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If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been for the last two months then I’m pleased to let you know I started my own client SEO agency and the best bit is that it cost under $100 (except for a few seo tools).
I’ve been ranking and banking from websites for the last couple of years after I saw a decline in drop shipping profitability – drop shipping does still work if you choose your niche carefully and is still one of my recommended ways to make money online, but I prefer affiliate marketing.
How I Got Started With Client SEO
Recently I started using Konker.io, a marketplace similar to Fiverr but tailored towards Search Engine Optimisation experts whom sell their services. Whether you need a PBN setup, expired domain or social signals, the website has it all and it’s quite affordable.
In signing up for Konker, I ended up on their mailing list. It turns out the marketplace is owned by well known marketer Alex Becker whom offers a wealth of free information on his Youtube channel and webinars. Most of these are to try and up sell you on one of his courses which cost upwards of $995.
After listening to some of his videos, you’ll either love or hate his attitude. There’s lots of swear words and overhyped sales tactics.
Alex has a friend called Gregory Ortiz who ranks 1st for keywords such as New York SEO and Los Angeles SEO and is killing it with monthly subscriptions.
Given most business owners don’t have a clue how to rank their websites or drop ship stores and most hate the word, ‘Adwords’ due to the amount of capital it sucks up, SEO is big business and I thought I could get a piece of the attention.
Alex touts the ease in securing 10 clients paying $1000 per month and you have a six figure a year business. By going after smaller cities and towns with limited competition Alex said anyone could do it, so I thought why not.
I didn’t buy his course, I decided to go it alone.
Start Your Own SEO Company
Before getting started, I did have to buy some tools and software to get my business up and going. I already had web hosting with Siteground so you may need to factor this in if you’re just getting started.
Some of the best resources out there are often free (yes really) and there are two facebook groups that I joined last year that have given me a wealth of experience in the SEO game. Without knowing much about client SEO before, these two groups have provided more than enough in useful resources.
- Lionzeal Mastermind
- BHC PBN Marketplace
Feel free to join, once inside some of the recommended digital marketers to look out for include:
- Matt Diggity
- Charles Floate
- Darryl Rosser.
If you own a website then you’ll probably get spammed by so called ‘SEO experts’ claiming to offer first page rankings or services to improve your traffic. I often wonder how many of these emails turn to leads or sales, but I sure wouldn’t buy into any such scheme.
I decided I was going to start a professional company, I would do a free SEO audit on local businesses and then present this to them free of charge with claims on what I could do for their business.
I started by choosing the country and region I was going to focus on. Being in New Zealand I figured it would be easier to close clients if I focused on my local city, Wellington and some cities I regularly visit, New Plymouth, Queenstown and Auckland.
Clearly there’s no point in going after New York SEO as the competition would be insane.
Building Website – Domain Selection
I quickly visited one of my favourite websites for finding expired and dropped domain names with backlinks, ExpiredDomains.net and changed the country to Oceania and .NZ domain names. If your targeting a local audience it makes sense for local SEO to have a ccTLD domain name. I ended up picking a domain with the word, SEO.
The cost to register a .co.nz costs $24 a year, slightly more expensive than a .com. I then registered this under the website company name for added authority should anyone whois my website.
I decided to use Siteground to host my website, using their Singapore datacenter. There’s many rumours out there that you should host in the country you’re targeting (i.e. a NZ web host) but I’ve never had an issue using a foreign datacenter.
Building Website – Website Design
You don’t need a flashy website according to Alex Becker and if you look at Gregory Ortiz’s website you’ll see that you can rank a piece of sh*t if you do it right. His website is full of junk content including photos of him at the gym. I decided to use a $25 WordPress theme from Themeforest.
I then decided to add the Bookly web form (get it here) to my sales page so visitors could book their free consultation. This is a tip I found in Lionzeal Mastermind and shows the visitor you are in high demand, thus more reputable.
Here is what the form looks like on my website,
Building Website – On Page SEO
One of the biggest problems I see among SEO companies promoting themselves on Google Adwords is they are struggling on page 12 of Google for the same keywords. If you find a business that can’t rank on page 1 or 2 for that CPC keyword, why would you use them? Yes, they can afford to sink $10 per click in marketing but can they get clients results?
I always use the following WordPress plugins/setup for better SEO rankings:
- HTTPS Certificate (Thank Google for forcing everyone to buy one).
- WP Rocket (faster load times)
- Yoast SEO Premium (I prefer the upgraded version, but free works fine too)
- Schema plugin.
I then went on to setup every page with correct keyword density and ensure I have green ticks all around for Yoast SEO. I then run my site through Moz.com open site explorer which I’ve found to be an awesome tool.
Over the next few weeks we ensured we blogged about relevant topics on SEO, each article had a link back to the money pages (or lead pages). We then used blogger outreach below to get these posts out on the web.
Building Website – Off Page SEO
As I said earlier my website already had a generous backlink profile from major New Zealand websites which allowed me to rank my site on Google page 1,2 or 3 for most of my keywords without doing any other link building.
12 powerful domains are definitely better than 500 spammy ones.
I then submitted my website to 20 local directories which Moz.com didn’t like in their recent updates giving me a spam score but I’ve come to the conclusion that Moz.com is rather inaccurate (and others agree with me). This took quite a long time, but I kept track of my progress using an Excel spreadsheet.
I added my business to Google maps, I’ve read online that to target local SEO keywords you need a physical address in each city/town you are targeting. I decided to test both options, with a physical Google presence in maps and without.
I ultimately found that it helps to have a presence. If you don’t want to use your own address then there are many options available including virtual offices, mail forwarders and friends addresses. In New Zealand we aren’t so lucky, but I did find a company called Private Box that offered such a service.
Internationally I’ve always used Clevvermail, which offer virtual addresses in over 20 countries worldwide from $5 per month.
I then sent 300 social signals using PBN Butler, which helped push my rankings up within a few days, usually I wouldn’t notice much movement quite so soon.
Domain Authority Stacking
I then decided to use Domain Authority stacking, a method that is recommended highly by Matt Diggity and I purchased a package through this seller on Konker.
There is a few SEO tools that I had to use for my agency. One of the main ones was how I was going to track client keywords and provide reports each month. I researched many different offers on the market but decided to use AgencyAnalytics.
This website offers Analytics and Keyword tracking bundled together with social media tracking and instant reporting so was ideal for my business. I did some tests with my own websites and everything seemed to work well.
Other SEO tools I ended up purchasing were:
- KW Finder.
If you can’t buy all these tools then you can always share with someone else using a site such as seotoolsite.net or spyaccounts.com. Just keep in mind that everyone else can see your client’s stats and could even delete your campaigns!
The Web Sales Pitch
Within a few weeks I was getting leads, yet I was still unsure how to deal with them. I deliberately set my Bookly plugin to 7 days notice to give myself some time to prepare.
Most clients wanted to meet up to discuss their websites, a lot of them had been ripped off by cheap con artists or dodgy companies before and wanted to meet face to face.
In fact I was quite surprised how many said their websites were ruined (sandboxed?) and had to change domains (I’ve always wondered why a company used xyz.co.nz, let the domain expire and then changed to xyzco.co.nz). Now it was totally understandable.
I plugged their websites into my tools such as Ahrefs, SEMRush and Moz to find out the best keywords to go after, where they currently were and what I could ultimately do for them. I also asked them to provide access to Google Analytics if they had them and bring them to the meeting.
I created professional looking documents using a template I found online, simple terms and conditions and an onboarding package should a client want to sign up straight away.
The Cold Sales Pitch
I found myself a virtual assistant on Upwork.com whom was given access to my seo tools. They were given a list of websites and businesses to compare (I found possible targets) and document keywords we could go after, estimated traffic and ranking results.
I then headed over to Fiverr.com and found someone willing to create a A5 flyer and business card for my business. It was simple, blue in color and eye catchy. No BS claims were made and no fake promises. (Cost: $10) I included a free phone number which was redirected to my cellphone using TollFreeForwarding.com and email voicemail if I was unavailable.
I then got these printed using Moo.com which was very affordable (Cost: $60) and within a few days was able to send these out to businesses around the city.
I ended up sending 30 and had 5 responses asking for a meeting.
I went to the meetings dressed to impress, business cards at the ready and a tailored plan of action for each business, despite not knowing really what the business wanted.
I have to admit I was really nervous, it’s definitely quite different sitting behind a computer screen selling products and services versus face to face sales.
My first client meeting was a phone unlocking website whom knew nothing about SEO but wanted instant gratification. Despite my best efforts to sign him up to a $1000 a month plan for 6 months he didn’t have the cashflow.
My second client meeting went slightly better but they had a marketing budget of only $500 per month. Given the work that would have been required I decided to give them my card and call me when they could afford my fees.
By my third meeting I was getting confident with what I could deliver and I actually knew a lot more than most of the people sitting around the table, even the web designers and developers whom I’d assume would know about basic SEO.
I managed to close my fourth meeting, a local plumber who was struggling on page 3 and paying Yellowpages and Adwords over $2k a month yet seeing little business. We agreed on a price of $1,000 per month for 6 months.
Alex Becker was right, it was possible.
Fast Forward 4 Weeks
Four weeks later, 20 meetings later I’d secured 5 paying clients worth $5k per month. I’m sure I’ll run into problems soon such as clients cancelling when the hard work has been done, or people wanting discounts but I’ll deal with them as they come.
Don’t get me wrong, despite what Alex Becker and his comrades say this is definitely not easy but it’s definitely a profitable way to make money online. With a bit more work I could definitely scale this up to be a 10k business or even more.
Many of the SEO’s out there seem to spend 50% of the clients fees on the website and use the remainder to grow their own businesses, this is something I’d ultimately like to achieve, for now I’m giving my clients the best possible service as I believe this will help with word of mouth sales.
Recap: Start Your Own SEO Agency
- Learn everything you can about SEO using free resources
- Buy domain, hosting and setup website
- Rank your own website for SEO keywords to drive traffic
- Buy Domain Authority Stacking service
- Promote yourself using cold sales pitch/marketing
- Onboard clients
- Provide good service and await more sales.