With the passage of time, websites have attained a lot of importance. These days, you cannot expect your business to be a success if you do not have a website to represent it. This is due to the prevalence that internet has attained with people turning to the internet to solve any problem that they face or to acquire information of all sorts. However, merely making a website is not sufficient since numerous websites along the same lines are made on a daily basis. One needs to endeavor to ensure that his website is featured in the top rankings in the search engine results. To make this certain, it is search engine optimization that needs to be made use of.
However, the thing about SEO is that it involves a lot of factors, which is why it is not easy for an amateur to understand all the technicalities. Therefore, a professional is required for the purpose. Under these circumstances, an SEO agency is what people look to. If you are looking to start a business that would not require a lot of financial input on your part and you understand the factors that influence SEO, starting an SEO agency would prove to be the perfect option for you. The importance of websites is not going to diminish anytime soon, so this business prospect offers you a lot of scope for growth.
How to start the agency
Starting a new business or company is always confusing since you are unsure of the strategy that you need to adopt. This is what we are going to discuss now. We are going to shed some light on the approach you can take to start an SEO agency and establish it firmly. Before we move ahead, it is prudent to understand that credibility is everything when it comes to an SEO agency. Once you get a bad reputation, overcoming it would be a humungous task, which you might not even be able to see through. Therefore, endeavor to ensure that you put your best foot forward from the very beginning so that a lucrative prospect does not get out of your hands.
Make a website
As ironic as it sounds, many SEO companies make the mistake of undermining the importance of their own website. If you want to run an SEO business, you need to ensure that you have a website that would make the best use of SEO. This would reflect on your competency. How can you expect people to place faith in an agency that cannot make its own website come to the top? Therefore, the first step of starting up an SEO agency is to create a website and work to bring it to the top.
Furthermore, an SEO service is not something that people avail due to word of mouth. They make use of the internet to find SEO agencies, which is why having a website that is on top of the search engine results would make you more accessible to your potential clients. Hence, the first rule that you need to follow to establish your business is to let actions speak louder than words. Show your potential clients what you are capable of by making your website a success, and your competency would be proved in their eyes. How would you be able to tell you potential clients that you are an expert in social media marketing if your own page suffers from lack of likes? Can you convince your clients that you are a PPC expert if you have never managed to make an ROI on advertisements?
Therefore, to make your SEO agency a success, you would first need to put all your attention and hard work into establishing a website that would speak volumes about the kind of results you are capable of producing.
Get the seal of approval from your clients
As we mentioned before, credibility is everything when it comes to an SEO business and to build this credibility, you need the seal of approval from your clients. First, you need to impress them by delivering results that they were looking for and then, prompt them to provide you with a testimonial regarding your services.
The latter is not going to be easy. Your clients do not have a lot of time on their hands, so writing a testimonial for a company whose services they availed is not going to be high on their priority list. You would have to push your satisfied clients to attain testimonials and referrals and sometimes, simply asking would not prove to be sufficient. You would need to entice them by offering them an incentive. You can propose a deal where you would offer a free month of SEO services to the clients who would get you referrals. Since there is something in it for them, they would be prompted to do the task.
Be on your toes
If you want to be successful, you would need to be on your toes all the time. Being lazy is not going to get you anywhere and you would end up losing out on a lucrative opportunity to your competitors. Keep in mind that no one reaches out to a single SEO agency at a time. They contact multiple companies at the same time and how each agency responds decides who is going to win the business. Therefore, your strategy needs to include being responsive to leads.
To do so, there is one approach that you can use. Set up an email address dedicated just to web leads. Configure the contact form you are using to push the web leads to that email ID and enable the option of push notifications on your computer or phone for that email address. This will ensure that you are notified immediately of a lead. Do not waste time and respond to these leads immediately.
Adopt a cool attitude
You are the owner of an SEO agency and not a salesman. Therefore, your clients should not get the impression that you are being too pushy and are in desperate need of their business. Keep in mind that they are the ones who have contacted you. Therefore, when you respond to a lead, you should be calm and collected as you explain what you have to offer. Understand the importance of making a good first impression. You cannot expect the deal to be finalized on the first call. The client will take time to consider their options and review the proposals. Present your case as best as you can and leave the rest to them.
This does not imply that you do not follow up with your potential clients. It is essential to understand that people have a lot to deal with, so you need to make an attempt to ensure that you do not fade into oblivion.
Make a good impression
It is often said that the first impression is the last impression. As clichéd as it might sound, this is something that you need to pay heed to. You need to understand that if you fail to make a good first impression, the client is unlikely to contact you again as they do not face a dearth of options. Therefore, you need to be prepared to take sales calls.
Develop a set of questions that you need to ask every potential client. Two benefits can be attained via this. You would come across as a professional who knows what they are doing. Another advantage is that you would be able to gauge whether the client is serious about the business and is someone you would want to work with. You can also ask questions regarding the market that they intend to target, whether they have availed an SEO service in the past, and their current strategy.
Never undermine your clients
The worst mistake that an SEO agency can make is to take its clients for granted. You might have the best services to offer, but this in no way implies that your client would not be able to find someone else for the job. SEO agencies face a tough competition, so you need to ensure that you do not give your clients a reason to look for an alternative. Keep in mind that the client would always think about the benefit of their business and would do what is best for it. It does not matter how good of a relationship you have with them. If they think switching to another SEO company is good for their business, they would not think twice before cutting all business ties with you. This possibility should always be present in the back of your mind.
Make your business your priority
It is quite important to value the satisfaction of your clients. However, at the end of the day, you need to sustain your business and to do so, you need to put your agency on the top of your priority list. This does not imply that you compromise on the quality of work you provide. However, you need to set some boundaries to ensure you are not taken advantage of. For instance, if you are paid for working 5 hours in a day, work for that duration only. Do not let your clients have a say in this. You can use the time to cater to other clients and your own business. Do not be manipulated.
When you first set up your SEO agency, you will often find yourself outsourcing and paying high amounts for things that are not worth it. You might also have to suffer at the hands of vendors who would take you for an amateur and try to scam you. To ensure you are not bled dry, you need to set a budget for each client and make it certain that you do not exceed the budget under any circumstances.
Focus on growth
Your focus needs to be on the growth of your business. As we mentioned before, you should not think that a client will stick forever. Always consider the possibility that you might end up losing your income. This will keep you on your toes and ensure that you do not grow complacent with time. You need to keep up your attempts to grow. You need to be dedicated and committed to your business. You should always work with the same zeal like you did when you got your first client. It does not matter how many clients you have or how much money you are making. Growth should be your aim.
Deal with professionals
When you are setting up an SEO agency and are in the initial days of your business, you should avoid dealing with young businesses. This is because many young businesses do not make much money as like you, they are just establishing themselves. As a result, they would not be in a position to afford your service. You will also find them very hard to deal with as they would question every move you make and not give you breathing space. They would also hold you accountable if their business does not grow. Therefore, do not take up a case that has no merit.
Create a system
If your SEO agency does not have a certain system and process, it will lack discipline and be in an eternal state of chaos. Therefore, this is among those things that need to be done at the earliest. Set up processes for lead generation, sales, service fulfillment, and client retention among others. Make the best use of all the tools and software available. Do not shy away from using templates to attain feasibility in the task. Use Google Sheets, Dropbox, Excel or Basecamp to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
Do not overwork yourself
It is well known that a tired mind is in no position to make a sound decision. Therefore, do not take a decision in a state of mind that is run down and fatigued. If you make too many decisions in a single day, you will find that at the end of it all, your mind feels numb. Do not put yourself through this. Instead, limit the decisions that you take throughout the day. Plan your day properly. Keep things simple and do not take up too many projects at a time, especially when you are just starting out. Focus on one project at a time and endeavor to complete it with perfection.
Set up a team
You might have started off as a lone warrior, but within a short span, you will realize that you cannot handle everything alone. Therefore, focus on getting yourself a reliable and competent team who would be able to share your burden. You can train them, educate them, and teach them how they can satisfy your clients without consulting you about every problem they face. This will take a considerable burden off your shoulder and leave you free to focus on growing your business. You need to think like an owner instead of as a worker.
Choose convenient payment methods
You need to work to make things convenient for your clients. At the same time, you need to pay attention to what is better for you as well. Therefore, opt for the payment methods that would be the most beneficial for you.
At the end of the day, your success depends on your performance. Your clients want results and if you deliver what they are looking for without fail, your business will grow by leaps and bounds. Therefore, before taking up any client, make sure you know what you are dealing with. Ensure that you know the strategy that would bring them their desired results. If you do not do this, your reputation will suffer a setback. One thing that you need to learn while setting up an SEO agency is that you are going to encounter all sorts of clients. There would be clients who will never be satisfied and irrespective of how much you try, they will always have complaints. Do not let such clients push you around and adopt a hard yet professional attitude with them.
There is no denying that an SEO agency can open doors to a plethora of opportunities for you. However, you will only be able to make the best use of the available opportunities if you adopt the right strategy from the start. Competition is stiff, and there is no room for mistake. Although not a lot of resources are required to set up an SEO agency, how you work to sustain it and enable it to survive against the tide is important. If you are professional in your conduct right from the beginning, you will get to see a time when your SEO agency would be counted as one of the best.