How Much To Charge For SEO Services – Why You Must Charge More
Fair work always deserve fair price
If you’re reading this
article my guess is you are looking to start an SEO consulting business, or
have existing clients or friends that want you to perform SEO for them. As an
SEO consultant, you understand the need to find the right balance between charging
a client enough so that you can turn a profit, but also not break them
Especially when it
comes to small businesses, they don’t usually have in their budget to pay
thousands of dollars a month for SEO.
For example, I was recently consulting with a company and they
had me get on the phone with the SEO guy they had been using.
As I started asking him what exactly he had been doing to
promote their website he gave me a list of very shallow surface stuff that
wasn’t going to do anything for this company.
When asked why he wasn’t doing A, B, or C he simply said, due to
the limited budget of the campaign there is only so much we can do.
What I didn’t ask (but should have) was “well did you ever ask
for more money?”
You see, the company I was representing had an almost unlimited
budget to spend on SEO. If you could convince them it was a good long term
tactic they would do it.
But here the SEO consultant was doing the least amount he could
get away with (things that were pushing black hat) because that’s all the
budget would allow.
the worst part is he is the one that gave THEM the price in the first place. It
was his job to know how to price SEO, not the clients
Some websites will tell you there is a fixed price that you can
charge for certain search engine optimization tasks.
It has been my experience after optimizing over 400 websites
over a 15 year span, that every single company is different.
There isn’t one fixed price that covers an audit, or link
building, or content creation.
And let’s be honest, what you are trying to do is cultivate a
long lasting client customer relationship.
So it is your obligation to charge the customer exactly what it
will take to get the job done properly and no more than that.
How Much To Charge For SEO – An Example
I’ll give you a hypothetical situation.
Let’s say you have a real estate agent in Phoenix, AZ that wants
to rank for the big terms in Phoenix. He or she comes to you with no real SEO
presence to speak of. You do your research and see what those real estate
websites at the top of Google in Phoenix are doing and you get a good idea of
what it will take.
Let’s say the top guy has a really good natural link profile
with 150 links pointing to his site. Your client has 20 links so far. The top
guy has 100 pages of awesome content and your client has 8.
You can figure out
that it will take a lot of work and time to catch his competitors.
You decide to charge him $2500/mo which will have an allotted
budget for link building and content creation.
Then you have another real estate agent in Atlanta approach to
rank in Atlanta. He is in the top 20 for most of his key phrases. When you look
at his competition you notice that the top guy has only 30 more links than your
client. The content is pretty much equal.
You understand it won’t be as difficult to get him to rank but
will still take work so you charge him $1500/mo to work on his website.
The exact same industry, but 2 totally different prices. This is why you must charge on a case by case basis
What To Do When A Business Can’t Afford SEO
In an ideal world every phone call you ever get will be from a company that truly understands the value of SEO and has an unlimited budget, but the reality is those phone calls are very few and far between.So you have to get creative when you speak with a small business and you know that they are extremely budget conscious.You should have ready at anytime three SEO packages that you can pitch a company depending on what they can realistically afford.Each package should provide the client with a measurable success that will drive more revenue.
The lower end package will obviously target fewer key phrases or areas with a natural expansion with each package.This way you don’t have to turn away business if you really want or need it, but can also provide a valuable service to your client.Sometimes it just won’t make sense for you and you should absolutely turn a potential client away. Not every client is a good fit for your SEO company.When you take on a client who really isn’t a good fit, they start to eat away your time because they are unhappy.
Not to mention they won’t have a good experience and will not recommend you as a company or worse, leave bad reviews of your company. And this, of course, will make you unhappy.The other option here is to help a smaller client get creative in the things they can do themselves to save money. For example, you can have them write their own guest posts and then have you to the outreach for them. Because the bulk of the cost comes in the link building phase this will help dramatically bring down costs for them.