There are so many untapped business ideas in Nigeria and SEO business is one of the most lucrative among them.
Virtually every business, new and old, are now building their online presence and the easiest way to get noticed on the internet organically is through ethical SEO.
The SEO game is a very challenging one which requires full attention and maximum level of expertise. This is where SEO businesses come into the picture. Luckily, in Nigeria, this lucrative industry has very few agencies that drill its oil well.
If you’re looking to start your SEO agency, then stay read further because you’re going to learn how to start your own SEO business in Nigeria today.
7 Effective Steps to Starting an SEO Business in Nigeria
1. Build and Optimize Your Website
One of the must-haves for SEO business is a website. Not just a website, but a well-optimized website.
If you don’t have one yet, here’s a list of the basic things you’ll need to set up a website:
- Domain and Hosting: Come up with a domain name that resonates with your SEO business brand and host it on a web hosting site. This you can do on GoDaddy, Bluehost, WP Engine, Namecheap or any hosting site you are confident about.
- Content Management System: Based on statistics, I recommend the most popular CMS, which is WordPress. It is easy to use and very trustworthy.
- Good Design: Hire a web designer or a design agency to build a good one for you. But if you are on a tight budget, get a credible, attractive and easy-to-navigate design template for your site.
Once you’ve set up your site, the next thing you want to focus on is aggressively optimizing it. If your website is nowhere to be found on the first page of Google, how on earth will you convince your potential clients that you’re an expert in Search Engine Optimization? No way!
P.S: Most of your prospective clients will be curious about you and your business, so take time to write a convincing and transparent ‘About Us’ page.
2. Register Your SEO Business
You need to register your business under the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). The first benefit is that you’ll secure your business name and not have someone else do so before you. It will also make prospects take you seriously and earn you a good reputation from clients you’ve never done business with.
Additionally, registering your business can ease your process of doing business internationally and obtaining a visa to travel for business purposes. Although doing business has gotten easier and you can render your services at the comfort of your home to clients from any part of the world.
3. Get Your Clients
A business without consumers is a dead business. Getting clients is one of the most essential parts of SEO business in Nigeria. Especially if you’re a start-up. Clients won’t come to you. You have to go out there and hunt for them. Now, let’s take a look at some effective ways of finding clients.
- Publish a Lot of Well-Optimized Contents Online: This is an essential strategy for securing clients. There is no way you can provide SEO services if you cannot provide it to your business. Post loads of optimized content on your business site and do a ton of guest posting about SEO and digital marketing generally.
- Do Cold Emailing to Prospects: Yes, cold emailing still works –if you learn to do it right. Build an email list of qualified targeted prospects. Learn how to write tremendous email content or hire a professional email copywriter. Get a standard email signature. Send emails regularly, and follow up with your prospects.
- Market and Advertise on Social Media: A chunk of individuals spends their time on social media. Businesses, companies and your clients that value SEO know that these platforms are a great marketplace. Learn how to strategically find and connect with your clients, market your business effectively and launch paid ads on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media networks.
- Set Up a Referral Program: You can give new clients and individuals monetary reward or certain free service whenever they refer a new client to your business and a contract was signed. Referrals can be remarkably beneficial.
- Approach Businesses and Companies: Submit SEO proposals, set up meetings with the right people in business and give the best presentations. Selling your services to prospects requires adopting several techniques that persuade them that you can improve their business and solve their SEO problems.
- Promote Your Business On Forums: Sign up on forums like Nairaland and Quora and become active on them. Give away as many useful resources and detailed information as you can. The more credible these free resources and information are, the more you become an authority in the SEO industry and attract more clients.
- Offer Free SEO Audit, Manual Website SEO Review and Few Hours’ Consultation: A free SEO audit and website review can be a form of leverage to sell the right SEO solutions. You should, however, abstain from making up problems that were never there. This makes your business into a scam.
4. Partner with Digital Marketing Agencies
One of the things you’ll notice is that several digital marketing agencies often have a main area of specialization. It could be social media marketing and management, online press release, web design and development, app development, etc. Usually, most of their clients will request for SEO services which most of these digital marketing agencies just dabble in or don’t offer. This is where you come in. You should partner with these agencies. Propose a 10 – 20% commission contract if they send you any business.
You, however, have to take extra care of any client from your partners. If they’re not satisfied, they’ll undoubtedly report to your partners first. I’m sure you know that is not good for partnership and your business.
5. Learn! Learn!! Learn!!!
The SEO industry is an ever-evolving one. Things don’t stay the way they are because of search engines like Google regular updates their SEO policies. The key to staying relevant and rendering quality services in this business is to study all there is to search engine optimization, keep up with what’s new and upgrade your skills continuously.
Ignoring constant education on SEO can kick you out of the game and cause your business to crash. No one wants that!
6. Take a Project Management Course
Not for the sake of having the certificate, not for the sake of getting employed by one of the most renowned companies in Nigeria. But for the sake of being able to manage your clients’ work and your business in the most effective manner.
SEO basically has no definitive end like real-estate development, for instance, which is usually a one-time project. Websites need continuous optimization to rank because search engines modify their optimization requirements now and then.
When you’re skilled at project management, handling tasks and delivering top-notch services becomes easy. You’ll be able to initiate contracts, plan projects, execute, monitor and control and close contracts smoothly.
7. Prepare Yourself Psychologically and Mentally
Business is business! Regardless of the type, you’re venturing into. If you lack business intelligence, resilient and persistence, chances that your SEO agency will thrive are slim.
According to Franklin Alli and William Jimoh in Vanguard, 80% of Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria fail within the first five years. You can overcome this by doing every essential thing that is best for your business. Grab credible business books and study the autobiographies of successful business magnates.
Establishing an SEO agency in Nigeria will test your resilience and willpower. SEO businesses and many businesses in general often close down midway –don’t be like that.
If you put in all the necessary efforts, you’re sure to succeed eventually. Although the steps to starting your SEO agency in Nigeria may appear daunting from the outset and may continue to be challenging, the reward of all the work can be worth it. Consistent study of the latest strategies that comes with the evolving industry, market demands and solving businesses’ SEO problems will be of great benefit along the line.