I just read some bullshit article about how to start an SEO business, and I want to share my thoughts on the top 10 suggestions that were put forth in order for anyone to set up a fucking successful SEO business. I read over these points, and I think most of it’s just bullshit.
Let’s go through the points raised and I’ll you why.
1. I Got Ranked on Page #1 of Google
Number one, “I got ranked on page one of Google.” This is just absolute nonsense.
There’s a few reasons here. Firstly, the time it’s gonna take you to rank for any highly competitive terms, especially something like SEO, it’s going to take some time. It’s gonna take more time and effort than it’s fucking worth. It’s certainly not gonna happen in a couple of months. You certainly don’t want to be sitting there for 18 months, trying to rank yourself first page in Google for fucking “SEO.”
Which brings me to my second point, which is this.
You don’t get paid to work on your own website, you get paid to work on clients sites. I hear this all the time, mostly from clowns in forums that don’t know what they’re on about. “Why would I want to work with you? You’re not ranked first in Google for SEO.”
I don’t fucking want to be.
That in itself is good enough reason. I’m not gonna be paid to sit here working on my own shit. I’m gonna be paid working on client sites, so that’s where I’m interested in spending my time. I’m not going to sit here working for fucking free trying to rank myself for SEO.
Lastly, my final point, is that leads coming through Google for the keyword “SEO” are fucking awful.
Honestly, the worst possible leads you can get are cold leads that come through search, where someone just goes to Google, and they type in “SEO,” and they make the assumption that simply because you’re fucking first page in Google that you must be the “best”.
Some of the worst SEO agencies I know of, are first page in Google for SEO and it’s not because they do good work. Infact just the opposite. Most agencies blast a shit load of horrible links at throwaway domains with a short term “churn and burn” approach as their strategy. This is why they’ll be first page today, and gone tomorrow, OR listed first page, but under a completely different business name.
But that aside, cold leads through Google suck balls.
People just pick up the phone and they call or they send you an email without reading anything on your website, asking for $100 a month SEO. Fuck off. Sitting there for months on end getting yourself ranked in Google for any type of “SEO” term is just gonna bring nothing but lolly scrambles and people that are out for cheap SEO, and they’ll do nothing but waste your fucking time.
2. I Offered a Free SEO Audit Tool
The next point he’s got here, number two, “I offered a free SEO audit.”
This again is just encouraging that fucking lolly scrambler mindset. The minute you start offering people free shit, the minute they’re going to start fucking wanting more of it, and that’s not the type of clientele you want to be attracting. You don’t want to be offering free shit as an incentive, “Oh, look. I’ll give you one month free SEO,” or, “I’ll perform a free audit.”
What the fuck for?
You may as well throw in a complimentary back rub and send them some flowers too while you’re at it.
Look, are you running a business or are you running a charity? What are you going to say at the next dinner party when someone asks how your business is going? “Oh yeah, I’m really busy, but I’m not making any money yet”
You’re not going to be able to keep the lights on and run a successful business if you’re sitting there doing fucking free audits for people.
3. I Gave Away Free Resources
The next point he’s got here, number three, “I gave away free resources.” Again, that fucking free mentality. “Free, free, free. I’ll do everything for free.”
While you’re giving away free resources, I’m making $50,000 a month.
4. I Made Strategic Partnerships
Finally some fucking common sense.
Point four, he’s got … and this one actually makes sense, out of all of them that he’s got here – he’s got “I made strategic partnerships.” This is one point that does make sense, and it’s something that I definitely did when I first started my SEO business, was that I reached out to people.
I reached out to people in related markets, and by related markets, I’m talking about people that worked in the online marketing space that didn’t necessarily provide SEO services, so they’re doing other things, like –
- Facebook advertising, or
- AdWords, or
- video marketing, or
- graphic design, or web design.
People that are dealing with customers, or clients, rather, that are more than likely going to need SEO. When you partner up with people like that, you say, “Listen, I’ve got clients here that probably need help with graphic design or video. I’ll send them your way if you send me the clients that you might have that need SEO.”
This makes total sense because chances are, they might want to offload those leads to someone else, OR, they might want to offer those services in house – and have you do all of the work as a silent partner. Of course, you can pay for referrals or give them some sort of incentive with a rewards program or something like that.
5. I Gave Referral Rewards
Which is his next point, which is point five. “I gave referral rewards.” This is self-explanatory.
You want to give people an incentive to send referrals your way. One of the best things that I ever did in my business was asking my existing clients for referrals, and in exchange, I would either pay them for the leads, or I would provide them with free hours, of which they could use against their own campaign.
If they’re paying for 12 hours a month, I can say, “All right. Thanks for the referral. They signed up. I’ll give you an additional five hours this month as thanks for the referral.” 100% of the time, existing clients will take the time over asking me to pay for the lead, so it works out.
6. I Answered Questions on Quora
His next point here, point six, “I answered questions on Quora.” Which, look, it’s not a terrible idea, and I know I certainly spend some time online in certain business forums where I know that the likelihood of me getting leads from there is gonna be fairly high.
BUT, It all comes back to testing and measuring. If you’re spending your time in a forum or on Quora, Yahoo Answers, or anywhere else, and you’re not getting any paying leads from being there, then get the fuck out. It’s pointless. You don’t want to be spending your time in a forum that’s full of people that are just out for free advice.
I have spent quite a bit of time at this, and I know exactly where I need to be, and the answers I need to give in order to bring paying clients, and I keep notes on this with all my run sheets, so I know exactly where these people have found me. Again, coming back to testing and measuring. I know that my time is well-spent, and I’m not just fucking around in some forum full of assholes with no money.
7. I Marked My Territory
By this, he’s talking about including a link back to his own SEO business website within the footer of his clients’ sites, which I don’t fucking do, and never will. I see this all the time. “SEO by Acme SEO Service Providers in New York,” or wherever the fuck they are.
Look, if you’re doing great work, then you should get a lot of word of mouth very, very quickly. I’m not in the business of shoving fucking links on clients’ sites. In fact, I’ve had a lot of clients ask me not to place links in their footers, because they don’t want their competitors to know who they’re working with. Not that I’d do it anyway, but I just think that’s a lot of nonsense.
A lot of agencies do this to try and build links too, which is fucking amatuer hour.
8. I Added a Live Chat
Point eight. He’s got here, “I added a live chat.” Live chat. Fuck me.
The problems with live chat are numerous.
Firstly, you’ve got to be fucking sitting there at your desk 24/7, ready to answer questions. The way in which people interact with live chat is a lot different to the way in which they behave or interact when it comes to email, because unlike email, where they’ll send an inquiry and they’ll expect a response within a few hours or a day, with live chat, they’ll want or at least expect a fucking immediate response.
If you’re not sitting at your desk and you get someone sending you a chat request, “Hey, how much do you charge for this service?” or, “Could we have a quick chat about our business?” or whatever the fuck it might be, if you don’t respond immediately, then they’re fucking out of there. They’re off to your competitors, or they’re looking elsewhere on the web.
That’s a real massive downside to live chat.
The other thing is, it can be incredibly difficult to try and track and measure that stuff, unlike tracking and measuring conversions where your email inquiries are coming through trackable forms and phone numbers on your website.
I should note also that I’ve seen live chat absolutely kill campaigns. By that I mean conversion rates. Shit has literally fallen off a cliff, for the reasons I’ve just stated. Clients are quick to get rid of live chat once they see the numbers declining.
I see live chat as a lot of unnecessary wanky nonsense.
9. I Started Offering Web Design Services
The next point down here is point nine. He’s got, “I started offering web design services.” This is very smart, and this is definitely one that I agree with.
Web design and SEO go hand in hand.
It’s pointless pushing SEO on a website that’s fucking broken, and let’s face it, most are, or websites that aren’t built with conversions in mind. This is a big one. You know, look, most SEOs send fucking meaningless reports to their clients. Keyword ranking reports. “Oh, look. You’re first page for inflatable dartboards.”
Whoop de do. It doesn’t mean anything.
Instead, you should be tracking and measuring based upon revenue, whether that be sales or customer inquiries. This can only take place if the site is built correctly. If the site’s a fucking mess or it’s broken, or it’s just not gonna perform, then you can be doing the world’s greatest SEO and nothing’s gonna change. Implementing web design service in conjunction with SEO makes fucking sense.
10. I Outsourced Cold Emailing
His last point. “I outsourced cold emailing.”
This is spamming people and its bullshit.
I’m certainly not gonna hire someone in fucking Thailand to sit at a keyboard for six, seven hours a day to annoy people via fucking cold emails. Cold email is just a nice way of saying “spamming people to fucking death.” It’s fucking ridiculous, and I’m totally against it.
Let’s face it. Everyone gets those emails. “Oh, sign up with us, we’re the best. First page by next Wednesday.” I provide SEO, and even I get those fucking emails. “Oh, we can help you get to the first page of Google.”
Be careful what you read on the web when it comes to SEO.
99% of it is utter bullshit.
I’m sure Marvin is a nice guy and even though his intentions might be good, most of the “advice” given here is just nonsense.