SEO timeline promises.

22 replies
Hi,
Can anyone give me some advice on what type of time frame you give clients for SEO services? I had someone demanding first page in 30 days for a very competitive niche (obviously with the smallest budget ever!). I just need to be able to give a better presentation to clients.

Also, with billing, how do you handle clients not paying timely. I tell everyone their services are due on the 1st, but I may as well be talking to myself as most won't until Mid month. How can I combat this?
#promises #seo #timeline
  • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
    Originally Posted by nfb1204 View Post

    Hi,
    Can anyone give me some advice on what type of time frame you give clients for SEO services? I had someone demanding first page in 30 days for a very competitive niche (obviously with the smallest budget ever!). I just need to be able to give a better presentation to clients.

    Also, with billing, how do you handle clients not paying timely. I tell everyone their services are due on the 1st, but I may as well be talking to myself as most won't until Mid month. How can I combat this?
    chuck the client that wants to demand 30 days.

    When your selling NEVER promise them a time frame.

    Now i don't do SEO as a primary sale,but when i DO talk SEO
    I tell em it might take 3 months, i also explain how google changes
    on a whim, and our job is to decrypt their actions and make adjustments


    In your agreement / contract, stipulate a late payment penalty. make it stupid high
    then enforce it. It will only take once.
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    • Profile picture of the author Wechito
      First of all, don't promise anything unless you are sure you are going to accomplish it.

      Time frame varies enormously from niche to niche, depending basically on two things: the strength of your competition and your site status (age, PR, prior SEO done...), and in my opinion this is even more difficult to predict in this post Panda-Penguin era, where many of the brute-force techniques we have been doing in the last years to rank our sites seem to not work anymore.

      I think times of fast and cheap SEO are gone. So, tell you client, that reaching page one (if possible) will be costly in terms of time and money. My guess is that we have to go back to the old-school SEO, and this has nothing to do with mass link-building.

      Regarding the payments, there is not too much you can, unless you have some kind of automatic payment method that charges yous client automatically the day the bill is due.
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  • Profile picture of the author IM nice guy
    I say on my packages "3-6 months turnaround time", but then when I'm discussing with a potential client, I explain that it usually will be faster than that, that's just what I quote in order to give them an idea that it can take up to that long...
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  • Profile picture of the author nfb1204
    I agree. Sometimes it takes 3-6 months. Sometimes I can rank them in 2-3 weeks. Depends on a lot of things. I've been doing this for clients if they ask after I've done their websites. But they have started to refer me to people as I've done very well with their local results. I'm about to branch off my web design business and concentrate more on SEO services to local businesses. But I won't to make sure that I don't over promise anything to anyone and give very realistic time frames. One client actually did take 6 months to page one as it was a very competitive market.
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  • Profile picture of the author vrdwebservices
    what is google review and how it will effect my seo ???

    Any one here to help on this topic???

    Thanks in Advance
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  • Profile picture of the author manikaf
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    • Profile picture of the author LoraLane
      i give 3-6 months time frame too. Who wants it within 30 days better pay me BIG BUCKS! ))

      as far as billing - i normally set up PayPal subscription, that way it's paid automatically - I am not in accounting business - dont want to waste my time hunting down clients for payment.
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      • Profile picture of the author qu4rk
        Originally Posted by LoraLane View Post

        Who wants it within 30 days better pay me BIG BUCKS! ))
        And they better expect their rankings to not last long, ie. the next Big G update will catch those fast rankings.
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        • Profile picture of the author dnjoseph1
          Dude, if they're hassling you that bad by demanding a page one position in 30 days, drop them. Seriously. These clients aren't worth the headache.

          I prospected one company (dog wash business) to do some marketing for him. I told him that for only $800, I'd offer him one of the following services:

          -Higher GP ranking
          -Lead Generation (SEO)
          -Facebook custom Fanpage
          -Light Reputation Managaement (he had a couple of bad reviews that were pretty bad)

          I claimed him google places page right there in his store to gain even more credibility. Boy did he get demanding. After telling me that "$800 was too much" he then tried to offer me $500 and wanted all 4 services done. I didn't think the guy was serious. He was. I got up, shook his hand and thanked him for his time. On my way out he said "wait, wait - ok $600 for everything". I walked out.

          Could I have used the money? Yeah. But the headache he would have caused me would have made my life stressful. No thanks. Sorry for the rant, hope I helped a bit.

          BTW: What I do to collect payment if they're late, is I just go into the place they do business. They then pay up immediately. Try that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Voasi
    Could advice above - the client would've been a complete nightmare and a continually headache.

    As for expectations, I always tell clients 3-6 months if it's a website that's been online for over a year and has incoming links to it. If we're working with a fresh domain/website, then 9-16 months to get established rankings.

    I'd say though, 8 outta 10 times, I don't get that question, because of how I frame the client. If they do ask, here's my standard analogy:

    "Let me ask you... do you know how to make an apple pie? ...you need to get the crust, applies, sugar, etc... and then stick it in the oven at 400 degrees and bake it for 30min. If you try and take it out after 5 min, you'll get a pile of mush. There is no way around keeping that pie in the oven for 30min. Ranking in Google is the same way".

    The seems to make sense to most.

    As for pricing, when a prospect wants to nickel and dime me, this is typically what I end up saying:

    "Let me ask you, what type of car do you drive? ...ok, a 2010 Chevy Corvette. I've got $1000 in my bank account, I think your car is probably worth that much. Oh, you say Kelly Blue Book says it's worth $35,000. Well, I don't think so, I think it's worth $1000 and that's how much I'm willing to pay."

    This response usually gets their eyes open to pricing and helps understand that you can't price MY SERVICES just because of what YOU THINK it should cost. I always remind them that "you can find your car for $X, but you better realize you're going to get a lemon" - you can find SEO services for cheap, but better realize that you get what you pay for and if you like outsourced work that doesn't perform for you, when you come back to me... I'm going to charge you double them my original pricing, because I'm going to have to clean-up what they did.
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    • Profile picture of the author prodigy1290
      Originally Posted by Voasi View Post

      Could advice above - the client would've been a complete nightmare and a continually headache.

      As for expectations, I always tell clients 3-6 months if it's a website that's been online for over a year and has incoming links to it. If we're working with a fresh domain/website, then 9-16 months to get established rankings.

      I'd say though, 8 outta 10 times, I don't get that question, because of how I frame the client. If they do ask, here's my standard analogy:

      "Let me ask you... do you know how to make an apple pie? ...you need to get the crust, applies, sugar, etc... and then stick it in the oven at 400 degrees and bake it for 30min. If you try and take it out after 5 min, you'll get a pile of mush. There is no way around keeping that pie in the oven for 30min. Ranking in Google is the same way".

      The seems to make sense to most.

      As for pricing, when a prospect wants to nickel and dime me, this is typically what I end up saying:

      "Let me ask you, what type of car do you drive? ...ok, a 2010 Chevy Corvette. I've got $1000 in my bank account, I think your car is probably worth that much. Oh, you say Kelly Blue Book says it's worth $35,000. Well, I don't think so, I think it's worth $1000 and that's how much I'm willing to pay."

      This response usually gets their eyes open to pricing and helps understand that you can't price MY SERVICES just because of what YOU THINK it should cost. I always remind them that "you can find your car for , but you better realize you're going to get a lemon" - you can find SEO services for cheap, but better realize that you get what you pay for and if you like outsourced work that doesn't perform for you, when you come back to me... I'm going to charge you double them my original pricing, because I'm going to have to clean-up what they did.
      Do you not outsource at all?
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  • Profile picture of the author nfb1204
    I think I may not keep her long. She got the initial bump from all the submissions, I added pages that were relevant to her site describing her services in relation to her search terms. All those pages ranked super fast, she said she didn't like the wording, erased them from her menu, and said she doesn't want her inner pages showing up in google searches just the home page. Problem with that is she has a wordpress theme with no text on the home page. You know the pretty full screen image ones that other than title and description, you can't SEO it at all. Then she's mad because she's not #1 for a term that she feels like she wants, not realizing it's not a "money term". For example, I'd love to rank for the term "Atlanta Web Design" Super competitive, but the problem with that is, if I were a HUMAN looking for an "Atlanta Web Design Company" or a "Web Design Company in Atlanta" that's what I'd search for. I do well because I rank for that on the first page. Her industry is the same way. She's being super difficult, and since I'm just starting to push my SEO services, her monthly charge isn't worth the headache.
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      Don't think, dump her. She doesn't see you as the expert (position yourslef better in the future) or she's just an immense pain in the butt. Either way, she's costing you a lot, probably a lot more than you think.

      If you do what she wants, no results. She's going to be unhappy and will tell all the people she knows how bad at SEO YOU are.

      If you do what you know you should do, she's going to be unhappy. And she's going to tell all the people she knows how bad at SEO YOU are.

      Originally Posted by nfb1204 View Post

      I think I may not keep her long. She got the initial bump from all the submissions, I added pages that were relevant to her site describing her services in relation to her search terms. All those pages ranked super fast, she said she didn't like the wording, erased them from her menu, and said she doesn't want her inner pages showing up in google searches just the home page. Problem with that is she has a wordpress theme with no text on the home page. You know the pretty full screen image ones that other than title and description, you can't SEO it at all. Then she's mad because she's not #1 for a term that she feels like she wants, not realizing it's not a "money term". For example, I'd love to rank for the term "Atlanta Web Design" Super competitive, but the problem with that is, if I were a HUMAN looking for an "Atlanta Web Design Company" or a "Web Design Company in Atlanta" that's what I'd search for. I do well because I rank for that on the first page. Her industry is the same way. She's being super difficult, and since I'm just starting to push my SEO services, her monthly charge isn't worth the headache.
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      • Profile picture of the author IsaacWendt
        Personally the way I deal with clients payments is I just set them up with a recurring payment in PayPal and tell them when and how much is coming out.

        This works well for me and I only get one or two very ask about it which is easy to deal with.
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        • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
          Originally Posted by IsaacWendt View Post

          Personally the way I deal with clients payments is I just set them up with a recurring payment in PayPal and tell them when and how much is coming out.

          This works well for me and I only get one or two very ask about it which is easy to deal with.
          Most of the business i talk to don't deal with pay pal, or are Leary about it.
          Matter of fact, its easier to me to get them to do a check by phone as recurring
          over paypal.

          How are you handling that ?

          altho i dont lose fees with cbp its downside is out of state checks take forever to clear, so i would be interested in working with pp.
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          • Profile picture of the author nfb1204
            i just found out that with intuit gopayment you can set up recurring billing online. they have to give you their card info or you have to swipe it, but for the people leery of paypal "which sometimes gets on my nerves as there is no seller protection for services like web design, and seo so sometimes people scam you and do disputes for the hell of it cause paypal will just give them the money back) its another option. Approval was easy. Got a free card swiper in about a week.
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  • Profile picture of the author pricelance
    This is a great discussion.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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    Originally Posted by nfb1204 View Post

    Hi,
    Can anyone give me some advice on what type of time frame you give clients for SEO services? I had someone demanding first page in 30 days for a very competitive niche (obviously with the smallest budget ever!). I just need to be able to give a better presentation to clients.

    Also, with billing, how do you handle clients not paying timely. I tell everyone their services are due on the 1st, but I may as well be talking to myself as most won't until Mid month. How can I combat this?
    If your billing SEO monthly, funnel all the backlinks to domains you own, then pass PR to the clients pages.

    They stop paying their SEO bills, they stop ranking (keep it simple).
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  • Profile picture of the author akonzada009
    I always want to realize clients exception at first, then i check all. And i generally take 1-3month time for this kind job...
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  • Profile picture of the author cypherslock
    I don't give out schedules. I find that G is too volatile for that. Having said that, I DO focus on easier to rank keywords that their competitors use. I knock their competitors out, ensuring that my client takes the spot (one competitor went from first page top spot to fifth by the time I was done, all legal, ethical white hat stuff {really just good content dripped out and backlinked over time}), keep them there and then slowly focus on harder keywords. I'm helping build their brand and authority, not just ranking for keywords.

    Remember guys, we're consultants, not just vendors.
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  • Profile picture of the author carsonben
    I don't even have set prices because it absolutely depends on how competitive their market is. When I have researched their market it's usually a 2 - 3 month time frame if there are no major search engine updates.

    As for billing, I have the same problems too. Next time I will go with intuit to get paid on time.
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  • Profile picture of the author WebProphet
    Direct payments into my bank account from customer checking or CC, haven't accepted a physical payment in 18 months. (I don't use PP, do it through my bank, 1st and 15th of month) No probs!

    My take on 'promises' is- to promise NOTHING, if you find yourself required to answer THAT question, you haven't told a good enough story in the lead up to closing the deal.

    Consultants EXPLAIN how SEO works, they do not 'try' and SELL SEO.

    Suggestion: Define and explain how world-class SEO works, show the client what MAY be possible with examples of work you have done with past clients. By all means show the client what procedures you employ to assure EVERY client receives what they deserve: Great service and improved overall SEO effectiveness.

    When it comes to (over)demanding clients: Learn to say... NO! (politely)

    Educating clients means sometimes turning them away... even if you need the work. Coz in reality the only TRUE education is your own

    HTH

    Rob Campbell
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