93 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine and 47 percent of those people click on one of the first three listings.
That’s a ball park figure… but you are missing out on if you aren’t doing SEO right.
SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization and deals with the process of boosting a web page’s search engine rankings to increase search visibility.
SEO is an essential aspect of your overall marketing strategy as a business owner.
Smart business owners and entrepreneurs know this and invest a lot into hiring the best SEO agencies.
Generally, there are two types of SEO: Black Hat and White Hat.
White Hat SEO involves legitimate strategies, hard work and using actual data to help improve your search rankings.
On the hand, Black Hat SEO deals with shady tricks that typically provide short term benefits but are risky over the long term.
SEO can get a little complex for you to address on your own especially if you’re an internet marketing newbie.
People who don’t know SEO yet, need to engage the services of an expert SEO Agency.
What’s An SEO Agency & How Can They Help You?
An SEO Agency offers search engine optimization (SEO) services to businesses to help them improve their search visibility.
They make significant search engine friendly changes to your website and content for you to get more search visibility and higher rankings.
Once your site is properly optimized, chances are more likely it would end up ranking on Google for your targeted keywords relevant to your business.
So, you need SEO Agencies because they are experts in the game, trust me.
Most of these agencies have SEO professionals on staff who have spent countless years learning and developing surefire strategies and techniques to bring your site more organic traffic through search engines.
So, you are probably interested in how to do seo for clients, which is why you are reading this.
Let’s look at how setting up an SEO Agency works and the variety of services which you could provide.
How To Do SEO For Clients – Setting Up Your SEO Agency
There are some key steps to follow when starting up an SEO agency.
It is important for you to follow these steps in order to avoid the same mistakes lots of SEOs make while building up their brand.
- Focus on a particular niche and geographical area
There are tons of SEO agencies in the market which makes the market crowded and competitive.
You don’t want to start up your SEO Agency and get lost in the crowd immediately, do you?
How do you avoid this?
By specializing and picking a particular niche… and if possible, dealing with businesses from a particular geographical area or region closest to you.
This puts you in a less competitive ocean and you can laser focus your marketing efforts to get the right audience easily.
For instance, you can decide to work with clients that own fashion outfits in Chicago or Weight loss bloggers in Paris.
I started with Automotive SEO in Philadelphia.
I hope you get the idea here.
Also, take note that whatever niche you pick, you have to be knowledgeable about the niche, and the businesses in that niche.
You don’t have to be some sort of expert in it, but it really makes a difference if you understand the basics.
That way, you will better understand your clients businesses and apply suitable SEO strategies.
When it comes to focusing on businesses in a particular area, there are many positives to this.
One is that it might be easier to close the sale if your client can see you face-to-face.
They would be more convinced of your past results and confident of your services if you can pitch to them in person instead of virtually or over the phone.
For some reason… people are more likely to trust you in person.
The only negative to this is that you would be limiting your ability to pitch to a wider pool of clients.
- What Services Are You Offering?
SEO is a wide niche but it might not seem so to you.
There are various areas you can specialize in for your SEO Agency.
You can decide to specialize in on-page SEO, off-page SEO, link building, site audits or technical SEO.
My personal favorite is link building, but you get the idea.
You can also combine this with some sister-niche services like website design, paid advertising, and content writing so the packages you offer would be complete and you can make more money by upselling.
- Branding & Ideation
This is a very strategic part of the process, where you need to get your creative juices flowing.
Your brand has to be unique to stand out from the crowd.
Stop. Read that again…
You don’t have to be like everyone else.
If you pick a name that’s highly competitive, oops!
Your website might not immediately pop up when your client searches for it.
If you’ve decided on the brand name already… and you’re sticking with it, then take a step further and see if the domain and social media name isn’t already taken.
If they are all still available, congrats!
Next up, you’ll need to create your brand aesthetics.
It’s no longer news that how your website looks speaks volumes about you.
It can also reflect how you’ll handle clients projects so you need to bring out the best even if it means investing a little in outsourcing… your design needs to be very professional… so if you can’t handle it, pay someone who can.
- Be Found, Online
Having a stellar website that’s search engine visible is paramount for any SEO agency.
You can’t simply give what you don’t have.
If you’re still struggling with getting seen on the internet when your brand name is searched, then what are the chances that you will deliver on your clients SEO projects?
Build the online presence for your SEO agency along with your social media platforms.
Make sure your website design is clean, alluring and pre-sells your services for you.
Having a website that converts from the traffic it gets is more important than a site that gets tons of traffic but doesn’t convert!
Setup your website’s SEO and get found on the web.
You need to claim your business profiles and include your local physical address.Then, set up your agency profile on relevant social media platforms where your target customers are hanging out.
You should have Facebook, Twitter LinkedIn and Instagram channels all set up and laced with your brands visual aesthetics.
Youtube is also a good idea, even if you don’t plan to work with video.
- Get Your Legal Affairs In Order
Next, you need to make sure you have got all the legal details all in place.
If you’re gonna be based in the US, then you’ll need to report your income to the IRS if you operate as a sole proprietor.
If you want to operate as a Limited Liability Company, then you’ll have to fill in some extra paper work as an SEO agency owner for legal protection.
I don’t pretend to be an attorney or an accountant… so be sure to do your homework or consult someone regarding establishing your company both locally and with the government.
You’ll also need to prepare invoices at some point, either digital or physical, to give to your clients after any transaction.
Get that in check!
- Set up Pricing & Payment Channels
A lot of agencies use PayPal as their most preferred payment channel and you can stick to that also.
It’s easy to send and receive money with them, but you can also accept credit cards if it’s preferable by you or the client.
How much should you be charging for each of your services?
You can decide to establish your pricing structure as hourly, fixed or recurring.
I LOVE RECURRING!!!
You should take a lot into consideration when determining pricing structure.
It’s easier to rank in some locations and niches than others and you’ll want your prices to reflect that.
Basically, you could set up fixed pricing and let your clients be aware of the expectations in clear terms, or you can charge based on results.
You have plenty of flexibility on this.
- Setup Your SEO Proposal & Contract Templates
Your proposal should be well-written and flawless to keep converting and bringing in clients.
It should contain brief information about your SEO agency, your SEO process, the other service(s) you’re providing, project timelines and cost requirements from client.
Having an SEO template which you can edit for any type of customer would work best.
Also, while sending the SEO proposal you can accompany it with a contract for your clients to sign.
It lifts you a notch higher on the professionalism ladder and you’ll get protected if any disagreement ensues at the latter end.
Yes… you will have disagreements with clients… so make sure you protect yourself in writing.
Get a good lawyer! If you can’t afford one, draft one based on something online. Google SEO contracts or similar to find something to work with.
- Get Your SEO Tools
What’s an SEO professional without an SEO tool.
You need tools for keyword research, competitor research, link building and many more tasks in SEO.
Most SEO tools have free versions but there’s a limit to their performance and functionality and that’s the catch.
You need to invest in SEO tools that bring results.
I use all of them… often!
How To Get Ideal Clients for Your SEO Agency Without Breaking The Bank on Ads.
Getting clients is the key to your success as an SEO agency.
With no clients, you make no money and your business won’t be in business long with no revenue.
It shouldn’t be that hard, if you follow these tips I’m about to reveal to you.
#1: Attend Niche-Related Events.
Your ideal customers hang out together at some events. Find out about those events and go there!
If your niche is something like… diabetes, then look for events centered around diabetes and take your game there.
You can find such events on social media or event listing websites like Eventbrite.
Make sure you don’t look or dress crappy.
You’re the face of your brand so wear nice clothes and be sharp.
Smile a lot, build relationships and network with a lot of people as well.
Don’t expect business to fall in your lap… you must earn it!
Focus on providing value to each business owner you meet and they’ll be able to trust you with their business more easily.
#2: Engage in Relevant Online Communities.
Like I said earlier, the key to getting tons of customers who are looking for you to provide them with your services is to find them wherever they are hanging out and offer value.
Fish where the fish are… and use good bait!
There are online communities for niche professionals and you need to be in their midst.
Don’t go there and start throwing sales pitches back and forth and dropping links all over the place.
No one would notice you and you’ll get outright banned in return.
Here is how to do community engagement the right way.
Make sure your profile is well optimized and sells your service in seconds.
Introduce yourself in these groups and engage others.
Write value packed and engaging posts and also drop insightful comments on the posts of others.
If you do this consistently, it won’t be long before you get noticed as an authority or expert and you start getting those DMs that would make you smile all the way to the bank.
You can build your brand name and reputation by participating in relevant online communities so as to establish yourself as an authority in the SEO field.
Online Communities to participate in to boost your brand name and reputation include Facebook groups, Quora, Niche LinkedIn Pulse posts, LinkedIn Groups, SearchEngineJournal, SearchEngineLand, MOZ, SEOChat, DigitalPoint Forums, eConsultancy.
#3: Contribute Actively on Q&A Forums
You can get customers being an active contributor on forums such as
- Google Product Forums
- Yahoo Answers
- Any Other Active Forum
Once you setup your profile on any of these forums, you can start contributing by offering thoughtful answers to questions relating to SEO.
Share some strategies and experiences and let people learn from you.
They will perceive you as an expert if your answers are consistently valuable.
#4: Write Guest Posts on Authority Niche Sites
Guest blogging, if done right is a great way to gain brand awareness, backlinks, traffic and sales.
You can secure clients for your SEO services by publishing guest posts on higher authority sites in your niche.
If you’re looking for more local businesses to offer SEO services to, you should also consider guest posting on localized blogs focused on a particular city or country.
#5: Drop Valuable Comments on Blogs
You can get traffic and then convert those visitors into sales by commenting on other blogs.
For this strategy to work, you need to make sure you are dropping useful comments on relevant authority blogs.
The content you are providing, again, needs to be high quality, sound like it is written by a niche expert and then you can attract the kind of clients you want to sell your services to.
The target blogs should also have a good amount of traffic and active comment section (seen from other similar posts).
Once these characteristics have been satisfied, then you can go ahead to start dropping comments.
Don’t try to be salesy or cheesy and also, avoid being spammy.
You should always build trust by dropping insightful, value-packed and data-driven comments so people can trust you and reach out to you afterwards… then you can sell to them.
You should compile a list of favorite authority sites to comment on and set up alerts so you will be notified when the blog has a new post up.
Also, you should strive to be first person to comment so you can gain maximum exposure before the spam brethren come around…lol.
#6: Have a Content Marketing Strategy to Attract Potential Clients
Getting clients gets much easier if you have a strong content marketing strategy in place.
Create outstanding content around keywords that talk about the needs of your potential clients and rank them on Google.
You’ll get traffic, more leads and sales from doing this consistently.
You can experiment with varieties of content formats like blog posts, ebooks, videos, infographics and even podcasts.
Once you have a ton of value-packed resources and content, clients will be able to trust you more since you’ve proven you know your stuff.
#7: Spend To Get SEO Clients
If you have money to invest in your business, then you should try doing Paid Ads to get SEO clients too.
It’s easier and results come in quicker compared to other organic strategies of getting SEO clients to hire you.
As a beginner, you should try out cost effective paid ads campaigns like PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaigns on Google & Bing or Facebook Ads.
Optimize your ads effectively so you can make the most out of your advertising budget.
If you’re new and your SEO agency is short of clients, you should start applying these tips and strategies to land more clients than you will be able to handle.
If you’re services are great, you’ll have no problem getting referrals when you ask for one.
Make sure you ask every SATISFIED customer for a referral.
You can leverage their network of friends and business associates, and who knows… you could be one client away from your big break.
Another thing to take note of is that once you get referrals, make sure you achieve results for them that you may have guaranteed.
Don’t wreck the reputation of the client that linked you up with his friend.
Also, you could incentivize the referral process by giving out freebies or maybe discounts to your clients for successfully referring you to a new customer.
This will open your agency up to a bigger network of clients and you can scale from there.
- Pitching & Closing Your SEO Prospects
Pitching is extremely important.
A foolproof approach to pitching SEO services to prospects is to put yourself in the prospect’s position.
What specific SEO problem is their business facing?
How can you tackle it?
Be different while saying this.
Brag about your previous successful campaings and throw in the numbers, but do it with class.
Showcase case studies of clients with similar problems and how you tackled them.
Once you’ve pitched your SEO services to your prospect, then you have to close the sale!
Your sales closing techniques need to be current and try as much as possible to avoid sounding cheesy.
Let your prospects be confident in you and your services.
Show them that you care about their business and can achieve their desired results.
- Outsource, If You Can’t Deliver On Your Own.
If you have more jobs than you can handle at any moment or you encounter a job you can’t handle, then it is safer to outsource your SEO jobs to other SEO agencies.
Not just any SEO agency but a trusted, white hat SEO agency.
814 Interactive is always ready to take on more work, and will do a great job for you.
Leave them to handle the SEO issues and just mark up what they are charging.
It’s the same concept of Retail/Wholesale.
When you find an agency that you can offer a lot of business to, you will get a much better rate!
- Keep Learning & Developing Your Skills
You can never outgrow learning.
Knowledge and Information evolves and trends change.
Make sure you stay up to date on recent trends in the SEO industry.
Follow SEO experts, read SEO blogs, network at SEO events and consume tons of relevant SEO resources.
If you have a little budget to play with, you can invest in premium SEO courses or pay a coach who has the insight and experience to teach you modern SEO strategies.
Remember, learning is paramount if you want your agency to stay relevant and ahead of the stiff competition.
How To Get SEO Results for Clients With This Service.
Now that we’ve seen how to get an SEO agency up and running from scratch, let’s talk in-depth on the services of an SEO Agency and how it can benefit the client.
Website Audit, Evaluation & Analysis
This is the beginning step for many SEO agencies out there which is great.
A site audit is critical and would reveal your SEO strengths and weaknesses at the same time, so you can build on from there.
This includes evaluating the site’s architecture and content.
Doing some niche research would also be conducted to take a look at the target audience and the competition so you can make informed decisions in creating a perfect SEO strategy that suits their business.
Ensure the site structure and architecture meets Google’s demand.
Here are some other things to take note of in SEO analysis.
- HTTP or HTTPS
Google has mentioned that secure websites would be given ranking preference in the search results so you need to have a secured site with “HTTPS” not “HTTP” for your business.
It doesn’t even matter if you take credit card payments online or not anymore.
- Check Previous Traffic Analytics
You should always look for analytics and reporting data in where the websites traffic, leads and sales are all coming from.
If there is not any information yet, offer to install Google analytics on their website for free.
- Check Robots.txt
Robots.txt file is used to tell search engine web crawlers not to crawl and index specific pages on a website.
- Check for Site errors
There might be some error occurrence on the website which the client might not know of.
They include duplicate page content, duplicate title tags, missing title tags, 404 errors and crawlers blocked by Robots.txt.
Presence of these errors send signals to search engines that the site is not trustworthy and this affects the overall search rankings negatively.
- Indexed status
You need to check pages that have already been crawled and indexed pages by the search crawlers.
The indexed pages are the ones that show up in search results and you need to make sure the appropriate pages are the ones indexed.
- Check The XML Sitemap
XML sitemaps is a list of web pages you want the search engine crawlers to index.
It does the direct opposite of the robots.txt file.
- Page speed
As an SEO, you need to understand that the loading speed of a website plays a large role in how well a site ranks in the search engine.
So you need to optimize the speed of a site and reduce the image sizes.
- Check Content & Meta elements
You should check each piece of content to ensure it has been properly optimized for search.
You’ll need to check all meta elements of web pages like title tags, meta descriptions and content to ensure they don’t affect your search engine rankings, click-through-rate and organic traffic.
- Check Backlinks Profile
Another thing you’ll need to analyze is the link profile of the site you’re about to work on.
Some sites may have acquired bad, spammy links in the past which would affect it’s authority and search rankings.
If you notice a lot of low quality, spammy links, you should remove them and disavow the ones that cannot be removed.
The link profile of the site you’re working on has to be healthy so your SEO efforts won’t be in vain.
Creating a Tailored SEO Strategy & Goals
After a complete evaluation of the website, the next service for an SEO agency is to develop a well-crafted SEO strategy for the business.
This depends largely on the business industry and would be definitely tied to the clients overall business goals, short term and long term.
This includes building on the site audit and industry research conducted in service 1 and identifying relevant keywords that would drive the required audience to the website, and also implementation of white hat strategies to rank above the competition in little time.
Keyword Research is used to dig out and identify relevant keywords that would bring in the required traffic for a client and create content around them.
You should target low competition keywords with a good amount of search volume so it will be easier and faster for the client’s site to rank for them, especially if it’s a new site.
Your SEO tools would come in handy in this step.
Implementation of Search Engine Optimization with SEO Industry Tools
As an SEO agency, you have to rely on tools for implementing and tracking all your SEO campaigns.
It’s a no-brainer.
You need to have these tools in place which would give you accurate data and you can serve your clients well and turn them to repeat clients.
Once you’ve got your SEO tools and platforms in check, then you can start executing your SEO campaigns according to your strategy.
This includes (but not limited to):
Optimizing website content, using relevant targeted keywords.
Content is King! Publishing high quality content is what keeps your visitors hooked to your website and makes them keep coming back for more.
Optimizing content for the web is what you need to do to increase organic traffic which brings in sales.
With On-Page Optimization, you should:
- Create high quality content around low competitive keywords (low hanging fruit) and sprinkle relevant related keywords in with it.
- Include keywords in the titles (at the beginning preferably) to help Google notice and rank your pages accordingly.
- Include optimized images (with relevant keywords in alt tags), videos and other relevant content format to get more visitors.
Off-page SEO is as important as On page SEO.
While doing off-page search engine optimization, you should:
- Use local SEO strategies to increase your business position for local keywords in the search results.
- Submit press releases to relevant directories and let them know about your agency and services.
- Create guest posts on authority blogs in same or similar industry and let them link to your site.
- Add your website to relevant directory listings and update the information on pre-existing ones if any.
At times, the things affecting your site’s SEO might not be on the surface but on the back end.
You can make a few tweaks to optimize your site code and structure for more rankings by doing technical SEO right.
Here are some things to optimize for technical SEO:
- Set your site structure and navigation so visitors can find what resources they want easily by placing links in the appropriate places.
- Check the site code and remove excess code so the site can run smoothly and faster. Remember, site speed is a major ranking factor.
- Remove page errors that search crawlers encounter when crawling your site.
- Include XML sitemaps so Google’s crawler can visit your pages easier and quicker.
- Place internal links so visitors can navigate to other relevant pages in your site easily and crawlers can understand the interconnection between your site pages.
Re-evaluation of SEO Strategy
As times are evolving, Google is also revising their algorithms to make search engine experiences seamless for the end user.
What worked last year may not work this year.
So, you have to keep revisiting your SEO strategy and make changes for it to be necessary, compliant to Google’s update and maintain your search rankings.
SEO is an ongoing and continuous process.
You’ve got to keep revisiting and optimizing to ensure you maintain your search visibility and boost search rankings.
Continuous SEO services revolve around creating search engine optimized content, implementing link building tactics, in-depth keyword research, and competitor research.
- You need to keep tracking, testing, tweaking and repeat to get desired results.
- Observe rankings, traffic, lead generation and sales over a regular period of time.
- Constantly reconfigure your SEO plan using the received from the above steps until you get much better results.
Have questions? Feel free to contact me adam [at] diy.agency