How To Start Your Own Search Engine Marketing Business From Scratch?
If you are interested in starting any type of online business, SEM is something you should at least consider. If are not familiar with SEM, how it works and why is it a good business opportunity than you should definitely check out the online training course we have recently reviewed called Parallel Profits! Even though it might not make you extreme amounts of money, it can be a reliable source of income and a good foundation for other endeavours. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about it.
What is an SEM business?
So what exactly is SEM? It is an abbreviation for Search Engine Marketing, also referred to as SEO which is in fact only a sub-section of the SEM.
To clarify, the main focus of SEM is achieving results of showing up in Google rankings, or Google Places. In this piece, we will use the term Google Places as it is more commonly known.
SEM also includes managing your online reputation as well as Facebook engagement.
What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
Search Engine Optimization includes a series of actions that improve the visibility of your website on the search engine’s un-paid search results.
SEO is a significant industry, standing at $66 billion dollars. What is very interesting about it is the fact it is spread across a multitude of small companies. The concepts of the SEM industry are ideal for an individual, which is starting out a small business.
Let’s look at some facts:
- More than 93% of online traffic to businesses comes through various search
- 3,4 million people search for the term SEO on Google in every second of the day.
- There are around 866 million websites that mention SEO in one form or another.
- Two-thirds of all companies are expected to increase their spending on SEO.
SEO and Local Businesses
There are tons of local businesses which are in a desperate need of help. As everything moved online, not everyone is capable to follow the trend. And even though some of the brick and mortar businesses are aware of the SEO, they lack other required knowledge to get their word out. Everything from internet marketing to online customer engagement can be a daunting task for someone who is not very good with technologies.
Those businesses don’t know what to put on social media, when to put it, or even which social media to use. All of them are your potential customers in a desperate need of help. All you need to do is show them you can help them out on their way to becoming more successful.
And a lot of the local businesses look forward to doing business in the local community, to keep the money flow in the community. That also means it is more appealing to find someone local to help them improve their business.
The drawback of doing SEO is the ceiling – you will probably never become a millionaire doing just that, however, it can still be a significant source of income.
Some interesting facts about the SEO industry
Let’s go and analyze some aspects of the SEO industry, to give you a sense of what’s going on:
- The average income of a smaller SEO Agency is around $50K – $60K,
- The average income of a medium SEO Agency stands between $150K – $250K,
- 80% of SEO Agencies employ somewhere between 1-5 people, and out of those, 80% of them are employing a single person,
- 60% of SEO Agencies earn less than $1K dollars per month per client
- The average number of clients stands at 14
- 90% of SEO Agencies believe they will grow the business in the next year
Why Start a SEM Business?
As demonstrated above, you are in a good spot to compete in such a market. But why would you even want to do that?
- First of all, it is a very good way of earning money fast, getting a stable income,
- You can learn during your job, looking at PPC, SEO and web design is not such a daunting task as you might think. You can even use that knowledge to help the company you are working for, while at the same time preparing yourself to start your own business,
- It gives you the chance to look into other businesses funnels,
- It sets you up with a foundation of income, enabling you to invest or expand your other business
- The satisfaction of being a professional who is doing a real business while adding value to the people around you.
The drawback of having an SEO business
There are some drawbacks to consider before you start your own SEO Agency though.
- This type of business does not scale, the limits are somewhere around $300K a year (operating on those levels is a full-time job),
- You are trading your time for money, you will hardly make a million dollar business out of it,
- The job includes a high customer maintenance, some of your customers can be very demanding.
Making an exceptional SEM business
The Do’s and Don’ts
Let’s consider some of the goals:
- This business should be something you start with, not the only business you will ever have,
- You shouldn’t count on more than 5 to 6 regular customers,
- Long-term scaling is not recommendable,
- The ultimate goal should be going out of this business to focus on channels that provide income without having to trade your time for money.
Setting up your goals
Alright, lets say you are ready to jump into this kind of business. Now you have to ask yourself the following questions:
- What kind of service do you want to provide to your customers?
- How can you provide them or become an expert on the required fields?
- How will you get your customers?
- What can you charge for your services?
- How do you keep your customers satisfied?
- What are the resources you are operating with?
What services can you offer?
Let’s focus on what you are offering for a bit, I would recommend the following services for you to focus on:
- PPC management – this means managing AdWords campaigns for your clients
- Web design – this includes building it or just revamping the existing site
- Google Places optimization
- Management of reputation – reviews, customer feedback and so on.
- Facebook management – Facebook presence is very important in current times, focus on getting enough likes, and providing enough content for the business to remain present.
- Text marketing – this is a bonus, and you should be focusing on that only if you are an AdWords expert.
- Brand awareness: https://www.gfkamerica.com/search-engine-marketing/5-local-sem-solutions-for-brand-awareness/
Main SEO areas to focus on
- Analytics – using a dashboard connected with analytics, rankings, social media and PPC
- Search Engine Optimization – On-page factors, speed, meta tags, schema, mobile, original content
- Social Media – posting relevant content, article boosting
- Content Marketing – Original content, tailored to the customer’s needs, along with the pictures
- Link building – links are very important when looking at ratings
Search Engine Marketing Solutions – What Service Should You Offer?
Here we will show you some examples of the services you can offer to your customers. Those numbers are based on our experience of working in the SEO industry.
SEO For Smaller Local Businesses
What we charge:
$400 set-up fee, along with a monthly charge of $500/$800.
These type of services are needed for almost any small business out there.
To give you an idea, we will list a couple of businesses that can become your clients:
- Real Estate
- Taxi service
- Car Mechanics
- And the list goes on..
It is very important that your website appears in the search results, this confirms that you know what you are doing, and will open the door to your potential clients.
PPC Maintainance AdWords
- $300 per month
- $600 set up fee
You can use the Spyfu.com to check what is going on with the competition. On the website, you can find the best ads, keywords and so on.
Another tip: Do not ever use the Google AdWords suggestion tool!
Our average contract stands at $3000 to set up a website.
You can start at $2,400 per website; this includes up to 20 pages with contacts, gallery and a slider in the front. You can also include the adding services, that you charge extra like a billing system, booking system, e-commerce etc.
Web design by itself will not make you a lot of money. However, it does bring in additional business such as hosting and support of the site, along with the added services.
Hosting and Maintenance
Basic package – $300 yearly fee; updates of WordPress work frame, plugins and theme are included.
Medium pacakge – $150 per month, basic + 2 hours (uploading content and images)
Advanced package – $250 per month, medium + 1 original article per month
Want to know more about online marketing?
If you are further interested in the topics we discussed, you should definitely check out our Marketing Classroom membership program.
On this website, you can access loads of information on all of the relevant topics. It is one of the first places you should visit to improve your digital marketing skills.
AdWords can be quite difficult, therefore it is recommended to offer this service only after you have become more familiar with the Google AdWords. You can still get to a nice income, without using Google AdWords.
If you want to learn about AdWords, I would recommend you to read a Brad Geddes book. He is a renounced AdWords professional and his material is a great source for any AdWords enthusiast.
You should buy the book and try to deploy the methods on your own website.
Fortunately, most businesses require a simple AdWords campaign, so if you have some basic knowledge you can satisfy most of your client’s needs.
If you want to use the AdWords, we recommend focusing on geo-targeting which is very useful for local businesses.
You can also start doing your business without offering AdWords. You will not lose too much revenue if you don’t offer this service.
Facebook management is one of the first things you should offer to your clients. Anyone who puts up signs to say »like us on Facebook«, need to manage that community. You need to stay present in the minds of your audience. The more people think about you because you are in their Facebook newsfeed, the better.
So, what steps should you take?
- Getting an audience
The easiest way to get an audience is target advertising around the competition or in the local area of the advertised business
- Managing the audience
Your goal is to stay in the minds of the audience so when they have a problem you can solve, they think of you (the business you are advertising that is).
You can use many different tactics, from using the local interest to cartoons, contests, videos and so on.
Why is it useful?
It is not the best way to get new customers – what it does is engages your existing customers and increases revenue per sale. Most of your clients will think that they will get new customers through that channel which is not the right idea.
The benefits of text marketing are similar to Facebook management. It is not a way to get new customers, however, it is good for customer retention.
There is not a lot of resources available on this topic, however, there is some training available from the vendor itself. To find it, go to https://www.avidmobile.com/.
You can join as a reseller, they will offer you: SMS, mobile sites, mobile apps coupons contests, website development, Email and SEO.
Whenever you are talking to your clients make them understand what is it all about:
Getting new customers,
Retaining existing customers, (this is an important part of any business)
Increasing the amount of money people spend every time they visit your business.
Web design – outsource it!
You don’t need to learn web design – it is way better to outsource it using Upwork or any other similar platform. You will request the design from project to project.
We believe the best way to do it is getting a Liquid Web VPS hosting account and go through their training material to educate yourself. You can also interact with them to check if the client’s sites are backed up, their bandwidth, reliability, upgrade capability etc.
Visit them at https://www.liquidweb.com/.
Getting New Customers
There are two main points you need to communicate with the business owners you are working with:
– How to get new customers,
– How to keep existing customers,
– How to increase the amount of money they spend per sale.
- The 80/20 Rule
- 20% of the work gets 80% of the results
- You don’t have to be the best on Facebook
- AdWords are not appropriate for most of the new businesses
With our business model, you will attract your clients in a much more efficient way than you might believe. Just follow these tips:
- First, let your friends and family know what you are doing
- Google the 6 degrees of »Kevin Bacon Marketing«
- Ask yourself: What is it? How does it work? Why should I do it?
Sometimes a more aggressive approach is needed:
- Email marketing and cold calling
- Find your candidate, research their website and asses in what ways they can improve
- Do this before you call them
- Contact them and make the sale
Introducing the best tool for your service!
Basically, https://agencyanalytics.com/ is a website that allows you to offer the services mentioned above.
It is an all-round solution where you can also add your logo. It is pretty cheap and it makes you look like a big company.
Your clients will be impressed with the power of this app. We use it for quite some time now and the results are really good.
Where to learn?
There is not a lot of material intended for someone who wants to start an SEM business. So that’s why we only recommend the new Parallel Profits Training by Aidan Booth and Steve Clayton which is launching starting 2019.
On the website, you will find many useful designs, templates and a lot of useful information. The whole purpose of the website is to make your life easier on the way to becoming a successful online marketer.
So, how should your plan look like?
- Educate yourself, take time to learn from the materials, as much as you can!
- Make a decision on what services will you offer and for what price.
- Establish an execution plan for each of the services you will offer.
- Set up a plan on how you will get new customers and execute it!
- Start earning money.
Starting out an SEM business is an attractive low-risk opportunity. In order to be successful, you only need to know more than your client. Thank you for reading our guide. If you have any more questions you are more than welcome to comment below!