Gone are the days of corner stores and local customers only. Today, the world is your marketplace.
To be competitive in today’s business world, a business needs to harness the power of the internet to make its services or products known to a wider audience. How does a business owner who may lack knowledge about the internet start marketing online? He/She hires a search-engine optimizer, also called an SEO consultant. These experts usually work out of small SEO agencies or freelance for themselves.
SEO Consulting as a Business Opportunity
The SEO industry is the new favorite entrepreneurial venture for enterprising freelancers with a flair for marketing and an understanding of search engine algorithms. It is flexible and offers several advantages for a hardworking, motivated individual.
According to the US Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, there are 30.2 million small businesses in the United States. What does that mean for entrepreneurs looking to offer SEO services? It means there are millions of opportunities for SEO consultants to market their services to small business owners.
Study.com reports that the median pay for SEO specialists is $43,408 and the expected growth rate for the field is nine percent per year through 2026, a projection considerably above that for many industries.
What SEO Consultants Do
Describing what SEO consulting involves, Study.com states: "SEO consultants specialize in evaluating an organization's website, including incoming website links, and offering methods to implement that will net higher search engine results."
SEO consultants may be expected to wear a number of different hats, depending on their clients' needs. Here are just a few skills and tasks an SEO consultant might tackle to improve a clients' visibility online.
- Work closely with each client to understand that client's marketing objectives, position in the marketplace, and brand strategies
- Perform website optimization
- Perform keyword research and analysis
- Improve customer experience at every touchpoint with the client
- Perform website audits
- Optimize content across all marketing channels using SEO best practices
- Make strategic recommendations for continual process improvement
- Create high-quality internal and external links for the client's website
How to Get Started
To get started in the SEO field as a solopreneur, you will likely need a bachelor's degree in business, marketing, communications or information technology. You will also need some background in online marketing and familiarity with various programming languages.
Additionally, since SEO is a dynamic field, you will also need to remain current with best practices by continually educating yourself via conferences and workshops, blog posts, webinars, and training videos. Much of this training is free or at a low cost, if you know where to look. There are also some credentialing agencies, though you will have to do your due diligence to find the most reputable and well-regarded among them.
Perhaps the highest hurdle to jump is marketing your new agency and getting your first few clients. Many SEO experts come from well-established agencies, building up a reputation for excellence in a corporate environment before branching out on their own. For those starting from scratch, however, the time from the first day of business to a break-even point can be lengthy.
Benetrends Can Help
If you have what it takes to become an SEO expert and you want to start your agency soon, Benetrends can help. Benetrends helps new business owners navigate the world of small business funding options to find the perfect fit for your circumstances. Download Innovative Funding Strategies for Entrepreneurs to learn more today.