Home – New Forums Tech talk How to charge for an SEO service? Reply To: How to charge for an SEO service?

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John Romaine, post: 210808 wrote:
Hey mate, more power to you. I respect that. You did the right thing. Saying no sometimes is the right choice.

It certainly doesn’t mean you need to be bummed about it. I’ll do my best to answer your questions below for you, as comprehensively as I can, however at the end of the day, you’ll need to ask yourself if SEO is a space which interests you enough to a) learn it, and b) start offering it as a paid service.

If it is, then I would recommend you find a mentor.

Now, your questions….

I am certainly not about to give you legal advice here (I’m not qualified to) but in any case, you should be using a solid contract that outlines, scope, expectations, deliverables and more, upon entering into an agreement with your clients.

In other words, use a professional contract. Seek professional assistance.

What you’re referring to is what’s known as “performance based SEO”. This is a usually a HUGE no no. For many reasons….

1. You cant make guarantees over something that’s beyond your control
2. You have no control over your clients internal sales process
3. SEO by nature is inherently volatile.
4. Difficult clients may at any point, change their goals and objectives
5. Third party amendments may cause downward trends. (Note – this is something that should be covered in your contract)

In any case, avoid performance based SEO. It’s problemetic for a variety of reasons, in addition to the ones I’ve mentioned above.

PS – Many sleazy agencies use performance based SEO as their “USP”. Don’t rank, don’t pay – that kind of nonsense.

You don’t. You’re not being hired as a salesperson.

Firstly, if you have to “justify” yourself, or the work you’ve done, then there are much bigger issues at hand. You either

a) don’t know what you’re doing
b) are not confident in your abilities
c) have hired the wrong client
d) don’t have set processes in place

…etc etc

Its up to you do demonstrate your expertise and guide them towards success. But please, don’t try to “fake it”. Clients aren’t stupid. They will see through your nonsense immediately.

SEO isn’t something you can “know enough about to be dangerous”. You’re either all in, or not at all. Its all about confidence, knowledge, experience, and working with absolute purpose.

You should have addressed this before entering into the agreement. Pre qualifying clients is absolutely essential.

You must address this as said above. Pre-qualify your clients. Set expectations levels ahead of starting. Ensure they’re a good fit.

Hi John,

I have to say I really enjoyed reading your answers.

I guess the SEO space isn’t as straight forward as I thought it would be. The term ‘performance based SEO’ correctly defines the thought process that was in my mind. And you were right where, because I wasn’t confident, I chose a performance based point of merit. But that just means, I have to learn it properly first before even considering offering it as a paid service.

I actually feel good about pulling out at an early stage because it would have been harder to do if I had delayed it any further. And I would have wasted the client’s time as well.

Thank you once again for sharing your knowledge there.