Starting an enterprise in today’s highly competitive market is no small task. A keen understanding of the ins and outs of the industry one wants to enter into is required to get a budding business up and running. The difficulty doubles when starting a digital business like an SEO agency from scratch.
SEO is a dynamic and broad domain encompassing a wide range of digital marketing aspects. That’s why an in-depth knowledge of the SEO industry along with a detailed business plan is a must before starting an SEO agency.
If you are planning to start an SEO agency and take advantage of the profitability the industry offers, you are at the right place. We have created this ultimate guide to starting an SEO agency that you can refer to and get your business off the ground. We have tried to cover everything necessary to get an SEO agency up and running in this guide. Read till the end to find proven pieces of advice that can help you successfully start and sustain an SEO agency.
What is SEO business?
An SEO business helps businesses with a digital presence comply with the search engine algorithms by optimizing their websites, thereby enabling them to rank higher on search results. A high search engine ranking directly translates to increased traffic which leads to increased conversions. And so, an SEO business helps businesses get more customers and boost their sales.
As mentioned earlier, a lot of elements come under the broad SEO canopy. SEO business is tasked with implementing a majority of these elements for its clients. Since the output of the services provided by an SEO agency is very lucrative and beneficial for clients, the payoff is also high. And high costs mean high expectations, which is why starting an SEO business can be a tough nut to crack.
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Different types of SEO services
As already mentioned, SEO contains a host of different services. Here we will discuss four categories of SEO services. Each category requires other internal services to produce adequate results and contribute to a website’s overall SEO success.
1. Local SEO – This SEO category, as the name suggests, relates to the SEO efforts that can help a business gain popularity in the local market. By using smart local SEO tactics like keyword-driven content creation and Google Maps profile optimization, a local business can attract prospects and stay ahead of the competition.
2. National/Global SEO – Unlike local SEO, this SEO category targets a broader audience. A lot of keyword research goes into making the content on a website discoverable by national and international audiences. Additionally, an in-depth understanding of the nature and preferences of the various global audiences is necessary to make the content user-friendly.
3. On-page SEO services – On-page SEO services involve optimizing the various aspects of a website to make it user-friendly as well as search engine friendly. It includes content writing, URL structuring, and HTML tags optimization among many other aspects. It also includes site load error checking and meta tags, title, and description optimization.
4. Link building – Link building is an off-page SEO tactic. It aims to help a business portray itself as an authoritative and reliable source to the algorithms by getting relevant links from reputable websites to point toward it. It’s a surefire way of getting a ranking boost and attracting more traffic.
How can you start an SEO agency?
Now that you know the basics about the different SEO services categories, let’s discuss the steps you should take to start a successful SEO agency.
1. Identify your target customers – The first step in starting any business is to know the target audience you are planning to serve. Your modus operandi will be determined based on who you choose as your ideal customer type. Only after defining your buyer personas, you can start setting up the infrastructure to provide those SEO services. The quantity and type of human and technological resources you will require prior to starting your business will depend on this step.
2. Build a solid value proposition – What unique value will you bring to the market? Working through this question is an important early step in starting an SEO agency. You must have an innovative value proposition to stand out among your competitors and attract qualified leads and conversions. Numerous SEO agencies are operating in the market offering similar services. It’s the unique customer experiences, support, and additional value they provide that will set you apart.
3. How to find clients – You have set up your SEO business and it’s operational. So now what? Now comes the most essential part of getting your business off the blocks. Finding clients. Extensive and strategic marketing is a must for any budding business and SEO is no different. You must invest in inbound and outbound marketing campaigns designed to draw in your target customers. Build your brand image and story and portray yourself in the most attractive and authentic light to bring customers in. Design a portfolio of your past achievements and demonstrate the quality you bring to the table.
4. Start building a team – While your marketing efforts could pay off and you could acquire some new clients, if you don’t have a good enough team, you won’t be able to fulfill your newly acquired clients’ expectations. You need a brand reputation boost when starting your business. If your team fails to serve the first crop of customers you get, your brand recognition will drop and your reputation will take a hit. And so, going on a talent hunt and building a team around the values of your brand is an important step in starting a new SEO business.
5. Get good SEO tools – However skilled your team is, it will require advanced SEO tools to automate tasks and bring efficiency to your various SEO processes. Here are some common SEO tools you can choose from.
• SEMRUSH – SEMRUSH is a comprehensive SEO tool helping with multiple SEO parameters like keyword research, content ideation, site audits, SERP position updates, and more. It can also help you find advertising opportunities.
• Ahrefs – Ahrefs is another valuable SEO tool that can perform complex keyword research for national and international markets. It also helps with link-building and off-page and on-page SEO.
• SE Ranking – SE Ranking is another all-in-one SEO tool that stands out due to its ease of use. You can track the performance of your keywords on search engines in different regions in real-time. You can also manage your backlinks from a single location. This tool will help you find and address any issues with the various pages of your website.
• Agency Analytics – As the name suggests, this tool is tailor-made for SEO agencies. It allows the integration of a host of tools to enable SEO agencies to provide detailed and intuitive reports to their clients. You can track your clients’ SEO campaigns and demonstrate the value you are delivering for their businesses.
• Buzzsumo – Buzzsumo is a cloud-based solution that keeps you posted on what’s buzzing in the digital business world. You can know the keywords that are attracting the most attention as well as the content types people are browsing. It can be a great tool if you want in-depth information on the latest trends on the net.
• Copymatic – Copymatic is an AI-powered content writing tool. If you are starting an SEO agency, you’ll be expected to deliver SEO-friendly content for your clients. This tool can help you generate unlimited content pieces automatically. All you need to do is input details of the content you require.
6. Get project management and communication tools – Now that we have discussed the SEO tools you’ll require to serve your customers efficiently, let’s talk about some project management and communication tools. You’ll need these tools to manage your workflow. A single SEO campaign undergoes numerous execution and operation processes. To properly time all these processes, high-end management solutions become necessary. Here are some tools you can get for your agency –
• ASANA – ASANA is a workflow management SaaS tool that helps teams work collaboratively. Tasks can be assigned and tracked from a single location on this tool, saving you from the hassles of micromanaging everything. Okay
• Basecamp – Basecamp is an intuitive communication and project management tool. Your team can seamlessly communicate on this tool using features like to-do lists, file sharing, and group chat.
• ClickUp – ClickUp is a one-stop project management tool that has unique features like in-built docs, a real-time dashboard, intuitive whiteboards, and a goals viewer and tracker. Your team can stay on the same page with updates and manage work with ease and accuracy using this tool.
• Slack – Slack is a valuable communication tool that your team can use to ensure uninterrupted communication and avoid discrepancies. You can create customized workflows with the easy, no-code solution offered by this app.
How to grow your SEO agency?
You have successfully started your SEO agency and it’s operational. Those are some major hurdles behind you. Now the challenge is to constantly maintain an upward trajectory in terms of growth. Here are some ways you can ensure your agency keeps experiencing steady growth.
1. Focus on regular sales – It’s obvious that generating more sales is a failsafe way to grow your agency. Focus on acquiring more business and achieving your sales goal if you want to scale up successfully. Here are two ways you can do this –
• Streamline your sales process – Make sure that your leads are interacting with your sales content and resources at the right time and in the right manner. This can be achieved by streamlining your sales process.
• Build your sales pipeline – Build a sales funnel that strategically drives leads to the various sales processes and nurtures them toward conversion.
2. Improve customer retention – Focusing on sales is not going to be enough if your customers only sign on for one-time deals. Having long-term customers that regularly give you business is key to your growth. Here’s how you can boost customer intention rates –
• Improve your service quality – It’s obvious that if you provide better service quality than your competitors, your customers will never leave you. Take measures to upgrade your service quality regularly to ensure your customers stay loyal to you.
• Communicate with your customers regularly – Create content that engages your existing customers. Keep delivering value even after your first deal may be over. Show your past customers why they should work with you again.
• Take regular feedback from your customers – Customer feedback serves as an effective base for your improvement efforts. Ask customers to leave feedback so you can continue serving them with your improved services.
3. Try to upsell and cross-sell – Upselling means selling a higher-priced product or service to a customer than the one they intend to buy. Cross-selling on the other hand is selling additional, complementary products or services along with the ones they intend to buy. Using strategic upselling and cross-selling tactics, you can significantly increase your bottom line. Design SEO service packages in such a way that they facilitate upselling and cross-selling.
4. Hire white label SEO services – The best way to ensure that your company continuously expands and prospers is to work with a white label digital marketing company. By availing of white label SEO services, you can grow despite the changing SEO norms and evolving customer requirements. Let’s look at some benefits of white label SEO services –
• Save time and money – By opting for white label SEO services, you can save time and money in strategizing for customer projects and marketing campaigns. You can also save precious resources by not having to train your employees in every new SEO tactic.
• Leverage a team of highly skilled people – White label SEO companies have the most skilled workforces that you can find. A team of proficient SEO professionals will work for you and serve your customers on your behalf.
• Save infrastructure costs – No need to set up an SEO infrastructure from scratch when you take advantage of white label SEO services. You can utilize the high-end tools your white label partner already has and save costs.
• Focus on growing your business – Since the client servicing area of your business will be handled by your white label SEO team, you can shift your attention to growing and marketing your business.
• Focus on sales – To truly focus on sales, you need to have a skilled workforce that can independently manage the delivery of day-to-day tasks, which is exactly what white label SEO services offer. You can focus on acquiring customers and meeting your sales goals with confidence by partnering with white label SEO support.
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Follow the points mentioned in this guide to start and grow your very own SEO business. If you feel that breaking into the SEO world is a daunting undertaking after reading this guide, you should devote significant time and consideration to the last point mentioned above. Start working with a white label digital marketing company like Dintellects and grow your SEO agency on autopilot. Rely on our years of experience and unmatched human and technological resources to build your SEO agency to last. Get in touch with us today to know more.
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