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  • #991143
    checkvault
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    I was recently referred to do an SEO job on an e-commerce website. This is something I haven’t done commercially before – just had given general advice in the past.

    The problem I have is understanding how I should charge the client. I’ll explain a bit further.

    I know a bit what to do. I said I’ll help set up the adwords account, I’ll help write blog articles, and see if I can find relatable content that can link back to the site. Monitor the daily performance of the configurations etc. etc.

    I mostly do web application development, where i find it easy to quote and charge for work because the requirements were set, the work was done and the results were shown which were in line with what was required. So I can justify that I’ve completed the work as required and get paid.

    But in the SEO case, I can set everything up and say that it should help to bring this many viewers (which is the aim of SEO .. if they go ahead and buy something or not is not in that domain). But then I can only justify that I have completed the work if that many viewers start coming to the site. If they come it’s well and good, so I’ll get paid for the time I put in. But if they don’t, does that I mean I shouldn’t get paid for the time I put in?

    Plus the client has spent money on the Adwords campaign apart from what I will charge.

    So it’s a bit confusing.

    I’m interested in knowing what other people in this business do?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    #1180220
    JohnW
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    Hi Checkvault,
    I always break SEO quotes down into these elements.

    A. Research and Planning Quote

    1. Research
    The client’s website and the search market(s).

    2. Develop a Draft Action Plan
    This may involve web developers/designers and company staff as well as your copywriting and SEO services.

    Include a suggested implementation sequence. Eg. If you found site technical problems in your research, they would need to be fixed first or other SEO actions would likely be compromised.

    Discuss with the client who does what and when as well as how much is to be done. (Eg. You may find you have to include time liaising with web developers about technical fixes.)

    B. SEO Implementation Quote

    It is only after the client has agreed to the implementation details and how quickly they are to be implemented that you can cost out your time for this component of your service.

    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1180221
    John Romaine
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    checkvault, post: 210126 wrote:
    I know a bit what to do.

    A “bit” is not enough.

    If you’re not experienced or qualified then don’t accept the job. Especially if the client is paying you.

    Do they know you’re asking here for advice?

    #1180222
    MatthewKeath
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    John Romaine, post: 210669 wrote:
    A “bit” is not enough.

    If you’re not experienced or qualified then don’t accept the job. Especially if the client is paying you.

    Do they know you’re asking here for advice?I tend to agree.

    Why are you taking this SEO client on?

    #1180223
    checkvault
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    John Romaine, post: 210669 wrote:
    A “bit” is not enough.

    If you’re not experienced or qualified then don’t accept the job. Especially if the client is paying you.

    Do they know you’re asking here for advice?

    Hi there John,

    In the end I did not accept the job. As you rightly said, the client is paying me. So I have to be able to justify that the work was done correctly.

    And since I was not sure on how I was going to do that, I did not accept the job. But that’s why I asked a question on the forum.

    I guess the main question still is how much liability will I have to take on if I do an SEO task? I’ve seen this question pop up a couple of times in the forum in relation to websites (where clients get someone to do a website so that they can get more customers – does that mean the client will only pay once they start getting more customers?). Say I know what is to be done when doing SEO, and then work a job for a client, but in the end their product just doesn’t work in the market. How much do I then get involved in the sales process to make the SEO work? How will be able to justify to the client that the SEO work was done properly and should be paid for; that the product just isn’t fit for the market. They can turn around and say that the product was fit for the market but the SEO work did not allow it work.

    #1180224
    John Romaine
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    checkvault, post: 210727 wrote:
    In the end I did not accept the job. As you rightly said, the client is paying me. So I have to be able to justify that the work was done correctly.

    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….

    checkvault, post: 210727 wrote:
    I guess the main question still is how much liability will I have to take on if I do an SEO task?

    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.

    checkvault, post: 210727 wrote:
    I’ve seen this question pop up a couple of times in the forum in relation to websites (where clients get someone to do a website so that they can get more customers – does that mean the client will only pay once they start getting more customers?).

    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.

    checkvault, post: 210727 wrote:
    Say I know what is to be done when doing SEO, and then work a job for a client, but in the end their product just doesn’t work in the market. How much do I then get involved in the sales process to make the SEO work?

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

    checkvault, post: 210727 wrote:
    How will be able to justify to the client that the SEO work was done properly and should be paid for;

    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.

    checkvault, post: 210727 wrote:
    that the product just isn’t fit for the market.

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

    checkvault, post: 210727 wrote:
    They can turn around and say that the product was fit for the market but the SEO work did not allow it work.

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

    #1180225
    checkvault
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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.

    Regards,

    #1180226
    My Guy
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    checkvault, post: 210126 wrote:
    How to charge for an SEO service?

    The problem I have is understanding how I should charge the client. I’ll explain a bit further.
    Thanks in advance for your help.

    The guys I have always delt with are charging out at 30%.

    Now I am only spending from $100 – $10,000 so it’s a decent amount.

    I am unsure if this value changes up or down when you go to $11,000 – $100,000

    #1180227
    bb1
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    My Guy, post: 210953 wrote:
    The guys I have always delt with are charging out at 30%.

    Now I am only spending from $100 – $10,000 so it’s a decent amount.

    I am unsure if this value changes up or down when you go to $11,000 – $100,000

    Ok, I’ll ask te question 30% of what????

    #1180228
    My Guy
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    Great question BB1,

    I’ll use Facebook as an example.

    – You create an add for ‘selling a chair’
    – You say to Facebook run this ad for 7 days at a max value of $50 a day
    – Facebook will charge you up to $50 a day.
    – Lets say you did max out at $50 a day 30% of $50 is $15.

    The marketing company will send you a bill for $65.00 for that per day.

    Heres the thing, you may not have used all the $50… so the fee will be less.

    Marketing companies make a fortune from this and are killing it really.

    I mean some of the bigger companies out their really have a license to print money… I am only a small player at the moment when it comes to what some bigger companies (my competitors) are currently spending.

    One thing you don’t want from some of these marketing companies is too much guidance from them, I’ve found that if you give them an idea they love it and want to run it for you.

    I mean who am I to say that this idea will work, I am going to you to get help and get ideas but they honestly give you SFA when it comes to good material.

    Seek other advice from different marketing companies and learn from them also and build a report from each one. Go and seek a business analyst or adviser then take your product to the market with a solid foundation of support.

    #1180229
    John Romaine
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    My Guy, post: 210989 wrote:
    Marketing companies make a fortune from this and are killing it really.

    We’re talking about organic SEO, not paid traffic.

    Any reputable SEO agency, should be working at an hourly rate (or fixed rate, if agreed upon)

    Business owners should always be very hesitant to working with an agency that gives them a quote without even looking at their site, data, or at the very least gaining insights into goals and objectives.

    In other words, if you find yourself on the phone to a salesperson from an SEO agency and they’re asking for your CC details on the first call…..

    RUN AWAY.

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