How to Build a Successful and Profitable Online SEO Service (and what NOT to do) I wanted to talk about creating a successful brand and service online. My SEO service Speed Rank which can be seen here on BHW is the third biggest market place SEO thread on the forum, behind GSA and Scrapebox, which are two of the most popular pieces of software that the entire SEO world uses. I would say we are in very good company! Recently there has been some talk about the banners that I used to promote the service, mostly harmless fun amongst members here. I have been using "bikini girls" for years.. now everyone is doing it. That causes some people to start posting threads saying it wasn't professional and they resemble porn. Wut? LOL. There is more skin at the local community pool or down at the beach. Haters gonna hate, right? I then put up some banners with guys.. six pack abs and all. You are welcome ladies! Guess what? Sales keep coming in! Imagine that? Banners that draw attention received clicks? Wait, whaaaat? Is that how this game works? Some people need to go back to Marketing 101 before they run their inexperienced and clueless mouth. A comment from one member that likes to post long-winded nonsensical replies to get reactions from people actually got under my skin earlier so I wanted to dissect this successful service and show how all it takes is a simple formula to replicate. I didn't let it get to me for too long though as I know that's how it go's for any successful business. Success always attracts hate. If you're not getting hate you're not doing it right. Katt Williams puts it much better than I ever could... All that aside.. There are several reasons why this service has done so well and I'm going to highlight them so you can see how simple it is. This isn't to brag or boast. I'm not going to talk about money or anything like that. Are there other good SEO services on BHW? Sure. But even the best service will be unsuccessful if it isn't marketed correctly or handled the right way. 1. DON'T SPIT BULLSHIT & FALSE PROMISES SEO is an industry that is full of shady crooks that have no idea what they are selling. They couldn't rank a website to save their own life, yet they are fronting as an expert and throwing bombs on sites. They have zero interest in what they are providing or whether or not they are reselling (because they are clueless) poison. They will tell you they can rank any keyword and do it in lightning speeds.. whatever it takes to get you to pay them. Take a look at the BHW marketplace and you will see that the majority of SEO services advertise impossible guarantees. Page 1 rankings.. Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird safe, private links, etc. I could write a 10 pager about all the false lies that are in most of the sales threads. You WILL NOT find one promise or guarantee in our sales thread. We don't need to bullshit people and lure unsuspecting noobs in with all that crap. All that does is cause issues down the road. When shit hits the fan and the customer wonders why he isn't ranking #1 after buying the new super hero SEO service for $200 what are they going to do? They will leave a bad review that pauses your growth potential and they might even demand a refund or do a charge back and that fucks with your bottom line. Be honest and upfront and you don't have those issues. Amazing, right? 2. CARE & HAVE GOOD INTENTIONS It isn't shit luck that the service I'm using for this example is still running strong after more than 3 years. It's the little things like personal attention, answering pre-sale questions and actually looking at sites before asking for money that helps to build trust. When you combine that with a service that actually works and does what is advertised there isn't much that can go bad, right? Every single person that is part of my SEO team has pride in what they do. They aren't just going through the motions to collect a paycheck. Every order is processed with care and the customer is treated as family. 3. RUN IT AS A BUSINESS One of the biggest problems with online SEO services is that the person behind them doesn't run it like a business. They are doing it as a hobby or if they are doing it full time they lack business sense. Little things like following up with potential customers, answering support questions and making sure all work is on schedule is part of business. It isn't just taking orders and sitting back waiting for more. The amateurs get a little cash in their pocket and then go and spend it, forgetting they have a business to run. If someone is selling SEO and desperately need the money to pay their rent and bills do you think they really know what they are doing? No, because if they did they wouldn't be struggling for money. Look at how many threads close and how many shit lists are started because the "business owner" doesn't have the money to issue an immediate refund. That is LOL funny and a huge red flag. 4. ALWAYS PUT THE CUSTOMER #1 A lot of our success I feel is due to the fact that we always put the customer first. It doesn't matter if it is someone who has spent $50,000 over the years or a new customer placing their first order. Give the same respect and attention to everyone. If I added up all the freebies that we let slide because someone was short on money or because we kept their links up while they sorted out payment issues I could buy a nice new car. This isn't to say you should come at us asking for a handout, but going the extra mile for our buyers has deffos translated into new referrals and long term buyers that keep our links live and keep paying month after month. Think about the typical SEO customers that are buying services on BHW and other forums. They are either a noob that is looking for a service for their first site or looking for another option after their pervious SEO service crapped the bed or they are an affiliate/full-time IMer that has a heap of sites that need SEO. Put the customer #1 in either situation and it is going to benefit your business. Take care of the noob right the first time and they will be a loyal customer and they will keep ordering from you as their business and website inventory increases. Take care of the pro and they will be your best friend. You might be quite surprised at who some of the buyer are behind the low post count names here. Some big hitters so treat everyone with respect and go above and beyond. 5. DON'T POST FAKE REVIEWS I'm convinced that some sellers truly believe they are marketing to blind slow people. They post blatant fake reviews and I hope that real buyers see through that scheme. "Wow, awesome SEO. I am #1 now. Thx guys!" Come on. Stop trying to test the intelligence of people around here. Our service thread has the third highest activity on it and I can tell you hand to heart that not a single review or post with feedback was fake. We also don't try to bribe clients in to posting reviews.. every single review you see is posted of their own free will in their own good time. It's as authentic as you get and people can see that. People posting fake reviews are only hurting themselves. Why do they do it? Maybe their phone bill is due or they need to get the rest of their rent money together for mom. Who knows.. your guess is as good as mine. The truth will always come out. Even with fake reviews the real reviews will always surface. When that happens it's a complete meltdown and then the thread dies out. Look at how many self-proclaimed "experts" started SEO services here or "partnered" up with another clueless expert (cough cough) and abandoned the thread. Why? Because they were hoping to suck in some money to pay bills or invest in minor league baseball teams.. or fuck knows what else. Honest and authentic SEO services will stick around for the long haul while the fakes and fraudsters disappear and become Facebook gurus posting their dribble to broke kids that will listen to them. 6. DON'T BE SCARED TO TURN AWAY CLIENTS The example service is a rented links service.. we can't be any clearer than this. We were the first to bring these powerful links to the masses and if they are not used correctly they will kill your site eventually. We turn away clients every single day. If we were just in it for the quick buck we would process every single order and not even think twice about it. We would fire these little suckers at any domain that came in through our forms. BUT.. we actually care. This is another major reason for the longevity that surrounds the service. If a mom and pop business owner orders it we discuss their long term goals. Guess what.. most small businesses aren't playing with throwaway domains and they aren't interested in ranking and banking. They want long term SEO. Do some people use these links safely for a long time? Yup. We service some of the largest SEO agencies in the world and we see what they do with them. They build up parasites and juice them up with these to protect their brands. Those sites then pass some juice and also rank themselves. Heck, we also service a lot of the big reputation management companies in the U.S. and guess what? They use the powerful links to push up content that buries the stuff they want to hide. There is no SEO service that is for everyone. If you want to be successful in this game don't be an order taker and don't assume that every single person that wants to buy your service can actually use it. Turning away a deal might mean less revenue at the time, but in the long run you avoid so many headaches and you keep your integrity. 7. ACTUALLY DO THE WORK Know how many SEO services are just reselling Fiverr gig? Probably more than you want to know about. This doesn't just happen on BHW.. it happens all over. Even some of the largest SEO companies in the U.S. are reselling Fiverr crap because the margins are so high. What is the biggest disadvantage aside from giving pure crap? You have zero control over what is going on. You are putting the clients website in the hands of someone doing $5 SEO. How crazy is that?? We do everything ourselves. This goes for all of the services we offer. If a customer has a question, wants to switch keywords or make a change guess what? We can do it right away because we are in full control. If you are reselling crap then you have to contact the crap seller to make the request. Do you really think they care about what your customer needs or wants? You are buying $5 crap from them and they make less than $4 after PayPal fees for that "SEO" lol. You are basically at the mercy of some random person. Not a good situation to be in.. for the seller (reseller) of the client. 8. BE CONSTANTLY ROTATING ADS (and offers) You can't expect to keep pushing sales if your advertising is stale. We are always pushing out new banners to use on BHW and in signatures, as well as the sales thread. We are also always introducing new coupons and promotions. Why? Because it works. Look at GoDaddy for a minute. Anyone that has a domain through them knows you get at least 1 - 2 emails every single week with money savings offers. GoDaddy is a monster company.. think they know what they are doing? Of course they do.. they spend millions of dollars every week to keep their name out there and keep their old customers coming back as well as constantly attracting new ones. It is a never ending cycle. The minute you stop to take a breather you lose ground. We haven't stopped since the day we launched. Constantly releasing new promos, new contests, and new excitement! Why did I just put up ads with guys and abs? Because fresh new ads = fresh new clicks. Fresh new clicks = fresh new customers.. Duh. 9. SPEND A SH#T LOAD OF MONEY This is the #1 things that most SEO sellers fail at. They don't spend any money. A service isn't going to sell itself no matter how good it is. Yes, word of mouth and referrals will get some traction but you need to inject marketing dollars if you really want to take it to the next level. And I don't mean a few signature ads either. Know those hot "girl" banners that I have? I have spent a few hundred thousand dollars on them as well as sticky threads over the years. That is a lot of money. I'm willing to bet that we spend more on advertising than most services bring in all year. And I'm not saying that to brag.. it is to make a huge point that so many people fail to think of. You have to spend money and you have to spend a lot of it if you really want to take it to the next level. It's a numbers game and numbers are the one thing that never lies. When you break it all down and see how much each customer costs to acquire and how much revenue they bring in you either have a winning operation or you are struggling to stay above water. Always watch your numbers and make your changes according to them. Not what you think or anticipate. The numbers are the only thing you can trust.. and that applies to any business. And that's all for today folks. I'm off for now.. This isn't rocket science here. Want to make a lot of money selling SEO? Know what you are doing and follow these suggestions.. It's very simple. As always I hope you enjoyed the read. Questions/Comments fire away. Until next time.. Ciao for now!