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The internet and the digital landscape have opened up a universe of opportunities for businesses. It’s never been easier to connect with customers and clients all over the world.
However, with over 1.9 billion websites, getting noticed can be a tad challenging, and that’s where SEO agencies come in. Their job is to ensure clients’ websites rank higher on search engine results pages.
Starting your own SEO company can be a very lucrative endeavor. However, it is not without its challenges. If you’re looking to start your own SEO company, but don’t know how-to, we’re here to help.
In today’s blog post, we’ll be discussing the steps you need to take to start your own SEO agency. We’ll also cover some common mistakes that could derail the success of your SEO business and how to avoid them. So, if you are thinking about starting your own SEO business, read on.
What Does an SEO Company Do?
As mentioned earlier, an SEO agency is responsible for optimizing a website so that it ranks higher on search engine results pages. This process is called search engine optimization, or SEO for short.
There are many different factors that go into SEO, but the main goal is always to improve the visibility of a website. That way, it can attract more visitors from organic (i.e., unpaid) search results.
SEO agencies use a variety of techniques to achieve this goal, such as keyword research, link building, and content marketing.
Steps to Starting Your Own SEO Agency
With proper guidance, you can start a lucrative SEO agency and make a killing by helping websites reach their full potential. Follow the below steps to do just that.
Step 1: The Preliminaries
Before you can roll up your sleeves and get to work, you need to get the preliminaries down pat. These preliminaries include:
Digital Marketing Fundamentals
A strong understanding of digital marketing fundamentals is crucial for anyone looking to start an SEO agency. You need to know how SEO fits into the larger landscape of digital marketing and how it can be used to achieve business goals.
If you’re not already familiar with digital marketing, we recommend taking some time to learn the basics before starting your SEO company. Consider taking an online course or learning from other resources on the internet.
Learn Business Acumen
An SEO company is like any other business and requires a considerable degree of business acumen to get off the ground. This includes everything from understanding how to file taxes to drafting proposals and contracts.
If you don’t have a background in business, we recommend taking some time to learn the basics before starting your own SEO company. You can take a business course or an apprenticeship to learn the ropes of managing a business.
Prepare to Leave Your Job (If Applicable)
Many people who start their own businesses do so while still employed full-time. However, if you’re planning to become an SEO agent, it’s likely that you’ll need to quit your day job.
This can be a scary proposition, but it’s important to remember that you’ll be trading security for the opportunity to be your own boss.
If you’re not ready to make the jump, that’s okay. You can always start your SEO business on the side and transition to it full-time when you’re ready.
Step 2: Get a Lawyer and an Accountant
These professionals will help you navigate the legal and financial aspects of starting your own business. A lawyer can help you with everything from incorporating your business to drafting contracts. An accountant can help you with bookkeeping, tax filing, and other financial processes.
The lawyer will also help you determine your business structure, which can be:
An LLC: This is the most common business structure for small businesses. It offers liability protection and a couple of tax benefits.
A sole proprietorship: This is a simple business structure that can be used if you’re the sole owner of your business.
A partnership: This is a business structure for two or more owners.
Remember, since you’re starting out, you don’t need to worry about splurging on these professionals. Remember, the workload will be very minimal until your business picks up. Do your digging and find a good lawyer and accountant for your SEO business.
Step 3: Choose Your Niche
The next step is to choose your niche. This is the area of SEO that you’ll specialize in. For example, you might want to focus on eCommerce SEO, local SEO, or enterprise SEO.
Choosing a niche will help you focus your attention and resources on a specific area. It’ll also make it easier to market your services to the right audience.
Not sure what niche to choose? Start by thinking about the type of businesses you want to work with and the areas of SEO you’re most interested in.
Once you’ve narrowed down your options, do some research on each niche to see which one is the best fit for your business. If you still can’t decide; that’s okay! You can always change your niche later on down the road.
Step 4: Choose Your Business Name and Logo
Your business name is an important part of your brand identity. It’s what customers will see when they Google you, so it’s important to choose a name that’s easy to remember and reflects your business’s culture.
Aside from the business name, you also need to come up with a creative logo for your SEO company. You’ll use this on your website, business cards, and marketing materials.
You can use an online logo creator to design your logo, or you could hire a graphic designer to do the same.
Step 5: Create Your Business Website
A business website is a must for any company in the 21st century—regardless of size. Not only will it be a valuable asset for marketing your business, but it will also serve as a hub for all of your online activity.
You don’t need a large and overly complicated website. A simple website with a clear layout is all you need to connect with your clients. Be sure to include the following on your website:
You can create your business website using a platform like WordPress or Squarespace. If you need help, there are plenty of tutorials and guides online that can walk you through the process.
Alternatively, you can hire a web designer for a more professional website.
Step 6: Compile Your SEO Toolbox
As an SEO agency, you’ll need to have a few essential tools in your toolbox. These are the tools that you’ll use on a day-to-day basis to achieve your mandate. In fact, it’s safe to say an SEO company is only as good as its tools and its staff.
Some of the most important SEO tools include:
A keyword research tool: This will help you find the right keywords to target for your SEO campaigns.
A link-building tool: This will help you find opportunities to build links and improve your website’s authority.
An analytics tool: This will help you track your progress and see how your SEO efforts are paying off.
These are some of the tools you’ll need in your SEO toolbox. It’s never a good idea to skimp on your SEO tools. If the competition is using better tools, all your clients will run to them. You can even up the ante by getting a SEO content syndication tool.
Google has an incredible array of free SEO tools that are must-have tools for any SEO agency worth its name. You’ll also find a couple of paid tools that are definitely worth the investment.
The most important thing is to find the tools that work best for you and your team. Once you have your toolbox in order, you’ll be well on your way to starting a successful SEO agency.
Step 6: Create a Pricing Model
As an SEO agency, you need to have a pricing model that allows you to make a profit while still providing value to your clients.
There are a few different pricing models you can choose from, so it’s important to find one that works for your business. The three most common pricing models for SEO agencies are:
Hourly rate: This is the most common pricing model for SEO agencies. You simply charge your clients an hourly rate for the work you do.
Project-based: This pricing model is based on the scope of work for each project. You and your client will agree on a price before starting work on the project.
Retainer: This is a recurring monthly fee that your clients will pay you. This fee gives them access to your services for a certain number of hours each month.
You need to find a pricing model that works for you and your business. There’s no right or wrong answer here—it all depends on your unique circumstances. You can even create client-specific packages that match your clients’ specific needs.
Step 7: Create an SEO Proposal Template
An SEO proposal template is a document that outlines the SEO services you offer to potential clients. It’s important to have a proposal template that you can use as a starting point for each new client.
Your SEO proposal should include:
The introduction: This is a short statement to thank the client for picking your SEO agency. You can also use it to recap your previous engagement with the client.
The problem statement: This is where you outline the problem that the client is facing. This could be a decline in traffic, poor conversion rates, or something else entirely.
The solution: This is where you explain how your SEO services will solve the client’s problem. Be sure to include specifics here so the client knows what they’ll be getting for their money.
The pricing: This is where you outline your pricing model and the associated costs.
The timeline: This is where you outline the timeline for the project. Be sure to be realistic here so the client knows what to expect. Be sure to factor in any delays and worst-case scenarios.
The call to action: This is your final pitch to the client. Tell them what you need from them and how they can get started with your SEO services.
A well-written SEO proposal template will go a long way towards helping you win new clients. Be sure to tailor each proposal to the specific client so they know you’re taking their unique needs into account.
Step 8: Create a Contract Template
A contract is a legally binding document that outlines the terms of your relationship with a client. It’s important to have a contract template that you can use as a starting point for each new client. The lawyer will help you craft a contract that works for both you and your clients.
Step 9: Test Your Systems
A few trial runs are necessary before you start serving clients. This will help you work out any kinks in your system and ensure that everything is running smoothly. You can use dummy data to test your systems.
After the test, be sure to document the results. This will help you track your progress and identify any areas that need improvement. Once you’ve ironed out all the bugs, you’ll be ready to start finding staff for your SEO company.
Step 10: Hire Staff (If Necessary)
You may need to hire additional staff if your company grows. You can start by hiring freelancers or contractors to help with specific projects. If you find that you need more full-time employees, you can start the hiring process.
Step 11: Launch Your SEO Business
After you’ve completed all the necessary steps, it’s time to launch your SEO business. Be sure to let your clients know that you’re open for business and ready to help them grow their online presence.
Ensure you actively promote your business to reach the right audience. There are plenty of marketing channels to do so. Find one that works for you.
Starting an SEO Agency Simplified
Starting an SEO agency is a great way to help businesses improve their online visibility. But it’s not a decision to be made lightly. There are a lot of steps involved in starting an SEO business. But if you’re up for the challenge, the rewards can be great.
By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be well on your way to starting a successful SEO agency. Just remember to take things one step at a time and to seek out help when you need it.
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