7 Steps to Starting a Lucrative SEO Agency

7 Steps to Starting a Lucrative SEO Agency

Businesses around the world understand the need for visibility in search engines. If a site can’t be found for the major industry search terms, the competition can gain a clear advantage. While some businesses might choose to control their own SEO, most opt to employ an agency to handle their optimization. Creating your own SEO agency is one of the quickest ways to develop an online business, with the ability to grow as your client base expands. The following steps can be used as a guide for building a successful agency.

SEO specialist trying to build her own agency online

1. Design a system

While each client will have their own individual needs, you should design a system that has proven to be effective. The system can be adapted for each situation, but it can work as a basis for each new campaign. Having a system simplifies your work, allowing you to focus on the most productive areas of SEO. Search engine algorithms change frequently, so you will need to remain current, but many of the fundamentals will stay the same.

2. Write case studies

Being able to show social proof is one of the most important traits to have as an agency. It is far easier to secure clients when you have successful case studies. However, a case study will take time to come to fruition, so you should start as early as possible. You can create a new project, but it is often better to offer a free trial to someone you know in exchange for a testimonial. A good case study can do more than an exceptional sales pitch, with direct proof of your abilities helping to sway clients.

3. Attract clients

Attracting your first few clients is often the most difficult stage, but you can then gain some momentum. You may ultimately want to gain large corporate clients, but it will initially be easier to attract smaller local businesses. Social events and local business meetings are good for networking since SEO is something most business owners want to eventually get around to. Setting up an SEO campaign for your own website, along with some paid traffic, is also a way of showing you can back up your promises.

4. Offer audits

A proven method of developing an initial relationship is with a free audit. The audit will analyze a website, study on-page optimization, and look at the competition for relevant search terms. An audit should typically be simple to avoid confusion but provide some important initial information to a client. To carry out an audit, you could develop your own tool (or use someone else’s), subscribe to a white-label product, or manually use an SEO intelligence service.

5. Create add-ons

SEO will be the main focus of an agency, but there are opportunities to create valuable add-ons. Social media is a major component of a marketing plan, so you could offer Facebook pages, YouTube accounts, and other networks that could be optimized. If a client is unsure about SEO, there is a good chance they will feel the same about these additional services.

6. Outsource tasks

As your agency grows, outsourcing becomes a way of managing the simple tasks. There are a couple of decent reseller SEO companies, so using them for tasks like syndicating press releases or posting content is a good idea. Whether you outsource work or employ people in an office, you will ultimately want to reach a point where you oversee projects.

Content is a big headache and hassle if you don’t have a system in place for it as well. You can check out companies like NoStop Content to help.

Full-on outsourcing some products and services is also a good idea. There are white label SEO services out there you can try. Just make sure to choose one with the proper knowledge and infrastructure to make coordinating, rebranding, and reselling smooth.

7. Seek referrals

The final step is to seek referrals from existing clients. Most clients will have relationships with other business owners, so this offers a great opportunity for expansion. A referral program could offer benefits for anyone who brings in a new paying client; the option of a discount or a free month works well.

While each client might have their own individual challenges, these steps can be used as a guide in almost all cases. SEO is a proven marketing strategy, so there will always be potential clients looking for your expertise. You just have to know how to actually sell SEO to those around you. If you want to develop an online business that also involves direct contact with customers, starting an SEO agency might be your best option.


  • Andrew David Scherer

    My name is Andrew David Scherer and I've been involved in digital marketing since 2006.. Feel free to contact me if you have questions about marketing your local clients online, I'm always happy to help and share what I know. I've built local businesses from 0 to 6 figures in sales. Leased, sold, and rented a handful of them. And I've had hundreds of them as clients. Marketer's Center gives digital marketing consultants the ability to easily scale their local marketing agencies in a way that isn't labor-intensive and still very profitable. If you want to get my "6 Month SEO Plan" please request a free reseller dashboard account here. You'll also be able to download a price list for all of the services we offer. You can connect with me via Facebook in our Local Marketing Freethinkers group, or via Twitter and Linkedin.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *