Client currently spending $15K/month on marketing..how much can I charge for SEO?

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I need to send over a proposal over to a client that is currently do about $15K a month in marketing thru Adwords, print media, and a few other avenues. They have an open budget as far as SEO goes as long as it brings them result. I asked them roughly what 1 new client is worth to them as far as profit goes, but them told me that right now there is no profit (I don't know if I believe this or not...who knows). Anyways from all their other channels they are seeing a 10% conversion rate. So right now they want more leads and traffic to come in.

This is one of those trade/tech schools that offer technical programs to students and tuition is around $10K-$15K per program for each student to finish in 8-12 months.

If I had a profit number I could roughly figure out what to charge them for SEO on a monthly basis. Since I don't know that figure anyone have any suggestions on a what fee is reasonable so I don't undercharge, but also I don't want them to think it's too much?
#$15k or month #advertisinghow #charge #client #seo #spending
  • Profile picture of the author Jon Martin
    Try to get them to throw out a number if possible and negotiate from there. It'll probably be higher than what you would offer in the first place.
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    • Profile picture of the author mrtrance
      Originally Posted by Jon Martin View Post

      Try to get them to throw out a number if possible and negotiate from there. It'll probably be higher than what you would offer in the first place.
      Which number are you talking about? The amount of profit or their budget for this?
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  • Profile picture of the author somacorellc
    Originally Posted by mrtrance View Post

    tuition is around $10K-$15K
    This is your number. We'll say $12k just to make things easy. If 1 student pays $12k and finishes in a year, that's roughly $1k per month net for the school. In my area there's about 400 searches every month for "technical school [city]" so we'll just say that if you got to the top of the first page they could get 40% or higher click rate that would be about 160 prospects per month. Out of those you can expect 10% to take some sort of action - filling out a form, calling a number, etc. (if they have a decent site).

    So you could maybe get 1 student a month, or 12 students a year, and for that I would say charge $1,000 per month and see what happens.
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    • Profile picture of the author mrtrance
      Originally Posted by somacorellc View Post

      This is your number. We'll say $12k just to make things easy. If 1 student pays $12k and finishes in a year, that's roughly $1k per month net for the school. In my area there's about 400 searches every month for "technical school [city]" so we'll just say that if you got to the top of the first page they could get 40% or higher click rate that would be about 160 prospects per month. Out of those you can expect 10% to take some sort of action - filling out a form, calling a number, etc. (if they have a decent site).

      So you could maybe get 1 student a month, or 12 students a year, and for that I would say charge $1,000 per month and see what happens.
      Are you basing the $1K/mo for just working on 1 keyword? I was thinking of 5 related keywords at $1500/mo with initial payment of $2K(which would include $500 setup fee). What do you think?
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      • Profile picture of the author somacorellc
        Originally Posted by mrtrance View Post

        Are you basing the $1K/mo for just working on 1 keyword? I was thinking of 5 related keywords at $1500/mo with initial payment of $2K(which would include $500 setup fee). What do you think?

        Yes, obviously there will be more than one keyword. The bigger point I was trying to make is that you have more information than you think you do.

        The $1,000 was based on one keyword in one city with made up numbers. Run your own numbers for the keywords you select and come up with your price. Lacking that, several people in here are suggesting $3k/mo. Go for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author maxrezn
    $3,000 per month. Say it with a straight face. Pull up Google Keywords Tool and run the math right infront of them showing they can increase revenues by $xxxxxx per year. Tell them you can give them the contact info of 3 companies who'll do it for cheaper....but warn them to not expect those results.
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  • Profile picture of the author BizManRobert
    If you're (soon to be) client is currently doing about $15K a month in marketing.

    Offer a 3 month SEO deal @ $2000 p/m This is cheap for them.
    If they are happy with you're results negotiate a 12 month contract say @ $1000-1500 p/m (assuming you are happy to work with them - as some clients are a real pain in the ****)
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    • Profile picture of the author mrtrance
      Originally Posted by BizManRobert View Post

      If you're (soon to be) client is currently doing about $15K a month in marketing.

      Offer a 3 month SEO deal @ $2000 p/m This is cheap for them.
      If they are happy with you're results negotiate a 12 month contract say @ $1000-1500 p/m (assuming you are happy to work with them - as some clients are a real pain in the ****)
      How many keywords do you think I should include in that $2K a month proposal? What I wanted to do is focus on 5 at a time and once we getting good rankings for those then move to the next 5 and so on.
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    • Profile picture of the author J4y
      Robert, I can't PM as I don't have enough posts. I seen your post about Keyword Research and all the customers really want is conversion or Sales and aren't that interested in Ranking. I agree totally. I am in the middle of re developing my website which is for an apartment I own in Bansko, Bulgaria. It is a holiday rental apartment. I tried last year to do some Adwords but it cost me a small fortune. Any ideas on how this could get a decent ranking without being too expensive. I know the market is saturated so it is really I guess who is prepared to spend the largest amount on advertising!! Any guidance would be appreciated. jplpropertyatntlworlddotcom
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    Did they say how much their adwords budget is?
    Price per click average?
    Words they target?
    Searches on the words they target and others they should target(if you have others they are not already doing).


    I would use that infor to figure it out.
    Let's say they pay $2/click and have a budget of 2,000. That means they are getting 1,000 clicks from adwords a month. They "convert"(what do they consider a conversion actually) at 10% so they get 100 leads(?). So they are willing to pay $20 per lead in this case.

    Now lets say there are 5,000 searches for what they(and you) figure they should target. Say 30% will click on them if they were #1 and of those convert. That means 150 leads. 150 x $20 is $3,000 per month you should charge so quote a bit more if you want to negotiate or $3,000 and hold to the number.

    Now do that math with their real numbers. If they wonder about if you are worth it you can show them the math if you want to show you would give them the same value per lead as PPC. Or if the value is there do it for 75% and show that you are cheaper per lead vs PPC.
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    • Profile picture of the author mrtrance
      Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

      Did they say how much their adwords budget is?
      Price per click average?
      Words they target?
      Searches on the words they target and others they should target(if you have others they are not already doing).


      I would use that infor to figure it out.
      Let's say they pay $2/click and have a budget of 2,000. That means they are getting 1,000 clicks from adwords a month. They "convert"(what do they consider a conversion actually) at 10% so they get 100 leads(?). So they are willing to pay $20 per lead in this case.

      Now lets say there are 5,000 searches for what they(and you) figure they should target. Say 30% will click on them if they were #1 and of those convert. That means 150 leads. 150 x $20 is $3,000 per month you should charge so quote a bit more if you want to negotiate or $3,000 and hold to the number.

      Now do that math with their real numbers. If they wonder about if you are worth it you can show them the math if you want to show you would give them the same value per lead as PPC. Or if the value is there do it for 75% and show that you are cheaper per lead vs PPC.
      So right now they are ranking #1 or pretty much at the top for their various versions of the keywords for their main city that relate to their main program. Also when doing a search on Google Adwords KW Tool these 4-5 keywords have exact match search volume of only 40-150 so in total it would be like 300-400 total searches a month just with the main keywords that describe their program.

      So would you say that getting the PPC data would be helpful to see what sort of keywords they are working with and see what search volume there is for those and if they are currently ranking for those in the organic search or not?
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      • Profile picture of the author BizManRobert
        Originally Posted by mrtrance View Post

        So right now they are ranking #1 or pretty much at the top for their various versions of the keywords for their main city that relate to their main program. Also when doing a search on Google Adwords KW Tool these 4-5 keywords have exact match search volume of only 40-150 so in total it would be like 300-400 total searches a month just with the main keywords that describe their program.

        -mrtrance
        If you're getting 300-400 total searches a month for 5 keywords and you're site is top in big G - Question...how many of these do you think you can convert...?
        Are you giving away a free report & collecting contact details from visitors?

        The bottom line is this: Business owneres in my experience, (I do internet marketing for small/medium size companies for a living) DON'T give a monkeys about first page ranking - All they are interested in is how many more customers & PROFIT it will bring them!

        If you can show them you have leads then YOU are GOLDEN
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        • Profile picture of the author J4y
          Robert, I seen your post about Keyword Research and all the customers really want is conversion or Sales and aren't that interested in Ranking. I agree totally. I am in the middle of re developing my website which is for an apartment I own in Bansko, Bulgaria. It is a holiday rental apartment. I tried last year to do some Adwords but it cost me a small fortune. Any ideas on how this could get a decent ranking without being too expensive. I know the market is saturated so it is really I guess who is prepared to spend the largest amount on advertising!! Any guidance would be appreciated. Although it is not a great money earner I would just like to get a handle on this.
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          • Profile picture of the author BizManRobert
            Originally Posted by J4y View Post

            Robert, I seen your post about Keyword Research and all the customers really want is conversion or Sales and aren't that interested in Ranking. I agree totally. I am in the middle of re developing my website which is for an apartment I own in Bansko, Bulgaria. It is a holiday rental apartment. I tried last year to do some Adwords but it cost me a small fortune. Any ideas on how this could get a decent ranking without being too expensive. I know the market is saturated so it is really I guess who is prepared to spend the largest amount on advertising!! Any guidance would be appreciated. Although it is not a great money earner I would just like to get a handle on this.
            Hi J4y
            This is off topic in regards with this thread so i'll be quick

            You're trying to get clients to rent it from You...This is the bottom line right?

            Jeez...so many folks are obsessed with SEO!
            Don't get me wrong SEO has its place, however there are many other marketing methods...

            Here's a free/cheap method:

            Produce a video using pictures of your apartment , have your contact/site details at the end of the video. I have sofware to do this, if you don't maybe you could look on fiverr.com to get it done.

            Go visit: adwords.google.co.uk do some KEYWORD research I just discovered 'apartments to rent Bansko Bulgaria" gets 73 EXACT monthly searches.
            (this is just 1 phrase there are many more you could use)

            Name this video that keyword phrase IE: 'apartments to rent Bansko Bulgaria'
            Upload to Youtube.

            Build a bunch of videos with these new researched keyword phrases and Upload to Youtube.

            Go to: tubemogul.com open a free account and blast the videos all over the NET!

            Depending on how many videos you upload...it should get you some leads

            Good luck...Robert
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            • Profile picture of the author BizManRobert
              Oh...and aonther thing J4y I forgot to mention...

              If you do a good job of optimization/setting up the videos in Youtube using the correct seached for keyword phrases - your videos can appear on the FIRST page of Google!

              Very NICE...
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  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    How much they're currently spending is irrelevant. It doesn't matter what you CAN charge, what matters are your prices. Your prices should basically be the same for everyone at that level. They can either afford you or they can't.

    If it is a national trade school, I would definitely be charging around 5K+/mo.
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    • Profile picture of the author mrtrance
      Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

      How much they're currently spending is irrelevant. It doesn't matter what you CAN charge, what matters are your prices. Your prices should basically be the same for everyone at that level. They can either afford you or they can't.

      If it is a national trade school, I would definitely be charging around 5K+/mo.
      No it's just a local school with 1 location.

      Here's the thing. I got the top 40 keywords that Google suggest indicated were being search for in Google and did a ranking check on those with their site and pretty much they are currently ranking #1 for just about all those keywords. Then I took those keywords and did a search on traffic numbers and the top keywords only showing 140 searches a month (exact match). Then a few in the 50's and a few in the tens and then nothing for the rest of the keywords. These keywords are based on their 1 main program + main city that they are located and all the varieties of it.

      Since they are already doing fine for that keyword should I then be focusing on surrounding cities using the same program keyword? They did mention that they would like to maintain the rankings they have now.

      How many keywords should I include in my quote say if I will be charging $2K a month?
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

      How much they're currently spending is irrelevant. It doesn't matter what you CAN charge, what matters are your prices. Your prices should basically be the same for everyone at that level. They can either afford you or they can't.
      I was going to say almost exactly the same thing. Figure out what you would charge for everything you can do for them...and charge that. Certainly $2,000 a month is doable...if that's what you would charge anyone for the same service.

      This "If they have more money charge them more" idea (one you didn't really put forth) really bothers me, even as a seller. If they balk at $2,000...do less for them, and charge less.

      Just my point of view.
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  • Profile picture of the author ours
    Start with slow - $2k/month i will say for 4 keywords, show them your work for next 2 - 3 months, then increase keywords and cost.
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    • Profile picture of the author mrtrance
      Originally Posted by ours View Post

      Start with slow - $2k/month i will say for 4 keywords, show them your work for next 2 - 3 months, then increase keywords and cost.
      Ya I was gonna go with $2500 to start which would include initial setup, keyword research, etc. and 1st month of SEO and then $2K/mo each month after that for 5 keywords.

      I think that is a good place to start. What do you think?

      The only issue now I have to deal with is that they seem to be ranking #1 or at pretty much at the top for their main keyword + city combo variations (35+). I will have to do a bit more kw research and possibly get their PPC data to see which keywords to target with first batch.
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by mrtrance View Post

        The only issue now I have to deal with is that they seem to be ranking #1 or at pretty much at the top for their main keyword + city combo variations (35+). I will have to do a bit more kw research and possibly get their PPC data to see which keywords to target with first batch.
        Many of my clients also already rank #1 for several search terms. But they all want to also rank #2,3,4,5,6 and so on (after a short explanation as to why). Offer to add additional page one Google results. We all know how to do that.

        Some good stuff here, I think.
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  • Profile picture of the author SirThomas
    Originally Posted by mrtrance View Post

    They have an open budget as far as SEO goes as long as it brings them result.
    Find out what "results" mean to them. In other words, what's is the most they could spend on each student, to make it workable. And it has to be under "normal" circumstances, as if they already paid off their original investment (or a loan to start this biz). That's probably the reason why they claimed not having ANY profits yet...

    Besides, if they are already on the top of Google for most keywords, you might want
    to explore other avenues for traffic, including social media. Also, check their website if it can be tweaked for better response and for list building.

    Thomas
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  • Profile picture of the author mrtrance
    Thanks for all your suggestions. I will send over the proposal for $2K/mo for 5 keywords ($2500 for first payment which includes setup, analysis, etc.) and see what they think? I can always go lower if they balk at that price.
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      I hope that by going lower you mean delivering less for less, not delivering the same for less.

      When I go to buy bread, I don't argue about the price. I buy the best bread I can that doesn't cost more than I want to pay. And, stores accommodate me by carrying different types of bread at different prices.

      I spoke recently to the owner of a school like you describe. He was keen on a wide marketing net. He's sure he's got all he can got out of the immediate area; he wants new blood. I don't know if he's right, odds are he's not. But that's what he wants. If I did seo for him, I'd be concentrating on the neighboring localities.

      Why not ask them, where do they currently get most of their students, what areas do they get them from, and would they like more from those other areas.

      You do better SEO when you know clients' expectations.


      Originally Posted by mrtrance View Post

      Thanks for all your suggestions. I will send over the proposal for $2K/mo for 5 keywords ($2500 for first payment which includes setup, analysis, etc.) and see what they think? I can always go lower if they balk at that price.
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  • Profile picture of the author Robert Grossman
    Offer $3k per month, and implement lead tracking so you can monitor the results and prove exactly how many leads come in, how your traffic converts, and exactly how much it is worth to your client. You'll find ways to increase the value, and you can increase the amount you charge over time, as long as you continually can prove to the client every dollar they spend with you bring them 2 or 3 dollars return.
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  • Profile picture of the author tycoonms
    lets say a customer is worth minimum 5k to them, whats search volume in their area like for this niche? Are 500 people a month looking? hows the competition? would it require a lot of work for you (shouldnt, theres too many good seo wso's)?

    too many answers to your simple question, I'd say $1500 a month minimum though. If you get them a client every 3 months, then youre good
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  • Profile picture of the author Abul-Hussain
    Stop thinking about how much to charge them and put more effort into how much you can make for them...

    The more you can make for them, the more you can charge them.

    If you present yourself as a COMMODITY, then people will go around comparing prices.

    However, the EXPERT gets paid based on the value he provides. Two people can do the exact same job, one would get $1k and the other would get $10k - it's all in how you present yourself.

    Abul
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    • Profile picture of the author bydomino
      Originally Posted by Abul-Hussain View Post

      However, the EXPERT gets paid based on the value he provides. Two people can do the exact same job, one would get $1k and the other would get $10k - it's all in how you present yourself.
      Abul
      Excellent point Abdul. I found this little snippet a while back and kept it. I think it will help in this thread:

      You may have heard this story before, and although it may not be strictly true, it still illustrates my point: A company was having problems with its systems crashing. It seemed the systems wouldn't stay up more than an hour or so before another crash would idle all their people. So they called in a consultant. The consultant listened to the description of the problem, went to an admin computer, and did some work there for five minutes. One reboot later, the systems came back up and stayed up. The consultant was in and out in less than an hour.

      However, when accounting received the invoice, they were shocked to find that the consultant billed them for $975. Accounting called the consultant and asked for a new invoice detailing the expense. The second invoice read:

      Fixing computer crash: $50
      Knowing how to fix computer crashes: $925

      I got this from: The difference between contracting and consulting, and why it matters | TechRepublic

      This thread has some great info,

      Airborne!
      Kevin
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  • Profile picture of the author EnzoBlaque
    Okay so their marketing budget is $15K... Well, what I'd do in this situation is work out how I can get myself a much larger piece of the cake here.. I mean why stop at SEO?

    The fact that they are in discussion with you shows that they are still not satisfied with the amount of leads they are currently pulling in. They're not happy.

    So forget pondering over how much to charge them for SEO. You need to work out how you are going to get them to put all of their marketing dollars in your hands instead of those other guys they're currently paying.

    I'd charge them $1,000 p/m for the SEO... do a killer job.. and then I'd come back for another slice of that $15,000 dollar cake.

    You said they're already doing PPC and etc, so run your keyword research tool, show them how much money they're missing out on, then let them know that YOU are the guy that's going to rescue all that cash they've been leaving on the table...

    Then you keep coming back until that whole $15K is yours...

    That's how real marketers approach this stuff, and that's the way you're going to have to make your approach. Because believe me, if you don't then someone else will.
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    • Profile picture of the author mrtrance
      Originally Posted by EnzoBlaque View Post

      Okay so their marketing budget is $15K... Well, what I'd do in this situation is work out how I can get myself a much larger piece of the cake here.. I mean why stop at SEO?

      The fact that they are in discussion with you shows that they are still not satisfied with the amount of leads they are currently pulling in. They're not happy.

      So forget pondering over how much to charge them for SEO. You need to work out how you are going to get them to put all of their marketing dollars in your hands instead of those other guys they're currently paying.

      I'd charge them $1,000 p/m for the SEO... do a killer job.. and then I'd come back for another slice of that $15,000 dollar cake.

      You said they're already doing PPC and etc, so run your keyword research tool, show them how much money they're missing out on, then let them know that YOU are the guy that's going to rescue all that cash they've been leaving on the table...

      Then you keep coming back until that whole $15K is yours...

      That's how real marketers approach this stuff, and that's the way you're going to have to make your approach. Because believe me, if you don't then someone else will.
      Can explain what you mean by running my kw reseaeching and then informing them how much they are missing? Are you saying that the keywords I can show them that they arenot currently using for their PPC campaign? Or compare the cost of using PPC to SEO and show them how they can get more for their buck by optimizing for those same kws using SEO?
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