Asking for Advice for Pricing my SEO Work

Discussion 2: Asking for Advice for Pricing my SEO Work
Meti
I need help pricing my work.
I'm getting swamped with referrals and no idea what to charge.
I'm doing the website, taking care if copy, videos, getting stock pics, setting up Google My Business (GMB), getting citations, getting quality backlinks, setting up frameworks and processes in place for collecting reviews, managing Adwords, getting regular blog posts produced…etc…
My clients are local contractors pulling in from 50k to 10 mil in yearly revenue.
How should I price my work? How much should the setup fee? The monthly?
Always did this for either my own companies or for organizations I was on payroll for.
Any advice would really be appreciated.
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Alex
Really depends on the quality of your work. How much they make shouldn't matter at all. Set the price that seems fair and maintains proper margins and keep increasing if you continue to stay so busy.

Alex
But be really careful to properly determine your margins.
Meti ✍️ » Alex
I have a tendency to underprice my work 😞 I have achieved great results for my customers. Unfortunately, never attached a dollar value to the increase in traffic, leads, and phone calls.
Alex » Meti
Underpricing can be an issue, but to me it isn't as big of a deal as overpricing. Overpricing makes you tons of money now but creates a less stable future and more prone to better qualified agencies undercutting and stealing your clients – even if you have done well by them. I don't charge nearly enough either. I build fully custom websites from blank code for $300 a month with no up front (started at $200 and worked my way up) if they need help with smaller things like the Google My Business (GMB) and social media I do it for free (set up not management – management I have to determine based on quality and how often they need updates), and I charge 20% across the board on top of any advertising budget or outsourced hire. I used to do the copy for free, but now I hire people and charge the 20%.
I mainly do it this way because I hate sales. This gives me monthly cash flow without worrying about x up front for websites and needing to hit certain goals.
If you are curious of a website comparison I can send a roofing website I did, but I don't want to do it publicly.
Kathy » Alex
"Underpricing can be an issue, but to me it isn't as big of a deal as overpricing. Overpricing makes you tons of money now but creates a less stable future and more prone to better qualified agencies undercutting and stealing your clients – even if you have done well by them."
I think the keyword there is "better qualified." As long as they are getting a great ROI from your work, they're not going to go with the cheaper firm that comes along later. They'll actually be afraid to leave you. The same is true if you're cheap and they get no ROI.
I think a better question for Meti might be, "How much am I worth?"
Alex » Kathy
If you are a freelancer sure, if you are trying to be an agency your worth isn't effective pricing because it isn't scalable or relative to employees.

Aaron
I have an hourly rate that I charge. I usually include X hours per month at that hourly rate, and then I have different offerings that I have an approximate number of hours I spend on each month whether it be link building, creating writing guides, etc. So, loosely my monthly Search Engine Optimization (SEO) looks like X hours of hourly work and then $fixed price of link building, $fixed price of writing guides, etc.
In my experience over the past three years, splitting up my monthly retainers with some hourly and some fixed rate has worked out really well for me personally.
My set-up fees primarily depend on where the client is from a digital marketing standpoint and how big their website is.
When you say contractors, are you referring to like construction/general contractors?

Meti ✍️ » Aaron
That's right. Construction Trades
Aaron » Meti
That's my niche as well. I typically make screen recording videos (screen + webcam) going over everything I plan on doing, what it'll cost, and what will involve and that has worked REALLY well for me.
I've seen pricing between $40-$200 for decent construction SEO if that gives you a ballpark range. I think it varies a lot because some people/agencies have lots of software/automation, and some do lots of things manually.

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Mike
Desired annual income divided by 2000 is price per hour. Task duration times rate is price.
If too much work, raise your rates, because others are valuing your work more than you are.

Meti ✍️ » Mike
Damn, my hourly rate quickly jumped to $1000 🙂
Mike
The client should net 8-10x what they pay. If you can do that, good on you

Jeffrey
Small companies with money in the bank expect to spend a few thousand for website, 10 to 20,000 would be a very normal amount. That's not a fancy website just something nice to the point and covering their operation. Then you have to add your optimization service as a monthly fee on top of that which would depend on how much time you're spending doing this. Again I'm assuming 1500 to 3,000 range as a start and that could be low depending on what needs to be done. Also add a fee to analyze results every month by going over the Google report that alone would be at least $150 to $200 range. Personally I avoid working by the hour and just set future goals that will be expected and charge accordingly. I find people accept the total amount charged versus per hour amount that sounds too high. Of course you do need to know how much time you will spend so you don't short change yourself.

Alex
That seems extremely high across the board – especially for someone just starting out. I do all that for $300 a month and my websites are fairly fancy.
Jeffrey » Alex
Sure you can but why. Maybe where you live that works for you. I thought my numbers were very conservative. If you go in with confidence and a plan few ask how long you have been in business or care if you are new.
Alex » Jeffrey
You are selling websites of the same quality as your photography website for 20k? In San Antonio?
Jeffrey » Alex
I am not selling websites. Price are from others I know that sell at those prices all the time. I see the contracts with list of the requested photos.
I do commercial photography. My site is very basic and dated. I don't even like it, just too busy to design a new one.
Alex » Jeffrey
Ah, ok. I am actually in Odessa and just started to break into the San Antonio/Austin market and am finishing up my first few websites there. Nice to know it is that good of a market. Are their websites actually good or are their prices just outrageous?
Jeffrey » Alex
A bit of both. Austin is much higher end than San Antonio. I actually charge double when there. Austin is priced more like Easy coast prices. Most sites are WP base with a handful of custom coded pieces added. Then sold as custom coded. Okay, guess true but pushing the meaning of custom in my book. It's all in the presentation.
Alex » Jeffrey
That is also good to know. I'm slowly creeping up the search results there. Yeah that is why I was curious. I have seen some good Austin websites from a creative design standpoint, but haven't really been impressed by anything in the SA area to be worth the 20k mark.
Mine are 100% fully custom from blank code, usually on Craft cms.
Jeffrey » Alex
Remember price is not based on what someone with expertise in the product sees, it is based on emotion of the client.

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» Beware of getting Low Payment for Wholesale Work on SEO!
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Discussion 1: An SEO Package Which Worth $180 like This
Ivano
Hi, I'm trying to rank my website; I was offered this package; what do you think? Is it a good strategy, or might it penalize me?
1.300 profile backlinks
2.100 bookmarking
3. 250 blog comment travel niche
4. 15 PDF
5. 5 video submission
6. 20 picture submission.
7. 30 Web
8. 40 Classified
9. 10 Article submission
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Nihil
So so, how much does it cost?

Ivano ✍️ » Nihil
Thank you for you comment it's not about money but about getting results. Anyway $180
Anurag » Ivano
Comment links are ignored by Google, same for directory submission and press release. My advice is , u should not go for bulk links at a time. Just move one step by one. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a marathon but some people are making it a sprint. So hold on and have patience. Rather focus more on content. Many post of my blog are ranking without backlinks but at same time many are not in even top 3 pages despite having good backlinks. So the best way of building backlinks is citations, where someone put your link as a reference inside his content. And believe me its my pets experience that the DA PA is not that necessary. Also have a solid internal linking structure. You can have topic clustering to look more authoritative about a particular subject. Ping me if u need any help free .
Nihil » Anurag
yes

Özdemir
Been there, done that, they are useless.
Go for the good content that is useful, and follow:
– Google My Business (GMB) and other citations
– Social profiles
– Branded foundation
Try to buy anywhere from $15 to $80 per link for beginning, check if domains have organic traffic and they are not guest posting farms. Then increase the quality of guest posts to $150 to $500 per link.
Then diversified links such as edu, gov, wiki
Create like 50 killer posts, low competition, hunt for some under the radar posts that were not created before, or create a better piece of an existing one.
Then links will start to come naturally in 1 to 2 years of time.
I am in the travel niche as well. It is freaking hard to compete.
Simon
In the lowest competition niche this might move you up a spot or two… other than that, complete waste of time and money. Ensure your sites technical SEO health is 100%, write great content and acquire some decent t1 links

Meg » Simon
+100 😊

Sampalok
Find as long as it supports your website content and you check with them the domain and url rating. If it's linked to spammy sites you'll eventually crash and burn. Also some link builders do this one time big time which makes your link building unnatural. Google detects this spike. So check when them how they build these links

Ivano ✍️
I use Ahref to monitor their work

Sahil
Ask them the DA/ DR, Spam Score, Domain Age, QB etc for each activity they have mentioned.
and you will choose the good sites from their list(if you have knowledge)
Besides, most important is too ask them how long would it take and what results you can expect after their delivery.
If you're satisfied with what they say go ahead & sign the contract.
Note: $180 SEO off page services are mostly spam.
Good luck!!

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Paul
OK let me show you what you would be paying for and how it would be delivered
1.300 profile backlinks
There are a number of programs out there that offer Private Blog Network (PBN) backlinking, and 1300 can be done just as easily as 13. Enter info and push a button.
2.100 bookmarking
Again a bot build out. Enter info and deliver. Chances are this will not be your 100 social bookmark sites, but someone else.
3. 250 blog comment travel niche
Comment spam, bot delivered. Chances that any submissions will actually be approved are limited.
4. 15 PDF
Save a piece of content and upload it on PDF sharing sites. Maybe if the content is useful and gets traffic and views
5. 5 video submission
Could be useful. Which video and where? If it is on your Youtube channel, your Facebook page, your Vimeo channel, your daily motion page, your Pinterest page, your Instagram page, your linked in page and they are uploaded as native videos, then possibly yes. If it is a templated animated video, modified for you, make sure you watch and approve it first
6. 20 picture submission.
Could be useful, but most links would be nofollow
7. 30 Web
Need more information
8. 40 Classified
If it is a well written ad from a high authority site, go for it, you may even generate a sale from the ad
9. 10 Article submission
Make sure the directories used are not seen as a spammy article site.
For myself and my clients, I would focus more on the onpage SEO, fixing errors and omissions, and optimizing and adding content. I would focus on increasing the reviews both in quantity and quality (more fie star reviews) Creating more optimized blog post and video content. I would also be looking to get backlinks from high authority and relevant sites (Guest Blogging or Podcast appearance anyone?) Finally consistent posting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linked In and Google My Business.
As with anything in life you get what you pay for. The SEO field has evolved a lot in the last ten years. What use to work, will get you buried in the bowels of Google Hell. Make sure what are providing you is current and effective with minimal shades of grey.

Vino » Paul
Wow.

Christine
What's your niche? I find that depending on your niche, Pinterest SEO helps to supplement traffic from Google.
97% of the search traffic from Pinterest comes from unbranded keywords. Use your budget to pay someone who can create very good headlines, attracting pins, and invest in a community who can help you spread your pins to their boards.
I know this is a "kiddie" advice but I teach blogging for a living and I do not have an edge against the big brands. Pinterest helps me to reach newbie bloggers who doesn't have an idea about the "big brands" yet.
Reach out to them before the big guys do.
And the good news? You can have a "community" to help you. Look for "Tailwind Communities." They help me to market my pins over and over again.
Kim
Skip the backlinks in the start. And focus on quality content and low comp keywords 🙂 with right keywords, you can rank without backlinks 🙂
Holgate
1.300 profile backlinks … I've seen profile links being hit in updates over the last year, especially the Core May 2020. At the very least, they are nowhere near as powerful as they used to be.
2.100 bookmarking … I'm not really a fan. I would rather just create great social accounts and real social signals than bookmarking.
3. 250 blog comment travel niche … Old school SEO, but some respected people say that they still work, but only if done a certain way, so you need to be skilled in this, which I doubt the vendor will be.
4. 15 PDF … Pretty harmless.
5. 5 video submission … Again, nothing to harm you if done right.
6. 20 picture submission … same as above.
7. 30 Web … Only really worth doing if you build them out and spend time getting them indexed. Less is more in terms of the amount of web 2.0 links but they need to have a lot of quality content to make a difference.
8. 40 Classified … Don't bother. They'll be trash. Just spend a few hours finding a few in your niche and build them out.
9. 10 Article submission … Again, they'll be absolute trash. Leave well alone. Save some more budget for better quality outreach guest post articles.

Ivano ✍️ » Holgate
thank you so much for your detailed feedback

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