1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Confused about running your own SEO business? Ask me

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by gorang, May 23, 2011.

  1. gorang

    gorang Elite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,891
    Likes Received:
    1,650
    Occupation:
    SEO Consultant - Marketing Strategy
    Location:
    UK
    Sometimes I see people here and in other forums who don't really understand how SEO completely works and are totally confused about how to go about setting up as an SEO freelancer with their own clients.

    I don't mean to be rude, but some of the questions asked can be quite amazing to someone like me who is setup properly as a freelancer. I think some of you are really confused as what you should be doing, how you run projects, manage clients and even how to optimize sites properly.


    I'm not going to claim i'm an expert at running an SEO business, but I definitely am an expert at SEO and I am running a successful home business so I think it's time I help a few people off their feet.


    Sometimes even the simple questions need an answer to make you feel more confident about the direction and action you want to take.


    So if you have any questions about SEO and running an SEO business i'll answer them as honestly as I can and maybe you guys can learn something.


    Matt
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 4
    Last edited: May 23, 2011
  2. ezlegion

    ezlegion Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Messages:
    804
    Likes Received:
    292
    Location:
    UK
    Hi Matt,
    I really appreciate you doing this buddy:)

    I have 2 questions I would be very grateful for you to answer:

    1.
    When I get clients I will no doubt want to access their existing sites and I would think this is quite an easy thing to do:

    • get their ftp logins then download/upload whatever is needed - am I over simplyfying this and what is the worst problem you've had like this
    2.
    Do you have all your clients on a one off or monthly subscription basis? And what seems to be the best

    Thank you
     
  3. captainsquirril

    captainsquirril Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi.

    OK here are my Qs. I come from a web design background but have a few SEO clients now - maybe i would like more.


    1. What is your regular schedule to acquire clients easily?

    2. What do you do to manage clients? For example - do you have any systems for communicating with them and dealing with their requests efficiently?

    3. Do you give them your mobile number? - What about on days where everyone seams to want you at once? For example, one morning 6 of them call?

    4. Do you make them sign contracts?

    5. How much do you charge them on average?

    6. Do you charge per keyword?

    7. How do you give a cost on a keyword?

    8. What is your link building strategy? What do you use? How do you schedule time in for each client?

    9. What do you do when keywords just wownt shift?

    10. What have you done about the recent algo change - have you been effected?
    What have you said to clients?

    Thanks
     
  4. affarmy

    affarmy Regular Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    405
    Likes Received:
    94
    Occupation:
    Full Time SEO
    Location:
    Orange county, Calif
    Home Page:
    I curious what's happening with your other thread regarding the seo case study..
     
  5. gorang

    gorang Elite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,891
    Likes Received:
    1,650
    Occupation:
    SEO Consultant - Marketing Strategy
    Location:
    UK
    1)

    There's not many websites which use plain HTML pages anymore so I haven't required FTP access as of yet. Most of the time I simply ask them if they would like me to make the amendments to their site or shall I just give them a list of simple changes to make.


    I have different types of clients and different levels of communication needed. Some local SEO companies outsource their work to me. So on that basis they deal with the client and make changes I recommend and I increase the rankings for their clients.


    Another client is a website rental service business for a specific niche. They rent out websites and recommend me for SEO. For each of these clients their backend system is the same and I can make changes if they would like me to.


    To keep ti simple, I just ask the client if they are comfortable making changes to the site or would they prefer me to do it.


    2)


    All my clients are on a per month basis. It works out much better this way for both me and the client.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    Last edited: May 23, 2011
  6. jairathnem

    jairathnem Power Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Messages:
    550
    Likes Received:
    316
    Occupation:
    Student
    Location:
    Incredible India!
    Home Page:
    i a totally new to SEO and stuff.i recently launched a forum but its inactive,so how do i improve its rankings and get more traffic?
     
  7. cyrsss

    cyrsss Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    Messages:
    396
    Likes Received:
    64
    Occupation:
    SEO Analyst
    Location:
    SKY
    well This is Good thread indeed.Now I am also asking some newbies question :D

    1-Every client want traffic but it take some time how can we switch each client into link building packages so they willing to pay on link building report ?
    2- What is best deal regarding SEO client ?
    3- If someone refuses to pay at any stage then 1st step is to warn him because we r BH we do something very fishy with websites but what you prefer best thing in that situation
    4- time is big deal how can we manage if i got lot of clients at once dont want any chance to lose them ?

    I will personally tackle every situation but i need idea atleast so I make better plan in future

    Regards

    CYRS
     
  8. gorang

    gorang Elite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,891
    Likes Received:
    1,650
    Occupation:
    SEO Consultant - Marketing Strategy
    Location:
    UK

    I believe that the key to all business is to keep it simple. Over-thinking situations only instils fear in you and indecisiveness.

    1) I mainly get my clients through referral. This was the bets lesson I learned while working at a design agency. I'm going to create another thread about the power of referrals soon because it is a big topic and the best way to get work. I'll tell you more there.


    2) I don't have any system in place for managing them, I give them my mobile and home phone number and they can also catch me by email.


    3) There's never been a morning when 6 of them call. You still have the right to ignore a call when you're busy and hold off on sending an email. I usually sort through emails each morning.


    4)I don't make them sign contracts no. I prefer to be completely honest and direct with them and build up trust. So I tell them that they are not locked into any contract, they can leave whenever they want but they should at least give the off-page SEO work three months for it to show some good results. I think most clients are much happier with this because everyone hates contracts.


    5)The very cheapest I do is £50 per month, which is like what, $90? The most expensive is about £250($500?) for a national campaign. Because I work for myself I don't have to pay for an office of wages to others so I can charge low rates. This is really good because some cmapnies won't page 1k a month for SEO and I can mop them up and do better SEO than probably all SEO companies in my city.


    6)I charge per keyword for my outsourcing work. This is because the web design agencies who outsource their work to me want to know exactly what i'm doing and charging per keyword keeps us on very specific work terms. When working on a normal business owner's website I will haul up a list of keywords we can target and work on a couple per month, I don't promise to work on them all. It is just a list of prospects to target. The rest of the keywords will also increase as the site grows stronger even though I might not have worked on them that particular month.


    8) I mainly use EVO2, fastsubmitarticles.com and scrapebox.


    9) The key is to never make promises in the first place. I will tell the client the results i've gotten in the past and the usual amount of time it takes to rank for a keyword but I never make a promises over rankings. Anyone who makes promises will find themselves losing clients eventually because it is impossible to guarantee rankings. I have some keywords which refuse to mvoe already and I simply tell the client that eventually it will move, but for some reason, whether it be competition, a google penalty or some other oddity, it won't move. Persistence always pays off, keep at it and we'll get there in the end. In my campaigns I never rely on 1 or 2 keywords. I always target big keywords and some long tails keywords. That way the clients sees the low compeition keywords moving up and realizes that work is being completed for them.


    10) I've done nothing, it hasn't affected any of my rankings as far as I can tell. But if it did, you just have to keep going and reassure them that with time they will return but this is Google's game. Explain that there have been some very big websites wrongly dropping in the rankings because of this new algo change and we will have to plough through and take it week by week.


    The key is to make sure they understand that no matter what happens you are working with them to achieve what they want. Build trust, a relationship.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  9. gorang

    gorang Elite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,891
    Likes Received:
    1,650
    Occupation:
    SEO Consultant - Marketing Strategy
    Location:
    UK
    The thread is still alive and kicking. It takes time. Like I said in the thread, it is going to take a long time. I'm mainly waiting for content, I need more writers.
     
  10. albaniax

    albaniax Elite Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Messages:
    1,586
    Likes Received:
    823
    Location:
    GER - ALB
    Well, you have an more local based SEO firm & it's more of mouth-to-mouth or referal as you say. I get my clients from somewhere else.

    Some things you said I had to realize the hard-way, by making the mistake myself ;)

    But I have to ask, are there clients which you refuse?
    For me there are ones...who are just do dumb to understand..especially here in Germany. They read all these German propaganda SEO who still teach stuff like 10 backlinks a day(which is actually good as of competition ;) ) but not if they first get a boner of your sales page & then start moaning because of grey-hat & like "whooa that is against Google".

    Nevertheless, my conclusion from your thread is that if I take this SEO company serious, I definitely need to go to an bigger city over here like Cologne & start from there to get involved in some local stuff, too. ( Of course not only that, bigger city = more girls ;) )
     
  11. gorang

    gorang Elite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,891
    Likes Received:
    1,650
    Occupation:
    SEO Consultant - Marketing Strategy
    Location:
    UK
    I avoid potential clients from BHW and clients who believe they understand SEO and make lots of demands. They have to trust me, I can't work with someone who demands hours of my time every week just for me to reassure them that everything is going fine and that the work i'm doing is not going to harm their website.

    I've only ever dealt with a couple of those.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  12. imth3one

    imth3one Newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    10
    How did you start off?
    My understanding is that potential clients would need references and rankings you've already achieved.

    Did you use your own sites as your portfolio?
     
  13. gorang

    gorang Elite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,891
    Likes Received:
    1,650
    Occupation:
    SEO Consultant - Marketing Strategy
    Location:
    UK
    It all goes back many years now. I had started making websites at home to try and earn a living online without having to work 9-5. I learned what I could form Warriorforum about SEO and had a few sites up. I realized that Warriorforum sucked balls and that I needed to get amongst people who really know what they're talking about, people making thousands a month in their own offline business. I managed to talk myself into a web assistant job at a very reputable web design agency in my city.

    I ended up basically running the SEO projects. I build the link building systems and spoke to clients about their online strategy. I became more confident tlaking to clients and was unwillingly pushed into many situations where I had to make presentations to new clients all on my own (even though I was getting paid pennies!). I eventually left the company, but in my time there I made a big impact on the rankings for the company and so other companies noticed. When I left I sent my CV out basically telling them that I was the one behind the SEO campaigns and my old company. There were very interested and I had a few interviews. That's how I got my outsource work.


    I did use some of my own sites as part of my portfolio, but the design of them is not great. Affiliate sites are not what you want on your portfolio. What you need is good rankings for some of your current clients which you can show to new potential clients.


    As i've said in my other thread, the power of referrals is unbelievable. Most of my clients know something about me or have been told about me from someone they trust. Which makes me look good and they will at least try my services.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  14. johandr

    johandr Regular Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Messages:
    485
    Likes Received:
    403
    Occupation:
    Internet Marketing
    Location:
    Netherlands
    and what about the forum guy? id like to get some tips aswell so i can improve my own forum!
     
  15. gorang

    gorang Elite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,891
    Likes Received:
    1,650
    Occupation:
    SEO Consultant - Marketing Strategy
    Location:
    UK
    Running an SEO business is nothing to do with a running an online forum in my mind. So I don't really know what to say about it, i've never launched a forum.
     
  16. wishmeluck

    wishmeluck Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    7
    Thanks for helping out. I have a few questions.

    1. How did you get your very first client?
    2. How do you present your services to the client? do you offer different packages with different price model and let the client choose which one they want to take?
    3. Once you get the work, what do you do to promote their sites and how you prove your value?
    4. Do you use any particular tools?

    thanks very much!
     
  17. reishii

    reishii Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2011
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    13
    How about, what tools, resources, programs etc are needed to run a success seo business.
     
  18. ezlegion

    ezlegion Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Messages:
    804
    Likes Received:
    292
    Location:
    UK
    Thank you very much Matt,
    You have helped me alot. Unfortunately as much as I'd like to I can't +rep you. I was able to a couple weeks back but not anymore for some reason.

    Why am I the only one to have thanked you?:rolleyes:
    What you're doing is great buddy!
     
  19. oxonbeef

    oxonbeef BANNED BANNED

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,242
    Likes Received:
    7,872
    You must have a different internet to me.

    Most of the clients I come across have plain HTML sites and one of the first things I suggest is adding a blog.
    It can be a bitch getting ftp access from their webmasters who will freak out
    and throw every excuse in the book at them not to let you have it.
    Usually after 5 minutes on the phone from me they realize they know sod all
    about SEO and need to stick to web designing.
     
  20. Ultraburner

    Ultraburner Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    9
    rofl....