Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is an increasingly popular skill in 2021. Businesses of all sizes need to focus on SEO in order to grow and attract more visitors to their websites. If you have expertise with SEO, starting an SEO business is an excellent way to earn a living from it. With an SEO business, you can help other businesses thrive while getting to be your own boss. If starting your own SEO business in 2021 is something that interests you, here are a few steps you can follow to get started.
Identify a Niche
The first thing you’ll want to do is identify a niche. While you can use your SEO skills to help out practically any industry, it will be easier to market yourself if you focus on a particular niche. For example, you can specialize in helping small businesses, law firms, or large corporations. You should think about where your previous experience lies and which niche you’d be able to help out the most. For example, if your previous job was working as a marketing manager at a Fortune 500 company, creating an SEO business around helping out similar companies may be the way to go.
Build Your Website
Once you know who you want to help with your SEO skills, the next step is to build a website of your own. You’ll want this website to appear professional and to let all visitors know what you have to offer. If you don’t have experience designing websites, it’s best to let someone else do this for you.
After the website is complete, you’ll want to put your SEO skills to use for yourself. Do your keyword research and start implementing key SEO strategies like adjusting the title tags and working on your link structure. If your website isn’t professional and doesn’t rank well within search engines, other companies will have a hard time trusting you to provide results for their business.
Define Your Services
Before you start contacting prospective customers, you’ll want to take some time to think about the services you’ll offer. You should come up with different packages for your clients so that they can choose what they want you to do for them. For example, you could have one package that is just keyword research and site optimization, while another package has keyword research, site optimization, social media, and blog posts. Having an idea of the services you’ll offer, plus how much you’ll charge for them, will help when it comes time to talk to prospective customers.
Start Contacting Prospective Customers
With all of the above done, you can now start trying to attract customers. There are a number of ways to do this. If your SEO skills are good, you’ll hopefully get some inquiries from your website, but there are other methods you can use as well. For example, cold calling is still an effective sales tool when used correctly. You can also reach out to your network and look for clients or referrals that way. It may take some time to get those initial clients, but once you do, the amount of work will hopefully snowball from there.
To establish your reputation as a reliable SEO service, you should consider branching out. Making a name for yourself as an expert in SEO will help to bring in more clients and can even help you get higher-paying clients. There are a few ways you can do this.
For instance, you can write blog posts about SEO. Providing helpful information about SEO and publishing it either on your website or others will help to establish you as an expert. You could also publish white papers or eBooks to the same effect. You should also use your SEO expertise in unconventional ways. For example, Peter Kent, author of over 30 books about the internet, works as an SEO expert witness in legal disputes.
Look for other ways to use your SEO skills and promote your services within them whenever you get the chance. This will lead to more name recognition and more customers.
Refine Your Strategy and Grow
As you go along, you’ll want to find ways to refine your strategy and continue to grow. You may find that you are great at serving one type of client, like restaurants, and want to focus solely on them. Track your successes and failures and adjust as you go along. SEO looks to be an important marketing tool for a long time to come, so by figuring out what works for your SEO business now, you can set yourself up for long-term success.
Michael Zhou is a Senior VP of Business Intelligence Development and has assisted the Fortune 1000 company with expertise in the web as a whole, including ground-zero marketing efforts that benefit both consumer and vendor. He is also contributor on Esprittoday.