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Question for SEO Company Owners

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by lumien, May 13, 2010.

  1. lumien

    lumien Junior Member

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    I am starting an SEO company, and everything is rolling along but I was curious what the "industry standard" is for the following topics:

    What is your normal contract period? I have seem 12 months and 6 months.

    I know that everybody charges based upon the competition of keywords. Do you tell your customers that they will reach page 1 of Google in 6 months, and then set them up on a monthly plan that will get them there? Or do you just state that you can't make any guarantees due to Google's black box algorithm, and just try and charge as much as their budget will allow and give them the # of links accordingly?

    Do you let your customers know how many bookmarks, submissions, articles, etc... that they will get per month, or do you keep that hush hush and just give them enough to hit the goal that you both agree upon?

    Once you have achieved your goal for their web page, do you keep charging the same amount each month for the same keywords, do you change the keywords you are trying to rank for and keep the price the same, or do you charge them a less expensive "maintenance fee" to keep the site ranking?

    Do you make any type of guarantee that the customer will rank on the first page for a certain percentage of their keywords? Like saying that %25 of the keywords will rank (of course you would choose easy keywords for this).

    Looking around at other seo company prices, it seems that if you wanted to rank against competition that already had 15k to 20k links (which I see as the low end of things) that most seo companies would be charging the customer between $1k and $2k per month for roughly 1500 to 2000 backlinks per month (meaning they would rank with their competition in 7 to 12 months if starting with 0 backlinks). Do you get a lot of rejections when you pitch your price - with the customer seeing it as way too much money to spend per month and such a "long time" to get ranked? Or do I have my price per link totally outta wack and the customer should be getting more than 1500-2000 backlinks per month for $1-2k?

    When you are building backlinks, do you build them directly to the customers website, or do you build them to one of your domains and then do a 301 redirect to the customers website (allowing you to turn the link juice on and off - like if they stop paying)? This seems like a blackhat thing to do, but I thought I would ask.

    OK, any answers to these questions would be greatly appreciated. Like I said, everything is rolling but I have this worry in the back of my mind that my pricing is way off. I don't want to screw the customer as I want this to be a whitehat business.

    Thanks,

    Lumien
     
  2. tami6699

    tami6699 Regular Member

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    3/6/9/12 months and individual base.

    The customers normaly arent interessting on the info: 1321 bookmarks and 124312 submissions... the result is important.

    Guarantee: sometimes yes sometimes no (based on the niche/keywords etc)

    Backlinks: yes, own domains/sites etc - why blackhat?
    If a company makes marketing for your new coladrink, people buy it, if you stop the marketing, the posters, the TV spots, the Radiospots (and if you aren't a brand) the turnover / marktposition decrease (my opinion i know its not really customerfriendly)

    If the customer is happy you are happy...
     
  3. lumien

    lumien Junior Member

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    Thanks for the info.

    On the topic of owning a domain and doing a redirect to your customer being blackhat:

    In my mind (and probably incorrectly), I was thinking that the customer is actually purchasing links from you. So if you use a redirect, and then stop it - your taking away what they paid for.

    But it sounds like your opinion is (and probably the better way to think of it), is that customers are NOT buying links - they are buying marketing that will achieve a page 1 ranking. And if they stop paying for your marketing service you can't be held responsible if their rank falls.

    Did I understand you correctly?

    Thanks,

    Lumien
     
  4. tami6699

    tami6699 Regular Member

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    I see it different.

    Customer buy "service" and target users/turnover... what ever.

    I also buy for customers untargeted links (1000 and above) or make them (xrumer, Scrapebox, social bookmarks, articles....what ever).

    You speak about SEO and SEO isn't only buying links.

    I don't wan't to say thats the better way or the right way (the most think, its a unethic way.... BH).

    I have domains, different niches and i put on this domains also links for customers.

    I also have domains ONLY for links to customers

    Than i have domains (KW domains) for redirection.... and some ..... ;)
     
  5. MagicMike

    MagicMike Power Member

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    I haven't really found a need for a contract that stipulates a period that I will work for. It seems to me for my business that it is counterproductive. I don't want the relationship to end in 3,6, or 12 months. I want them to pay me forever! I DO have a contract that stipulates the type of work I will do for them... this way if they want something "out of the scope" (video, special research, etc.) they will have to pay an addtional fee without arguing.

    I build links directly to their website. I feel as though they are paying me a fair fee and I am happy to have them "keep the work" if/when the relationship ends.

    During the sales process, I have been known to mention that there are companies who build links to their own sites and simply "turn them off" if you decide to stop working with them. Now, this is simply a sales tool. I have no problem whatsoever with anyone who is doing this and it is working for. If I thought it would work for me, I'd do it too!

    One of the main reasons people build links to their own sites and redirect to clients is so that when they "turn them off" the client's position will drop and they may call you again for additional help. However, they initially stopped working with you for a reason, so I'd rather concentrate on keeping them in the first place. By "forcing" a client to stay with you, you wind up with a lot of headaches and potential problems, IMO.

    Anyway, I charge an ongoing monthly fee... we start on a "comprehensive" plan that basically never ends. I initially attack an easy keyword (to show results fairly soon) and a more difficult one so that we can deliver quality results in the future. As time goes on, more keywords, more services, more consulting... honestly, it NEVER ends!

    Well, just my two cents on how I have been running my business. I think there is value in both methods... this is just what has worked for me... certainly not a value judgement. I'm doing many other things that you could "look down your nose" at me about.

    Good luck with the new enterprise!
     
  6. lumien

    lumien Junior Member

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    Thanks for the clarification.

    Lumien