How to Start SEO Business in 2021 – A Complete Guide

Written by Dileep Thekkethil

Updated on Sep 10, 2020
Category: Others

Are you planning to start a SEO Business? Are you confused about how to balance profit and expenses? If you are going through this dilemma, consider yourself cured!

This guide is going to take you through a success-journey that can earn your business the tag – Best SEO Company.

If you’ve started a new SEO business, you might be thinking of outsourcing a few responsibilities. The best places to look for SEO prowess are usually US-based experts or resellers to meet your client deadlines.

However, hiring local SEO experts costs an average of $100-$180 per hour. Spending so much on external resources will eat up your returns.

This guide will help you navigate through this catch 22 situation and provide you valuable tips to save precious dollars.

In this guide, we will provide you with all the information you need to start an SEO business and to take it to the winning path with minimum time.

We will give you valuable tips that will help you attract clients. Once you are done reading this post, you will be ready to sell SEO services like hotcakes.

We will also give you a glimpse of the do’s and don’ts while interacting with clients and a sneak peek at closing SEO deals.

Our objective is to enable you to build a fantastic B2C relationship with your clients. We hope to transform you into a magnet that attracts clients naturally through inbound marketing tactics.

This blog post is not an all-encompassing e-guide of SEO knowledge. Still, we will touch upon a few SEO factors that you can’t skip on the road to become the best SEO company.

What are the common misunderstandings among SEO companies?

First of all, you cannot be a master of all traits in the field of SEO to run a successful SEO Business. If you are running an SEO company or want to start an SEO business, it is ideal to have experienced people by your side.

If you think a one-man-show is going to bring the sales and revenue, the results could be disappointing.

This guide has been written under the assumption that you already have a strong team offering SEO services to clients. If not that, you might have connected with a White Label SEO service provider who can fulfill the client requirements on your behalf.

Misunderstanding #1: You don’t have to be an SEO Pundit to earn the title “the best SEO company”

SEO managers and consultants assume that they have to know every aspect of SEO before selling it. This is a common misconception, as it is not an inevitable requirement. 

On the contrary, you just need to know a few core SEO business ideas. This will enable you to explain the basics of SEO to your clients without any hiccups.

Always remember that clients seek your SEO services because they are not experts in it. Your role is to show them results and not teach them about SEO or give them in-depth information of how you are going to implement it.

MISUNDERSTANDING #2: YOU DON’T NEED 100% IN-HOUSE SEO TEAM TO BECOME THE BEST SEO COMPANY

Are you running a new SEO agency? Did you get a challenging SEO project that needs more effort and workforce?

Don’t go on a hiring spree! You may end up spending thousands of dollars every month. Moreover, there is a possibility that the new employees might turn unused assets after the completion of the project.

In such cases, the alternative to render SEO services to your clients is by choosing one of the best White Label SEO service providers in the industry.

Who is a White Label SEO service provider?

A white label SEO service provider is an SEO agency that fulfills the requirements of other SEO companies. They provide unbranded reports so that you can present the same to your clients with your custom branding. 

The success of any newly established SEO company lies in the effectiveness of the search engine optimization services you provide to the clients.

Always try to include leverageable solutions so that you do not have to worry about your in-house strengths. This enables you to accept SEO projects from clients regularly without the fear of missing deadlines.

White Label SEO providers enable you to offer 360-degree SEO solutions to clients without going through the hassles of hiring in-house SEO practitioners.

Have more queries about running SEO projects simultaneously? Get an expert opinion from Stan before your confusion gets confounded.

Now that we’re aware of the common misunderstandings among SEO agencies and companies let’s take a look at the SEO knowledge required to sell your products and services like a pro.

Who are the ideal clients for the best SEO companies?

The ideal client for any SEO company would be someone who understands the concept of SEO. They may be seeking immediate results, with the possibility of being totally alien to the whole idea of SEO.

It could be difficult for you to convince them why SEO efforts take time. Your ideal customer should be somebody with a piece of basic knowledge about the search industry.

Clients select SEO agencies according to the SEO packages that are offered. If you intend to start your basic package for $250 or above, make sure that your brand is well established.

Only top-tier companies/people who have heard about your SEO business via offline or online sources will choose your services.

If you are just starting an SEO business, make sure that your SEO packages are not priced cheap.

If your SEO services fall under $80, you may probably end up getting a lot of inquiries and customers. Still, the quality of the clients will vary. As we mentioned earlier, you might have to spend time making them understand how the whole SEO process works.

Additionally, you will also face time constraints while dealing with clients who don’t generate enough revenue to be on par with your efforts.

If you are aiming at quality customers, the ideal price for each package should be made affordable, rather than keeping it cheap or overpriced.

That is precisely why we at Stan Ventures have assembled all our packages as affordable. We offer packages that are 50% less than some of our peers in the US.

Stan balances quality and pricing by merging the expertise of our technical SEO specialists in India and the experience of our US-based content producers.

This USP of Stan enables us to deliver top-notch SEO services as per US standards at affordable prices without compromising on quality.

Why do well-performing SEO businesses offer SEO services to niche industries?

There are thousands of SEO companies scattered across the US. Therefore, what makes you unique enough for prospective clients to reach out to you for their SEO requirements?

Rather than shooting without a target, try to bring down your services to a few specific industries. This will filter your company from the crowd and give you a unique identity.

Once you identify yourselves as the best SEO provider for a high yielding industry, like healthcare, etc., you can add more value to the services and scale them.

This will also give you the added advantage of understanding the industry like no other, especially when you want to start an SEO business.

Being an authoritative figure within the niche will aid in troubleshooting common SEO issues faced by clients and cater to their specific needs without much research and calculations.

If you are not into serving a niche audience, find clients who are currently seeking a change from their existing SEO service provider. It’ll be a piece of cake if you do a thorough check of your competitor reviews on Google, Facebook, and other channels.

Here is the list of different types of clients who seek optimization services from SEO agencies

1. Clients with Local SEO Needs

Since Google is offering local search results, more companies are coming up with Local SEO requirements. In our experience, a majority of these clients have a physical business with tangible products or services to offer.

As an SEO executor, you need to make their business appear at the top of Google for keywords that are related to their business and locality.

The best way to fulfill their requirements is by ranking in Google My Business, which is relatively easy to set up.

Even if the client asks only for local listings on Google, try to convince them how making relevant changes on their website can result in top rankings on SERP. Also, make them aware of the benefits of submitting their business details to local business directories.

Importantly, it would help if you strived to get local reviews through both Google and other websites such as Glassdoor, Yelp, and Facebook.

2. E-commerce Clients

Entrepreneurs who have tangible products to offer are now joining a long line of people who seek an online presence. It doesn’t matter what the outcome is; they want people to access it online and, of course, buy them without going to their brick and mortar stores.

This is an excellent opportunity for SEO companies like yours. Since the competition in the e-commerce industry is high, business owners need your help in increasing sales.

E-commerce clients are considered to be the best targets in the current search industry scenario. Bringing the product pages of such clients on Google’s first page can lead to increased ROI and long-term client relationships.

If you are approaching an e-commerce client, there are a hand full of SEO services that you can offer them.

3. Publications

With the proliferation of the internet, major print publications have made a transition to the web, since they found it as monetizable as regular papers.

These publishers earn revenue from the internet through their ad campaigns – both exclusive ad inventories and Goo. Moreover, some publishers also offer paid services through subscription.

Since publications have content pushed online every day, they tend to seek the help of professional SEO companies.

A publication that does a good job producing unique, high-quality content may be ranking well on Google. However, they will approach you for technical SEO help or recommendations regarding improving their ad revenue or subscribers.

4. Small Businesses

Many companies offer services online. Stan is one such company; we provide SEO services to clients using our web platform.

These companies require quality content and landing pages that can lure customers into signing up. They seek professional SEO assistance to create the best content strategy, manage blog content, and build links through outreach programs.

In addition to this, some companies sell software online. They also fall under the category of potential customers since they require an SEO expert to increase the number of downloads, subscribers, and signed up users.

5. Other Businesses

With the rapid growth of the Internet, businesses across the world now want to extend their presence online. As a result, SEO agencies often come in handy for business owners who wish to rank in their specific niche.

If you are an SEO company already targeting the businesses mentioned above, you should have a separate strategy for each industry and individual brands.

This is because clients have different expectations, and your SEO agency should be able to offer them a customized solution for better ROI.

How do top SEO companies win & retain clients through inbound marketing?

A majority of clients who reach out to SEO agencies assume an excellent website alone can bring in traffic and sales.

On realizing the truth, they seek help from SEO professionals. Clients require assistance from SEO experts in troubleshooting issues related to lead generation through the website. 

This is usually the pain point where your SEO agency will meet the client, and naturally, it is worrisome.

Some of the common questions that they want you to answer are:

1) How can you help them to generate more leads through proper implementation of SEO?

2) How can your SEO efforts make their target users contact them often?

3) How to convince users to signup/register, or just fill-up forms?

But the most critical answer that they want is to the question: how will your SEO services bring in more customers and sales?

Your first sales pitch to any potential customer should be answers to the questions mentioned above. Once you understand the client’s requirements, your response should be framed as a solution to their queries.

As an SEO agency, you already know that proper implementation of SEO can boost traffic and sales. Even though this requires technical expertise, you can explain the process to clients without bombarding them with SEO jargon.

Simply put, the whole pitch should be about your efforts to bring the client website on Google’s first page for selected keywords.

SEO resellers and agencies are everywhere. So how can you make prospective clients choose your SEO products and services instead of your competitors’?

If you are starting an SEO business, here are 10 ways to find new clients and grow your business.

1. FREE SITE AUDIT

When you start an SEO business, provide your visitors with an option to do a free site audit of their website. If you don’t want to lose users after the examination, make sure you collect their details before giving out the result.

Such details, collected over time, can be used as a resource for contacting potential clients. Once the audit is complete, release details of changes required on the site. Do not forget to appreciate all the things that they have optimized on their website.

If you think the user is a good prospect, try contacting them and build confidence in your product.

This will also help you identify sites that have been impacted by Google’s penalty for implementing black hat SEO techniques.

These sites will need lots of time and effort to regain traffic. On the other hand, websites that have duplicate content issues, over-optimization of keywords, etc., can be fixed with less effort.

Understanding the weakness of the client will help you assess the project’s longevity and cost.

If you feel that the issues with the site cannot be rectified despite all your SEO efforts, it is better to back out of the project.

It’s highly advised to buy an API from a third party company to integrate on your website. Here are some of the most commonly issued APIs for site audit:

2. OFFER FREE TRIALS

If the visitor is interested in your products and services, try giving them a short trial, where they can use the essential features.

Please make sure they get enough data during the trial period. You can ask your potential clients to even sign up for a paid package to get an in-depth analytical report.

If you are about to start an SEO business, try offering the first few clients a free add-on package. This will bring more value to your SEO services.

3. PROMISE WITH CARE

Don’t follow the conventional SEO practice of over-promising. This practice can lead to clients considering you spammy and never returning to you.

Therefore, ensure that you under-promise and over-deliver. The SEO industry is highly volatile, so promising first position on Google within days is not a readily achievable target considering the complexity of the current search algorithms.

4. WRITE COMPELLING BLOG POSTS

Make sure you have a well-maintained blog for the site. It can highly benefit you in achieving traffic from the target audience.

Grow your blog by posting articles based on the services that you offer. This way, you can get a link to the service pages of your website and then direct users to buy one of your packages.

Keep in mind to share the same on social media channels. If your blog post is unique, it will most likely go viral. Using social media campaigns can result in more like-minded people visiting your site and becoming your customers.

5. A NOSE THAT SMELLS OPPORTUNITIES

Always have a team for checking SEO issues faced by your prospective clients. Do a regular site audit and see where they are falling behind.

Let them know the SEO issues that are currently hampering their ranking within the search engine, and offer them a solution through your agency. This is a job that has to be done smartly, as clients may feel you are an opportunist.

6. PUBLISH FIRST AND GAIN AUTHORITY

One of the successful tactics for building the authenticity of your SEO agency is by publishing the latest updates in the search industry through your blog.

This will give the users a signal that you are a serious contender. Once your blog gets established as a resource for authentic information, more people are likely to subscribe to it and visit it. Always keep in mind that some of these visitors are your future customers. So make sure you have enough CTAs for your blog posts.

7. WHITE LABEL SEO

As we discussed earlier, many companies are looking for White Label SEO solutions. Offer them your resources for completing SEO projects and provide them with a completely customizable report.

8. CASE STUDIES AND SUCCESS STORIES

When you start an SEO business, many clients will come to you with a skeptical mind. It is your responsibility to make them feel confident about the services that you offer. Case studies and Success Stories are the best way to instill confidence in them.

Tell them how your agency met the expectations of clients. If you are offering it in the form of PDF, make use of the analytical data and charts. This is a very successful formula for winning customers.

9. TESTIMONIALS

Testimonials have remained effective confidence boosters for clients since times immemorial. This trend continues unchanged, but the difference is in the medium.

Earlier, most testimonials were in the form of written text, but now, text-based testimonials are, at times, considered fake.

The way out of such a situation is by having a video testimonial. This will increase the credibility, and your visitors will feel assured. Try to have an influential company CEO to speak for your service to gain more advantage.

10. WEEKLY NEWSLETTERS

Do you already have an excellent database of people who have either opted for your SEO service or prefer to download the free pdf via registration?

These are people who are interested in the SEO products that you offer, which makes them highly probable clients. Therefore, send them a weekly or a monthly newsletter, giving a sneak peek into what has happened in the world of SEO.

Also, include details of the discounts and benefits offered by your company from time to time. This will keep their interest in your SEO agency.

Please make sure you don’t spam the subscribers with unnecessary emails, as they might mark you as spam and never return.

Going out in the search industry and finding clients is a daunting task. Stan, as an Indo-American SEO agency, knows that such an exercise is like finding a needle in a haystack.

However, clients are our bread and butter, so quality effort should be put in to attract and, most importantly, retain them.

If you want to know more, read our blog on how to win and retain clients for SEO agencies.

How do the best SEO companies convert users into clients?

Now that you’re aware of the techniques needed to drive people to your SEO agency website let’s now see how you can convert these prospective buyers into customers.

After implementing the various techniques to attract prospective customers, the next step is reaching out to them with your sales pitch. There are many ways to contact customers. Here are a few tried and tested ones.

1. OVER THE PHONE

The best way to connect with your future customers is through face-to-face interaction. However, many times, this is not a practical approach. So, the second-best alternative is to reach out to them via phone calls.

Calling a client doesn’t mean that you have to start the conversation like a typical sales pitch. Instead of pulling out the catalog of packages and pricing, provide the client with insightful information.

Tell them about their current SEO status and also detail a few things that they are doing right. Pointing out mistakes will create a negative impression, and since this is your first ever interaction with the client, you don’t want to mess it up.

Here are a few tips that you can use while talking to your clients:

Begin asking them questions about their business, market, and the target audience they want to focus on.

Understanding the business and the requirement of the client is essential before launching your pitch. This is one way of getting to know what they lack, their target audience, what packages they need, and, most importantly, their competitors.

Ideal questions should be:

  • Can you brief me about your business?

The answers to this question will provide you with the essential details about the focus of the client. It will also help shed more light on the troubles faced and the terms used in their specific search market, which will come handy at the time of keyword research.

Have you sought the help of other SEO companies?

This is an essential question where clients specify their expectations. Here, you can gauge their SEO knowledge, which will be crucial for all future communication. Also, you can scrutinize whether their previous SEO support indulged in spammy stuff.

What is your current conversion rate?

If your client is focused on selling products online or signing up for services, it’s necessary to ask this question. This will provide you with details about their expectations and how to scale their ROI.

What are the keywords you are targeting?

If your client has SEO knowledge, they might have already found the keywords that their competitors are ranking for. This is highly beneficial as you can create a list of keywords before researching other tools.

Where do you think you are lacking?

Some clients might be producing excellent SEO content but struggling with backlinks or vice versa. Get to know from them what search engine optimization business plan they look forward to achieving by partnering with you.

  2. Over Emails

The second best means to contact a prospective client when you want to start an SEO business is by sending a personalized email. If you find a customer leaving your website without completing payment, this usually is because of a lack of trust.

In such cases, an email written with well thought out content can bring trust in your buyer, and he may convert as a customer. Here are a few elements that should be present in a business email of an SEO agency:

Your target audience is already receiving tons of business emails, so why should they read your pitch? Unless the first few words of the email catch the attention, your email will also end up in the list of unread ones.

To make a client read your email, you should have high attention seeking subject line. Since we are offering them an SEO service, the subject should speak more about the solution to their problem.

Once the prospective client decides to open your email, the first few words should address their problem and introduce your solution.

Always include the USPs of your SEO services and tell them how your services are a standout among the SEO crowd.

Nowadays, most of the emails are read on smartphones, which means the first few words of the sentence should be crisp and offer some value to the client.

It doesn’t matter if you address the client by name; all that matters is convincing them about the benefits that they get. So, make sure your first sentence speaks about how the SEO solution can assist them in achieving success. 

Consider that one of your signed-up users visited the store and selected a package. He/she left the page without completing the payment.

This scenario is quite common within the funnels of SEO agencies. The best way to do re-marketing is by sending them an email listing the benefits of your service and, if possible, offer them a discount. This way, you can reconnect with a broken lead and turn them into customers.

Final Thoughts

If you want to start an SEO business, the points mentioned above are some of the secrets most successful SEO agencies hesitate to reveal. Now, you are left with one thing: Implementing it.

In the beginning, it may seem like a herculean task; but remember, if you execute it right, you’ll start earning big-figure returns within no time.

I know it sounds like a sky-high promise, but it’s achievable.

Shoot your queries out, and if you have any, I will respond to you as quickly as possible with detailed answers. I hope this was helpful to you.

Keep visiting the Stan Ventures blog, as I will be updating this post with new secrets on successful SEO agencies.

About Dileep Thekkethil

Dileep Thekkethil, a Journalism Postgraduate, was formerly with a US-based online magazine, is the SEO Expert at Stan Ventures. A He is a frequent blogger who keeps a tab on the latest updates in SEO and technology arena. Reach me @ Mail | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook or View all posts by Dileep

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18 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Your site is very cool. I’m flattered by the details you have provided on this site. It shows how nicely you savvy this subject. Bookmarked this site, will keep coming back for articles. You, ROCK! I found simply the info I already searched everywhere and just couldn’t come across. What an ideal site it is.

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Thank you.

      Reply
  2. Avatar

    Totally with you on the advice of what to avoid in SEO companies, especially about those who guarantee number 1 rankings, it is effectively impossible to do this. Not the least because Google is effectively a third party and they regularly change their algorithm!

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Yes. All that an Agency can do is to follow the best practices and wait and watch. It take a minimum of three months for a new website to get quality traction from Google. Thank you for post the comment. Please keep reading our articles.

      Reply
  3. Avatar

    Also, make sure that your seo company ranks on the first page of Google for “SEO Company + Your City”..(ex. SEO Company New York City). If you can show potential clients that your company is on the first page for your target keywords, that’s proof that you can provide the same results for them.

    Reply
    • Avatar

      That itself will answer a 1000 questions for sure. Thanks for the comment. Keep reading our articles.

      Reply
  4. Avatar

    I have been planning to open a local SEO company, and this article was worth reading every bit. Thanks for your precious time writing this article and helping people like us to prepare everything in hand before going for a bigger step.

    Thanks & Regards.

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Thank you Srivastava. We are happy to here that. All the best for your local SEO company. Keep reading our articles.

      Reply
  5. Avatar

    Thank you, Dileep, for this resource. I am now well-equipped to open an SEO company. Let me see how it goes, shall be back soon.

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Great to hear that.

      Reply
  6. Avatar

    Another great Article Dileep! A lot of money and opportunity in starting an SEO company in 2020. Well worth investing the time in learning about different strategies and running your own agency. Easy to offer reselling services too.
    So many business these days looking for SEO services, with a lot of money to invest.

    As Google often changes their Algorithm, learning and implementing new strategies is definitely important.

    Keep the content coming Dileep!

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Thank you Chris. Yes. More content is on the way. Please come visiting us.

      Reply
  7. Avatar

    This post is so informative. It serves as a complete solution to all the SEO start ups or companies who are punching their way. This is really helpful content and must be shared across. You have mentioned quite interesting points. This is exactly the content I was looking for. Keep sharing. Very nice work.

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Thank you Kavita. We will keep doing good work for the SEO community.

      Reply
  8. Avatar

    Thanks Dileep for this post, as a Founder owner of one of the SEO agency in USA, i will totally agree with you on majority of points you have noted.
    Keep it up and keep updating with topics related to this.

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Thank you Victoria. Glad to hear this from an agency owner.

      Reply
  9. Avatar

    In this article we come to know about the secret of the best seo companies.We come to know that how it helps during selection. So, anyone searching for same topic may find their shelter over here. Thanks for this wonderful content.

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Thank you Anderson.

      Reply

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