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What do you charge local clients for SEO on average?

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by GummyBrian, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. GummyBrian

    GummyBrian BANNED BANNED

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    What is the average going rate for doing SEO for local businesses? I know they are variables and such, but lets say for example there's a local business who simply wants more exposure online and more customers. How much and how would you charge them? How much would you charge for a start up fee? How much a month for the services? Thanks
     
  2. SpellZ

    SpellZ Regular Member

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    I think an addition to that question would be, WHAT do they provide for the amount that they charge
     
  3. GummyBrian

    GummyBrian BANNED BANNED

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    were just sticking with basic seo services for now, IE ranking higher on google.
     
  4. Dannn

    Dannn Newbie

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    A local business who simply wants more exposure online and more customers, very specific :p.

    OK, let's do an example. Let's theoretically say it's a plastic surgeon, in California.

    First, I'd do thorough keyword research. Look at relevant keywords - look at state keywords - specific cities. I would only want to target relevant cities that they operate in and take clients from. Since California is so big, if they are in Los Angeles, it may not make sense for them to target a city that's 2+ hours away.

    Before making my research really geo-targeted, I first look at national trends, what people are searching for on a national basis in regards to plastic surgeons - then tack on geo-targeting.

    Next, I analyze the competition. If you're looking to streamline it, use SERPIQ, or do it manually, either way. Primarily look at the top 10, don't concern yourself with competing pages, bunch of hog-wash :).

    So, let's say relevant plastic surgeon keywords are competitive in California, which I'm sure they would be. I first charge for my time. Marketers have the misconception that you only charge purely based on ROI, and while you want them to make money, that's not ideal, and quite honestly, how I think you should value your time.

    Personally, I value my time, so I charge for it & potential ROI. Just like a lawyer charges for their time even if they lose a case, I charge my time as well, except I know I won't lose hehe ;). Anyways, I think $1,000 month is a nice starting base for your time.

    If you see that it has serious search volume, especially for such a high-value niche like plastic surgery (client's can be valued at $x,xxx - not all profit of course), then you have to factor that in as well. Say there are 4,000 searches a month broad, a few thousand exact, you obviously see there is intent. Google handles local search terribly, so by seeing those broad figures, you can udnerstand there most likely will be a lot of long-tail traffic. Moreover, you know there are substantially more people searching that Google isn't picking up on because they are long-tail keywords (the best keywords too).

    So, let's say out of 2,000, 33% click on the top result as that's where you get them (if you're selling results, you should be able to know how to ultimately solidify their rankings in the top positions since this is a large investment for them), that would be 660 targeted prospects (from one keyword, let's not consider all the long-tail traffic). Now, let's just say they converted 1% that would be 66 new clients. And, what if each client was valued at $2,000 to them for example, some doing up-sells and getting $10,000+ jobs, they're making some serious money. Even if they had a .5%, they're still doing well. If I had a client only converting 1%, that would be an atrocious website though, and would be one of the first things I would work to fix in all honesty to get it around 3 - 6%. If you address the prospect's objections up-front and sell them in an entertaining way (not a typical business card website), you'll see exponential conversion improvements.

    However, don't just consider the fact that you're making them serious ROI monthly. EVERY COMPANY needs branding and marketing. Whether you're a lawn-mower company, or a restaurant. If you're NOT, you're leaving business on the table and your competitors are getting the exposure. Not only is bringing in new customers important, but it's also for credibility purposes that they position themselves to look like a leader by enhancing their visibility.

    So, in this case, I would charge $497 set-up fee for on-page SEO, and $2,000 monthly most likely. This would include: keyword research, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and I'd offer reporting and analytics on our custom back-end reporting platform ... on top of other things we add in for additional value. Many surgeons would agree that around $24,000 is a fraction of the ROI they can see from new customers, word of mouth referrals, up-sells, etc. It's not all about making yourself money, but also helping these businesses legitimately grow. After you help them make some money, get an understanding up-front of increasing their budget incrementally. So, while we may start at $2,000 monthly to alleviate major risk for them, we could always work up towards $4,000+ a month.

    A lot of people are afraid to ask for $250 - $500 month, and it honestly de-values your own service, shows lack of confidence and undermines this market. While I'm not concerned about people under-cutting my rates because I know for quality my services are worth $10,000 + month, I feel bad for them by putting in all that work and getting pennies. Internet Marketing and SEO is an art, it's not a common trade job. A minimum wage person can not do it. Even if a company tries to hire in-house, they still have to pay employees, go through training curves, liabilities of having employees / benefits / wages / taxes, and hope that they get it right. Whereas if they hire professionals like us, they know they are getting it right the first time.

    Also, after all these companies have been burnt, I can tell you from personal experience that higher quality rates show confidence since they can tell premium from run of the mill. A lot of my clients that were burnt before finding me said they were paying $250 - $750 month since that's what a lot of scammers to inexperienced people try to stick around.

    And if you think $2,000 month is a lot, think about this. One company I know charges $1,400 MONTH for ONLY on-page SEO reports, not even implementation ...

    Do you offer more than just on-page SEO reports? Don't be afraid to charge businesses your value. You're going to make them money in repeat business, visibility, word of mouth referrals and so forth!
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 5
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  5. trieuphu

    trieuphu Newbie

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    Thanks for this information Dannn..It is so helpful for newbies starting in offline thank you so much..Can I talk to you on Skype?
     
  6. Kikerinka

    Kikerinka Senior Member

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    I believe that you always should provide them something with ROI over 100% for them.
    I mean, even if you can help them to get just 10 more clients a month in average (which let's say brings in $300 in profit for them), than it's pretty much okay to charge $300 or less.

    Of course, one need to consider the long term advantages of returning customers, brand visibility, etc.

    When being involved in offline, I even rejected some clients for what I saw the SEO of their website makes no sense from the terms of ROI (Living in a small country with low buying force, this is often a case)
     
  7. Seminole

    Seminole Junior Member

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    @Dannn

    Thank you for writing this. You took the words out of my mouth. Kids starting out price their rates too low and devalue what we do. Yeah, you can go online and get SEO for $99/month. But come back to me in three months when your site is deindexed or you're still sitting on page 12. The ROI for SEO is ridiculous. If we bring in 3 new customers, we pay for ourselves (if you understand Customer Lifetime Value). Don't sell yourself short. Thanks again, Dannn
     
  8. radiant13

    radiant13 Power Member

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    Thanks and repped, Dann the man, that's one helluva write up.
     
  9. dantob

    dantob Power Member

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    @Dannn

    Do you outsource the SEO work or do it yourself?

    For your example of charging $497 setup for onpage and $2000/mo would that be for 1 keyword only or 4-5 keywords combined that bring in 2000 searches total a month (exact match)?

    When you first do your keyword research are you focusing on one main geo-targeted keyword to focus on that has the most search in Google KW Tool and charge for that? So in your example would it be "plastic surgery los angeles" or "plastic surgeon los angeles", etc. and pick the one that has most search volume? Or for $2K/mo do you focus on like 5 keywords such "plastic surgeon los angeles, plastic surgery in los angeles, los angeles plastic surgeon, plastic surgeons in los angeles" and focus on these to get them in top 3 and then focus on next set of 5 keywords?

    I'm doing some keyword research for a particular niche for this client I want to get on onboard and their main keyword + city is only showing 140 exact searches a month. This niche brings in $10K per new customer (not all profit of course) to the client. Any help on how I should proceed with this niche as far as picking keywords for this client.
     
  10. WrightWilliams

    WrightWilliams Power Member

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    I charge $800-$2000 monthly depending on the client in addition to a $600 set up fee.
     
  11. dantob

    dantob Power Member

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    How do you determine the figure to charge from that range for each client? Do you base it on what is the value of one new client plus keyword search volume and conversion rate?
     
  12. Magicbeanz

    Magicbeanz Newbie

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    Excellent point that so few consider. The lifetime value of a customer can be immense.

    My services are almost exclusively G+ Local, and the setup is the same regardless of a client's situation; therefore, I charge a flat fee of $750-$1,000. I will generally charge less if I've had a good month and the business owner needs a break. I push hard for referrals when this happens, too.

    For monthly ranking / maintenance, I would charge at least $500 for the first 2-3 months and give the client the option of scaling back when we're on page 1. I give a really detailed list of tasks that I do every month for that price, too. There is really very little I don't disclose, so clients tend to feel comfortable that they're getting my best efforts.

    I have also found that clients appreciate the option of switching to a less-expensive "maintenance" mode once we reach our target ranking.

    I tell them that the on-going fee keeps me working on their G+ local listing, so they don't lose rankings and it keeps me exclusive to them. If they miss a payment or decide to let me go, the first thing I'm going to do is run to their competitors to show them what I did for them. Talk about an easy sell at that point.

    After they're on page one, my fee then becomes protection money LOL
     
  13. Lazlo1967

    Lazlo1967 Junior Member

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    It depends a bit on where you are also. Do you have credibility? Do you have references? Can you show previous results? If you are just starting out you might take your first client for free (in exchange you get to list them as a reference). Once you have credibility and references then you can charge what the market will bear. Some companies will want the $99 SEO - mostly because they either don't know any better or their margins are so low they cannot afford more. I personally concentrate on higher margin businesses (like the plastic surgeon). For those, you can easily charge $1,000+ per month. If you add additional services (build and maintain Website, PPC marketing, FB marketing, off-line marketing, etc.), $5,000+ per month is not unreasonable. Of course you'll need to track and be able to show results or you won't get paid that for long!
     
  14. WrightWilliams

    WrightWilliams Power Member

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    There are many factors, usually it depends on whether I will have to outsource anything, what the clients current online rep is like, their traffic, etc. It also depends on what 'exactly' it is they want to accomplish.