Search engine optimization is a field that has grown considerably with internet commerce, especially in the last decade or so. Because of this huge trend, there are undoubtedly tens of thousands of freelance consultants that are considering starting their own SEO business and taking hold of this massive opportunity.
If you’re one of these, realize that it's essential to gain as much knowledge as you can relating to the SEO profession itself; such as search marketing, seo tips, offsite optimisation strategies and the marketplace in general before anything else. Read, research, take courses, attend seminars, network and learn all you can to familiarize yourself with the field. If possible, its always encouraged to get some type of industry recognised certification to attest to your SEO proficiency.
Where to begin.
Once you’re well acquainted with all the facets of SEO, then it’s time to answer some important questions. One question you need to determine is what type of services you’re going to offer. This in essence will form your overall business model. Will you provide a wide range of services or focus on a speciality such as on-page optimization, social media marketing, or content creation? Will you perform these services yourself or do you plan to outsource some of the work?
Aside from SEO-related tasks, there is work connected to the business itself. For instance, there are customer relations that need to be attended to and administrative tasks such as billing and accounting. Will you perform these duties as well or are you considering hiring additional staff? Once you’ve answered these questions, study your market and construct a marketing strategy. Figure out who your potential clients are, who your competitors are, and how to establish yourself within the marketplace.
Setting up your work space.
Next, set up your work space, whether it is at home or in a commercial work area. Get the necessary equipment and tools obviously to perform the required tasks. Arm yourself with search engine marketing and analytical software tools that will prove indispensable for your SEO campaigns. Additionally, invest in invoicing and billing software to help you with compiling quotations, invoices, and bills for your clients.
Now it’s time to look at your own website. To attract prospective clients, it’s important to have a professional looking website with a clean, uncluttered look and of course - a website that reflects strong SEO elements. Its going to be pretty embarrasing if you’re offering SEO services and your own business site reflects poor optimization methods. Be sure to give your site an impartial once-over and check that you have strong SEO elements in place.
As a smart tip, try and register a domain that represents your geographical location. An example would be to use a domain like "sydney-seo.com" or something of a similiar nature. Use Google and keyword research tools such as WordTracker to choose a name that will spring up in the searches of your target market. In your website, put relevant information regarding your company, such as your SEO background, any certification or awards you may have garnered, and especially the services you offer and your contact information. Include good content in your site, complimented with the appropriate keywords that will rank you high in SEO-related searches.
Being in a new business, your challenge will be attracting clients. Ask for referrals from friends and family who are familiar with your skills. You might want to offer to do some pro bono work for local organizations or charities in exchange for favorable publicity and future recommendations. Meanwhile, engage in SEO forums and chat rooms and offer helpful advice. This will help to establish your reputation and may provide leads to jobs. Join SEO industry organizations to accredit yourself as a certified professional in SEO and to keep abreast of the latest developments in the field.
So now you’re all set up. Apply some diligence and provide quality work, and you will find yourself on the path to success.
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