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    How to charge SEO clients


    Hi,
    I've recently taken on a few SEO clients. I've been doing SEO for my own sites for a while so am pretty good at it (they're all on the first page ) but I don't know how to charge my clients.

    I want to charge them based on their rank for each keyword (ie. position 1 costs $500/month) etc., but I'm looking for some good software/a good site that will keep track of positions for me, and also charge the client accordingly if possible. Something like SEO powersuite but web-based, and with a built in function for calculating client bills based on the position.

    Any suggestions?
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    Your kidding...right?
    Just out of curiosity, where did the thinking come from?

    Really though...you have a client and your going to charge them what $ 500 for spot # 1, I would assume spot # 2 and 3 would be lower...No..So client goes to spot # 3 then moves to #2 then moves to # 7 all in one month..Do you add the different rankings then take the square root of Google and divide it between the total of Bing subtracting Yahoo's rankings to get your monthly price?
    I see why you need software.

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    • EGOL agrees : lol... we didn't know you were a mathematician. :P
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    Yep - that's exactly what I was thinking! That it would do a calculation based on the position (or maybe average position) and create a client invoice for each keyword. Otherwise it's something I'd have to do manually.

    Anyway - having looked around I can't even find a decent SERP tracker that works on the web (I use rank tracker from SEO powersuite but with proxies for each country and it works great), so I guess the likelihood of finding something similar which is also capable of creating invoices based on the positions is pretty low

    Thanks for your help anyway...


    Originally Posted by Test-ok
    Your kidding...right?
    Just out of curiosity, where did the thinking come from?

    Really though...you have a client and your going to charge them what $ 500 for spot # 1, I would assume spot # 2 and 3 would be lower...No..So client goes to spot # 3 then moves to #2 then moves to # 7 all in one month..Do you add the different rankings then take the square root of Google and divide it between the total of Bing subtracting Yahoo's rankings to get your monthly price?
    I see why you need software.
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    Oh - how do other people charge? I've seen companies which charge a basic monthly fee, regardless of improvement in SERP positions, but I'd prefer to charge on a per-keyword, per-position basis. Any suggestions?
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    Originally Posted by activision
    Oh - how do other people charge? I've seen companies which charge a basic monthly fee, regardless of improvement in SERP positions, but I'd prefer to charge on a per-keyword, per-position basis. Any suggestions?
    Yes, here's a suggestion: that's stupid and it shows you are not yet ready to manage an SEO account on your own. A true SEO professional will optimize a medium sized site for hundreds of key phrases. It's hard for me to even know all the combinations of long tails I am ranking for.

    Further you may not know it but your job is not to rank a keyword for the website, your job is to MAKE MONEY for the website through increased internet visibility.

    I have a hotel that likes to push some of its meeting space out as a wedding venue. We had 1400 different combinations of wedding related keywords that people used to find the site on Google in 2012. Which one of these key phrases did you want to charge for? All of them?

    Do yourself and your future clients a favor: get a job working as an intern until you learn the ropes.
    Last edited by KernelPanic; Nov 30th, 2012 at 05:39 AM.
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    per-keyword, per-position basis
    This is not possible. And I agree that you thinking that it can be done probably shows that you are likely to be going to provide services without sufficient experience...

    What are you going to do anyway? I for one used to charge per service and hours I spent doing some particular task, but I was never good at that (it always felt like I was working for too many hours without too much work done) so I guess I ended up charging too little

    Further you may not know it but your job is not to rank a keyword for the website, your job is to MAKE MONEY for the website through increased internet visibility.
    With all due respect, I'd disagree. Again, I am not that good at providing services and stopped doing SEO for clients long ago but there's so much more to starting making money than SEO that you can't really control that...

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    • KernelPanic agrees : if your #1 goal is not: Make money for your clients, you're not doing it right :)
    • PhilipSEO agrees : yup
    Everything will be ok in the end

    If it's not ok, it's not the end
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    Originally Posted by activision
    I'm looking for some good software/a good site that will keep track of positions for me, and also charge the client accordingly if possible.
    You could just use Google/Bing Webmaster Tools for this but I ultimately agree with most of the comments above.

    The reason SEO people charge by the hour or by the job is this. Let's say you beaver away all month and the ranking doesn't change at all because the competitors also have people beavering away at SEO themselves.

    That means although you have maintained your clients position you cannot charge them a bean. Your system only works in a static playing field where you are the only person doing SEO - and those fields are few and far between.
    Learn SEO and Online Marketing with Doodleddoes or follow me on Google+ at https://plus.google.com/+TimHillDoodled/
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    Originally Posted by activision
    Hi,
    Any suggestions?
    http://www.bkcareers.com/jobsearch-i...=Team%20Member

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    • KernelPanic agrees : lol
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    Originally Posted by Ann Smarty

    With all due respect, I'd disagree. Again, I am not that good at providing services and stopped doing SEO for clients long ago but there's so much more to starting making money than SEO that you can't really control that...
    My point is that all the ranks in the world mean nothing without conversions. Do you disagree with that, Ann?

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    • Ann Smarty agrees : Sounds like we are missing each other's points :)
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    Originally Posted by KernelPanic
    My point is that all the ranks in the world mean nothing without conversions. Do you disagree with that, Ann?
    Bingo. Just like Nike's purpose isn't just to get a commercial to be on TV. It's purpose is to get on TV to get customers to buy that new pair of Jay's:

    http://www.kissjumpman.org/images/Ai...-Red-Shoes.jpg
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    Originally Posted by KernelPanic
    My point is that all the ranks in the world mean nothing without conversions. Do you disagree with that, Ann?
    Hard to disagree, but my point is, SEO is just one brick in that wall and if you don't control other teams (design, content, conversion analytics) of your client (which I never did when I was a freelancer), you are probably not going to make it happen (again, because it never solely depends on SEO). So I wouldn't hold myself responsible for conversions unless the client hires me to make conversions and if he does, I'd charge on a different scale and I'd need proper access to his other teams and freelancers.
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    As for the initial question in the thread, I find it actually a tricky one because I myself could never find a good solution to it. Unless it's a package charging (which is not always possible) and per-ranking (which we agree is not possible at all and even ridiculous), it's not easy to estimate.

    Has anyone found a good solution?
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    Originally Posted by Ann Smarty
    Hard to disagree, but my point is, SEO is just one brick in that wall and if you don't control other teams (design, content, conversion analytics) of your client (which I never did when I was a freelancer), you are probably not going to make it happen (again, because it never solely depends on SEO). So I wouldn't hold myself responsible for conversions unless the client hires me to make conversions and if he does, I'd charge on a different scale and I'd need proper access to his other teams and freelancers.
    I hate to drag this out. But I want to say one thing here: A REAL, GOOD, PROPER SEO will address ALL onsite problems both SEO and UX wise before promoting the website.
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    Originally Posted by joshz
    I hate to drag this out. But I want to say one thing here: A REAL, GOOD, PROPER SEO will address ALL onsite problems both SEO and UX wise before promoting the website.
    What if the client just comes with one specific question: "Hey, do a keyword analysis for me and find least competitive terms we'd like to target first?". Or "Hey, I see my rankings dropped and I suspect that might be a dupe content issue, can you analyze and see if that's the case"

    I never took my services to the *next* level because I never felt good about providing them, so I guess I stopped at that "first" freelancing stage when you just do random little tasks and move on...
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    Originally Posted by Ann Smarty
    What if the client just comes with one specific question: "Hey, do a keyword analysis for me and find least competitive terms we'd like to target first?". Or "Hey, I see my rankings dropped and I suspect that might be a dupe content issue, can you analyze and see if that's the case"

    I never took my services to the *next* level because I never felt good about providing them, so I guess I stopped at that "first" freelancing stage when you just do random little tasks and move on...
    Those type of clients are the ones who will end up scrapping their entire SEO because there were too many hands in the pie.

    If a client comes to me, I go for the complete project and full control over site, marketing and SEO.

    I always advise clients of the elements and it's up to them to make the educated choice how to proceed and what's worth the money and what's not.

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    • KernelPanic agrees : bingo!
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