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Starting a local SEO business... any advice?

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by jackmailer00, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. jackmailer00

    jackmailer00 Newbie

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    Hi guys. I'm about to open an SEO business in my local area offering: full SEO services (price dependent on keyword competition and number of keywords), cheap websites (Wordpress jobbies), Social Media management, Linkbuilding (using BuildMyRank), and so on.

    My question was really, is there anything I should know? In terms of getting clients I was going to look through local classifieds and check their rankings, but are there other methods too?

    Any advice appreciated, thanks :)
     
  2. ct2272

    ct2272 Registered Member

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    Check out the old post by Taktical who gave away all the info you're going to need to set one up.

    My best advice to you is get paid upfront on any work you do vs. offering any kind of Net terms (ie. net-30). Some people know it's probably not worth suing them for less than $5000 US so they use that info to not pay invoices and steal your services.

    Have case studies ready so that you can show potential customers results with previous projects. These projects can even be your own projects but companies like to see previous results before they choose you.

    For me it takes about 30 days to land a new customer if I'm aggressive so if you lose a client who decides they don't want to continue then remember it will be 4-6 weeks to land a new one. That's in my experience anyways.

    Figure out (and this is just a function of doing it) how many leads it takes to get 1 sale and then scale it to accommodate the number of sales you are capable of managing at 1 time without seeing a degradation in the quality of your work.

    Charge less than your competition only if it's a reasonable amount. If they are dirt cheap, don't bother. I've noticed the amount of complaining is inversely proportional to the amount of spend (ie. the clients who pay the least amount typically complain the most).
     
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  3. Techxan

    Techxan Elite Member

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    This is just my input:

    You can go to the download section of this forum and find a lot of offline information. Get what you can and read over it.

    I am in a high competition area, so it may be different where you are.

    Facebook fan pages, mobile sites, wordpress sites,and Google places are a waste of time here because there are people in Craigslist who do it for $50.

    What they cannot provide is keyword research, keyword ranking, reputation management, and lead generation, and real web sites.

    Getting your first customers is very hard, don't let anyone fool you. This is a numbers game, and you must plug away until you get customers.

    When you speak to these customers forget all the hype that you read in the offline training. Print media and direct mail DO work. Sometimes. If you walk into a business who gets most of their business from printed flyers, newspaper and direct mail, and tell them that print media doesn't work, he will think you are an idiot.

    Your angle is that traditional advertising is producing diminishing results year after year as modern consumers move into the online marketplace. Traditional media takes longer to go into effect, lasts for a finite time and has to be done over and over. It is expensive and gets more so even as it effectiveness declines. A flyer or ad lasts only until discarded, then it must be renewed. Each renewal is essentially a complete redo of the whole campaign.

    Online advertising is permanent after built with little maintenance and a higher ROI, and can simply be charged to reflect the new marketing campaign with ease. And their customers are searching for their products by name online.

    Point out that you can build a web site for what a local paper would charge to run an ad as big as 2 business cards for a month maybe even a week (do your research) and the site will be there for as long as you want.

    Tell them that if they have negative reviews online, they need to bury them with positive reviews.

    Don't offer keyword ranking until you actually understand ow to do it white hat. If someone turns over their livelihood to you and you tank it because you used a non industry accepted method to rank the site, they will sue the snot out of you.

    I think the best way to break into it, and this is what I have also started to do, is build a site for myself and "wrap it around" the target site.

    Suppose my target is a local embroidery shop called "Donna's Stiches". No one searched for "Donna's stitches" they search for "houston embroidery". Donna does not know this.

    I build a local site called "Houston Fine Embroidery" targeting these keywords, and get it ranking in Google. I use a virtual phone number and forward it to Donna. This way while the site is growing she will get the business, but I can point that number to "Bonnie's stitches" if Donna doesnt want to dance with me when the site is finished.

    In the footer of the home page I add something like

    "This site is in development and will soon be for lease. If you are Donna, enjoy it while it lasts. For domain purchase information contact XX@xxxx"

    Now sooner or later (usually before I have it ranking) someone will say something about Donna's web site that doesn't make sense to her and she will discover my site wrapped around hers. As soon as she sees the footer, she will call.

    It even works if the business has no web site but the owner will call as soon as they hear of the site. After all, they just got a customer from a site they did not even know exists.

    If the customer hasn't called by the time the site is ranking (hasn't happened yet), I will send them an e-mail with a link to the site and the log from the virtual phone co showing the number of phone calls they received while I was ranking it.

    I would explain that I had to pick someone to benefit from the site during construction so I picked them randomly. I tell tham that all that traffic (and the money they made) was free, and since no one has complained to the site, they must be doing a good job, so I thought I would give them the first shot at the site.

    If they are not interested, I will take the whole package to their competitors and use the stats I showed them for proof to these other owners until I find a buyer or renter. I think I am going to lean toward them leasing my sites for a monthly fee.

    Anyway, still working the details out, but so far it looks promising. I am concentrating on those businesses who are on the second and third page of serps (with good reputations) as they will instantly notice the traffic increase and a few customers to them is a really big deal.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  4. Techxan

    Techxan Elite Member

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    This is gospel, true businessmen know the value of advertising. Don't waste time with people who don't get it. You cannot afford to waste time with a small businessman who doesn't understand this basic fact. They will never succeed, and they never be able to afford your services.

    Move on to those who get it.
     
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  5. The SEO

    The SEO Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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  6. dotcomdesigns

    dotcomdesigns Power Member

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    I'm a small business man with a brick and mortar manufacturing business. I didn't pay a penny in advertising last year. That's the beauty of being on the top of Google. :D

    But yeah, without G I would have to spend money on advertising.
     
  7. Techxan

    Techxan Elite Member

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    And you are so not our customer. But that guy 2 1/2 pages deep in your niche is.

    What do you manufacture? I am looking for almost indestructible products for a site I am developing. Very high end products built to last several lifetimes. Consumer and industrial. Don't happen to make titanium cigarette lighters or something do you?
     
  8. Techxan

    Techxan Elite Member

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    Dotcom designs:

    "Make something idiot proof and they invent a better idiot"

    I always say

    "You can't make something idiot proof, idiots are too ingenious"
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  9. dragonworks

    dragonworks BANNED BANNED

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    If you are starting a seo business, first make sure, you get enough people to work with you,

    since for a business, you should need some idea on it, and i see each seo firm business, there should be good support to clients.
     
  10. Spawn

    Spawn Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    some great tips here, I love offline seo
     
  11. Fathom

    Fathom Power Member

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    As your link building methods involve black hat methods you should always clearly advertise to your potential clients that you do not offer legitimate services.

    By building blackhat links to your clients sites you are jeprodising their business as you don't know what measures Google may take, you could end up getting your clients site banned and if they were wrongfully informed about your methods you could suffer huges court fines depending on how successful they were prior to your methods.

    Build my rank has recently had the majority of its network devalued and banned. Any participating sites in the network could have received googles unnatural link detection warning. I guess if you had a client that received that warning then they would be pissed.
     
  12. sandhyamishra

    sandhyamishra Newbie

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    Hello Jackmailer00

    Having SEO business is very nice and serving the SEO services and helping in development of country. SEO is not the only mean of building links there is some more techniques are required as hope you knows.
    Keep it up....!

    Regards
    SEO Company in Lucknow
    speedtechnologies.in
     
  13. vitester

    vitester Newbie

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    If you gonna offer SEO to business make sure it is white hat. Of course, if they want to pay extra $$$ for
    blackhat make sure you tell them the risks, just in case
     
  14. vishalim232

    vishalim232 Junior Member

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    Start with advertising,press released and social media camping...
     
  15. willsamson

    willsamson Newbie

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    I as per my opinion go through a solid portfolio and try to make adv as soon as possible.