Whether you’re doing work hourly or for a fixed rate, think about how many hours it will take you. Try to be as accurate as possible. If you think an SEO Strategy Report will take about 20 hours, then charge them a fixed rate of about 20 hours. It’s up to you to stay in the time frame. Here’s a breakdown of current hourly rates in the SEO industry.
Thank you very much for this article! I have a question. I coded my business’s website (this is the third iteration) and tried to optimize it for search through good content, keywords, titles, etc. I also update content regularly and post on Facebook. We are very successful in our search results. Now, I’d like to open a side business offering SEO to other small businesses. (Not sure of my specialty, though I am a writer and I enjoy finding good stories to tell others about.) My question is this: What do you do if you don’t have access to the code, or if the code is messy? Ideally, it seems that you’d want to start at the ground floor, designing a site that is easily optimized. What do you do when that’s not possible? What do you do for that business?
Accordingly ensure you’re always delivering value outside of just the number of rankings or which keywords are ranking #1. Help clients improve their conversion rate, create videos, content, paid marketing and/or other areas you’re already competent in.
This is why I created MySiteAuditor. I had the exact same problem with my agency’s website. Our traffic was decent, but our conversions stunk! MySiteAuditor is a white-label, SEO audit tool that’s free for your visitors. It takes about 5 minutes to set up and add to your SEO company’s website. Just upload your logo, colors, and contact information, then easily embed MySiteAuditor’s SEO audit tool forms throughout your then wait for new SEO leads in your email inbox. Your visitors will love generating a free 9 page SEO audit of their website, as long as they enter their web address, a target keyword, and their email and phone number.
Simply put, a citation is a “mention” of your business name on webpages other than your own, followed by your address, phone number, or both, regardless of whether there is a link to your website or not.
4) The ability of your staff to Play and have Fun! The more they test, try and fail on your/their pet projects or affiliate sites… the better results and performance you deliver to your clients websites.
Recent changes to search engines’ algorithms have made very easy to overdo on-site optimization, but backlinks remain very important for raising a site’s position in the SERPs. And good backlinking is hard. I read an article by Todd McDonald recently that likened it to being beaten up – long, painful and frustrating!
5. Understand social media marketing. Websites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ have become extremely popular for all web businesses. If you can incorporate social media marketing with your SEO, you can not only charge more but you can also deliver better results.
Ok, the first thing that you may be thinking is ‘I don’t know anything about SEO!’; Don’t worry if you don’t know anything about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), because all you need to do in the end is find someone who does – I will discuss this later on in the guide.
Now, this is the part where some of you may start thinking ‘Oh no! I actually have to talk to people!? Face to face!?’. A lot of people may feel they lack the confidence to go in to another person’s business and convince them to purchase a service but I promise you once you’ve done it a couple of times you won’t know what all the fuss was about.
Let me start this section by clarifying that I am not a lawyer. If any of this seems like legal advise, it’s not. I’m just telling you my personal experience and preference with SEO contracts. Since 2003, I’ve used about five or six different SEO contracts. In that time, my SEO contracts grew and grew in length until they were about 30 pages. Then, about two years before I sold my SEO company, I threw my giant, colossal, and scary SEO contract in the garbage and started a fresh one, one more time. But this time I did it on my own. No lawyers. No outside advice. I just went with my gut.
The same goes for internet marketing, or for those people who want to start their own SEO business. This requires many daunting tasks, such as; learning all about the different optimization techniques, finding an initial set of clients to work with, creating your own fully-optimized business site with a good online reputation, etc.
Your one year plan might be focused on SEO, but your five year plan might be to provide the very same things SEO provides today – qualified visitor traffic – no matter what form the source of that traffic will take in five years time. The value proposition to the client, will be much the same. So, your five year plan might include learning about general marketing concepts and studying new digital marketing channels as they arise.
I had this philosophy from day one because I got burnt by paying other SEO agencies. They took all of my money and didn’t provide much in return. Due to this, I only took on clients for whom I could provide the results… but I never explained that to potential clients in a way that made sense to them.
Wow, what a great article, Rick! Great chart outlining the differences as well. And Rand’s advice is priceless. My own way of learning SEO was working for free! I’ve been learning, blogging and doing free SEO for about a year before I was able to formulate my own services and started providing them!
People want tangible deliverables so they know what they’re paying for. But they don’t want a package that comes with “everything” since not everyone needs everything. Break your services down into specific tangibles and price them that way. Here are examples…
Once people realize that Google is unjust and frequently corrupted they lose care & become more willing to “do what it takes.” If Google tells you that they don’t need you to have access to your content it becomes quite easy to reciprocate by determining that you don’t need access to their guidelines to gain access to their traffic stream.
You’re probably asking yourself now, ‘What should I be saying in the meeting???’, glad you asked, let’s cover what you need to do and say in the meeting to ensure you give yourself the best chance of closing the deal…
For those of you who aren’t feeling quite so ambitious today, why not start small and leave some blog comments? But it’s helpful to first determine what kind of commenter you want to be. Helpfully, Brandon Scott Gorrell has laid out some options for us on Thought Catalog, such as:
Kristi great work! I have found recently that when talking to my small business SEO clients, it’s important that I clarify that search engines rank web pages and not websites. I find it helps get the point across for creating content for the site on a regular basis.
As trite and simple as it sounds, communication is the one thing that should be a constant. After an interaction with a very unhappy client, we made it a policy to have a weekly phone call with the business owner. This keeps things from getting out of hand and it also helps build and maintain the relationship.
At the bottom of the keyword list I also create a ‘Total’ line in bold which is the combined monthly search volume of all the keywords. This gives the business owner a potential number of people they could be exposed to per month should they get to number 1 for all the keywords you propose.
After around 20 minutes I return to the software which will have scraped the business name, address, phone number, email address, website URL and a whole host of other SEO and internet marketing related data for every single lawyer in London that has a Google Maps listing!
This is the most basic element. Search engines, fundamentally speaking, process your search query by finding website contents that are identical and/or related to the keyword that you have searched. It is important for websites to be able to incorporate certain keywords or keyword phrases on their website’s contents to increase the probability of a higher ranking search result.
Businesses are finally starting to realize the importance of online reviews from their customers. According to a recent survey, 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, and seven out of 10 customers will leave a review for a business if asked by the business.