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[No trolls] I have a client on the hook for £2,500 a month, but I can't do it...

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by Not Ste Hughes, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. Not Ste Hughes

    Not Ste Hughes BANNED BANNED

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    Hi All,

    My income breaks down into several little spaces, my ebay shop, I have a 54 hour a week web design job and I consult a little bit on the side for SEO which this where this job comes into.

    A client has recommended a friend comes to see me, he has an online store which sells vehicle parts for a very obscure but highly expensive brand of motorcycles.

    He has built his entire business around this brand and has done well, but he wants to expand and he is looking at the internet which is a good move. His current site isn't actually terrible and its been going for 2 years but he has struggled to sell in the volume he believes he can, which is where I come in.

    He knows I'm good, I took his friend who was in a similar situation selling car parts from £1500 a month to around £12,000 a month. He's chomping at the bit and he has no issues with by fee, but on looking into the project I am not sure I can help him...

    While there are 100's of keywords to optimise categories for, there is not much traffic. Out of 500 keywords I looked into the total searches a month was just over 4000.

    Lets say 20% of those people end up on his site, 2% of those will order @ the average value of £97 (from current stats) thats £3880.

    With a 30% profit margin, there is no way I can earn enough money for him to pay for my own services which is my benchmark. If I cannot see the benefit for him it could be considered a con if I tell him I can make him money while knowing I can't.

    It seems like he is correct, there is a huge market but very few people are looking online for these bits... Loads and loads of parts sell on ebay (which I can consult in) but he wants his own ecommerce site to be the main source of income.

    What can I do? I'd rather find a solution than tell him "sorry mate, your business plan is wrong"....

    Answers on a post card please....
     
  2. FutureProofSeo

    FutureProofSeo Senior Member

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    There may be less volume, but is the competition for those keywords also less? Meaning ranking for them would take less resources.

    Would he be better spending the money advertising on the manufacturers most popular help forum?

    Just because the market has less searches now, could it potentially increase in the future? In which case dominating the search places now will leave you in a stronger position then starting when the market becomes more competitive.
     
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  3. Pretyyy

    Pretyyy Newbie

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    Be honest with him and share your thoughts! I'm pretty sure you've got enough courage .

    Also, as FutureProofSeo said, ask him about the market and if it's been growing ? How many years ? How many physical sales is he doing and how it's been improving over time... ? Be honest and wait for a future partnership with this guy! Keep the good reputation!
     
  4. Not Ste Hughes

    Not Ste Hughes BANNED BANNED

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    Competition is next to non-existent. I think I could dominate for 80% of the keywords I have.

    Advertising on forums is something he has done and it did not work out. The people that do well on there have time to answer questions and offer help, he does not want to do this.

    I agree the market could grow, but is this a year (and £30,000) down the line? I don't feel comfortable gambling with his money. I would be paid more than any of his staff and I would be doing 20 or so hours work in the evening a month, not working 40 hours a week like those guys.
     
  5. Not Ste Hughes

    Not Ste Hughes BANNED BANNED

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    I have no issues being honest with him and explaining why SEO would not work at this time, I'd rather offer him a solution though and earn some cash. ;)

    My reputation is everything locally, its something you cannot buy.
     
  6. FutureProofSeo

    FutureProofSeo Senior Member

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    So in theory you could do a bit of optimisation, and parse the links through some social syndication. Minimal cost with some average ranking power, which could potentially bring sales without investing a lot of time and money into it?
     
  7. netmoney1

    netmoney1 Executive VIP

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    I've been in a similar situation...where taking over the top was simple and really didn't require any work to stay there.

    You almost feel bad charging them monthly because of the low volume and you know they won't be profitable paying your fee.

    Charge them £10,000 (or £12,500...£15,000, etc) upfront to go in and handle it. Then set him up on a £2,500 maintenance plan that bills every 6 months. Touching the site 2 times a year should be plenty to keep him on top for everything.

    You make a few bucks, he ranks, you don't suck up ALL his profit, you still have a little recurring income from him, you have another happy client and also a source for more referrals.
     
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  8. Nut-Nights

    Nut-Nights Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I am little confuse.
     
  9. goodperson

    goodperson Elite Member

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    I'm the same you , a little bit confuse.
     
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  10. scottmarra

    scottmarra Newbie

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    That is an awesome suggestion. Something that would also build the long term relationship.
     
  11. youmakeme

    youmakeme Power Member

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    Don't depend on Google searches for traffic. Not all business relies upon search engine for traffic.
    I would suggest that your friend starts a forum or review websites so that those people who are interested can participate in the community. And then sell from there. You don't need an ecommerce shop to sell. Sometime a review or community communication aka Blackhatworld style can help to sell easier. Review or create discussion for specific parts of the motorbike. Example what is so special about this part, ask if anyone is having the same interest in x product.

    Hope this helps. I won't go into details of this strategy as each of us has a customized version. Exercise your creativity on this. :)
     
  12. hypefrenzy

    hypefrenzy Junior Member

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    go beyond seo and go on the offensive. build landers and drive traffic to them. split test, split test, split test

    facebook has a highly targeted ad platform that might be able to sniff out the market for obscure products like this. other social media sources are following suit. display might work too but can take quite a bit of trial/error and tends to work best in tandem with retargeting

    seo is a given but to build a solid business advertising dollars must be spent. you'll then be managing ongoing advertising campaigns for your client which results in ongoing consulting fees for your business
     
  13. EatSleepSEO

    EatSleepSEO BANNED BANNED

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    Whether or not the ranking(s) are profitable for the client is irrelevant (To you). Your compensation (monthly fee) is for your time & effort that's invested in to ranking the site, THAT is what the client is paying for, your effort and expertise. Can you imagine if every SEO agency/provider rendered their service(s) based on the clients sales performance? It wouldn't work, this isn't a "pay per performance" service and the client should understand this "up front" before any payment is made.

    Of course, you're not going to "guarantee" rankings (Even if competition leads you to believe you can) or "sales performance", no one can (Or at least shouldn't).

    Now, should you run in to a situation where you have him ranked but he expresses concern about spending more then he's bringing in, with him being a business man, I'm sure he'll have the sensibile understanding that the monthly fee he's paying is for your service(s), time and effort.

    He can't possibly be under the impression that your monthly fee is a guarantee of sales (Nor ranking for that matter) and as long as this is understood before any service(s) are rendered, I don't see you running in to much of an issue.

    Of course, write up a contract with a disclaimer that will protect you clearly stating that there is no guarantee of ranking(s) nor sales. Also be sure to tell him "Up Front" about the search data (search volumes) you've compiled so he's aware that if/when he is ranking that the expected sales volume would be low.
     
  14. neverquitting

    neverquitting Regular Member

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    I think the sneaky part of this is that people don't typically search in google for a specific part, they go to a known auto parts retailer and search there. So by looking at search volume, you're not seeing the sizeable population that is acquiring their products through a completely different route (which explains the high volume on ebay with such few searches). I think what you probably need to do is find a way to rank broadly for <manufacturer> parts or whatever, so that you're catching people who aren't looking for something specifically by name/model number. I suspect there'll be a lot more competition there (for example, the manufacturer itself), but that's where the volume is hiding.

    I think the OP's concern here is that any client would be coming to him with the expectation that they will turn a profit from the investment. If his back-of-the-napkin math says that's not a realistic expectation even in the best-case scenario, he has a moral issue with taking the job. Sounds like that's not a problem you have, which is fine, but the issue at play isn't whether the contract protects him or whatever, it's simply his conscience.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 26, 2015
  15. cataratas

    cataratas Junior Member

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    Because you've previously got another guy up from £1500 to £12,000 a month I suspect he is looking at things rather simply and thinks your skills will ratchet up his business similarly. If you thought that yourself, you would pay someone £2,500 a month to achieve that for you wouldn't you? He is seeing the pound signs. I'd pretty much tell him what you've told us- that you've now researched it and that the search volumes aren't quite what he thinks they might be. You're clearly an ethical guy so I imagine you will speak to him along these lines?

    To keep him on board though I would think you'd be looking at some kind of social marketing campaign to reach out to the niche market devotees that way.

    Please let us all know how this plays out and good luck!
     
  16. HoNeYBiRD

    HoNeYBiRD Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    while you are at it, it seems like something which could fly well on instagram, running an account on instagress costs $10 per month (i think), you can schedule the media uploads on latergram for free, he doesn't need to know about the exact costs and you can drive very targeted visitors for peanuts and with little effort, if it will translate into sales then good, if not, you lost $10, big deal, worth a try i think
    if he doesn't have an instagram account just yet, i think it would be more cost effective than SEO and faster too, but why not do both? :)
     
  17. hondurasian

    hondurasian Newbie

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    Share your thoughts, identify proper keywords and move forward.
     
  18. youmakeme

    youmakeme Power Member

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    I don't agree with this approach. This is why Agencies and so call SEO experts are giving this industry a bad name. Every marketing effort including SEO should be geared towards helping client attain sales. Put yourself in the client shoe, how would you feel when you pay for someone service and you cannot see the improvement in sales? Who cares about ranking on search engine when you cannot get conversion. You can take a low competition long tail keyword without conversion possibility and rank thousands of them on Page 1 but for what purposes?

     
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  19. netmoney1

    netmoney1 Executive VIP

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    Man, you are missing on major point...without sales they have shit. This reminds me of these hack SEO agencies that rank the client for their own fucking brand name and want praise because they got a keyword ranked #1.

    If you DON'T take an interest in your clients ROI then you will be out of a job soon. It's in an SEOs best interest to give multiple fucks about how the client is performing financially. If you're just slinging $200/month shit packages then fine (the business owner can't expect shit for that) but OP is talking about £2,500+/month SEO. At that level you better care about ROI, sales, rev.
     
  20. tony_d

    tony_d Elite Member

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    I would tell him that you can't help him in the short term because there's not enough in it, so you'd prefer to partner with him over the long term and make it work for both of you - take a 7% commission of ongoing sales from anyone who clicks through to the site from organic search results, and ebay sales...
    I would assume that these folk come back to the site in the future to buy more stuff, so the lifetime value of a customer could end up being quite reasonable.

    Of course - you need to decide whether you want to be in that kind of arrangement - but from what you've said about your current circumstances, it might be a good fit, if he's the type of guy you'd like to work with, and would be a win for both of you.