Starting Your Own SEO Business
Owning your own business is part of the American dream. If you find yourself with a knack for search engine optimization and the entrepreneurial spirit, opening an SEO agency could be just the thing you.
And while it’s a great market, getting started can be a little tricky, particularly if you haven’t ventured down the path of entrepreneurship before. But we’re here to help. Here’s a step-by-step guide for setting yourself up for success as an independent SEO agency.
Launch Your SEO Business in 5 Steps
1. Prepare for Success
You could just hang out your shingle and jump headfirst into your SEO business without any preparation, but that’s not usually the best approach. For one thing, you need to make sure you have enough saved or in other income to get you through those first months in business.
You may have clients fall into your lap, but for most people, it takes at least a few months to create a reputation, spread the word and start generating revenue. Make sure you’re financially prepared for this.
It’s also important to protect your personal assets, so it’s strongly advised that you create an LLC or sole proprietorship. Which is right for you will depend on your situation, but generally, LLCs require more money to form, but offer advantages in legal and asset protection.
2. Do Your Homework & Create a Plan
Starting a business is a significant investment in both time and money. To give yourself the best chance for success, you need to be knowledgeable about the market and the niche your SEO agency will fill.
First decide what SEO services you’ll be offering. Some people choose to run the gamut of SEO, offering complete services from page audits to on-going optimizations. Others prefer to play to their personal strengths and specialize in just one area of SEO like link building or keyword research, or by specializing in an industry (for example, insurance or casinos).
Next, decide how you’ll sell your services and for how much. Are you going to charge clients a one-time fee or an hourly rate? Many people like the idea of selling recurring services, in which the client pays a monthly or yearly fee and gets a specified amount of SEO services in return. Because search engine optimization is a never-ending task, this can be a great way to create reliable income streams.
The U.S. Small Business Administration has tons of resources to help you in these early stages of launching your business.
3. Build Your Website
You may have heard the saying “never trust a skinny chef.” For the same reason, your SEO agency needs to have strong web presence.
You need a name and a logo. Pick out brand colors and maintain consistency across all your marketing collateral. Buy a domain that’s relevant and memorable. It’s a good idea to set up a payment method and invoicing as well.
Build a strong website with well-written copy that’s optimized for search engines. How are you going to sell your business as the experts in SEO if your own site is buried on page four of search results?
4. Find Some Clients
Once you’re all set up, it’s time for the most important thing: finding clients. There are any number of ways you can do this, from cold-outreach phone calls to email marketing, connecting via social media or via freelance job boards like Fiverr and Upwork.
One of the best ways to find new clients is via referrals and inbound marketing, but this is often difficult to do when you’re just getting started. Don’t worry, it will pick up as you start to gain momentum.
In the meantime, you can jumpstart you efforts by taking advantage of guest posting, appearing on podcasts or participating in PR opportunities.
5. Scale Your SEO Business
Managing a single client is generally not too difficult, but as your SEO agency grows, it’s important to develop processes that let you adjust to a growing workload. The best way to do this is with evisio.
Evisio includes built-in project management functionality. With a few clicks, you can assign tasks, change user permissions and color code jobs by priority. This makes it easy for your entire team to collaborate, so you, your clients and everyone else working on a site can get real-time information about the status of any project.
On top of that, evisio streamlines the entire SEO process. Schedule regular checks for any site to identify things that are hurting search rankings and opportunities to capitalize on. Because it’s regularly updated according to changes to the Google algorithm and the latest best practices, it will help you climb rankings, and more importantly, stay there.
With evisio, tedious reports that used to take hours can compiled with lightning speed, giving you real, tangible proof of the work you’re doing and the results you’re generating. And that’s something every client loves.
Whether you have one client or 5000, evisio has all the tools and functionality you need for SEO in one convenient platform. But don’t take our word for it. Try it for yourself.
Contact us for a free trial of this powerful SEO tool and you’ll see why it’s a must-have for anyone working in search engine optimization.