AMA: Client SEO -

Firstly OP this is brilliant, you sort of mentioned it before but do you have a general rule (ratio or percentage) for time management when dealing with clients and actually doing the seo for them? I've sometimes found myself spending nearly as much time meeting and discussing things with them as doing the work and that can make my theoretical hourly rate radically different.

On the same note how do you tell if a client is going to be a potential drain or pain in the arse?

Why limit yourself to Denmark?, I live in England, however I have clients from all over the world. If you are going to go down the website route, just get a .com domain rather than a local domain and you are good to go.

Only thing with international clients can be time difference and some peoples ability to forget we actually need sleep..
 
Thanks man, your reply has shown me the big picture! I wish for you to be even more successful in your business =)

Cheers

Great thread, but I have a few questions:

1. SEO has always been something that I have wanted to learn and perfect, but it's something that I've never actually done. But how do I start out, and get the actual experience. I mean, I can't start an SEO service without having any previous experiences - am I right?

2. I live in Denmark, a country with 5 million citizens, which is a big limitation. Should I sell my service to Danes or to anyone in the world?

1. I started providing client services before ever having done any SEO work. Start learning the basics, Quicksprout has 2 long SEO guides (one is called advanced and I think the other is 101)

2. No reason to limit yourself. You can service any country, as long as you either speak the language or hire a translator.

Firstly OP this is brilliant, you sort of mentioned it before but do you have a general rule (ratio or percentage) for time management when dealing with clients and actually doing the seo for them? I've sometimes found myself spending nearly as much time meeting and discussing things with them as doing the work and that can make my theoretical hourly rate radically different.

On the same note how do you tell if a client is going to be a potential drain or pain in the arse?

Only thing with international clients can be time difference and some peoples ability to forget we actually need sleep..

At the end of the day, you need to get results. Otherwise, you won't have any clients.

If it takes you 10 hours a month or 100 hours a month to get results, that's the minimum you should put in.

Until you hire people there's no financial loss for your time. Being paid $500/month and working 50 hours a month or 100 hours a month means you still get paid the same. But, if you pay someone for 20 hours or 50 hours, that's less for you.

Just make expectations clear. They can either talk to you for 3 hours a week or you can put that time into their campaign.

You'll learn over time what is or is not a good client. If they fail to understand basic concepts (ie: want instant results, want to pay very little, etc. 99% of the time they'll be a bad client).

International work is still about expectations. Tell them you're not willing to talk to them at 1am your time unless you're also able to schedule meetings at 1am there time. Give time blocks when you'd be able to communicate directly (call) as well as make it clear that you check your emails often.
 
Thank you for sharing so much mate! One of the most informative threads on BHW.

Don't you think portraying yourself as an SEO Agency will make the clients "trust" you more? It sounds more authoritative? What do you think?
 
Thank you for sharing so much mate! One of the most informative threads on BHW.

Don't you think portraying yourself as an SEO Agency will make the clients "trust" you more? It sounds more authoritative? What do you think?

The more personal you can get with a client the more they'll trust you and it'll go from a work relationship to a partnership.

I don't call myself an agency, I'll use verbiage like "We" and "Us" because I do have a couple people that work for me but I do 90% of the work so it's mostly "How I can help you", "I want to grow your business", etc. it's more authentic to offer someone services in a personal manner than a B2B manner.

I went out of my way to specifically not brand anything as an agency and keep it all under my name. They're hiring "Joe Smith" rather than "Some Company LLC".

It's also up to you and the kind of voice / message you want to have.

I go for authenticity and being the small operation that gets big results.
 
Agreed, I get many clients because of the personal touch. You also have to remember many people have had some very bad experiences with large scale seo agencies. I used to work for one and can vouch that most of them are all about fancy reports and almost zero actual work.
 
Agreed, I get many clients because of the personal touch. You also have to remember many people have had some very bad experiences with large scale seo agencies. I used to work for one and can vouch that most of them are all about fancy reports and almost zero actual work.

Agencies often use the 2-in-1-out method. All they care about is retaining at least 50% so they keep growing.

The larger a business gets, the lower the quality.
 
It's unfortunate that many people who are targeted by these companies don't have much SEO knowledge, so they are easily led astray with flashy websites and fancy reports. I often get new clients who provide previous work reports and I am shocked by the level of incompetence, especially when you factor in the amount of money, some of these "pro" companies are charging.

Agencies often use the 2-in-1-out method. All they care about is retaining at least 50% so they keep growing.

The larger a business gets, the lower the quality.
 
Reread this entire thread.

It's about a year old now. Are there any answers you gave before that youve changed your opinion on
 
I don't know if op is answering questions again but i'll shoot it: what is the best way to rank a new site with a low budget.
 
Hi there! How do you start with the SEO once the new website is created? What are the first steps for link building? Do you first focus on social media or guest posts, content, or what? Thank you!
 
Reread this entire thread.

It's about a year old now. Are there any answers you gave before that youve changed your opinion on

Plenty of things im sure. Just not enough time to go line item by line item right now.

I don't know if op is answering questions again but i'll shoot it: what is the best way to rank a new site with a low budget.

A client site? Define a low budget. I consider anything under $1500 to be a low budget. If you're dealing with client SEO, don't take on budgets lower than what you know what to do with.

Hi there! How do you start with the SEO once the new website is created? What are the first steps for link building? Do you first focus on social media or guest posts, content, or what? Thank you!

Onsite SEO. Citations. Perhaps a press release.

For a new site I would be conservative with link building. I personally focus on PBNs (real ones) and outreach.
 
Hi,
My client has a pretty successful off-line wine store that is located in a big city of a small country in europe.
He wants to launch an eccomerce website and own the online wine niche in the country.
What would be a good strategy for owning the niche?
Should I launch another website that focuses on local seo to generate leads for the main website?
Should I launch a pbn?

Thank you very much!
 
Hi,
My client has a pretty successful off-line wine store that is located in a big city of a small country in europe.
He wants to launch an eccomerce website and own the online wine niche in the country.
What would be a good strategy for owning the niche?
Should I launch another website that focuses on local seo to generate leads for the main website?
Should I launch a pbn?

Thank you very much!

How competitive is the online space? If there's enough of a budget to do it well - I would launch the Ecom store.

I'm a big fan of market domination. Get the website up, dominate Google over time. Dominate Adwords, FB ads, Remarketing, etc
 
How competitive is the online space? If there's enough of a budget to do it well - I would launch the Ecom store.

I'm a big fan of market domination. Get the website up, dominate Google over time. Dominate Adwords, FB ads, Remarketing, etc
There a many online wine stores in that small country, but each one of them has a flaw (no blog, shitty on-site optimization like bad product description, outdated design, etc)
Let's say that I launch the store and create good on-site optimization.
What seo startegy sholud I go with?
What services should I waste my money on?
Thank you
 
There a many online wine stores in that small country, but each one of them has a flaw (no blog, shitty on-site optimization like bad product description, outdated design, etc)
Let's say that I launch the store and create good on-site optimization.
What seo startegy sholud I go with?
What services should I waste my money on?
Thank you

If you believe you can outrank them, then yeah - go for it.

What SEO Strategy do you prefer? Tiered LB with something like MR, Outreach, PBNs, buying links, content marketing, content writing for long-tail keywords? They all work.

If you're wasting money then nothing. Strategically use the money on whatever you need. Do you need content? Do you need links, what type? Not sure about keywords, probably a dozen BST's for that.
 
2017 UPDATE: BELOW I'M REANSWERING QUESTIONS IF I HAVE MORE INFO OR A DIFFERENT ANSWER NOW

Litmus test. :) What are your best SEO tactics?

1. Creating a clear & clean site
2. Authoritative link acquisition
3. REAL Pbns (which aren't PBNs)


1. Creating a clear & clean site

In the past couple of months, I've been focusing a lot more on onsite SEO. Making sure the site is clean (good on page, doesn't look like an SEO did it), well-structured website, and paying a lot of attention to internal linking.

WIth most of my local SEO clients, I don't really need to do much of any link acquisition when the Onsite is in good standing and the backlink profile was clean, to begin with.


2. Authoritative link acquisition

When it comes to local SEO, I'm only really needing to build 10 or so good links to rank (assuming there was a clean backlink profile in the first place). I've gotten more into outreach and changing how I do PBNs - really looking at who ranks on page 1.

I took a bunch of local sites, downloaded their backlink profile with Ahrefs and parsed out all directories, citations, and complete crap links and usually they only had 5 or less good links.


3. REAL Pbns (which aren't PBNs)

When building a site to be used in the sense of a PBN, I'm not building a PBN, I'm building a real website.

A website that has new content on about a monthly basis, a site that ranks for keywords, builds an email list, generates traffic, and has users even click on links. I have sites that link to my clients 3-12 times a year, makes me money as the sites are slighly monatized (not link selling), and it's a real website at the end of the day.

Q1 - How do you deal with the situations where your SEO tactics causes the ranks to drop?

Q2 - How do you figure out the amount you're going to charge your clients? I assume it is not fixed rate model as the the effort required must vary between the projects. An example would be appreciated.


Q2 - I now use a calculator I build and show prospects how much their leads are worth. For example, after inputting some data the prospect may have a lead value of $500. Meaning, if they're confident I can generate 10 leads a month, that's $5k worth of leads (at least), then I look at what ~400% ROI would be.

Are you doing the SEO part yourself or you outsource it?

Right now, I work with a couple vendors and a couple of US contractors.

I took about a month and worked on systems and automation to be able to handle most of the work myself. I was getting better results with a higher margin than when I was outsourcing some work.

Right now, I have a friend of mine who is likely going to be a 50/50 partner as of 2018 and then we'll be hiring an in-house team.

Based on who we are and the people we want to hire, each employee could handle about $25k/m worth of clients compared to outsourced help.

Congrats on your success.My main source of income is also client
SEO .My main customers are mostly from europe,france and have been making a good living out of it. Thanks for the tips on Content Marketing and what is the best tool for you to find Low competitive keywords?

I've been using Keyword Researcher by CleverGizmos https://clevergizmos.com/keyword-researcher/

It can take a while to parse lists, but when I go for low comp keywords I'm generally building a site that I want to rank for thousands of keywords.

When it comes to guest post outreach do you do it, have someone in your agency do it, or outsource it? If you or your employee/colleague does it, what tools do they use to help with the process?
When it comes to content development and promotion, have you ever had a client create an ebook? If so what kind of promotion strategies did you utilize?
Nice thread!

I do it, but I'm currently keeping my eye on a guy who's been killing it recently with freelancing.

I do most outreach myself but I'm currently training someone on it.

Mostly manual Google searches to find targets, Hunter.io to find emails, and an @clientdomain.com email to send the messages.

I used to use Pitchbox, way too expensive.

Two and a half hours in and this is already one of the most informational threads I've seen on BHW in a while. Great stuff, OP.

My question(s):

How have your clients paid you historically? Lump sum? Monthly? Pay by performance? And what payment method? Do you prefer PayPal, check, wire transfer, etc?

Right now, most clients have a monthly budget which I bill them twice a month for 50%.


How much info do you give clients about the work you are going to do for them (especially relating to the grey hat / black hat stuff).

Do you make them acknowledge the risks, or do avoid discussing any of the details?

I break down step-by-step what I'll do for them. I give them enough information that they could DIY the entire campaign if they wanted to.

I explain that there's always risks. You can get penalized by Forbes links. I've never gotten a client a Penguin penalty (that was my fault, at least) so I explain my success rates.

Thanks for the post, it has been really beneficial and timely now that i'm also doing client SEO with a few partners. I would like to know what softwares do you use to track these processes such as SERP ranking, keyword analysis and maybe even competitor backlink analysis. Or do you use freeware such as Google analytics and webmaster solely.
Do you use Moz, seoserps ahrefs or other tools available? If i was to purchase a tool which would you advise.

It'd be interesting to know about the tools you use both for SEO and managing clients/staff and why you use them.

GA & GSC of course. I like crazy egg for click & heatmap tracking.

MicroSiteMasters for Keyword Tracking.

Ahrefs for various things.

Google Data Studio for reporting

ProWorkFlow for project management

Since you consider yourself "Grey hat". When you're building links for a clients money site, would you build blackhat links directly to the money site or would you create a web2.0 / new domain in the same niche and point your blackhat links to those?

Clarification:
Client Site <- PBN <- PBN
or
Client Site <- Web2.0 / Buffer Site <- PBN <- PBN

Tier 1 for me is always quality links, doens't matter what kind. Web 2.0's if I need them will be tier 2, but I mostly use them for embedding YT videos and images.

Always wondered what approach do people like you take while servicing clients. Clients always like to see results, definite results. When they ask you to promise them something, whether it's traffic or rankings, how do you tackle that?

I sit down (on a call) with client's to figure out what their leads are worth. I really focus on ROI more than anything.

Rankings & traffic don't mean shit. They're the medium to the client getting leads - which make them money.

How are you paid?
I mean to make sure you don't finish the job and the client fails to pay?

Everyone gets put on a simple agreement. Doesn't lock them in but the most important part is that I own all my work until paid.

Meaning if I did link building in month 1 and they paid, that's their work now.

If I did onsite SEO in month 2 and they didn't pay, my agreement says I'm allowed to remove all of those changes.

Interesting. Great to know what the competition is up to :)

In that regard OP, have ever "spied" on competitors?

I've found it's an awesome way to learn strategy and you can further apply it to your projects, EVEN if they are on a different industry!

Though, I'd like to know your opinion.

I mostly stopped caring because of how bad the competition is. I don't consider myself to be that good, most SEOs are just too lazy.

I also do client SEO myself but I keep things to a minimum (5-10 clients) so I'm not overwhelmed. Pretty useful thread and thanks for sharing! Might be interested in interviewing you sometime.


Get the camera crew ready and give me a call ;)

Hey great tips on client seo op, one thing you mentioned was that you don't need to do everything yourself starting off
or even know how to do seo. How would one know what services to outsource too or where to engage a reliable seo reseller
where you can whitelabel for your clients?This is a big question mark in my head for a while hoping you could share your 2 cents worth of
advice:)

Right now, I'd recommend finding someone who outsources whatever you don't do. I've noticed some full-service outsourers but I haven't seen great results with them.

I (not plugging) started my own program to fulfill for other's clients and it's usually either them selling SEO and then not doing any fufilment or upselling their clients with SEO but don't want to learn / hire for it.

The biggest thing is to interview who you're looking to outsource to. Are they being legit with you? How knowledgeable are they? Do you fell you can trust them?

</end>

Cheers all!
 
It will be Fascinating to know about the tools you use for SEO and managing clients.........;)
 
It will be Fascinating to know about the tools you use for SEO and managing clients.........;)

I try to keep my overhead as low as possible.

To manage clients I use emails, Google Sheets, and PWF (ProWorkFlow).

I also use calandley for scheduling meetings so that I don't have to have a "You are available X", "No, how about X", "Sorry, how about X".

It also reduces a lot of interaction.

For SEO,

FREE:
Google Data Studio
Google Analytics
Google Adwords
Google Search Console
Google Sheets
SEOQuake

PAID:
Keyword Researcher (By CleverGizmos)
Screaming Frog
For some projects I'll use Money Robot (to embed images and YT videos, mostly)
MicroSiteMasters
Ahrefs
 
Hello everyone,

You may know me from my http://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/my-journey-so-far-tips-for-yours-road-to-100-000.867749/ thread, or not, that's cool too :cool:

Basically, I've been doing client SEO for over 4 years. I make a good living based on my age. Most people I know are struggling to make 25k/year and pay their rent, car, and student loans. I'm lucky enough to not have to worry about money, will be buying a house next year, and waiters/waitresses love me because I always tip 60%+.

That wasn't to brag, just to showcase that I'm doing well for myself.

I've worked with over 200 business. Some small businesses, some multi-million dollar companies. I've been fired, I've made mistakes, I've made great results, I've gotten piss poor results.

There are still aspects of client SEO that I struggle with and am always trying to improve on but I've come a long way and want to share my knowledge and possibly convince some people to give client SEO a try.

I have no problem with keeping this thread active for years if people are interested for that long

A couple quick facts about my work:
  • I consider myself a gray hat SEO. Most of my career was white hat but for the past 8 months I've been using some black hat tactics.
  • Before client SEO I had a history of marketing. As explained in the journey post I have a degree in marketing and used to work in Corporate America.
  • I've worked for too many industries to count but I try to specialize in Real Estate and Law Firm SEO as often as possible.
  • Client SEO is my main source of income but I do have a few side projects. Client SEO has been, by far, the most profitable but also the most time consuming.
So guys, ask me anything.:p
Do you have a money site of your own or you always work with a client?
 
Do you have a money site of your own or you always work with a client?

I've always been pretty focused on client work but my business partner and I are starting to get into affiliate stuff while we increase the client minimum pricing significantly over the next few months.

I've had 1 BST before and am gearing up for a second (not a plug) but client SEO has always accounted for at least 95% of income.
 
Back
Top
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features and essential functions on BlackHatWorld and other forums. These functions are unrelated to ads, such as internal links and images. For the best site experience please disable your AdBlocker.

I've Disabled AdBlock