How do you charge a client for SEO services?

  1. Is SEO always an ongoing service? Another words is it something that most definitely should be charged monthly or at least more than once?

  2. How do you go about talking with a client about SEO and discussing lengths and prices when you can’t guarantee that you will get their site up to the front page? I have a family friend now that wants to pay me to do some SEO for his website, and always at the end of our brief conversations he’ll be like “But you can get me up to the first page, right?” Basically, if I can’t guarantee getting him up to the first page, how do you go about getting someone to pay you for SEO? It seems like a gamble on his part. Keep in mind he’s old and technologically handicapped so he has no idea about how it works.

  1. Yes, there generally is a decent amount of working to achieve the desired rankings. So the initial upfront monthly costs are usually higher, but once you have achieved your goals you are more of a maintenance mode or less monthly costs.

  2. If he is trying to rank for something that is competitive I would judge anyone suspect that would guarantee results. The approach to take is a monthly retainer with the stipulation that work can be stopped at the end of any given month if results are not seen. With the knowledge also that it might take a few months to see significant results.

It is always an on-going process as one need to keep promoting website in different medium. Here rather than directly propose monthly cost, try to understand the budget of client and accordingly propose marketing campaign and goals that will be achieved in their budget.

Rather than slick to rank, i would recommend to understand client’s goal. I.e, conversion, inquiries etc… and accordingly offer estimated improvement ins proposed time frame. Some time what happen is; client suggest keywords which are not closely targeted and if you achieve rank, it may not generate conversion. Better you propose improvement that is directly related to client’s earning or interest.

Generally you may offer 2 types of works, option A achieve certain result to collect money; option B provide constant work base on 3, 6, 9 and 12 months plan.

Don’t ever provide ranking service, because search engine personalize the result. Make web impression, CTR, visitor, bounce, social engagement as new metric.

Keywords ranking is that kind of thing which can come quickly and also go quickly in search engine. There are many ups and downs in client project so first thing is that avoid to do any kind of commitment about ranking.

I have always had success by pitching that we are going to build the client’s authority within a niche. By explaining to the client why Google ranks certain sites above others and explaining that we are going to give Google everything they are looking for, people tend to get a lot more comfortable about spending money.

Explaining SEO in a way that people understand what needs to be done, but recognizing that they do not have the time or strategic knowledge to do it as effectively as you can will make people much more comfortable signing checks.

Look each one has different set of rules. Some charge specific $$$ for ranking 3 keywords of sites on page 1 of google and some charge it monthly as on going process.

In your case it’s better to charge on monthly basis if your family friend in competitive niche otherwise go for specific amount.

Yes, it is an ongoing service but in some cases it may not be. Let me explain.

Many people when talking about SEO mix boundaries and are really talking about a broad online marketing plan that may include Social Media, ads and activities to engage users. Why do they mix it? Because one of the factors that affect Search Engine Optimization is the number of visitors your site has as well as backlinks (that could come from your FB or twitter account as well). Marketing is an ongoing service and will always be.

Now, if we stick to SEO itself in its most basic form (that is, the things you can directly control in the site such as coding or article writing, outside backlinks or external factors)… per page SEO may not be an ongoing service as pages should not be constantly changed… that’s why I said that in some cases it may not be.

You can write an article and try to rank it for two, three keywords and code clean HTML and CSS to rank it higher… would you change that article often? No, unless the article is a whole disaster. Why? Because even if it didn’t accomplish its goal to rank for a particular term, regular visitors would be confused in the order of the words was changed, or any part of the article itself. And a website gets traffic not for only one article but for a bunch of information. So getting obsessed by one particular page is useless.

There may be a case that the page did accomplish the goal and the Search Engines changed their ranking algorythm and you may have to work again on that particular page. But, again, it may confuse visitors and may not be worth the effort.

The ongoing part would be writing more information, creating new pages, each of them properly optimized.

You talk about goals, not about rankings and do be aware that you may have to use CPC campaings to get that goal. You can’t base only in organic traffic.

A goal could be having 5,000 visitors a day. Is it realistic? Well, that would depend on the traffic they already have.

Or maybe that 20-30 people sign up for a newsletter every week.

Or maybe a rise in sales of 10% (this is something that he will understand for sure ;))

You will go for something that you can accomplish and demonstrate. A number 1 ranking is great but… how long will it stay there? 1 day? 1 month? 1 year? You never know.