Starting your SEO business: 5 Steps to Getting New SEO Clients

Posted by Michael D Jensen on January 18th, 2007

Start your SEO Business

Starting your own SEO business is an exciting new adventure. This is the first of a series of tips, steps, lessons, and tutorials on how to start your own SEO business. One of the many aspects of starting out as an SEO is finding clients. We’ve put together a list of five steps to start getting new clients, both for the near-term and long-term.

1) Get a website or a blog – If you don’t have one already, the fastest and easiest way to start is with a blog. With a blog, not only can you blog, but you can also add pages, such as a “services” page, “contact” page, etc. Buy a domain and get a web host, and host your own WordPress blog. This way all of your blog posts contribute to the content and indexing of your own domain that you can take with you even if you change web hosts. Make sure clients can easily email and call you, show that you are a real person. Don’t plaster your picture all over your site, because it’s not about you. Don’t forget to blog on your new blog. Blogging helps you learn as you think of what to blog about. Sometimes you can just start with an idea you might have from reading another blog post and continue the discussion. Lee Odden suggests starting by blogging about your niche specialty and even submitting to some of the SEO news sites.

2) Keyword List and Content – Create a keyword list (AKA keyword glossary) for reference when you blog, but also build content based on your keyword list. Write an article or web page for each keyword to start. Each of these should be useful, helpful, and interesting, and each creates an entrance page for potential customers to find you through the search engines and through pay per click advertising (use these as landing pages for specific terms). Add an image to your blog posts and pages to make it visually appealing. The more content you have, the more “doors” you have to your website based on different keywords and phrases. You’d be surprised at what terms people use and end up at your site. For example, we now rank in the top 10 of Google for “santa’s favorite cookie” because of a post about using Google to find Santa’s favorite cookie.

3) Local businesses – One of your best bets is going to be local businesses. If you need to get some quick clients you are going to need to find them yourself. Some will have a website, others will not at all. There are lots of approaches to contacting these businesses. I suggest you find a dozen or so businesses that you would like to approach. Set aside an entire day, about 30-45 minutes for each business. Look for their website, and check for a few simple SEO things, such as optimized title and header tags, content needs, backlinks, etc. and write up a few points for each business. Then start a keyword list for each business (SoloSEO has an easy keyword site scan feature) of keywords 2-4 words in length that you would think that most people would use if they were looking for their service. Be sure to include the name of their business and their domain name. Run a keyword ranking report and see how they fare in the rankings, and print out this report. Spend the next day visiting these businesses (dress nice, professional) and talking to owners and managers (be sure to bring business cards). Tell them you specialize in search marketing and whatever your niche is, and have a few tips to help their business. Listen first and see what their needs are and what they are doing about them, if anything. Give them your SEO suggestions for their site and the ranking report, and do it in a no obligation way. Briefly tell them what your services could do to help them out, and ask if they are interested in discussing it further. Be sure to do your homework on local search, and know what things they could do to jump into local search.

If the business does not have a website, suggest how a website could help them. Even if you don’t design websites, you can work with a business or individual that does and offer it as a service along with your SEO services.

4) Pro bono work – Find business associations or charities that wouldn’t ever really consider hiring an SEO, and do pro bono work for them. This gives you an opportunity to explain search marketing and optimization to them, then they in turn are in a position where they would recommend you to others. This also helps create a track record, so after you’ve done some work and helped increase rankings, traffic, and conversions, you can tell others what you did for them and use them as a reference. SoloSEO has a feature that will track site statistics over time (backlinks, pagerank, Alexa Rank) and you can save keyword ranking reports for comparing them over time.

5) Start networking – Plan now on attending SES New York and PubCon. These conferences are well attended by people just like you, some who have been doing it for years, some just as long as you, and others who are gearing up to start. Some SEOs will have so many clients they will be looking for someone reliable to pass on the overflow to. Go to as many sessions as you can and talk to speakers afterwards with real questions (not just hey, just wanted to meet you).

These steps you can start on today to get yourself ahead in the growing field of SEO. Of course there is much more work involved than this, but these steps are certain to get you to the next level in getting new SEO clients.

Subscribe to our blog today and look for upcoming posts on starting your SEO business.

10 comments Visited 22401 times January 18th, 2007 Michael D Jensen

Related Posts:

  • Starting your SEO Business: 10 Ways to Make Your Small SEO Firm Look Big
  • Starting Your SEO business: Tapping into Local Business with Local Search Tools
  • Avoiding Problem SEO Clients
  • How to Get a Double Listing in Google
  • SEO Strategies for Specific Markets
  • Entry Filed under: Advertising,Blogging,Branding,Business,Marketing,SEO,Startups

    10 Comments Add your own

    • 1. WebProBlog - Internet Bus&hellip  |  January 18th, 2007 at 2:55 pm

      [...] Over at the SoloSEO blog, there’s a good post discussing five things you can do to find new SEO clients. The list features some easily executed ideas while going over some standard information – for instance, starting a blog. However, like many readers out there, I’ve always enjoyed how-to articles featuring informative lists – much like Lee Odden consistently provides. [...]

    • 2. Chris  |  January 18th, 2007 at 4:11 pm

      No problem at all Michael. I’m always happy to link out quality content while bringing to the attention of our readers. Your list is quite informative and if followed, it should very helpful.

      And leveraging local businesses is an awesome suggestion. Many of these companies are JUST NOW getting to the Internet and they usually need all the help they can get… all the better for the SEO trying to make his/her way.

    • 3. wkcow  |  January 18th, 2007 at 7:33 pm

      i have two questions.
      first,sometimes, clients ask me valued well their websites in one or two month,as you know, that’s impossible.first one, i have to analysis the architecture and keywords, then optimize the website itself,when the things done, than begin to build links.that needs more time to do. how?

      second,if the rank is not well, for example, showed at the top 10, the clients think you could not achieved their aim.but the some of keyword’s competition is very strong, i could not find the reason to rank well except for the spam. how?

    • 4. SoloSEO Blog » Star&hellip  |  January 23rd, 2007 at 11:40 pm

      [...] As we discussed last week about getting new clients, the first place to start is to start a list of local businesses you want to approach. Pick businesses that would have a clientele that could potentially find them via search, and choose 5-12 of them. You’ll need to do some prep work for each one, including making a keyword list and checking rankings, as well as some investigation into their status (are they listed??) in the local search engines. You may want to provide a simple report that shows them some keywords, any rankings, and a list of local search engines and directories and a big NO if they don’t have a listing (my guess is most won’t, depends on your area of course). The next part is to educate your client. [...]

    • 5. SoloSEO Blog » Star&hellip  |  March 15th, 2007 at 9:17 am

      [...] Starting your SEO business: 5 Steps to Getting New SEO Clients [...]

    • 6. Web Host WebLog » B&hellip  |  July 20th, 2007 at 6:41 am

      [...] Starting your SEO business: 5 Steps to Getting New SEO Clients … Tell them you specialize in search marketing and whatever your … 5) Start networking – Plan now on attending SES New York and … post discussing five things you can do to find new SEO clients. The list … [...]

    • 7. Laptop Computer WebLog &r&hellip  |  July 25th, 2007 at 11:18 pm

      [...] Starting your SEO business: 5 Steps to Getting New SEO Clients … … of tips, steps, lessons, and tutorials on how to start your own SEO business … pages to make it visually appealing. The more content you have, the more “doors” you have to your website … Try a Free 2 … [...]

    • 8. Ash Nallawalla  |  November 4th, 2007 at 5:21 pm

      Great article, but your right hand menu is chopped off. :(

    • 9. Russ Hall  |  April 8th, 2008 at 11:43 am

      In regards to Ash Nallwalla’s comment, you really should design your site to be visible in more browsers than just Internet Explorer. I would venture a guess that one of the first points of SEO would be to have a website that works in multiple browsers before you try to optimize it. *grin*

    • 10. lokesh  |  September 22nd, 2008 at 12:20 am

      Excellent post thanks………..

    Leave a Comment


    Required, hidden

    Some HTML allowed:
    <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

    Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

    Solo SEO Blog


    Add to Google
    Subscribe in Bloglines


    January 2007
    S M T W T F S
    « Dec   Feb »