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Thread: How To Price SEO Services - Analyzing The Project

  1. #1
    Moderator mjtaylor's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
    The Moon

    How To Price SEO Services - Analyzing The Project

    Newer SEOs uncertain about how to charge for their services may find this article helpful: How Should You Price Your SEO Projects?

    Lay out a plan, identifying the ultimate and intermediate goals, and the tasks to be undertaken to get you there. Establish milestones by which you can gauge your progress. You should do this for your own SEO efforts, as well as for the benefit of your clients. Examining those areas in which you failed to achieve an intermediate goal or milestone will afford you insight as to the causes.

    Explain clearly to your client what the intended tasks, goals and milestones are to be, and by what metric they’ll be measured. Begin the actual project with a written agreement, agreed to by both parties, that fully describes the responsibilities of each party, so as to avoid conflicts later.
    Author John Britios (known on this forum and others as Webnauts) doesn't get into exact numbers, but talks about how to analyze a job's intricacy and competitiveness. For example:

    Off-page SEO costs depend more upon keyword competition, which means that you may be incurring additional expenses when chasing the more competitive terms. It is common for SEO companies to price various aspects of off-page SEO, by unit, such as a given dollar amount per inbound link from a blog, article or press release, or a directory listing. This allows you to bill incrementally, and easily adjust for changing requirements.
    John also references a SEOMoz article: SEO Pricing & Costs - What Should You Charge / How Much Should You Pay?

    How do you analyze and price a project?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Dec 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    SEO is an ongoing process. I think you should price based on service types. Have a fixed rate for backlinks, content articles, page optimization etc. There is no magic number you can charge your clients. It all depends on how much "work" is needed for your clients site to rank, or even your own site for that matter.

    We never give a yearly rate or anything like that, but explain to the client that the results are based on certain criteria; content, onsite optimization, backlinks. That way the client also understands what they are getting into. Then you can charge the client based on what they want, and how far they want to go.

  3. #3
    WebProWorld MVP morestar's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    Toronto, Ontario
    One could also charge a decent monthly rate in exchange for:

    Increasing traffic - and measured
    Discovering High Volume Searches related to the industry and optimize for them
    Increase rankings with said high search volume keywords
    After reaching above goals continue along with long-tail keywords

    In the mean time and for the sake of the success of your SEO campaigns:
    Optimize the website for RDFa/Rich Snippets.
    Integrate your client's website with Facebook's OpenGraph.

    Or you can milk your client with the prices laid out in the SEO pricing article from SEOMoz...

    In the SEOMoz article he mentions for example the service of keyword research at the high end rate of $2000.00.
    If my client was competing for 3000 keywords I believe my cost would be much higher. In essence the $2000.00 high end keyword research isn't a real projection as we don't know what data we're working with. A new client could only be competing for 3 keywords which would take me 11 minutes to explore. What should I charge? The low end amount of $100.00? No. I'd do it for free and create a more honest relationship with him or her instead.

  4. #4
    The prices will depend on the competition, and other factors such as on page, off page and maintenance. The prices will also depend your quality of services too. If your company has great reputation, you can offer the high or suitable prices.
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  5. #5
    WebProWorld MVP Orion's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
    Halton Hills, Ontario
    Hey MJ,

    That is a great article by John.. I have worked with John, and he definitely covers the details!

    Personally I tend to be much more general and basic in my pricing models... Most of the work I do (and I imagine many of us) is 1 part optimization and 9 parts marketing, LOL.

    Anyway, I focus on correcting what needs done with a client's site. then layout the basics that are missing, identify things their competition is doing that they are not, and covering the gamut of content quality and quantity and social media... Once I've identified what should be or needs doing, I work out approximately how much time it will take me to do the work for the client (actual hours I will spend) I round it up and add a bit (cause there's always something that takes longer or something new that pops up) and provide a quote on the work based on the time I will be spending.

    The ONLY time I charge ongoing rates is if the client requires to retain me to manage parts of their site (content updates etc.) or their social media. I coach them on getting the majority of the really important authoritative links for their sites as they usually have personal relationships with people in those companies and we work together on getting those links.. the rest, we work on developing the site and social media so that the IBLs create themselves over time.

    Most clients respect the one off mentality and I'm upfront with them that in time (6mos, 1yr) it is good to have me back in to see how things are going, tweak out their strategies and possibly in the event of major changes in their industry, their competition, or the web in general there may be more to be done.

    I hope to hear how others price out and approach this as it's great to hear, and everyone has something the rest of us aren't doing that might make us work better for our clients!

  6. #6
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2010
    Pricing an SEO job can be tricky at times, especially when you are aware of your competitors competing on the same job. I have learned through experience that it is not worth taking on a job for less than you believe you are worth. It just never works out well. When I did this I would find that the jobs I felt I gave too much on the price I wouldn't give them the attention I gave them others. Of course this resulted in a longer periods of time to achieve desired results.
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