Mikkel deMib Svendsen is an expert SEM and he’s been kind enough to share his thoughts with me on SEO business models. Interestingly, he’s going against the popular grain and doing pay for performance SEO deals besides innovating some new ideas, like pay-per-equity. If you’re able to read Danish, I encourage you to read his search marketing blog (pretty good incentive to learn Danish, I’d say!).
1) What kind of revenue models do you see out there for SEOs looking to move away from the consulting services model?
I am moving more and more to a “VC” model where I supply my services and knowledge for a cut of the company. I usually refer to it as PPE – Pay Per Equity deals.
I generally see a lot more performance-based SEO coming – not based on rankings but real performance: Qualified traffic, leads, and sales.
2) Which models do you yourself participate in?
More and more performance-based models – of any kind.
On top of this, we are also opening up new companies ourselves where we have more shares.
3) Do you think selling SEO consulting leads to other SEOs is a viable business model?
As a freelance salesperson? Not at the moment but maybe later. Right now everyone is so overloaded with work that we don’t really need more leads
4) If you were an SEO consultant starting your services business today…
I would definitely try and position myself in some unique way. I’ve always been a strong believer in positioning – you need to find that hill you can conquer and keep – and grow from there. Of course, finding that hill today in SEO is much more difficult than when I started ….
5) How many sites do you think an SEO should try and develop?
Again, I don’t think there is one strategy that works for all – all verticals, markets, and business. One size never fits anyone :).
We work with the whole range of strategies – whatever works is the right strategy.
6) Do you think it’s possible to rank for the top SEO phrases (SEO services and such) within 1 year?
Probably – but I never cared about those phrases – its only other SEOs that use them anyway and why on earth would I waste my time promoting myself to them?
7) Do you think offline marketing is more effective for attracting SEO clients or online marketing? Why?
I never used much marketing to get work – outside of personal branding through writing, speaking at conferences, radio, interviews, etc.
8) Same question for non SEO businesses: Is online or offline marketing more effective for driving sales online? Why?
No, offline marketing [methods] don’t drive online sales. They tried that pre-dot-com. They all went broke :).
Online marketing drives online sales. [Ed: So much for my 2 cents on becoming Google-independent and protecting yourself if you sell text links.]
What do you guys think of Mikkel’s SEO business models and such?