SEO Knowledge Bomb Podcast | SEO Video Show Recaps

Clint Butler 💲 Starting Your Own SEO Agency

September 22, 2023 Paul Andre de Vera
SEO Knowledge Bomb Podcast | SEO Video Show Recaps
Clint Butler 💲 Starting Your Own SEO Agency
Show Notes Transcript

Clint has been doing SEO since 2009
He is the owner of Digitaleer, RankGear, and a partner in the SIA.
He hosts SEO This Week, educating his audience on current SEO news, strategies, and topics.
He is a co-host at SEO Fight Club.
His agency has been retained by numerous SEO clients, including agencies and businesses like Over The Top SEO, Cannon Companies, WhiteSands Treatment Centers,, and many more.
He is often quoted as a subject matter expert in major SEO industry publications and other digital marketing websites.
Please welcome the SEO Expert to the SEO Experts, Clint Butler!

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Paul Andre "DRE" de Vera
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Hey everyone, it's Ricky here with another episode of the SEO Knowledge Bomb podcast. Today I had the pleasure of speaking with Clint Butler, an SEO expert known for calling out BS in the industry and providing real strategies that work.

Clint started in SEO back in 2009 after getting frustrated with network marketing. He was trying to generate leads but kept hitting dead ends with things like traffic exchanges and email lists. When he discovered search engine optimization, he was drawn to the problem-solving nature and the ability to tangibly measure results through rankings.

In the early days, Clint learned from black hat forums and communities of gritty online marketers who weren't afraid to push boundaries to make money. He cut his teeth ranking sites in competitive niches like adult, gambling and casinos. This baptism by fire taught him how to really move the needle when it comes to SEO.

Some of the key resources Clint used to level up his SEO skills included guides from Greg Morrison of OMG, Jerry West for private blog networks, and high-level mastermind groups like Builder Society. He stresses the importance of testing - no matter how solid the advice, you have to try it out yourself and see what actually works for your specific situation.

When asked how he'd get me ranking #1 for my name in under a minute, Clint emphasized doing the least amount of work for maximum benefit. He said to launch a course or book, but only focus on the one or two strategies that actually move the needle based on rigorous testing. This minimum viable SEO approach is all about staying laser focused instead of getting overwhelmed with hundreds of tactics.

Shifting gears to building an agency, Clint shared his journey starting Olympia SEO and teaming up with the talented salesman Guy Charette at Over the Top SEO. Together they accumulated an impressive portfolio of clients and $89 million in revenue.

A key lesson Clint learned was writing SOPs and hiring help early. Even if it's just one task you can delegate, it makes a huge difference. This allows you to focus on high-level strategy. When scaling up a team, Clint recommends finding specialists for things like on-page optimization and technical SEO. It's also crucial to understand cultural differences when hiring overseas.

In terms of lead generation, Clint has moved away from targeting SEO keywords. He finds the best clients come from referrals, interviews, and increasing his personal brand. Activities like starting a YouTube show provide way more value than trying to rank #1 for "city + SEO".

For new agencies struggling with sales, Clint suggests partnering up with commissioned sales reps. Many are happy to earn 20% ongoing revenue from clients. You can also cultivate a referral network with complementary service providers - just be cautious they don't try to cut you out down the road.

When it comes to pricing, Clint starts at a minimum of $1500/month for clients. Anything less is not worth the effort for legitimate SEO. For larger brands and competitive keywords, prices can easily range from $2000 to $5000 depending on the situation. He decides pricing based on his experience benchmarking different markets and levels of difficulty.

Some of the key tools Clint recommends are Semrush for well-rounded audits, Sitebulb for on-page optimization, Quora for education, and Page Optimizer Pro for beginners. He also shared tips for introverts like creating simple video summaries without being on camera.

In terms of unique value proposition, Clint believes SEO mainly comes down to personality and actually listening to clients. People can get a feel for what it's like to work with you based on how you position yourself. He admits he's rubbed some people the wrong way over the years, but he's stayed true to his bold style and it has helped him stand out.

When it comes to partnerships, Clint has found web design agencies often try to cut you out once they learn your strategies. He prefers working directly with clients, or doing white label SEO work with a minimum fee of $1500 per month. Conferences can provide great branding, but are rarely worth it just for client acquisition.

For anyone trying to get started, Clint emphasized learning on-page optimization first. Things like headings, meta data, title tags. Master this foundational 75%, then use Quora to rapidly gain knowledge of other areas like link building. He also shared RankGear, software he created specifically around advanced schema markup.

So in summary, some of the top takeaways from the interview included:

  • Focus on high-impact strategies through rigorous testing
  • Write SOPs and hire help ASAP when starting an agency
  • Increase personal brand to attract clients vs. targeting SEO keywords
  • Partner with commissioned sales reps to handle what you're not good at
  • Start pricing at minimum $1500/month and go up from there
  • Personality and listening are key to differentiating your services
  • Master on-page optimization then use Quora to expand your knowledge

That's it for this episode of the SEO Knowledge Bomb podcast. A huge thanks to Clint Butler for providing so many golden nuggets. Be sure to check out the show notes for links to some of the resources mentioned. Until next time, keep on learning and growing!