Questions and Answers – How to get started as an SEO consultant

By Dan

Okay so I just received an email, that has nothing to do with this site but I thought I’d share it with you guys so as to help more than 1 person who might have these same questions…. the general gist is…

How to get started as an SEO consultant

Hi Dan,

I am a new consultant entering the seo space across the pond from you in the US.  I have checked out your website and it looks like you know what you are doing.I was wondering if you could help a new guy get started,

I was wondering where did you learn the skills you needed to do the SEO work that you do? What would you tell someone like me that is entering the space where they should go to get the knowledge, skills, and tactics?

Any pointers or resources you could point me to would be much appreciated.

Ok so first off SEO is the same regardless of where we are, there are geographic concerns to deal with things such as, location of server, TLD of incoming link etc etc but these are all more advanced things that we won’t concern ourselves with yet.

Essentially if you want to rank in England get links from English sites and use English hosting if you’re worried.

Other than that there is only 1 blog that I read that concerns SEO, www.quicksprout.com, Neil Patel is the bomb dignity yo! The Moz blog might be worth a read but they’re basically Google bitch so don’t expect to find anything TOO helpful, but the basics are there.

I am always on the look out for good case studies, if you can find one that has proof within the article then it’s usually a good read and can give you insight into what’s working and what’s not.

I also read and participate in a few forums but I wouldn’t trust any of the info you read on there, theres a hell of a lot of people that don’t know what they’re doing. Participate in forums but don’t expect them to necessarily increase your knowledge.

The number 1 thing you need to do (other than read my blog of course, check out this post) is go out and buy Eric Ward’s book on link building, this is old school link building, slow and proper the way it’s meant to be done.

As for pointers from me here are 3 essential things you need to do from my personal experience:

1) Automation

Whatever method you are using to do SEO, you need to find some tools that save you time, SEO is a very repetitive and monotonous industry at times so you need to find ways to remove the repetition and save yourself time.

For me these tools are:
Buzzstream
Link Prospector
Moz

For you they may be different but with these 3 I can essentially take on as many clients as I want and still be able to handle them in terms of time.

2) Set expectations

In all honesty the biggest problem with being an SEO consultant is the clients, they have all been hurt before or have some beef with our industry, this will never change, all we can do is inspire confidence and set their expectations.

No matter what the job is I tell them that they will BEGIN to see results in 3-4 months, this allows me time to start providing them traffic and generally when it’s done before then (99% of the time) they think you have over achieved.

Every single client of mine knows that Wednesdays are the day that they can contact me, I have set up consulting hours from 12pm-4pm o that if they have any concerns with their project they can contact me, I tell them that any and all email they send me will be answered on this day at these time and no other.

Set your expectations early and your ride will be much much smoother.

3) Test, test, TEEESSSSSST!

I see a lot of people reading blogs and then thinking that knowledge makes them and SEO expert, it’s not true, bloggers lie, I could be lying to you right now for all you know.

I’m probably a fat, bald dude living in my mums basement playing Warcraft and respitting knowledge I have learned from another fat, bald warcrafter “SEO expert”.

Don’t trust what you read, the only real way to know if something works is to test it out, I personally try to test anything that I think may work, I have around 70 site that have active experiments running on them right now.

And guess what, some of them don’t work!!!! OH MY!!!!

The basics work, classic outreach link building and on-page optimisation is enough for most sites to outrank their competition but if you read about a super cool new trick, DO NOT use it on your clients site, test it for yourself and if it works, adopt it into your strategy.

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