Ultimate Guide to Building an SEO Agency: Core Offer


Joe Troyer: First things first, going back to the core offer. At the end of the day, again, you need $1,000 a month minimum for your core offer. Frankly, if I was going to jump into a new niche or new vertical, I would really challenge that number. What’s up, Brian Holder? Good to see you, Chris Vise. I would really challenge this number and I would be looking at potentially even starting at 2,000 plus a month. Your profit margin on these numbers is almost as important as that $1,000 a month marker, that minimum recurring revenue mark. I would say that at the end of the day, you should be looking at 75% plus margins on this.

Joe Troyer: If your margins are the opposite, if you got 75% cost of goods sold, trust me when I say you’ve got a big fricking problem. You’re not doing yourself any justice and the fact of the matter is probably in six months you’re going to be done with the client because you’re not making any money. You’re going to be sick of it and you’re going to be doing a crappy job. How many of you guys have at least a 75% margin right now when you look at your current customer base and your current revenue? Give me a one for a yes. Give me a two for no.

Joe Troyer: Greg Stillman, yepper. All right. All right. Phil says, yep. Good. I was talking with a friend of mine, well a friend of a friend and this guy recently took some coaching from me. Literally, in the course of 30 days, we took his profit margin from a 25% profit margin to a 75% profit margin. The dude right now is at between 38 and $40,000 a month recurring. Think about what just happened for him and his life in his family. That is fricking crazy. That is bananas. Huge difference. So make sure that you got that profit margin. I know some of you guys are already thinking like, Joe, how’s that possible?

Joe Troyer: How do I get that profit margin? By all means, you guys can add on things like paper click advertising that have a smaller profit margin, but say that they’re going to actually put up the spend. Then if you wanted to, you could roll in the management into your service. But keep out all the things that costs a lot of money. Keep those out of your core packages. You guys should be at 75% plus margins. The other thing in terms of a core offer, as we’re going to make sure that it’s proven to keep customers for at least six months, or that you believe you can keep customers for six months.

Joe Troyer: Because at the end of the day, if it just churns people out and it burns people and they’re sick of your program in six months and they’re gone, I think you probably could find a much better core offer. If I’m going to build a “traditional SEO agency”. By traditional SEO agency, I’ll kind of walk you guys through what I would put in my core offer. First off, I would put SEO obviously and that would consist of on page and off page. Most likely, I’m going to go after local as well, so that’s going to include me building out like city-based landing pages so I can rank for all of the different variations and all the different cities and towns and service offerings and those combinations together.

Joe Troyer: Google Maps is obviously a big, big part of local still to this day. Most of your call volumes going to come from Google Maps. But, SEO on page and off page, I believe full heartedly is actually going to help you rank and rank higher actually inside of Google Maps. They are inside on page and off page SEO. Traditional SEO is going to help you actually rank higher in Google Maps, so I think they belong together. I think they’re one in the same at least when you’re selling to local. All right. For me, Google Maps would definitely be inside of this package.

Joe Troyer: As well in here is going to be called tracking. Not just for SEO and whatever I’m doing, I’m going to want to try to be consultative. I’m going to try to help as many of them as possible, as many traffic sources as possible so that I can help the business owner understand what’s happening. Call tracking is super fricking cheap. A couple bucks, a phone number, and a couple of pennies a minute. By all means, if you see that creeping into your margin, you got a client that that is getting a shitload of phone calls, then by all means have them start paying.

Joe Troyer: But maybe you’d just include, we’ll include five phone numbers for you every month and we’ll include the first X amount of minutes for free. If it becomes a problem, then deal with it. After call tracking, I would also implement reviews. At the end of the day, ranking in Google Maps is great, but really where you’re going to get the most call volume, which your clients want, they want results, which means phone calls, which means the leads. You need to have a good reputation in Google. You need the most amount of reviews that are in the three pack and you need the best aggregate score.

Joe Troyer: You want a four and a half or better and you want to make sure that you trump everybody else in the total quantity of reviews. You might be thinking, yeah, Joe, that’s reputation management. Yeah. But at the end of the day, if that can swing my calls 30 or 40% up or down in terms call volume, you better, best believe that I’m going to be talking about reputation and using reputation inside of my local SEO package. So far, does that make sense to everybody, kind of what this package would look like? Totally. Any questions, thoughts, concerns before we move on?

Joe Troyer: Yes, it looks good. All right. Guys, so for me, I’m going to take my own advice. I would be starting out at $2,000 a month minimum. Here at the end of the day, if that is not acceptable in a niche and my ideal prospects, which we’re going to talk about next, we’re going to run the other way. We’re going to go find another vertical that can afford to pay it. Next up and guys, 75% margin in that package is amazing. Let’s talk about fulfillment real quick in that package. On page is going to be labor intensive, but there’s no other costs of goods sold and that’s a one time per account thing.

Joe Troyer: No problem. City-based landing pages is a bit of content and no problem. You don’t have to do a hundred in a month, just drip them out and ensure that you can hit that 75% profitability. Next up is Google Maps. You’re going to do one full audit, fix the items that are wrong, optimize the GMB. Then you’re going to order your citations and you’re going to be golden. That’s about all that you can do in terms of maps. Now every month moving forward, we can do some map embeds and we can do some other strategies. We can power up the citations with more backlinks. But at the end of the day, that’s about all that we can really do.

Joe Troyer: Call tracking. Obviously, once we set up it’s kind of set and forget. Then reviews as well. We’re going to run some type of review boost campaign. What I mean by that is like we’re going to have something that’s going to get reviews a fast. All right. And so we’re going to want to implement a campaign that very quickly puts us ahead of the competition in terms of total reviews and also aggregate score. We’re going to want to be, again, four and a half reviews or better or four and a half stars or better and also be beating them in terms of the total number of reviews that we have.

Joe Troyer: I’ve given you guys my review strategy backwards and forwards here on the YouTube channel and on the blog, so go grab it, rip it. You guys can just use that. Then what we’d want to do is implement some type of review monitoring program that is automated. As soon as they get done dealing with the customer, they put them inside a CRM where it connects with the CRM and it automatically is requesting a review. That, folks, if you think about it, is very front and loaded. First 90 days is critical. First 90 days is critical. If you can keep your cost of goods at 25% and your profit margin at 75% in the first 90 days, you’ll absolutely crush it after that.