How to build a million dollar agency selling SEO
Search engine optimization has a horrible reputation. There is a massive amount of bad information in the industry, which stems from Google’s secrecy around their algorithm. This has, in turn, lead SEO firms to be secretive about their tactics - for fear of being called out as black hat.
That being said, the search engine optimization industry is large, and growing. There are over 2 trillion Google searches per day (measured in 2018). The SEO industry is approaching $80 billion.
Many agencies with a long history in branding, advertising and public relations are watching the traditional sources of revenue dry-up as more businesses move to digital marketing - and SEO in particular. They usually start to dabble in SEO as a part of the website development projects.
Web dev projects are notoriously difficult to manage for small business customers due to the complexity of the technology, the aesthetic nature of websites (they are ultimately judged by how visually appealing they are) and the low budgets involved.
For these reasons, it becomes very attractive for agencies to move into recurring revenue business models built around search engine optimization, rather than web design or PR. However, many agencies really are not good at search engine optimization. Where do they start?
HubShout, a white label SEO reseller, has a novel approach. They offer a free seo consultation (sign up here) where agencies can get a free session with the company CEO, Adam Stetzer, Ph.D. With over 10 years in the SEO industry, covered by sites like Search Engine Watch and the New York Times, the HubShout team outlines how an agency can grow SEO to $1 million line of business. They have done so repeatedly with many different agencies.
Many agencies fall into the trap of thinking SEO is a one-time technical experience. While they may understand the mistake they are making, they find talking to their small business customers very difficult. The array of data available from ahrefs, SEMRush and Moz doesn’t simplify matters. It can often be overwhelming to explain the difference between a good backlink and a bad backlink to a dentist - especially when you are not sure yourself.
SEO is still a large opportunity in 2019. However, many agencies fear the negative reputation and don’t know where to start. Education is key to selling new customers or migrating existing clients into SEO. If agency owners open their minds, learn the complexities, and practice explaining this new discipline, they can significantly diversify their revenue streams.