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  1. Entrepreneur
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    Starting a SEO Company


    I am working for a SEO company in India but I was planning established my own business from two years but still planning one of my colleague establish a seo company and doing well in seo industries having good projects some of from outsourcing some of link building projects.
    But not it is enough I read Fathom articles and I impressed, Fathom gave me example of "SEOmoz started a one-man "small business 4 years before" so I am going to start my own company

    I need your suggestions please advice me.
    You do your business I do mine because you are you and I am I If we meet it is nice.
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  3. rod@missionop.com
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    Originally Posted by Prof.stan
    I am working for a SEO company in India but I was planning established my own business from two years but still planning one of my colleague establish a seo company and doing well in seo industries having good projects some of from outsourcing some of link building projects.
    But not it is enough I read Fathom articles and I impressed, Fathom gave me example of "SEOmoz started a one-man "small business 4 years before" so I am going to start my own company

    I need your suggestions please advice me.
    Forgetting knowledge, skills, and experience for the moment [which anyone can develop just by reading here and playing with a hobby domain] language skills define your success.

    A person starting out cannot sell beyond their own abilities... but with speech and writing comprehension problems - you can't even sell at your own level. Achieving results in any search engine is dead easy... talking & writing about, and wooing people into trusting you is the hard part.

    So no matter what you decide to do... if you can't consciously improve your English language skills you'd better re-think selling... maybe only in your native tongue... You may be able to fake out a few in emails and contracts professionally written by someone else... but you can't fake a phone call and anyone wanting results and willing to spend capital earnings to get it will want to talk to you, and the first foreign voice they hear that they can not easily understand it's a deadend.

    At some point I may start a SEO leads generation place but that doesn't really help a person that can't sell themselves.

    That's the really hard part... please don't fool yourself... I often make grammar mistake in this "informal environment" but rarely are "my jests" misinterpreted.

    You seem to try the same 'tact' which is good since this is a learning environment - but your points are often lost within your poor English skills... this is the place to do that... no one really cares here... but a paying client that doesn't understand you will immediately go elsewhere.

    That said, any person acting as a SEO today... needs only to be able to do the following:
    1. read and edit html and dynamic code
    2. IMHO remove Meta Tags [this clouds the picture - any negative listing appeal is an issue of misaligned not a snippet problem] navigation vs. body text issues... fix that problem snippets beat Meta's EVERYTIME
    3. Edit Title Elements & Page Title in Header Tags
    4. Realtime Keyword Research [not that BS Wordtracker or AdWords Tool stuff but real keyword research based on the merits of the website
    5. Client relationship
    6. Sometimes editing the navigation paths of pages to a better arrangement
    These are it... you can do a ton of other bullcrap things but the impact:effort ratio is so under-productive you're going moving in reverse

    Depending on site size defines hours per month you need to work on this single contract.

    If you work on a 25 pages/week system/contract that tends to be 5 hours work/client/week [that's about 12 minutes per page] allowing 8 clients in a work week [assumes a 40 hour work week] or about 32 clients per month for a single 1 man operation... that's before you need to start looking for employees.

    Assuming the average self-employed wage in India is $600/month... even at
    $250 or $500 per client that's about $8000 - $16000/month

    Those are not the package costs to the customers that's near your net income.

    All that assumes you have a top notch link developer to outsource to... because as we all know LINKS make or break every successful strategies...

    The cost of links varies enormously. Most Indian firm still do the recip link, 3-way, n-way thing because the only real cost is labor and labor in India is a smallish expense.

    But for a one man show that cost can quickly to well above your means... Recip-like links are free in monetary value but in sweat equity [per customer] is enormous such that your service quality suffers if you have more than a single client. .

    PPI and other fee base links can add $5000 to $20000 on a strategy price [or less but less also implies less performance]

    <snip>

    Beyond the resource needs [that don't change from one real estate agent to another] we also understand that if you're entrenched in a specific industry your ability to sell to that indsutry is superior plus you also have multiple samples of the same industry to show others.

    Themes are not limited to regional based industry - a wedding shop, engement ring site, tux or limo rental can be themed... it all depends on information organization.

    As such I would believe you can start at about $750/month packages and with 2 customers you're a struggling one man show... but even if it takes all month to attract 1 more each month that's quite doable... and if the first 2 are of the same theme that's like starting with 3.

    Comments on this post

    • Visio agrees : Very well put Rod!
    • EGOL agrees : Wow... a very generous reply.
    • SEO Positive lt agrees
    • joe@biznet agrees : Excellent Post
    • lazy agrees : Nice post some really realy good points
    • saajan agrees : very helpful
    Last edited by pro_seo; May 22nd, 2009 at 02:26 AM. Reason: removed reference to a third party company
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    Thanks for your suggestion very nice explanation
    if you can't consciously improve your English language skills
    I have joined British council for improving my writing and speaking skill.

    You seem to try the same 'tact' which is good since this is a learning environment - but your points are often lost within your poor English skills
    I am trying to improve my English please give me more suggestion for improving my English.

    1. read and edit html and dynamic code
    Page rename, headed footer, interlinking, canonical issue some thing like that or some thing else.

    2. IMHO remove Meta Tags [this clouds the picture - any negative listing appeal is an issue of misaligned not a snippet problem] navigation vs. body text issues... fix that problem snippets beat Meta's EVERYTIME
    I strongly believe that meta tags are useless.

    4. Realtime Keyword Research [not that BS Wordtracker or AdWords Tool stuff but real keyword research based on the merits of the website
    Common Sense is great keyword research tool.

    5. Client relationship
    It depends our way to communicate the client.

    6. Sometimes editing the navigation paths of pages to a better arrangement
    I always do it.

    If you work on a 25 pages/week system/contract that tends to be 5 hours work/client/week [that's about 12 minutes per page] allowing 8 clients in a work week [assumes a 40 hour work week] or about 32 clients per month for a single 1 man operation... that's before you need to start looking for employees.
    I will follow this

    As such I would believe you can start at about $750/month packages and with 2 customers you're a struggling on man show... but even if it takes all month to attract 1 more each month that's quite doable... and if the first 2 are of the same theme that's like start with 3.
    Now I am working for two clients they are same theme and but I am enjoying my clients are satisfied with my work and I am looking 3rd client with same theme.

    Finally I would like to say you all suggestion are very valuable
    As soon as possible I am going to start my own company. I just expecting you people keep going valuable suggestion to me. And I request to all of you please give some positive point to Fathom for this awesome post.

    Comments on this post

    • EGOL agrees : glad you are working on English writing and speaking skills. You are "good" at present but you need to be "excellent" to get the best jobs
    • fathom agrees
    Last edited by Prof.stan; Sep 23rd, 2008 at 07:12 AM.
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    EGOL
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    I agree with fathom about the English language skills. Complete and excellent skills, not only in the words but also in the punctuation and capitalization are needed.

    Comments on this post

    • Prof.stan agrees
    * "It's not the size of the dog in the fight that matters, it's the size of the fight in the dog." Mark Twain
    * "Free advice isn't worth much. Cheap advice is worth even less." EGOL
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  9. End game expert
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    Originally Posted by Prof.stan
    I am working for a SEO company in India but I was planning established my own business from two years but still planning one of my colleague establish a seo company and doing well in seo industries having good projects some of from outsourcing some of link building projects.
    But not it is enough I read Fathom articles and I impressed, Fathom gave me example of "SEOmoz started a one-man "small business 4 years before" so I am going to start my own company

    I need your suggestions please advice me.
    Nice goal, my best advice is to develop your arsenals first. Above are great advices from Fathom and Egol, communication skills are extremely important in this business. Communicating well with your prospect enables both of you to reach clear expectations. Customer/Client Expectations is what sets your success.

    So master that art of selling first, before you can dig deeper and start your own firm.

    Comments on this post

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    Last edited by Emerson; Sep 23rd, 2008 at 09:06 PM.
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    EGOL
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    Most people posting her who are over about 35 years old were doing something else besides SEO. They then left that other work to do SEO or run websites full time.

    If I was in your shoes I would start one or two websites of my own and see how I can do getting them up in the SERPs and making money. If you can't do it for your own sites then you can't do it for a client.

    Almost anyone can learn optimization. However, the real problem in ranking a website is the content and the links. Can you build it or write it. If not then where can you get it?

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    Most people posting her who are over about 35 years old were doing something else besides SEO.
    But I am 27 years old but I am doing only SEO

    I would start one or two websites of my own and see how I can do getting them up in the SERPs and making money.
    I have started three website of my own one is hosted in USA one is UK and third one in India Now all are in top 300 in Google. I am continuing work on these sites one of my fried is content writer, he is writing content for these website one dedicated link builders working on link building and SB sites submission.

    Almost anyone can learn optimization. However, the real problem in ranking a website is the content and the links. Can you build it or write it. If not then where can you get it?
    Write but I know I may achieve any targeted keywords by our ethical SEO approach.
    I mainly focus on link building OK for getting link back we need good content

    Very thanks Egol and Emerson your nice contribute.
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    Trust
    Referrence
    Education

    These are the three things I have found to be the most vital to any sales professional.

    Education: educate a prospect on the importance of SEO and the difference of trusive advertsing vs. intrusive. Know your competition, how much they charge and why going with you is going to show me a larger roi. Give me live examples and answer my questions truthfully and confirm I understand. Tell me what changes you intend to make on my current web site or new web site and how they will help. But be careful, don't give away the house here and tell them exactly what needs improvement, just in general. Basically, prove to all your prospects that you are not a fly by night company and have the knowledge and wisdom they seek.

    Referrence. Hopefully by now you have customers you can showcase or at least customers from your previous employmeny that you can't exactly take credit for anymore but you can say before I started my business, these were the websites I optimized. Everyone wants to see your previous work as a referrence just to push them over the edge and once and for all undoubedly prove your worthiness. If you have no referrences, you may want to start with very low costs or maybe even free just so you can have one. You might think of it as wasting your time, but consider it an investment in your business. Overtme, you can raise your margins because it can be justified. There are a lot of people that would pay little and you can even tell them why you are charging so little now is because you need their business to help start yours. In conclusion, your very own website should be optimized to its fullest potential as well as another show case template.

    In order for someone to do business with you they need to trust you. Trust your vision, trust your personality, trust your genuinous (sp?). I can't put my finger on it, but everything you do and say reflects the trust in you. Without trust, you will never get business. That is why many companies have BBB logos or Chamber of Commerce associations tied to their site, it helps sell the trust factor.

    Comments on this post

    • Prof.stan agrees : It really honor to me a user membre from 2005 and posted only 26 post answering my post
    • EGOL agrees
    • pro_seo agrees : Awesome! Where were you all these days ? :)
    • fathom agrees
    • RohitShah agrees : Awesome post! I think you are very experienced.
    • Emerson agrees : Great advice.
    • SEO Positive lt agrees : Nice Advice
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    some clarifications needed from fathom


    Great fathom, I am becoming a fan of you - honestly! However I am not seeking any less criticism from you in replies to my questions

    Originally Posted by fathom
    2. IMHO remove Meta Tags [this clouds the picture - any negative listing appeal is an issue of misaligned not a snippet problem] navigation vs. body text issues... fix that problem snippets beat Meta's EVERYTIME

    Remove meta tags (description and keyword meta tags) altogether?

    I only question it because I have some of my sites in Google Webmaster tools and they show "duplicate meta tags" and "short meta description" as errors. I thought they were not able to index my pages because of those errors. I eventually fixed them and my pages were back in search engines.


    Originally Posted by fathom
    4. Realtime Keyword Research [not that BS Wordtracker or AdWords Tool stuff but real keyword research based on the merits of the website
    I couldn't make out exactly how do you do realtime keyword research If there is some thread related to it, please point me there.


    Originally Posted by fathom
    6. Sometimes editing the navigation paths of pages to a better arrangement
    Originally Posted by fathom
    Navigation paths and linking structures have always been greek to me, what is the goal here? What is the best practice to achieve that goal?


    Originally Posted by fathom
    These are it... you can do a ton of other bullcrap things but the impact:effort ratio is so under-productive you're going moving in reverse
    So what differently established SEOs and SEO companies promise/do for their clients? Why should a client trust a startup company for doing such basic SEO stuff?


    Originally Posted by fathom
    Depending on site size defines hours per month you need to work on this single contract.
    Do you mean working on those 1 to 6 regularly for a website? Can a SEO contract be won with the same plain promise/deliverable?
  18. #10
  19. I Never Finish Anythi
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    Well Starting a business.. Hmm.. Not really a reality check this one is, But certainly an admonishment +ve ofcourse.., things probably you should be prepared before you start up your own business..

    1. Any business, be it some kinda SEO stuff or burger stands, you need an initial investment.

    And ofcourse investments should not be dependent on the returns coming from sales/orders/clients, in other words, you should not have the thought of utilising the money at the later stage when you get it from clients for investment. Instead you should have your own resources at first for proper establishment and utilisation, therefore quality outputs..

    2. While marketing others, How would you market yourself..?Well business is business, you will have to make a plan for this one along with at priority. working on clients websites and then getting a link from the footer of each site you work wont be a long term solution. you need to be aware of what needs to be done in order to make your website/business come into limelight, ofcourse with means other than organic SEO.

    3. You need to check the resources before hand. Office materials/Supplies.. printers, accessories, softwares, internet connections (seperate budget for that). When I launched my own website (recently), i was under an impression that my bandwidth needs are just about on the higher side, however, the maintaince of the website persuaded me to buy a higher bandwidth line, and trust me its ever increasing.. yo have to be prepared for that..

    4. Registering a company with auth., Registering it with Taxation dept. is another task you would be reuqired to do.

    5. You will have to take care of your employees, their welfare, else, they will work for a few months and look out for a change.. You wouldnt want any pause in your work.. would you ever?

    6. And for Any business you need to have an eye on the Risk Management as well. What if, after a few months, you dont get a client to work on, how would you cope up with the expenditures? What if, a client doesnt pays you back but rebukes .. bad work or what so ever reason..do you have backup options?

    7. You would require a corporate banking account , may be many for all the big global transactions. You would require your own gateways, credit card machines, pay check books, funds manager, accountant..etc etc.

    8. Business prospers well through LINKS.. social links. You would be required to take loans from time to time, you would be required to make a nice business relation ship with your loan bank and personels. Your managerial/CEO skills will develop with all these efforts..

    9. Company means, a place, building, employees, office, and ofcourse lots of goodies worth k$ and m$ , you would need a business insurance.

    10. Like any business, Getting a new customer is great, but retaining a customer for further services is even greater.. you would be required to work on such a business plan coz SEO being a word of mouth market at large..

    And then all the general sayings/lessons/business tips that are applicable to any business are to be kept in mind.

    Just forget what all I have said above for a moment, and trust me on this one: Give Your Customers Sheer Quality, Quality as in SERPS, ROI, Traffic, and all the above said steps will follow you automatically. "There is no substitute to Quality"..

    Good Luck!

    Comments on this post

    • Prof.stan agrees
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    • jeffe agrees : Great post!
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  20. #11
  21. rod@missionop.com
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    Originally Posted by website4retail
    Great fathom, I am becoming a fan of you - honestly! However I am not seeking any less criticism from you in replies to my questions


    Remove meta tags (description and keyword meta tags) altogether?

    I only question it because I have some of my sites in Google Webmaster tools and they show "duplicate meta tags" and "short meta description" as errors. I thought they were not able to index my pages because of those errors. I eventually fixed them and my pages were back in search engines.
    I can't speak for Google but using their own example - when they discontinued/changed many of their search commands and a somewhat loud outcry occurred in the SEO community - Matt Cutts explained their decision as [paraphrasing since I can't find the actual quote] "our average user isn't that informed about advance SEO requirements... you guys are power-users and while we wish to support you as best as we can - our target user isn't that informed... as such support for power user tools isn't were we can do the most good".

    As such... their webmaster console isn't an SEO console... and their support is SEO-based... it is webmaster/site owner-based.

    Their average "user" is not competent with html code, html design, or SEO best practices... it stands to reason that their "support" isn't beyond the intellectual abilities of the average person using it.

    I don't post here for the average "dumb down SEO" [translated - someone not interested in being a top notch SEO]

    I couldn't make out exactly how do you do realtime keyword research If there is some thread related to it, please point me there.
    I helped a fellow SEO out recently... they did keyword research and found lots of phrases that had 1K/day uses and we got the site ranks "immediately" and the client was IMPRESSED... right up to the point only a trickle of traffic was there... They ranked #3 [I think] for a phrase Google claims has 90,000 search uses per month... they go 10 a day [that's an average of 300 a month] ... that's what most people call "KEYWORD RESEARCH".

    As a SEO it futile to do keyword research on someone else's data - you MUSt do it on the actual data for the domain. Any domain that's been around for a while will have ranks down on page 3 - 10 or so and every so often you'll get a deep results searcher that's clicks... 999 times out of 1000 if 1 finds you at say #55 -- 99.99% of the searching traffic for that phrase won't venture that deep AND because these terms are usually "off the beaten path" the competitiveness of the pages list above is so "light" that a single link anchor will kick you page 1, a 2nd top 5, and as little as a 3rd to #1...

    "THAT'S REAL RESEARCH!"

    Navigation paths and linking structures have always been greek to me, what is the goal here? What is the best practice to achieve that goal?
    Most people can fathom the value a targeted link anchor to your website offers... but they often lose sight that all links to the link page [or ranking page] define how powerful and beneficial that anchor will be.

    It's why we say "related sites" beat off-topic sites... even authority sites that are not on topic... e.g. a dot.edu link is near worthless if the page doesn't match you theme "because the links to it don't match your theme either"... nore the links to them, and so on.

    So what differently established SEOs and SEO companies promise/do for their clients? Why should a client trust a startup company for doing such basic SEO stuff?
    I wouldn't "if that's all they are doing"... any SEO not doing link development isn't very good... but anyone with a little practices can edit website pages and with but a few instructions... can optimize a page to "the best it can be"... but even in the military with the best training if you lack the right equipment/resources your training doesn't amount to quat!

    Do you mean working on those 1 to 6 regularly for a website? Can a SEO contract be won with the same plain promise/deliverable?
    I would guess it all depends on your salesmanship...

    Frankly my salesmanship sucks! I piss off 20 people a day and only one a week can see beyond their bruised feelings to appreciate - I don't hide behind the unknows of SEO.

    That style works well for me... because I've streamlined my processes and dumped all the "little but help stuff" which means... I can delivery my deliverable faster than any other SEO... and I don't stop there.

    If we go back to the keyword research... what's the point of ranking someone that:
    1. no one searches for? or
    2. no one searching and clicking is interesting in purchasing your offerings?
    I'm sure the SEO that ranked them will claim they did their job "their ranked"... but the implied rational for hiring the SEO was to develop exposure for the purposes of enticing sales conversions.

    So the same plain promise is "working with customers to generate sales"... ranks help, traffic helps, but without sales... the point of service is lost.

    That might generate more questions than it answered... but ask away!

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  23. rod@missionop.com
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    Originally Posted by EGOL
    If I was in your shoes I would start one or two websites of my own and see how I can do getting them up in the SERPs and making money. If you can't do it for your own sites then you can't do it for a client.
    It is rare that I disagree but even you don't agree with this.

    A SEO has absolutely nothing to do with the current content of a client's website... where in your own website "it's absolutely yours to create"... someone not gifted in English won't be able to create a website full of average content let alone superb content... but that doesn't really indicate how good they are in SEO.

    With a client that is already gifted in content writing... the ranking difference most often some minor on-site edits and you know 100% after that it's all link juice...

    If you have a link source you don't need to prove anything.

    I'll also note that it tends to be easier to rank an existing site because it has "history" than building one from stratch and as I recall... you did this "buy into one" instead of taking your own advice.

    As a example to someone I recently did this in Google:
    Denver Marital Therapy 1 Page 1 http://www.fivestarcounselingservices.com/contact.htm
    Psychologist Denver 3 Page 1 http://www.fivestarcounselingservices.com/testimonials.htm
    Psychotherapist Denver 4 Page 1 http://www.fivestarcounselingservices.com/about.htm
    It's not like, contact us, testimonials, or about us pages are "meaty content pages"... the links to these pages, the trust associated with the pages the link are on cause the pages to rank... not the lack of content.

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    • EGOL agrees : good point. I agree.
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    Last edited by fathom; Sep 24th, 2008 at 08:51 AM.
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    It is rare that I disagree but even you don't agree with this.
    Same here

    A SEO has absolutely nothing to do with the current content of a client's website... where in your own website "it's absolutely yours to create"...
    Yes you right its depend on your creativity
    someone not gifted in English won't be able to create a website full of average content let alone superb content
    But we have an option we may hire a content writer.

    but that doesn't really indicate how good they are in SEO.
    My 2cents.

    With a client that is already gifted in content writing... the ranking difference most often some minor on-site edits and you know 100% after that it's all link juice...
    Back links is more power full than others but getting back link you really need some good content on your website.

    If you have a link source you don't need to prove anything.
    Now I have 4 full time link builders.

    I'll also note that it tends to be easier to rank an existing site because it has "history" than building one from stratch and as I recall... you did this "buy into one" instead of taking your own advice.
    I have same experience

    As a example to someone I recently did this in Google:
    Denver Marital Therapy 1 Page 1 http://www.fivestarcounselingservices.com/contact.htm
    Psychologist Denver 3 Page 1 http://www.fivestarcounselingservices.com/testimonials.htm
    Psychotherapist Denver 4 Page 1 http://www.fivestarcounselingservices.com/about.htm
    It's not like, contact us, testimonials, or about us pages are "meaty content pages"... the links to these pages, the trust associated with the pages the link are on cause the pages to rank... not the lack of content.
    I have seen these websites yes you right these all are raking well just because of link building but content is not enough.

    I agree with you back links are most important thing for raking. But clients always what you do in SEO above you given some points all are the maximum a week job and you charge to the client $1000 per months when he is asking what is your own going process in SEO do you thing only link building will satisfied to your client.
    No we have to do something in viral part for client satisfaction.
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    Just forget what all I have said above for a moment, and trust me on this one: Give Your Customers Sheer Quality, Quality as in SERPS, ROI, Traffic, and all the above said steps will follow you automatically. "There is no substitute to Quality"..
    When I start to read you post I was slitly frusted but when I read last paragraph I became very glad because all the thing automatically follow wiht of your quality of work.
    And what seo client want

    1. Traffic.
    2. Leads.
    3. PR upgrade.
    4. Mostly the clients wants to get customers by their websites. For this they want that their sites should be appear in the top ranking of any search engines like Google Yahoo and MSN .

    At the end of the day only business which counts, a good client will focus just on that, rest of the thing is fancy and fairy tales.
    Last edited by Prof.stan; Sep 25th, 2008 at 03:21 AM.
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  29. rod@missionop.com
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    Human nature is a strange thing... we want what we want even when we don't know why and no one can tell us differently because "we read" or "heard" about this...

    No matter how much we try to curb people's desire to "own PageRank" that's what 90% of the market wants... and we all know this... you only need to look at the questions that arrive here... how to increase it, I lost it, will this make it... and all assume if they have more PageRank the ranks follow.

    If that's what they want... why not give it to them, don't say it, just let them see it, and their greed for it will do the rest.

    I'll also note "quality isn't the answer for everyone"... quality implies "more cost" and "extreme quality" implies enormous cost.

    Lastly, when you have client(s)... that is more than 1 your value increases... even minute you spend being dedicatede to "a client" depreciates the value you offer to the others.

    It understandable that all client desire a manopoly on your time but you're not their employee... you're their consultant... and you've got to start the relationship in that manner... You're at your best when your work is servicing all at the same time... and that's can't be done on-site.

    At the end of the day the client doesn't really care want you do so long as they gain ranks, get more traffic, and have better sales conversion... if you can do that from laying on the beach - I know of no client that would say "Shove it... I want you to work... and give me less ranks, less traffic, and less sales conversions".

    Comments on this post

    • Prof.stan agrees
    Last edited by fathom; Sep 25th, 2008 at 08:02 AM.
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