Squarespace are also great options for those who seek an easy-to-use platform with professional-looking templates.
When choosing a website platform, it's important to consider your budget, technical skills, and business needs. Look for a platform that offers SEO-friendly features, customization options, and reliable customer support.
Launching your own SEO agency may seem like a huge task, but by following these steps, you can set yourself up for success. Remember to keep learning and stay up-to-date with the latest SEO trends and techniques, and you'll be well on your way to building a successful SEO business.
How to Get Clients for Your SEO Agency
As a new SEO agency, getting your first few clients can be challenging. However, there are various ways to reach out to potential clients and convince them to give your agency a try. Here are three effective ways to get clients for your SEO agency:
Social Media Advertising
Social media advertising is a cost-effective way to promote your SEO agency and reach out to potential clients. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn offer various advertising options that allow you to target your ideal audience based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. You can create targeted ads that showcase your SEO services and highlight your unique selling proposition (USP) to attract potential clients.
For instance, you can create an ad that targets small business owners in your area who might need help with local SEO. Your ad could offer a free SEO audit or consultation to entice potential clients to reach out to you. By using social media advertising, you can increase your agency's visibility, generate leads, and build your brand.
Ask for Referrals from Your Network
Word-of-mouth marketing is a powerful way to get clients for your SEO agency. You can leverage your personal and professional network to spread the word about your agency and ask for referrals. Reach out to your friends, family, former colleagues, and acquaintances who might know someone who needs SEO services. You can also ask your existing clients for referrals and incentivize them with discounts or rewards.
Run Ads to Get Leads
Running ads on search engines like Google or Bing can help you generate leads and attract potential clients to your agency. You can create ads that target specific keywords related to SEO services and display them when someone searches for those keywords. This way, you can reach out to people who are actively looking for SEO services and offer them your agency's services.
Additionally, you can run display ads on websites that are related to your niche and attract potential clients who might be interested in your services. You can use platforms like Google Ads or Bing Ads to set up your ad campaigns and track your performance metrics.
By implementing these strategies, you can generate leads, attract potential clients, and grow your SEO agency. However, remember that building a successful agency takes time, effort, and consistency. Be patient, and keep refining your approach to get the best results.
Establish Your SEO Pricing Structure
When it comes to pricing your SEO services, there are a number of factors to consider, including your level of expertise, the types of services you offer, and the needs of your clients. Here are some steps you can follow to help establish your pricing structure:
Determine Your Hourly Rate
One way to price your SEO services is to determine an hourly rate based on your level of expertise and experience. This can be a good starting point for pricing your services, as it allows you to bill clients for the time you spend working on their projects. Consider factors such as your years of experience, the types of projects you have worked on in the past, and the level of demand for your services when setting your hourly rate.
Consider Project-Based Pricing
Another option is to charge clients based on the specific project they need help with. This can be a good option for clients who have a specific goal in mind, such as improving their search engine rankings or optimizing their website for certain keywords. Consider the scope of the project, the amount of work involved, and the client's budget when setting your project-based pricing.
Offer Monthly Retainers
Many SEO agencies offer monthly retainers, which allow clients to pay a set fee each month for ongoing SEO services. This can be a good option for clients who need ongoing help with their SEO efforts, such as managing their website content or building high-quality backlinks. Consider the amount of work involved and the client's budget when setting your monthly retainer pricing.
Consider Value-Based Pricing
Another option is to charge clients based on the value that your services bring to their business. This can be a good option for clients who are looking for a more customized approach to their SEO efforts, and who are willing to pay a premium for high-quality services. Consider the specific needs and goals of each client when setting your value-based pricing.
By considering these options, you can establish a pricing structure that works for both you and your clients. Remember to take into account your level of expertise and the amount of work involved, and to be transparent and clear with clients about your pricing structure.
Create Your SEO Contracts
Creating contracts is an essential step in running an SEO agency. It ensures that both parties (you and your clients) are on the same page and have a clear understanding of what services you will provide, what results the client can expect, and the terms of payment.
Here are some steps to create effective SEO contracts:
Outline the Scope of Work
Your contract should outline the scope of work you will provide, such as the number of keywords you will target, the type of content you will produce, and the number of backlinks you will acquire. This section should also specify the timeline for the project and any deliverables the client can expect.
Set Clear Expectations
Be clear about what the client can expect from your services, including the results you are aiming for and the timeframe for achieving them. This section should also include any guarantees or limitations on your services.
Specify Payment Terms
Your contract should clearly outline the payment terms, including the amount of the deposit, the total cost of the project, and the payment schedule. This section should also include any penalties or late fees for missed payments.
Include Termination Clauses
Include a section in your contract that specifies the conditions under which the client can terminate the contract and any penalties that may apply. This section should also outline the process for terminating the contract.
Consult a Lawyer
Consult a lawyer to ensure your contract complies with local laws and regulations. They can help you draft a contract that is legally binding and provides adequate protection for your business.
You can find many templates online that can help you create your SEO contract. Make sure to tailor the template to fit your specific needs and consult with a lawyer to ensure it is legally sound.
These steps will help you create effective contracts that protect your business while also providing clear expectations and benefits for your clients.
Set Up Your Payment Methods
Setting up your payment methods is a crucial step in running a successful SEO agency. Without a clear and effective system for invoicing and receiving payments from clients, it can be difficult to manage your cash flow and ensure that your business is financially stable. In this section, we'll walk you through some of the key considerations and steps involved in setting up your payment methods.
Determine Your Payment Policies
The first step is to determine your payment policies. Decide whether you will charge clients on a per-project basis, an hourly rate, or a monthly retainer. Consider what type of payment schedule works best for you, such as upfront payment or payment in installments. Be clear about your payment policies and include them in your contract.
Choose Your Payment Methods
Next, choose your payment methods. Some popular payment methods for SEO agencies include credit cards, PayPal, bank transfers, and payment gateways like Stripe or Braintree. Consider the fees associated with each payment method and choose the ones that work best for your business and clients.
Automate Your Payment Collection
Finally, consider automating your payment collection to make the process easier for both you and your clients. You can use payment processing tools like PayPal or Stripe to collect payments automatically on a schedule. This can save you time and reduce the risk of missed payments.
You can set up payment methods for your SEO agency that are easy for your clients to use and efficient for your business to manage.
Prepare Your Invoice Templates
Invoicing is an essential part of managing your agency's finances. Make sure to include all necessary details, such as the client's name and address, the service provided, the amount due, and the due date.
To create invoice templates, you can also use tools like Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, or specialized invoicing software like FreshBooks, QuickBooks, or Xero. These tools come with pre-designed templates that you can customize according to your business needs.
To create an invoice template, follow these steps:
- Choose the software that you want to use to create your invoice template.
- Open a new document and select the invoice template.
- Customize the template by adding your business logo, name, address, and contact information.
- Add fields for the invoice number, date, payment due date, and a description of the services provided.
- Add the prices and quantities of the services provided and calculate the total.
- Add a section for taxes and any additional fees.
- Include payment methods accepted and payment terms.
- Save the template and use it for future invoices.
Remember to keep your invoice templates professional, clear, and easy to understand for your clients.
Some Common Misunderstandings About Best SEO Companies
When it comes to SEO companies, there are many common misunderstandings that can hold you back from success. In this section, we'll cover two of the most common misconceptions and provide insights on how to overcome them.
Misunderstanding #1: You Don’t Need SEO Experts to Earn the Title Best SEO Company
One of the most common misconceptions is that you don't need SEO experts to become the best SEO company. However, that could be further from the truth. SEO is a complex and ever-changing field that requires a deep understanding of technical SEO, content creation, link building, and more. Without SEO experts, it's challenging to stay up to date with the latest trends and changes in the industry, and your company's performance will suffer as a result.
For example, let's say a client wants to rank for a particular keyword, and your team isn't familiar with the latest strategies for that keyword. In that case, you'll struggle to create an effective plan to achieve the client's goals. However, if you have SEO experts who stay up to date with industry trends and changes, they can develop an effective plan that's more likely to succeed.
Misunderstanding #2: You Don’t Need 100% In-House SEO Team to Become the Best SEO Company
Another common misunderstanding is that you need a 100% in-house SEO team to become the best SEO company. While having an in-house team can be advantageous, it's not always necessary. Many successful SEO companies have a combination of in-house and remote workers or even outsource some of their work to trusted partners.
For example, suppose your company specializes in technical SEO, but you don't have anyone on your team who excels at content creation. In that case, you may outsource content creation to a trusted partner or freelancer to ensure that your clients receive high-quality content that helps them achieve their goals.
The key takeaway is that there's no one-size-fits-all approach to building the best SEO company. The most successful companies are those that are adaptable, willing to learn, and focused on delivering results for their clients.
Best Practices to Win & Retain Clients For Your SEO Company
Growing your SEO company's client base is crucial for its success. But winning new clients is just half the battle – you also need to keep them satisfied and retain their business in the long run. In this section, we'll go over some of the best practices for both winning and retaining clients.
Offer Free Site Audit
An effective way of attracting new clients is to offer a free site audit. This service can help you identify their website's SEO issues and offer solutions to fix them. Offering a free site audit can be a valuable selling point for potential clients, as they can see firsthand what you can do to improve their site's SEO performance.
Build Authority by Brand Marketing
Another way to win and retain clients is by building authority through brand marketing. This can include creating high-quality content, optimizing your social media channels, and building a strong online presence. By positioning your brand as an industry leader, potential clients will be more likely to choose your company over others.
Write Compelling Blog Posts
One of the most effective ways to attract and retain clients is through content marketing. By creating engaging and informative blog posts on relevant topics, you can showcase your expertise and provide value to potential clients. Writing regular blog posts also helps keep your website fresh and up-to-date, which can improve your SEO performance.
Start Weekly Newsletters
A weekly newsletter can keep your clients engaged and help you stay in touch with your clients. It can be a valuable tool for sharing industry news and updates, showcasing your recent work and successes, and providing tips and advice for improving SEO performance.
Publish Case Studies and Success Stories
Sharing case studies and success stories of clients is a great way to demonstrate your company's value and expertise. By showcasing your past successes, you can build trust and credibility with potential clients and increase the likelihood of winning their business.
Use AI tools for SEO & Content marketing, such as Scalenut
One of the best ways to win and retain clients for your SEO company is to use AI-powered tools for SEO and content marketing. For instance, Scalenut's AI-powered platform offers assistance with researching keywords, finding topics, and conducting a competitive analysis of top-ranking content. With Scalenut, you can also generate high-quality content using AI for both long-form and short-form content.
Moreover, the platform ensures that your content is optimized for maximum search engine visibility, helping you rank higher on search engine results pages. By leveraging Scalenut's AI-powered platform, you can save time and resources while delivering high-quality results for your clients.
Build your SEO Business With AI-powered SEO platform, Scalenut
If you're looking for an efficient and effective way to scale your SEO business, you should consider using Scalenut's AI-powered SEO platform. Scalenut is an all-in-one SEO and content marketing tool that uses AI to help you research keywords, analyze competitors, find topics, generate high-quality content, and optimize it for maximum search engine visibility.
Here are some features of Scalenut that make it an excellent choice for building your SEO business:
- Keyword Research: Scalenut uses AI to generate a comprehensive list of keywords that your target audience is searching for. This helps you to create content that resonates with your audience and ranks high in search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Topic Cluster Research: Scalenut helps you to find trending and popular topics in your niche, ensuring that your content remains fresh, relevant, and engaging.
- SEO Reports: Scalenut provides you with insights on your competitors' strategies and their top-performing content, which helps you to understand what works in your industry and how you can create content that's better than what's already out there.
- Long-form and Short-form AI-writer: Scalenut's AI-powered content generator allows you to create high-quality, SEO-optimized content quickly and easily. You can generate both long-form and short-form content, which saves you time and effort.
- Content Optimizer: Scalenut's optimization features ensure that your content is optimized for maximum search engine visibility. This includes optimizing your headlines, meta tags, and other on-page elements.
Using Scalenut's AI-powered SEO platform, you can streamline your SEO and content marketing efforts, allowing you to focus on growing your business and delivering value to your clients.
Questions About Running an SEO Business
Is running an SEO business profitable?
Running an SEO business can be very profitable if you have the right skills, tools, and strategies in place. As more and more businesses are moving online, the demand for SEO services is increasing. With the right marketing and sales tactics, you can build a steady stream of clients and scale your business. However, like any business, there are risks and challenges involved. It's essential to have a solid plan, budget, and cash flow management to ensure profitability.
How much does it cost to start an SEO business?
The cost of starting an SEO business can vary depending on your location, business model, and the services you offer. Some of the initial costs you'll need to consider include registering your business, setting up a website, buying equipment and software, and marketing expenses. You may also need to invest in ongoing training, certification, and professional development to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in the SEO industry. Generally, starting an SEO business can cost anywhere from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars.
How much does an SEO company make?
The amount of money an SEO company can make can vary widely depending on the size of the business, the services offered, and the client base. According to a survey by Ahrefs, the average monthly retainer fee for an SEO agency is between $501 and $1,000 per month. However, larger agencies with a more extensive client base can make much more than that. It's also essential to note that the profitability of an SEO business depends on several factors, including pricing strategy, overhead costs, and client retention rates.
Scalenut is an all-in-one AI-powered SEO and content marketing platform that helps marketers worldwide create high-quality and competitive content at scale. From research, planning, and outlines to ensuring quality, Scalenut helps you do your best at everything.
Elevate your content optimization game with us.
Sign up on Scalenut and climb up the search engine ladder today.