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How much to charge for optimisation services


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#1 fatboygiles

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Posted 10 November 2005 - 10:22 AM

My company is based in open plan office space and we are starting offer SEO services to our clients.

We have a competitor near us who charges 500 a month?

This seems like alot to me?

What are the hourly rates for the industry?

what seems to work better, up front charges or monthly retainers?

cheers

#2 OnlineBiz

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Posted 10 November 2005 - 11:05 AM

I am sure many people will disagree with my statement here, but I think that -whether web design or seo or anything else- the question should be 'what is the value of a,b,c service to the client (from his/her perspective)' - then try to figure out how you can still make a profit out of this. In other words, rather than asking what is my cost recovery, ask what value would a,b,c provide to your Mr/Mrs client instead. Once you know the level of value, you can set your charges accordingly. Doesn't work with all clients, though... some simply want a USD129.98 answer. That's fine, but on the other hand, in particular with your competitive scenario there, I would think that a value delivery (instead of cost recovery) might be something of a competitive edge. At least it is a hugely different approach to doing business.
Jacob

#3 randfish

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Posted 11 November 2005 - 02:24 AM

I agree Jacob. I'd also say that you need to be able to show the value of your services. An SEO is largely a contractor or consultant. I pointed to this today on SEOmoz, but I think it's valuable to restate it here - it's an excellent summary of a consultant's job and many good ideas on how to be the best you can be - http://www.unixwiz.n...consultant.html

#4 bragadocchio

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Posted 11 November 2005 - 02:33 AM

Nice article Rand,

I've bookmarked that one, and expect to be revisiting it more than a couple of times. There's a lot of wisdom on that page.

As for what to charge for SEO services, there are SEO services, and then there are SEO services. What are you contemplating providing for your customers? What will you focus upon? Jacob's suggestion of a price based upon a delivery of value might be something worth exploring.

#5 OnlineBiz

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Posted 11 November 2005 - 05:59 AM

Just yesterday I have read in a local business magazine about how advertising agencies receive awards for e.g. creative work. The article mentiond Budweiser beer and their ad campaign which received numerous international awards but -from a sales perspective- was a total flop. Apparently, US sales even dropped by several percent following the campaign. I think this is a decent example of what is really important to the client by the end of the day - to know that their agency receives awards or to increase sales?
Jacob

#6 randfish

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Posted 11 November 2005 - 03:20 PM

On the Internet, though - awards for creativity and the like mean links... and links mean rankings and visitors. Bud should get that group to do their web marketing and get someone else to handle the TV spots.

#7 fatboygiles

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 11:53 AM

cheers guys very helpfull!

Liam

#8 Sorvoja

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 01:03 PM

I charge per the hour, and it has really worked well for me. It is easy to keep time sheets and it is easy to count hours. 500 GBP is not a lot in the SEO-industry, it would only by you seven hours of my time and I am not charging a lot there are several consultants that charge 300-500 USD per hour. I read somewhere that some inhouse SEO's in the US are making an easy 1.000.000USD yearly salary!

#9 Jim_Westergren

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 01:34 PM

I charge per the hour, and it has really worked well for me. It is easy to keep time sheets and it is easy to count hours. 500 GBP is not a lot in the SEO-industry, it would only by you seven hours of my time and I am not charging a lot there are several consultants that charge 300-500 USD per hour. I read somewhere that some inhouse SEO's in the US are making an easy 1.000.000USD yearly salary!


Holy cow!

I think I will look over my rates ...

#10 randfish

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 04:03 PM

Sorvoja - It's hard to believe that a company would pay a salary to what is basically skilled tech worker that's more than 1million US. Only C-level executives in the US are typically earning in that range when the position is salaried, and even then, it's rare.

Are you sure you didn't mean $100K, because I've gotten offers in that range from a few companies to do SEO in-house, but I've never heard of 10X that amount. I 'd actually consider leaving SEOmoz at those figures (well, not seriously, but almost).

#11 Sorvoja

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 04:26 PM

I can't remember where I read it, so you are probabably right. 100.000 USD is also a lot for a in house position.

#12 2k

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 02:28 AM

100k... where can I get some customers like that..? I've been doing seo since the early days, and as a rough estimate I would say that with incoming bidrequests:
* 80% has a annual budget less than 1,000US$
* 10% has an monthly budget of 100-400US$
* 9% has an annual budget larger than 5,000US$
* 1% has an annual budget larger than 10,000US$

I think it is much a question of visibility and location. The more famous the business/frontman, the better requests you receive.

#13 Sorvoja

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 06:49 AM

2K it is the same in Norway, but in my experiece even small business in the USA are prepared to use a lot (or even all) of their marketing budget online.

#14 bobmutch

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 01:00 AM

The system I use is Initial Evaluation (on-page, off-page, current rankings, and keyword consulting) review of site $800; Action Plan (what is needed to take the site where they want to go matched to their budget) review $1200. Execution of the action plan will run from $4k to $20k over a 6 month period and on the average is broken down as follows. 70% link building, 20% on-site (CMS, copywriting, optimization, etc.) and 10% fees to oversee the on-site work.

I look for sites that are over one year old, have a brick and mortar business, and want to rank for low to medium competitive terms (under 100k searches a month on Overture).

#15 Fuzzlepop

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 05:43 AM

$19

#16 bobmutch

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 10:25 AM

Fuzzlepop what do you do for $19?

#17 Fuzzlepop

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 03:06 PM

Well $19 won't get you much sexiness, You'll probobly just get an exclusive pic of me wearing a thong for that much. Need to cover the cost of the thong.

#18 bobmutch

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 03:17 PM

/me looks at the thread title.

Er, we were discussing "How much to charge for optimisation services".

#19 Fuzzlepop

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 03:32 PM

Oh yes so you are right, I thought you were talking about my personal services!

But for SEO for $19 I would give them a link from one of my sites lol.

#20 randfish

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 04:06 PM

Bob - $19 is just a long-running inside joke... See http://www.seomoz.or...tail.php?ID=197

#21 bobmutch

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 06:09 PM

Fuzzlepop: "But for SEO for $19 I would give them a link from one of my sites lol."

Er, tell me more, which site? I may be interested.

Rand: Hrmmm, All your $19 are belong to us.

#22 sanity

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 03:05 PM

I really like your approach bobmutch.

These days I generally only optimise sites I design so the budget is for a search friendly site built from scratch. In the more competitive areas an ongoing budget to create content, gain links etc is a definite must too.

#23 Wit

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 03:15 PM

Hmmm, $19,- SEO works quite well. Low threshold. Believe me, I know.

OK it doesn't pay the bills, I agree... But it's sweet (BTW thanks again rand)

#24 bobmutch

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 07:08 PM

sanity: "I really like your approach bobmutch. "

It works ok. I talk to the client to they get a feel that I know what I am talkikng about. After that I spring the $2k number at them. If that is to much for them then I close the conversation down with a suggestion for them to send me an email with thier domain and I will send them some of my pack pricing.

I find that there are a lot of people just doing brain picking.

#25 sanity

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 08:43 PM

> brain picking

Ah yes, we all them tire kickers around here. It's true though, many prospects do this. Pre-qualifying prospects early in the game is a good way to aviod wasting your time.

#26 jason_sot

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 09:31 PM

wow... i get paid $2k/mo salary. I need to create about 7 leads a day to pay for that (based on our PPC campaigns) and still make the company some $$. Anything over and above that, I get a commission on... about $5 a lead. My goal is to pull in about 50 leads/day. That would be about $6K/mo commission plus the $2K/mo salary. I can do okay with $8K/mo.

#27 bobmutch

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 09:56 PM

sanity: Yes if they cough at 2k then they are talking to the wrong person.

jason_sot: How do you get 50 leads a day? That is very good!

#28 jason_sot

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 09:59 PM

Well Bob, I didnt say that I GET 50 leads a day... thats just my goal. I am having a hard enough time just getting ANY $$ from commission right now LOL!

#29 bobmutch

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Posted 01 December 2005 - 07:13 AM

jason_sot: 50 leads a day would be alot :)

#30 jason_sot

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Posted 01 December 2005 - 03:55 PM

yeah, its a lot. but its what we need to hit our goal as a company. I think its doable. We are in a pretty popular industry. It will take some time but its doable.

#31 bobmutch

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Posted 02 December 2005 - 12:58 PM

jason_sot: How are you planing to pull 50 leads a day.

#32 jason_sot

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Posted 02 December 2005 - 01:15 PM

Well, we can pull that from our PPC campaigns. So i know its possible in this industry.

Right now, I am focusing on 10 minor keywords on sub pages that should bring a decent amount (im thinking maybe... 20 a day???). I am hoping that by doing this, it will help boost our homepage and a second page that focus on much more popular (and competative) keywords. Between the tow pages, there are 5 more major keywords that i think will double the traffic that we would get from the other 10 pages. That will get us close. From there, its just branching off to target more and more keywords until we reach that goal.

As it stands now, we only have top rankings in MSN. That brings us a rather small amount of traffic. but its still between 2-5 leads/day on average. So I figure getting some of those up in G, that will easily double.. getting more kw's up in G, it will increase more and more until we can get our major kw's up in G.

SO just from a lot of kw research and heavily under-estimating the numbers (I dont think any of those numbers are very accurate), I have figured out that we shoul dbe able to obtain it in 2006.



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