Starting an SEO agency is a big endeavor.
Like any type of marketing agency, there are a wide array of considerations that you need to keep in mind as you begin getting established as a business, gathering capital, settling legal and financial matters, and figuring out exactly what direction you want to take your brand.
If you are wondering what some of the steps are when asking yourself how to build an SEO agency, you’ve come to the right place.
We can help you with our list of ten things you need to know as you build your SEO agency and start on your career of delivering SEO services to the clients who will help you succeed in your goals.
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1. Choose a Niche as an SEO Company
One of the first things you’ll want to do as an SEO agency is figuring out what your niche will be.
While you might have the assumption that being a jack of all trades is the best idea, it’s more beneficial to narrow down to a specific segment within an industry.
This gives you the opportunity to specialize in a particular area and gain a name for yourself.
Finding a niche also allows you to stand out from your competitors. With so much competition and thousands of different SEO companies, it’s important that you know how to avoid getting lost in the crowd.
Think about what your personal interests are and what experience you have that might help you when you pick a specific area to make your niche.
2. Define Your Services as an SEO Agency
The next step you’ll need to take is figuring out what exact services you want to offer to your clients and customers.
SEO is a term that covers an extensive number of services.
You might offer SEO as part of a content marketing package, do technical SEO for new websites, or complete SEO audits for companies.
With so many varieties when it comes to services, you’ll want to come up with a clear list you can offer clients to avoid confusion. Some options might include:
- SEO analysis and audits
- Keyword research
- Competitive research
- Onsite technical SEO
- Offsite link building
- Ongoing support
- PPC and social media SEO
3. Market Your SEO Agency
No business can succeed without customers. And the best way to get new business is to market your agency.
There are many different ways you can market your services and search for new prospects when your business launches.
Inbound marketing is a process that you are likely familiar with as an SEO specialist.
Rather than directly pushing a message in front of customers, you allow customers to find you online and then come to you.
This method of marketing helps you avoid coming across as overly sales-focused and pushy.
The inbound method instead puts a high emphasis on content. Then a potential client can find you through things like Google searches, social media, or blog content.
4. Learn How to Close Deals
Bringing leads in at the top of the funnel is only part of the process of getting new business and signing on new clients.
You also need to know how to close a deal and make sure that you have officially gained a customer.
Tactics like personalizing the sales experience and making sure your sales team stays on top of leads help you increase the rates of conversion.
It’s also a good idea for you to practice sales tactics like emphasizing urgency, setting clear expectations, and giving evidence like case studies and testimonials to your leads so they understand the value of your services.
You can try mapping each stage of the customer journey to specific sales tactics and assets that will help you move your leads through the sales funnel.
This approach will help you close deals and gather a big-picture view of your process.
5. Uphold Business Continuity and Operations
It’s essential that you deliver on the promises you make during the sales process.
It can seriously damage your reputation when you offer certain results or promise specific services, then you can’t make right on those guarantees.
Upholding your business operations and making sure you have the talent and bandwidth to manage clients is important.
You must have clear service level agreements and contracts with your clients. When you establish clear deliverables and deadlines for clients, it helps you stay accountable.
You can also make sure that you have clear processes in place that allow you to maintain consistency and continuity to deliver the best results to clients.
6. Build Strong Relationships with Clients
Your clients are the lifeblood of your SEO agency. They are the source of revenue for the business and what keeps you going.
If all you do is focus on bringing in new business, you might be missing out on an opportunity to get the most out of your existing relationships with clients and customers.
The account managers and project leads in your SEO agency should become experts in your client companies.
They need to be able to anticipate the needs and expectations of your customers and know how to approach your current accounts with ideas for upgrades or improvements to their own operations.
You can also offer discounts, incentives, rewards, and other demonstrations of appreciation to your loyal customers as a thank you for their continued business.
7. Understand that You Need to Do the Work
Running an SEO firm isn’t just getting new clients and working on client satisfaction. You also need to put in the actual work of managing SEO and completing SEO services for your customers.
You need to be able to answer questions that clients have, handle any and all services you agreed to perform for them, and make sure that you have the right team members in place to do excellent work.
This part of running an SEO agency might seem like an obvious point, but surprisingly, it is an area that can get forgotten by leadership in favor of expansion and growth.
Keep a close eye on your operations team and respect and celebrate the work that they do for your business as you focus on other areas.
8. Maintain Accountability
It’s highly unlikely that you will ever come across a potential client who is happy to pay you for your services and never receive any feedback or proof of services from you in return for their investment.
Maintaining accountability and reporting back to your clients is essential for the success of your SEO agency.
Automated tools can do a lot to make reporting easier. These platforms and tools will track important metrics and can help you explain your results to clients.
They also help you maintain accountability by using real data in the reports.
9. Hire the Right People
Every business depends on the people who work there. Employees are the fuel that keeps a business running.
Therefore, it’s important to make sure that you have hired the right people to join your SEO agency.
You want to make sure the employees you hire are experienced, competent, and knowledgeable about SEO and the value it brings to your customers.
No matter what role you need to fill, from account managers to sales people, you need to make sure you have found the right match for your business.
Take the time during the hiring process to carefully examine candidates and make sure they will be a benefit to your business.
10. Continually Update and Improve
SEO is constantly adapting and changing.
There are changes to Google and search engine algorithms, updated best practices for technical SEO, and new technologies and tools that are being introduced to the industry.
In order to do well in your agency, you need to be able to adapt and change to provide customers with the best possible experience and services.
Constantly updating and improving your services and the way you do business will ensure that you can delight your customers and grow your business successfully.
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Knowing how to build an SEO agency is an important part of building a successful brand.
While there are many moving parts that you need to stay on top of as you create your company, it’s important to keep these important points in mind so that you can prepare for the future and know what steps need to be taken in order to achieve success.
One challenge that you might come across as you begin your SEO agency is determining the right roles that will need to be filled in your business.
If this is a problem that you have encountered, then check out our blog on how to structure an SEO team!
There you’ll learn all about how to structure and create an SEO team that works for your brand and business.