How do I Start a Niche Vertical SEO/SEM Company?

SEO Question: I am new to the seo world..however I am veteran the ________ digital marketing space. There is a ton of opprotunity in the ________ space in regrads to PPC. I want to start a consulting firm for ___ sellers and help them shift their ad bugets to PPC. I would like you're advice on starting a company like this.

SEO Answer: As far as getting your feet wet in SEO/SEM go to some of the conferences. Search Engine Strategies and WebmasterWorld World of Search are the two largest, but you can often do well going to local ones because it may be easier to access some of the players there. There is a small conference in Dallas Fort Worth next Monday, for example.

If you already have great industry related authority or reputation then it should be easy to add the new services to your umbrella of offerings.

Call up some of the people who really know and trust you. Maybe try to add on the PPC services at no obligation to them to see if they like them. Offer them a free test campaign as a deal to a friend.

A low hanging fruit technique is to come out with a study that says how the ______ industry is screwing up PPC. Make it sound like you were absolutely shocked when you discovered that 82% of ____ companies were not even doing PPC, and that the other 17% were doing it sloppily (this probably works well for regional or topical targeting).

If you can using stats from companies like Nielson NetRatings, ComScore, and Hitwise may make your sales pitch sound more like legitimate research. You then want to try to get your research published on sites like DMNews and Clickz if possible.

Sometimes people are not using PPC and other times they have horrific targeting. You can either create one massive report or create a monthly state of the industry report.

I think Fathom Online shows monthly click prices by industry in their Keyword Price Index. You can ball up that sort of data with some other ideas to create a monthly state of the industry newsletter. Perhaps also track how certain brands are mentioned in the news (a la or on blogs (Technorati, BlogPulse, etc.). Depending on your motivational level you may also want to run an industry related blog to send out that information and any other related thoughts on the industry that you wanted to express.

Another option might be use the Google AdWords API and other tools to not only create your own custom reports, but to also create a tool some people can use that attracts the right audience. Then use that site as a lead generator.

Really love the industry? Maybe it makes sense to create a portal or partner up with someone who has a large portal related to your industry. If need be, perhaps even partner with sites at minimal margins for yourself just to brand your name and leverage that market position. Eventually that should allow you to either take on smaller content partners and make a greater premium there, and/or allow you to sell more search ads.

An aggressive technique might be to buy underpriced ads where people in your industry should be and then link those ads through to a report on how they are not effeciently marketing (and how you can obviously help them).

Disclaimer: while being ok to good at blogging and SEO I don't have a lot of experience on the selling services biz front because I tend to underprice services and thus have been more focused on creating my own sites and content than working for others.

Published: January 11, 2006 by Aaron Wall in Q & A


Todd Mathews
January 11, 2006 - 5:37pm

Hello Aaron,
Thanks for the response, great information. Would you be willing to speak with me directly about the subject above or perhaps we can continue our dialogue online? Please let me know.

January 11, 2006 - 11:42pm

Hi Todd
um thats most of what I got ;) but if you want to email and do a consult I may be able to do one near the end of next week or early the week after

January 12, 2006 - 1:39am

one more thing, don't forget the Adwords Qualified Professional certification if you're after the PPC management market ;) chicks love that

Todd Mathews
January 13, 2006 - 12:03am

What is you're take on Perry Marshall and his material,training programs? If you where going to learn everything you could about PPC, where would you go.

PS: Besides you're won material.

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