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Help!!! First SEO Client

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by stevesdata, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. stevesdata

    stevesdata Regular Member

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    Help needed if possible.

    I have networked to a good web designer and have been offered some work doing SEO for his clients.

    This would be my first professional work in the field.

    Need tips keeping it white hat as so much I read seems to be hard to define here.

    I am thinking:

    *Keyword research / analysis
    *Competitive research / analysis
    *Onsite optimisation
    *RSS submissions
    *Directory submissions
    *Article submissions
    *Video submissions
    *PAD submissions
    *PDF submissions
    *Podcast submissions
    *Press release submissions
    *Social bookmarking (depending on sites)
    *Increasing internal linking
    *Setting up web 2.0 properties (not 100% sure about this - how do you set up in a white hat way? lol)
    *Yahoo Answers
    *Blog Commenting
    *Forum Posting

    Any help would be appreciated as I am someone who has been guilty of too much reading and not enough doing. I would love to get into SEO professionally.

    Also what are reasonable terms to set up and how can I avoid any common pitfalls? I was advised previously 3 month contracts and then reviews with stats to support you. Obviously warn them that good SEO if often a slowly slowly approach. I was also advised that aiming for 50 backlinks per day is sensible.

    Thanks in advance. I always appreciate the help I have got from this forum!

    :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2009
  2. stevesdata

    stevesdata Regular Member

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    Any help would be really appreciated :(
     
  3. Hierarchy

    Hierarchy Regular Member

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    depending on the business you are doing work for a different strategy can be implemented to get the best results. If i where you, I would first evaluate the competition and then research keywords for your client. Build a list of backlinks that your competition has then put it aside for later.

    Evaluate the content of your competitors and their keyword density. Typically there are some good tools out there that can do this automatically. Decide if more content is needed and evaluate pages that can be optimized around certain broad industry kw's for their business.

    etc etc that covers the beginning if you need more help pm me. Maybe we could work a deal out and help your friend finish seo work in exchange for providing the two of you a cut for closing clients. pm me if you want to talk more.
     
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  4. Torque09

    Torque09 Junior Member

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    Hi stevesdata,

    I would recommend to sign a 12 month contract. Before you do any work make sure you ask them for some green (down payment). Let them know that they will see the result after 3-6 month. MY2CENTS.

    Good luck.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 22, 2009
  5. jimbobo2779

    jimbobo2779 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I agree with the longer contract of preferably at least 6months for the initial period then maybe drop that down to 3months as the results start to show as at this point they will see the worth in your service.

    Also I would like to add that you seem to already know what you have to do. Just remember not to go over the top with backlinking.

    I would think a good start would be to do some choice directory submissions or just submit to a k or so with a semi auto submitter (plenty of decent ones out there my fave is digixmas). The great thing about directory submissions is the sporadick nature of the moderations, i.e. some will moderate in first week but lots can take weeks to months. Normally this delay would be a pain in the arse but it does create a great bit of randomness to your link profile and link velocity making it all look more natural.

    Once you have a good number of submissions to directories I would look into RSS submissions and pinging some of the pages, this will notify the SEs that stuff is happening on the site, hopefully they have noticed a couple of links at this point and will start indexing right away.

    Of course this is where you need to branch out and start getting links from numerous sources, but not thousands at a time just get a few from each source to make it look more natural.

    Not everyone will agree with this as many people swear by getting good web2.0 profile links and bookmarking etc to get instant indexing, however this is not always the most natural way to go and, in my opinion, will not result in the best long term rankings. Im sure your clients are looking at long term stable rankings as opposed to a quick burst of traffic with little to no follow up.

    As Hierarchy put it well the correct SEO path is not the same for every niche but in business type websites I prefer a totally whitehat start to link building such as directories, RSS, pinging, Articles mixed with a few blog comments and a few bookmarks etc, as opposed to an aggressive web2.0 and blog comment link bomb.

    As far as keyword targetting and such you may want some advice from others with more experience than myself.
     
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  6. mbceo

    mbceo Junior Member

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    Sign at least a 6 month contract, with 33% required up front. Them bill him via an email subscription payment each month for the remaining amount.

    50 backlinks per day is way too many. I would shoot for 150 per month to PR2 or PR3 sites (you can outsource these easily).

    I would stay away from video submissions (way too much time required if you are making the videos).

    Articles are OK. You can also outsource these.

    Just don't get carried away with offering too much. You will regret it in the end when the hours start to add up.
     
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  7. xplicit

    xplicit BANNED BANNED

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    I am lost on this one. You got a job doing SEO and dont know anything about it. How does that work?
     
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  8. Marcus_Finch

    Marcus_Finch Newbie

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    I did the same thing about a month ago. I got a job bulk e-mailing with no experience and no idea how the hell I was going to do it. This site saved my job, so far anyway.

    Next is on to the SEO side of things and trying to achieve real traffic.

    Half of blackhat is convincing people to believe you, so I'd say he's half way to his goal if he can land the job without even knowing how to run it.
     
  9. xplicit

    xplicit BANNED BANNED

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    I think its kick ass, I just would like to know that works. I do SEO and design, and I have a hard time getting clients. Yet someone that dont know it gets them... Crazy Crazy world
     
  10. squelsh

    squelsh Regular Member

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    If you are that new to seo I would not start offering twenty services you don't know how to provide. If you are trying to 'wing it', at least try and do so on a small scale and build up from there or else you will lose out on the whole deal. Don't throw yourself in at the deep end so to speak or you will drown.

    My Advice would be to offer (not in order btw)

    1. a basic linkbuilding service -

    Articles, Directories and Social Bookmarking. (PM me if you need advice on the best way to do this).

    2. Keyword research:

    This is the most important part of SEO in my opinion. There are plenty of posts on tools etc here but your real problem if you're new to seo will be knowing what real competition looks like and what's workable based on the seo work you're going to be doing.

    In this case I would recommend getting a copy of market samuai as - for a beginner - it gives a good visual idea of how achievable a certain keyword is.

    3. If you know onsite optimisation (I would hope you do) I would offer this to.

    So do some keyword research then do some onsite optimisation (this is usually making suggestions to the designer/site owner and often takes take to organise and be agreed buying you some time). Then do some link building.

    My advice would be do not offer anything apart from this for the time being. Learn how to do all of this and then once you know this start thinking of offering other services.

    This way you can tread water until you learn how to swim.

    Of course, you can outsource it (or bits of it) but I think it would be worth you learning how to do it yourself so you know what to look for.
     
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  11. stevesdata

    stevesdata Regular Member

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    Many thanks for the replies.

    To answer a few questions I have got SEO work from networking with approximately 20 web designers who are all very good but know nothing about SEO and have clients constantly moaning about g rankings. They are also scared about the high quotes offered and slow time scales.

    I currently have been trying to get into an SEO company after graduating from my degree (approx. 1/3 web related design, business, digital media etc.).

    I have been really struggling to find an SEO company to work with all too far away from where I live. So a few ppl have started showing an interest in coming on board as clients as I will undoubtedly reduce my fees for the first few.

    (On a different note I know many web designers who take the complete p1ss by changing a few meta tags and charging $750 - $1000 per month to do it for massive clients e.g. one top aeronautical company, based on this I dont think I am taking the p1ss with my plans).

    My plan was to sign up for 4/12 (1 month research) but 6/12 is a good idea. For the record I do know what I am doing as you should be able to tell from my initial post. It is just I know the theory and what I have read here, no professional experience. I am also writing disclaimers not promising #1 rankings, hype or any other bs and telling them to expect slow but effective results. I am also planning to SEO the designers sites first as a dummy run and prepare a series of complex reports for the clients.

    What I am having a harder time with is separating what is black / grey / white hat some times from learning so much on this amazing forum. Obviously I want my service to be squeeky clean white hat.

    Please dont be negative I do know what I am doing but I wanted professional experience first. Everyone has to have their first client sometime!

    Also thanks as always to all the help I get from ppl in this place. I hope this post helps someone.

    :)
     
  12. Torque09

    Torque09 Junior Member

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    Great tip to start with, Squelsh.
    There is one thing I would like to add to that you need a nice script to report your customers of the progress you've done. You will have more trust and less headache.
    The customers will be glad to see the before and after...You can even make nice looking template in the Excel if you are short on money.
     
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  13. stevesdata

    stevesdata Regular Member

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    Many thanks for this great advice...

    My plans are first month:

    a detailed analysis of their existing site
    lots of planning e.g. landing pages, optimising pages for certain terms, how will conversions be measured etc.
    onsite optimisation
    keyword research
    competitive research
    various reporting

    second month:

    implement changes if not done already
    PPC campaign testing (very small amounts)
    link building through directories
    contacting relevant sites for link requests
    link building based on competitive analysis (where are they linking)
    more reporting

    I would not start doing the more complex / extreme types of link building until later.

    The biggest problem I have is learning the differences between things you would risk when optimising your own site versus what you would do as part of a professional service.

    Thanks for the tip about Market Samurai I wanted it but missed the $97 price. I would like to buy ASAP.

    :)
     
  14. stevesdata

    stevesdata Regular Member

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    Yes it looks like reporting is going to take the majority of my time for what I am planning as it seems the only professional way to do it.

    I will offer reports on keyword research, their existing site, monthly, weekly, quarterly, competitive research and a ton of others ;)

    :)
     
  15. viroid

    viroid Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Thats cause they dont have the internets in your redneck of the woods, dave. :D
     
  16. xplicit

    xplicit BANNED BANNED

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    Hey now, the Campbells soup can tied to a coathanger hanging from my deerstand works pretty damn good. if I say so my self.
     
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  17. bobski

    bobski Registered Member

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    Hey Stevesdata, congrats on landing your first contract!

    You didn't mention whether you're going to be doing local SEO (targetting a certain geographical region) or national/international?

    Are you able to speak/email/phone direct with the clients, or do all communications have to go through the designer. Before deciding too much about what to do and offer, I'd have a chat with the client first if possible. You may find they're the kind of person who needs lots of detail and every penny accounted for. On the other hand, they may be the kind of person who doesn't care what you do as long as they can see results.

    (I do local SEO work for several clients)

    BTW the latest Market Samurai is in the Downloads section at the moment. Also a recent version of IBP which might be worth a look, as I think it provides automated generation of reports for SEO companies to give to clients

    HTH and good luck!
     
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  18. cybernac

    cybernac Junior Member

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    HAHA..I have one client that needs a play by play of every minute I spend on his site and I spend as much time with him on emails and phone calls as I do optimizing his web business! He used to drive me crazy but he covers my house payment each month so I can deal with him. The "easy" clients make up for him - the rest are those that just want results and don't care to know how I got them.

    I tell them up front I want 3 to 6 months to prove myself. I figure by that amount of time, the work I've done has built to the point of showing results. From there, they can keep me working or I will teach them what they can do for maintenance.

    Good luck! Being open to learning ever-changing iinformation is really all it takes to be successful at SEO.
     
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  19. keinehabe

    keinehabe Supreme Member

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    it's seems you already know what you have to do ... the list from the first post it's let's say enough for the next 3-6 months of work :) ... what help do you need more how to spend the money from this job :)?

    to be honest , I saw worst cases , few years ago I had myself an small local bizz here , and ( to make short the long story ) I had to hire few workers , one of the guys who wanted to hire them like sys-admin didn't even how to boot the computer from the cd'rom ... :) . Only things which he know was how to log in and log out from yahoo messenger , how to check hes email , and how to play a stupid mmprog game :) .... NOTHING MORE AND NOTHING LESS TO SAY :)
     
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  20. risefromdeath

    risefromdeath Power Member

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    If you are getting too much workload..you can always outsource a lot fo things to me :D
    anyways the best approach is slow and constant backlinks.

    Thanks
     
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