So I just about have a client or two (I've been warming them up) but it occurred to me that running an SEO business isn't like running a lawn service! With a lawn service, you perform the service, the client is happy with the work, and you get paid. However, SEO work is not so easy to "prove" that you've done a lot of work and expect to get paid. Or should I say, without giving the client all the tricks of the trade to show how much work you've done.
I know part of doing an SEO campaign for a client involves targeting the right KWP, something not too competitive but still gets plenty of search volume, etc. So a client hires me for their SEO work and pays me $xxx. After 30 days, most non-techy business owners expect to see their website in the #1 position. I don't think they would give a care if their website was on page 10 but moved up to page 4 with all the SEO work done. I know part of the "deal" is explaining what the process is like and setting realistic expectations and such.
So any of you SEO people do this? Do you charge ahead of time to start your work or do you do the work and bill them every month? I know that moving someone up the SERPs can be seen and proven by anyone with an internet connection but what's to stop a client from claiming that they're not on page 1 so they're not paying. If you tell them it takes "time" and you need to keep working at it, they feel like you're stringing them along.