5 Steps To Become a Local SEO Company

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is individuals' and businesses' most widely adopted online marketing strategy. This is because SEO attracts highly targeted search engine traffic consistently, and it guarantees long-term results. Due to the effectiveness of SEO as a tool for attracting prospects, most small, medium, and big businesses are now dedicating a significant fraction of their budget to this online marketing strategy.

And this explains why the demand for SEO services and experts is increasing. With good SEO knowledge, you can make a lot of profit by starting a local SEO, which would cater to the SEO needs of individuals and businesses within your city, state, or country.

This post will look at the steps involved in setting up a local SEO company. But before we go to that, remember that most clients would request testimonials or case studies giving details of how you have achieved excellent results in the past with your skills. So, you must have one or two success stories to tell. Without wasting time, below are the steps involved in setting up a local SEO company:

7 Reasons to Start an SEO Agency Today

Starting an SEO agency is easy and not capital intensive
It is not management intensive, as most tasks can be automated.
It is highly scalable. You can expand and grow through outsourcing without incurring overhead costs.
It is a source of residual income because once clients signup, they are signed up for life, provided you deliver results.
Because it is knowledge-driven, most competitors will face serious challenges, especially when they lack competence. Thus giving you a chance to become an authority.
The number of small businesses coming online is increasing rapidly. But unfortunately, most brick-and-mortar businesses are still offline. This is an avenue for you to make extra cash by convincing them to put their business online and educating them about free traffic/customers. 

You can add additional revenue sources by partnering with professionals and offering your clients more value-added services such as SEO copywriting, article writing, web design, graphic/banner design, e-commerce setup, WordPress installation, etc. 

How to Start a Local SEO Company – Sample Business Plan Template

1. Acquire the needed knowledge and expertise

The SEO industry, just like every other industry, is filled with charlatans/people who don’t know what they are doing; and the truth is that they never last. However, if you are going to build a sustainable business, you must prove your competence, and an excellent way to do this is to know everything about SEO.

Since your core task as an SEO company is to increase your clients’ organic traffic, which in turn will increase their conversion/revenue, then it is necessary you know some of the basic terms and how they work. Examples of such terms include:

  • Link building
  • Keyword research
  • Link profiling
  • Keyword rank tracking
  • SEO / Website Analysis
  • Blog network management, etc

2. Write a business plan

This is the next step toward setting up a successful business. Before investing a dime in establishing your SEO company, you must write down everything you have in mind about your new company; starting from the mission statement, vision statement, goals and objectives, your target clients, your competition, marketing strategy and other market challenges, the financial requirements, and so on. Writing a business plan helps you understand all the challenges ahead and figure out how to deal with them.

3. Choose your business location

Since you are starting small, you may want to launch your business right from home; to reduce your overhead expenses and risk. However, you must ensure that your proposed home office is conducive and free from noise/distractions.

4. Get the necessary equipment

Aside from your computer and reliable internet connection, you will need special software packages to make your job faster and more organized. The software packages you will acquire will serve for various tasks such as keyword research, SEO analysis, link profiling, link building, article spinning, etc.

In addition, you will need to hire other professionals, such as freelance writers, to help you create keyword-optimized articles. But this may not be necessary if you have the required writing skills.

5. Set up your website and optimize it

A website is the first thing you will need as a local SEO service provider. You can set one up within a few minutes. Register a good domain name with Godaddy or Namecheap. Then choose a reliable web hosting service provider and subscribe to the appropriate hosting plan.WordPress remains the best platform for setting up a simple website.

So, I would advise you to choose it as the platform for your website. For the design, you can hire a professional website designer for a few hundred bucks. But if you are on a tight budget, consider buying a fully customizable professional theme.

After the design, you should put up good content on your website that describes your services and explains why the reader should hire your services. Also, put up all the necessary pages, such as about us, our services, contact us, testimonials/case studies, pricing, and so on.

6. Set up your payment processor

You need to integrate a reliable payment processor into your website to ease the process of receiving funds from your clients. PayPal is one of the most popular options. Many SEO firms also accept payment via credit cards, too. If you have some fears, you can stick with the old-fashioned method of receiving your payment via cheque or bank transfer.

5. Market your services

The only way you can reach potential clients is to market your services. I think the best way to market your local SEO service is to use SEO itself. Getting your website to rank highly for your target keywords; those keywords that clients use to search for businesses like yours is proof that you are skilled enough to help other businesses with their SEO needs, too.

Sometimes, I see some SEO firms marketing their business using only paid advert methods such as Google Adwords. I would never hire such professionals because their mode of advertising only shows their incompetence. If they were SEO experts, they would have used SEO to market their services, not paid ads! Even if you adopt other online marketing strategies, you must give a good account of yourself by working on your website’s rankings first.

Other methods you can adopt for promoting your business include printing business cards, adding your business ad to classified sites like Yellow Pages and Craigslist, networking with website designers and web content writers, advertising in local newspapers, and using forums and online communities. LinkedIn is another platform through which you can attract clients.

While this post is not supposed to be a comprehensive guide on how to set up a local SEO service, I hope you have gotten all the basic information you need on how to get started. Consult other online resources for more information on each step involved.

5 Challenges of Starting an SEO Company

a. It requires in-depth technical know-how

  • SEO is a knowledge-based game; you can’t start a successful business around it if you don’t understand how it works. To succeed as an SEO service provider, you must learn everything you can about SEO; that definitely takes time/resources. But you will definitely smile at the bank in the long run if you stick to it.

b. The SEO industry is constantly evolving

  • One of the challenges of doing business in the SEO industry is that it is never static. It changes every now and then; what works today may be obsolete tomorrow. And just one algorithmic change can wipe out your years of hard work, so you always have to be on edge, constantly learning and testing.

c. Finding clients

  • The third challenge you will face is getting clients, so you may have to spend a good amount of money sourcing for clients both online and offline. You may have to make cold calls, talk to clients face-to-face, run ad campaigns online, etc.

d. The SEO industry is competitive

  • The competition in the SEO industry is very stiff, and one of the factors responsible for the high competitiveness is the low entry barrier. Anybody can wake up and claim to be an SEO expert; this is why there are a lot of charlatans in the industry.
  • However, you can stand out from the crowd by branding yourself or your company. Another way to stand out is by proving your professionalism and competence to existing clients; while encouraging them to tell others about you.
  • You can also thrive in the face of competition by focusing on a niche. You can combine your passion/hobby with your SEO skill and provide a laser-targeted service for specific people. Example of such niche services is SEO services for Chiropractic practitioners, SEO services for fashion designers, etc.

e. Educating clients

  • Finding clients is just one phase of the game; educating clients is entirely different. It is highly probable that most of your clients will be small business owners who have neither heard of the word “SEO” nor know how it works.
  • So if you are going to get and keep your clients loyal, then you must educate them about the importance/benefits of SEO to their business. You will also need to teach them how to measure their SEO results and growth. Thereby making them understand what you are doing and appreciate your efforts. However, this will cost you not just money but also time.

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