All companies focus a percentage of their budgets on marketing. Getting the word out about one’s products, services, and specials is crucial to attracting new customers as well as keeping existing ones. However, now more companies are spending more money on marketing services like search engine optimization (SEO) than advertising. In fact, the current annual spend on SEO services is a little over $65 billion.
Since SEO is far too technical and time-consuming for non-experts to pursue on their own time, companies are hiring SEO companies and agencies to do the work. With the potential for continued growth, starting an SEO company is a wise decision. However, how you do it could make it or break it for you. Keep in mind these five steps in starting your own SEO company.
Choose a Niche
Don’t make the same mistake as countless entrepreneurs before you and start a business that caters to every Tom, Dick, and Harry. To quickly see success, pick a smaller piece of the pie. Select a niche in which you can be a leader. Perhaps you are already familiar with law, government, or education. Use this familiarity to your advantage and customize your services with those clients in mind. Likewise, if you are skilled in home remodeling and repair, leverage that knowledge to build a niche SEO agency helping contractors and other home building businesses.
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Develop Your Own Website and Online Presence
It cannot be stressed enough. Your website and online presence now are more important than ever. And if you are trying to launch your business in the SEO space, you better have your website optimized, ranking for your keywords, and with a modern look and feel. Also, don’t forget that your online presence is more than just a website. Your online presence is a combination of your website and your social media accounts: Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. And, it is vital to your brand to be consistent in messaging across all channels.
Decide on What Services You Will Include
Many of the biggest SEO companies stick to online and offline website optimization. However, you may want to consider adding other services that are in the digital marketing realm. These services could include pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, social media marketing, and content marketing (blogs, social media stories, and more). Although adding more services means you would need more dedicated employees in those areas, you also would increase your total revenue. Just think about it as piggybacking on your existing customers with other services.
Build Your Portfolio
You can promote yourself until you are blue in the face, but nothing speaks louder than customer reviews and a portfolio of previous clients. Building a portfolio that you contain on your website is a necessity. In it, you can feature your basic SEO offerings, but also sprinkle in success stories that highlight additional services or packages. In order to create your portfolio, you will have to do hard work. It may take months or even a year to build up enough previous clients to showcase. You may want to entice your clients with a discount if they leave a review of your SEO services online. If they scratch your back, you’ll scratch theirs.
To attract customers, they have to know about your company. If you have done your website with your niche and keywords in mind, you’re on the right track. However, you will have to market your business. This can be a difficult task. Sometimes harder than running the operations of your business. However, the more clearly defined your target market and ideal client the better.
The number one way to market your business is through SEO. So, do what you know how to do for website optimizations on your own business. The second best way to do it is through paid social media ads, which target customers based on geographic location, industry, interests, and more. Of course, word of mouth and reviews also work. That’s why the previous point about a portfolio and asking for reviews is essential to your success.
With an over $65 billion industry and growing, SEO services are certainly hot and profitable. And, there’s no end in sight. More and more of our decisions, purchases, and life are online. It is apparent that SEO is indispensable for any business looking to succeed. If a business isn’t in the top search results, the customers go elsewhere. By starting your own SEO agency, you can help other businesses. Follow the steps outlined above. You have some hard work ahead of you, but it will be well worth it. Starting your own SEO company is an exciting and profitable endeavor.