How to Start an SEO Agency in 2022

How to Start an SEO Agency in 2022


The SEO industry has continued to grow in recent years as people realize how important it is to be visible on search engines. Billions of searches are conducted daily, and every search taking place that is even remotely related to your business is an opportunity to grow. It’s SEO agencies that can help companies to embrace search traffic.

If you’re looking for a business idea that can allow you flexibility and work from home, an SEO agency could potentially be a great option. It may allow you to do a lot of work in your own time, and fit it around a family, or it could grow to be a huge business. It depends on your own goals.

What is an SEO Business?

SEO business is one that helps other businesses or individuals grow their search presence. There are some variations in exactly what the agency can focus on. Some have more of a focus on creating content for businesses, others consult on technical aspects of creating a website that is seen as authoritative by the search engines.

An SEO business can consult, or work with a business on an ongoing basis, there are opportunities to build very different types of SEO businesses and agencies.

Understand the Industry

Firstly, it helps if you are able to understand the industry and the different aspects of SEO. You won’t be able to offer your services unless you have a strong understanding of the technical side of the industry, and how other search companies operate.

You can boost your knowledge by following industry-related blogs and authoritative SEO figures. As you might expect, they tend to be easy to find.

Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies

How feasible is your business idea? Work out whether SEO services are required in your area, and what the competition is like.

A feasibility study is described as “an assessment of the practicality of a proposed plan or project” and it is a way for you to ensure that you are making a calculated gamble by starting this business, rather than risking it all for something that might not work.

Decide on Niche

Being a general SEO agency may not be the best approach when it comes to building a business. People are much more likely to trust your business and the quality you possess if you niche down. 

This also gives you the chance to lower your competition and to specialize in a way that can bring you more opportunities and the chance to better understand how SEO works in one specific niche.

Know the Possible Threats and Challenges

Of course, there are always going to be threats and challenges. It’s not guaranteed that you will make a success of your agency. Understand that you will probably take some time to build up a basis of clients and that there aren’t necessarily the same protections that you would have in traditional employment.

There are always pros and cons to starting your own business, and the challenges ahead will undoubtedly be something to overcome.

Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity

When you are starting on a relatively small scale, it is possible to trade as a sole proprietor, but this may mean you are liable more financially than some other options for business startups financing, which can give different protections.

Do some research on the different business structures, even if you are starting off as a one-person business.

Get the Necessary Professional Certification

SEO is a relatively new industry compared to a lot of others. There aren’t as many routes to go down when it comes to schooling, but there are professional bodies offering certification. 

This guide to SEO qualifications and certifications explores which are worth bothering with. They are a fantastic way of building credibility as well as learning about the industry. 

If you are looking to see what other agencies do check out the Top 90 Digital marketing agency blogs – hint we are at number 12!

Get the Legal Documents to Operate

Time to do some research on the legal side of running your business. In many states in the US, you can obtain a general business license. This is issued by your local city or county annually and ensures you stay on the right side of the law when it comes to running your business.

Around the world, there are different guidelines to running businesses and legal documentation. Seek information from the authorities if needed.

Raise the Startup Capital

This is often the sort of business that people will “bootstrap” meaning they don’t put a huge investment into it initially, at least until they grow the business to a level where they know that it is viable.

However, there are always going to be some expenses, and your calculations will show you how much capital you need to get underway. For a one-person business, this could be as simple as understanding your personal expenses and giving yourself some ‘runway’ financially. You need money to live on while you build your business.

Hire Employees

Time to hire some employees? It really depends on the scale of the project. A lot of people will build up their client base first, but if you have the money to invest, the right employees can help to grow your business more quickly.

Employees can help you to spread the workload, but they can also help you to tap into other skills you may not possess yourself.

Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness

Time to grow your brand and become a trusted business. Once your business is up and running and you are ready to take on clients, boosting awareness is vital. This can be done by blogging, paying for advertising, networking, and ironically, through SEO itself.

Making people aware that your business exists can be one of the trickiest tasks out there, especially if you don’t have a big budget to spend on a marketing campaign. This takes time, effort, and creativity. 

Client acquisition often comes down to creating a “sales funnel” to initially capture interest and customers, before converting them into paying customers and growing your business and income in the process.