How to price SEO work?

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Okay, so I am fairly knowledgeable about basic seo. I have been doing it for my own sites for a while and recently I got a part time job doing it for a web design company.

Now, I really want to help these businesses but it always takes me a lot of time to build links to the site.

Seriously after many hours, maybe only a few decent links. I have to search for similar sites that aren't direct competition, email them, write an unique article for them in exchange for a link, and send it to them. I can only put so much time into it because I get paid by the hour (and its not much by the way, actually its terrible). When the end of the month comes around, those few links don't really show much of an increase in traffic.

Sometime, they hardly see any improvement in traffic because it was only a few links and say why did I pay all this money and no real difference?

I mean, how much do people charge and how are most SEO's using their time more effectively to get links?

I though SEO was a very profitable career.

Any tips please?
#price #seo #work
  • Profile picture of the author PhilipSEO
    Originally Posted by ericwoo View Post

    Okay, so I am fairly knowledgeable about basic seo. I have been doing it for my own sites for a while and recently I got a part time job doing it for a web design company.

    Now, I really want to help these businesses but it always takes me a lot of time to build links to the site.

    Seriously after many hours, maybe only a few decent links. I have to search for similar sites that aren't direct competition, email them, write an unique article for them in exchange for a link, and send it to them. I can only put so much time into it because I get paid by the hour (and its not much by the way, actually its terrible). When the end of the month comes around, those few links don't really show much of an increase in traffic.

    Sometime, they hardly see any improvement in traffic because it was only a few links and say why did I pay all this money and no real difference?

    I mean, how much do people charge and how are most SEO's using their time more effectively to get links?

    I though SEO was a very profitable career.

    Any tips please?
    My friend, not to be mean, I understand you have learned some SEO, but what you have described suggests that you have no command of at least the link development aspect of SEO and should not be charging money for it. When I provide links I can rank a website within just a few weeks (as opposed to months) and generate lots of relevant traffic.

    But to answer your question, SEO links are a matter of access and special expertise. If you don't have those, you are confined to low-level link building. Don't buy links for your client if you don't know how to evaluate them (it's a whole science, and it's not for beginners). Instead, you can provide free low value links that are still somewhat better than nothing. By this I mean dofollow blog comments, forum signatures, article and PR submissions etc. For these you can charge based on your time, but since the value of those links is low, you should not be charging a lot for them. "Indian" link building rates are most appropriate, between $1-2 for most links. That's about what they are worth. Say, if you provide 500 blog "dofollow" comment links from unique blogs, the website will experience some small increase in rankings. It may go up from result 500 to 35 or something like that, which may seem like a lot but is not. Making page 1 for any competitive keyword is going to be tough.

    All that said, here is a system that can help a bit. Charge a low hourly rate, but agree on some bonuses on the change you get lucky, i.e. a bonus for making the front page, a bonus for making the top 5 results, one for the top 3 results, and one for #1.

    This resource can give you some good link development ideas:
    SEO Link Building

    I hope this helps a bit!
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    • Profile picture of the author ericwoo
      Originally Posted by PhilipSEO View Post

      My friend, not to be mean, I understand you have learned some SEO, but what you have described suggests that you have no command of at least the link development aspect of SEO and should not be charging money for it. When I provide links I can rank a website within just a few weeks (as opposed to months) and generate lots of relevant traffic.

      But to answer your question, SEO links are a matter of access and special expertise. If you don't have those, you are confined to low-level link building. Don't buy links for your client if you don't know how to evaluate them (it's a whole science, and it's not for beginners). Instead, you can provide free low value links that are still somewhat better than nothing. By this I mean dofollow blog comments, forum signatures, article and PR submissions etc. For these you can charge based on your time, but since the value of those links is low, you should not be charging a lot for them. "Indian" link building rates are most appropriate, between $1-2 for most links. That's about what they are worth. Say, if you provide 500 blog "dofollow" comment links from unique blogs, the website will experience some small increase in rankings. It may go up from result 500 to 35 or something like that, which may seem like a lot but is not. Making page 1 for any competitive keyword is going to be tough.

      All that said, here is a system that can help a bit. Charge a low hourly rate, but agree on some bonuses on the change you get lucky, i.e. a bonus for making the front page, a bonus for making the top 5 results, one for the top 3 results, and one for #1.

      This resource can give you some good link development ideas:
      SEO Link Building

      I hope this helps a bit!
      Thanks for your response Phillip.

      I wouldn't consider myself a beginner with SEO in general. I do know a lot about it but just don't have the most efficient way of link building & relationship marketing techniques yet. And on page SEO and off page are almost a different skill.

      I am not big on the low value link building. Doing stuff like placing comment links in keywordluv and dofollow is kinda worthless to me. Yeah it helps a little bit at first but more and more people will find them which will constantly lower the PageRank link juice I'll get out of it later. So if all those links help give me a little boost in rankings, I don't think they will be helpful when 100 more outbound links are added later on with the same page. Most of those have very low-no pagerank to begin with.

      Google can also do filtering and their getting better at it as time goes by and dofollow comments might be filtered out in the future if they wanted to. You never know so I just want to stick with the best for long term.

      I used to do all that stuff, finding forums that didn't mask the post's links, dofollow commenting, etc. but I didn't start getting on the first page for my main keyword and all of them until I started producing lots of content on my site and creating high quality links.

      Phillip, I just looked at your post and clearly you know a lot about SEO so I don't know why you would suggest me to work on crap links. You clearly listed everything I think about and am working on, but this stuff takes that amount of time, especially when I know nearly nothing about the persons business area when creating content.

      I am aware of some white hat easier ways to distribute content for links, but haven't tried it yet.

      Any suggestions for finding more efficient ways and methods of communication with other sites? Im sure there is some effective tools or resources out there where people look for your content to add on their sites. I know of some, but not sure how starving the crowd is. I am going to try it soon. Anyone know of great sources.

      Thanks for all your help.
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      • Profile picture of the author junkdna
        ericwoo

        do not listen to these guys too much, they are just show offs who are mystifying whole thing so they can impose inferiority complex on you.

        you seem to be doing just fine. Link building is no brainier, just a low qualified work anybody can learn in a week or two. I pushed my UK "electronic cigarettes" site from G.35 to G.5 in under two weeks, with 50% of links being "nofollow" blog links. And that was a 'high hanging fruit' in a cut throat national level competition, not some sleepy local SEO.

        With those two weeks of work I am now on page 1 for 15 keywords that are hand picked for high traffic value. Picking those words was 15 minutes work, with Google Keywords Tool. No art or science to it, at all, just picked ones with 10,000 and more viewers. And same as you, improvement was negligible: traffic went from 650 to 1,300 per month and revenue went up proportionally, but nothing impressive. I was expecting 5-fold increase ;-)

        All together it was boring as a hell.
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        • Profile picture of the author PhilipSEO
          Originally Posted by junkdna View Post

          ericwoo

          do not listen to these guys too much, they are just show offs who are mystifying whole thing so they can impose inferiority complex on you.

          you seem to be doing just fine.
          OK, I'll bite, but let me get this straight. Eric wrote: "Sometime, they hardly see any improvement in traffic because it was only a few links and say why did I pay all this money and no real difference?"

          And according to you this is "doing just fine"?

          Link building is no brainier, just a low qualified work anybody can learn in a week or two. I pushed my UK "electronic cigarettes" site from G.35 to G.5 in under two weeks, with 50% of links being "nofollow" blog links. And that was a 'high hanging fruit' in a cut throat national level competition, not some sleepy local SEO.
          Are you easyecigarette.com?

          So 50% of your blog links are no follow, you wasted 50% of your tedious link-building time for nothing and you recommend this to others?

          If you are easyecigarette.com then not all your links come from low level sources, but you seem to be mistakenly attributing your results to the bottom-feeling techniques. For example, there is a strong link on this page:
          Electronic Cigarette Review
          Remove it, and easyecigarette.com will move down.

          With those two weeks of work I am now on page 1 for 15 keywords that are hand picked for high traffic value. Picking those words was 15 minutes work, with Google Keywords Tool. No art or science to it, at all, just picked ones with 10,000 and more viewers. And same as you, improvement was negligible: traffic went from 650 to 1,300 per month and revenue went up proportionally, but nothing impressive. I was expecting 5-fold increase ;-)

          All together it was boring as a hell.
          So let me get this straight, you spent 15 minutes on picking your keywords, picked the wrong ones ("for high traffic value"), achieved "negligible" results (which, however, may be completely independent of your link building effort, which was most likely a 100% waste of time), but you recommend the same to others and say they and you are "doing just fine"? I guess you must be thinking it's like that with all SEO, it always achieves negligible results, and those who tell you otherwise are just trying to give you an inferiority complex? Well, good luck with all that.
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      • Profile picture of the author PhilipSEO
        Originally Posted by ericwoo View Post

        Thanks for your response Phillip.

        I wouldn't consider myself a beginner with SEO in general. I do know a lot about it but just don't have the most efficient way of link building & relationship marketing techniques yet. And on page SEO and off page are almost a different skill.
        Eric, I am not trying to give you a hard time, but here is the most important truth of SEO: on-page SEO almost doesn't matter. I mean, sure, get your title tags straight and make sure the pages are indexable. It helps if the keywords are on the page. Stuff like that. This will give you less than 5% of all the results that can be achieved with links.

        Phillip, I just looked at your post and clearly you know a lot about SEO so I don't know why you would suggest me to work on crap links.
        I am not suggesting that, if you have the right access. Serious SEOs own or control or otherwise have access to a lot of strong sites links from which make a difference. Our clients want results, and I can't blame them for it!
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        • Profile picture of the author Fernando Veloso
          Originally Posted by PhilipSEO View Post

          Serious SEOs own or control or otherwise have access to a lot of strong sites links from which make a difference.
          ^^ What Philip said.

          IF you're going to deliver serious (high ticket) SEO services you really need to have a private base to work from.

          All the rest (article links, comments, siglinks, etc etc etc etc etc) is just what everybody else has to offer.
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          • Profile picture of the author PhilipSEO
            Fernando, well put!

            Eric, ask yourself this question, for example. You will have heard that SEOs have niches. Why? I mean, on page is SEO is the same for each niche/market, right? Title tags and all the rest of it. So why the heck do SEOs have niches? There's an SEO "secret" for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin Perry
    As Philip eluded to, there is A LOT more to effective SEO than link requests. Have you done the proper research to find profitable keywords to target? For example, the term 'marketing consultant' probably gets 100 times the searches as '(insert local area) marketing consultant', but the latter would be much easier to rank highly for and could prove to be more profitable as a result.

    If you're doing SEO as a serious job, you may want to consider picking up a program like Brute Force or SENuke to automate a lot of the grunt work and thus making your services more efficient.

    You could also consider hiring out the grunt work to service providers on a site like oDesk and Get a Freelancer.

    Kevin
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    Owner and Operator of 6StarMedia.com - A website design and marketing firm
    Marketing Consultant for AuctionAutoBidder.com - An eBay Auction Sniper service
    Check out one of my clients for Database Services - Pebble IT
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  • Profile picture of the author yianni
    pricing for anything is a fluid concept

    a few things to look at

    what is your time worth?

    what do others in your industry charge?

    what do the most expensive 5% in the industry charge?

    where are you positioning your services?
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    • Profile picture of the author PhilipSEO
      Originally Posted by yianni View Post

      pricing for anything is a fluid concept

      a few things to look at

      what is your time worth?

      what do others in your industry charge?

      what do the most expensive 5% in the industry charge?

      where are you positioning your services?
      Ahem, what is the point of these considerations if you cannot achieve results? Let me guess, you have not read this thread and are just replying to the question in the subject, right?
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      • Profile picture of the author ericwoo
        junkdna and Phillip,

        Thanks for your reply's but I think Phillip knows what hes talking about. I have been reading your (Phillip's) stuff and I have agreed with just about everything thing he said in other posts, until the above post.

        I am going to have to disagree with you that on-page doesn't matter. Stuff like building up lots of content pages, getting them indexed (index penetration), adding anchor text links from those pages to the pages that you want to get ranked for (aka more important pages) I think definitely helps. And then you can use the power of social media to promote these pages to try and get attention to the quality posts. With tools to automate social bookmarking and submissions to your social profiles to help grab attention to your content and then it maybe linked to. Alot of people on social bookmarking site have blogs themselves. Building more and more content will not only give your site more weight in the search engines but also is more likely to be picked up and linked to.

        Then you can look at site structure, the crawalability of a site, reduce the amount of extra code. Other things to look at is to see if the SE is crawling all the pages. Some sites have problems having all there pages crawled. There are strategic ways to place links, build html sitemaps, XML sitemaps, and get all your content crawled/ indexed better. Going a step futher is to try and eliminate duplicate content, although google doesn't penalize you for this. Its usually just filtered out. Wordpress blogs create duplicate content and google was indexing a whole page of posts rather than the post I wanted them to. So you can edit the code to only display the snippets on archive, tag, and category pages.

        I could go on and on, but another thing I think should be considered SEO is testing conversion rates of pages and how easy is it for your visitors to move around. Remember were trying to increase revenue, not just traffic.

        On a last note, the reason some of the clients haven't been seeing a huge change is sometimes there budget only allows me to work one day out of the month on it. So I'll work one day and those few links may not do much, but its still money their giving us.

        Thats why my main goal of this post was to:
        1. See how much other people charge per hour
        2. See how everyone else masters linkbuilding

        Theres no doubt, I am not a jeddi at link building. Phillip, how do you build up the access to a lot of strong access to sites links? Can you shed any techniques to help a bro out?

        Thanks
        -Eric
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        • Profile picture of the author PhilipSEO
          Hi Eric,

          I did not say on-page optimization doesn't matter, I said: "This will give you less than 5% of all the results that can be achieved with links." One thing I need to clarify is that I am not including content here. Great viral content that attracts a lot of links is of course very powerful for SEO, but it is not "on-page optimization," it's just content.

          Consider this scenario: you have set the correct title tags, the correct alt tags, h1 headings and what not, checked the "keyword density" (obsolete concept but some people still believe in it), bolded your keywords, created a great site structure, used good anchor text on internal links, etc. Sure, it "helps," you will get some results from it. It's not a bad way to start an SEO campaign, usually you can convince a client that this is necessary work.

          Do all those things and you will see some difference. Unless you have, say, millions of links with correct anchor text from relevant authority sites all over the world, in which case on page optimizations will matter extremely little.

          The biggest difference between on-page and off site is that links are the only indefinitely scalable aspect of SEO. It is possible to have so many powerful links that little things will not matter by comparison. The problem with the "every little bit helps" approach to SEO is that it distracts you from just getting powerful links.

          As regards charging for SEO work per hour, it ranges from like $50/hour (absolute beginner) to 700-900/hour if you are a famous SEO like Rand Fishkin, Eric Enge or Eric Ward. I personally try to be afforable and charge $150/hour for consulting, but I choose the work. (But I also offer services which have nothing to do with an hourly rate, e.g. a monthly link development service where I am paid not for the amount of labor but for expertise and results).

          Here is an article that is quite old but a goody and will give you some sense of SEO pricing:
          SEOmoz | SEO Pricing & Costs - What Should You Charge / How Much Should You Pay?

          Ultimately it's all about ROI for the client. If your work brings profits, everybody is happy.

          It sounds like you've got much SEO figured out but the your weakest link is links. Figure out where to get those and you will be king!
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          • Profile picture of the author ericwoo
            Awesome, thanks for your reply Phillip. yeah I guess others might consider building up content on a site and on-page optimization different things. Okay, maybe I should have said I think on-site SEO techniques are important, LOL.

            See the problem with my work is that I will sometimes get sites:
            • with Duplicated Title and description tags on multiple pages.
            • And then the site may have a CMS with horrible URL's with "?" in them and no keywords so I will have to go in and change the CMS url structure and find a way to redirect all those links to the SEO freindly url that I made.
            • pages with little to no content in the body (shopping cart sites with only pics saying click here to buy)
            • Oh for brand new sites, keyword research is another big time consumer.
            Im sorry, but Im a somewhat of a perfectionist so I like to see this stuff fixed before I start working on links. This SEO side of things is just easier to manage but can take a lot of time as well. I agree that doing all this isn't as powerful as starting linkbuilding, but I just think having a great site is first in priority, then link building can follow.

            So, doing all this onpage SEO along with my on-site SEO content techniques may take a lot of time with little notice of change (at least right away), but I just think its an essential foundation of SEO.

            Gosh, I am confused of where to spend my time to bring them ROI.

            Any technique suggestions to build links easier? I was never to0 big on large directory submissions with those semi-automatic tools. Got any thought about that or maybe their a good one out there.

            Thanks

            Originally Posted by PhilipSEO View Post

            Hi Eric,

            I did not say on-page optimization doesn't matter, I said: "This will give you less than 5% of all the results that can be achieved with links." One thing I need to clarify is that I am not including content here. Great viral content that attracts a lot of links is of course very powerful for SEO, but it is not "on-page optimization," it's just content.

            Consider this scenario: you have set the correct title tags, the correct alt tags, h1 headings and what not, checked the "keyword density" (obsolete concept but some people still believe in it), bolded your keywords, created a great site structure, used good anchor text on internal links, etc. Sure, it "helps," you will get some results from it. It's not a bad way to start an SEO campaign, usually you can convince a client that this is necessary work.

            Do all those things and you will see some difference. Unless you have, say, millions of links with correct anchor text from relevant authority sites all over the world, in which case on page optimizations will matter extremely little.

            The biggest difference between on-page and off site is that links are the only indefinitely scalable aspect of SEO. It is possible to have so many powerful links that little things will not matter by comparison. The problem with the "every little bit helps" approach to SEO is that it distracts you from just getting powerful links.

            As regards charging for SEO work per hour, it ranges from like $50/hour (absolute beginner) to 700-900/hour if you are a famous SEO like Rand Fishkin, Eric Enge or Eric Ward. I personally try to be afforable and charge $150/hour for consulting, but I choose the work. (But I also offer services which have nothing to do with an hourly rate, e.g. a monthly link development service where I am paid not for the amount of labor but for expertise and results).

            Here is an article that is quite old but a goody and will give you some sense of SEO pricing:
            SEOmoz | SEO Pricing & Costs - What Should You Charge / How Much Should You Pay?

            Ultimately it's all about ROI for the client. If your work brings profits, everybody is happy.

            It sounds like you've got much SEO figured out but the your weakest link is links. Figure out where to get those and you will be king!
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            • Profile picture of the author PhilipSEO
              First get links and optimize your site for conversions. This will justify your keep as an SEO.

              Then you can do on-site SEO and bring on your perfectionism. Links should bring you the profits out of which you could pay for fantastic content to get even more links. For great content to result in natural links, you need traffic.
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              • Profile picture of the author ericwoo
                Originally Posted by PhilipSEO View Post

                For great content to result in natural links, you need traffic.
                Great point Phillip, which brings me to other techniques some people could try, which I have been doing lately. Even if you only get a few thousand visitors a month, there are some ways to leverage this small amount of people over and over again. Implementing a email campaign can actually be an seo strategy.

                Capturing some of those visitors each month will quickly add up through time. Then you would email them each time you create a new great content post or page. With plugins, you can add social bookmarking buttons below each new post which you can ask them to bookmark each time if they like it. You could try different stuff and see what works and try to make it viral.

                And as I said before, this is what social media is used for also- to help make it viral. i think this will be more of an important marketing strategy in the future.

                -Eric
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  • Profile picture of the author alexbbbh
    Skills and knowledge have nothing to do with pricing. Pricing is tied to how you market yourself. You can charge as much as $1k for jobs that other people are charging $200 as long as you know how to position yourself in the marketplace. You have to be the go to guy, the guy that everyone thinks about when their talking about that specific field, in this case seo.

    Other things to take into consideration:
    1. Who is your average customer? Is it the guy that makes $2k a month and haggles over every penny he invests or is it the guy that makes $20k a month and is willing to invest as much as it is required to get the top guy in the industry to deliver him the results.

    2. Do you actually know what you're doing? In this field, seo you will need to provide results as well. Talking will not suffice. That means learning, taking action and testing what works, filtering and keeping the good stuff in your arsenal of tools.
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    • Profile picture of the author PhilipSEO
      Right on, Alex!

      Eric, you are getting some excellent advice here, draw your conclusions.

      To give you an example of a certain advanced SEO pricing model. For example, I offer a link marketing service. I charge a certain amount for it, it's not "enormous" but it's a budget. So understandably people look into what they will be getting, they ask questions, they talk to other SEOs, some charge much less than I do and indeed very little. They say, "I used to outsource to India it only cost me $500/mo and you are charging X, how come?" Those are understandable concerns. So ask them why they don't outsource to India any more and are talking to you. What can you offer that a $500/mo SEO can't? He, or she for that matter, will do on-page optimization and provide blog comments, article authoring and submission, PR authoring and submission, forum signatures, forum profiles, free directories, at $0.80-9.00 per link (depending on the amount of content required). Maybe, if he or she is really advanced, some "quality links" will be brokered for you, but in that case the price will certainly be higher than $500/mo. So when my prospects ask me this question, I tell them that I can rank them fast and multiply their highly targeted traffic. I tell them that if their online business model is sound, this increase in traffic will translate into a proportional increase in sales. I assume no reponsibility for their business model, unless I am specifically paid to do so. I tell them they will be able to see some measurable results in rankings and traffic (not nearly the full scale of the results) within 7-14 days of the launch of the program, and more significantly toward the end of the first month. And there is no risk involved because I do nothing to lock them into a long contract. They can cancel any month, on 36 hours' notice. For any reasonable business, this is not at all a significant risk to take. Sometimes (gasp!) if they are still in doubt but I want them for their potential value as a long term client, I offer once in a while a month's free trial. And once they sign on I deliver (within weeks not months). I provide all content, the client doesn't have to do anything. It's profitable for them, while cheap SEO merely wastes their money slowly. What you can charge is how confident you are in being able to deliver results well above 90% of you competition. 90% (not counting scams) can deliver more or less the same low-to-medium-grade results.
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  • Profile picture of the author ericwoo
    O hey Phillip, by the way, how do you manage all these high profile SEO campaigns?

    Do you have a large team of workers busting out content and using your link building techniques? Or have you mastered something where you can easily do it yourself?

    Thanks, I really appreciate all your help.
    -Cheers
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    • Profile picture of the author PhilipSEO
      Originally Posted by ericwoo View Post

      O hey Phillip, by the way, how do you manage all these high profile SEO campaigns?

      Do you have a large team of workers busting out content and using your link building techniques? Or have you mastered something where you can easily do it yourself?
      Yeah, I have a team.

      Thanks, I really appreciate all your help.
      -Cheers
      You ware very welcome, but technically that's what the Thanks button is for.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jimian
    This site might help speed you along:

    Backlink Builder
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    OFFLINE Marketing Strategies For The OFFLINE Warrior
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    • Profile picture of the author junkdna
      I am not in for a ego bashing or flame wars.

      Yeah, "negligible" results were: 100% increase in traffic, 100% increase in revenue, getting from position 37 to 4-5 and settling to 7, first results after one week, steady improvement for a whole month after, all that against companies with 10 times more resources, in national level in ultra competitive 'electronic cigarettes' market.

      All that with zero guru stuff. Just press the pedal. That's all there is to it.

      Completely different thing is that you need to learn how to talk the talk and present yourself. That talent is much, much more important than any "knowledge" you might have, if there is such a thing in SEO. Dress smart, use lots of insider jargon, exude confidence, talk slowly, talk positive, talk of the benefits to the client, get results and remind them few times that you got the results. They'll pay you more, but not on the first job. First few jobs are just there to give you cash flow and strengthen your confidence.

      If you can deliver, who cares what whole wide world has to say.
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      Guys With Brains Work for Guys With Balls. Guys With Balls Work for Luck.

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      • Profile picture of the author PhilipSEO
        Originally Posted by junkdna View Post

        I am not in for a ego bashing or flame wars.

        Yeah, "negligible" results were: 100% increase in traffic, 100% increase in revenue, getting from position 37 to 4-5 and settling to 7, first results after one week, steady improvement for a whole month after, all that against companies with 10 times more resources, in national level in ultra competitive 'electronic cigarettes' market.

        All that with zero guru stuff. Just press the pedal. That's all there is to it.

        Completely different thing is that you need to learn how to talk the talk and present yourself. That talent is much, much more important than any "knowledge" you might have, if there is such a thing in SEO. Dress smart, use lots of insider jargon, exude confidence, talk slowly, talk positive, talk of the benefits to the client, get results and remind them few times that you got the results. They'll pay you more, but not on the first job. First few jobs are just there to give you cash flow and strengthen your confidence.

        If you can deliver, who cares what whole wide world has to say.
        Hey, mate, "negligible" was your own word, don't blame me for it. I am not at all into ego-bashing or flaming either, that wasn't the intention. I don't disbelieve your results, indeed I applaud you.

        You know, I am a big fan of India for various personal reasons. I have spent time there and I speak some of their languages. One thing I was amazed by was the fact that construction "by machine" is illegal there, only manual construction work is legal, because, being overpopulated, they need to reduce unemployment. (I assume it's still the case, I haven't been there for a while.) What do you know, manual construction works just fine. Given enough cheap labor, it is basically possible to build just about anything. Let's not forget the Egyptian pyramids either, created long before the construction crane.

        SEO is somewhat similar in this regard, at least within certain limits. But why do it that way? Is it because your labor is cheap? I can't imagine myself or my team spending a lot of time building manual links on forums and blogs, we would all die of boredom. Instead, we do it the right way. That's all there is to it. Believe what you will.
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  • Profile picture of the author styla786
    Jill - Having seen other companies' bids a few times (after we've won a contract), I know that we're in the higher end, but nowhere near the top. A few of the large firms in the SEO world will charge more than this, and some of the well-known consultants are more expensive than we are as well.

    Also, as we can only take on a few contracts like this at a time (2-3 of the first kind, 1-2 of the second), our margins are not big on this work.
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  • Profile picture of the author CIKMarketing
    Hi Eric,

    Back to your original post. Costing for SEO work fluctuates greatly. I have a colleague who swears that in order to properly optimize a large corporate website, you would be charging 4-5 thousand.

    In our market, the minimum any local business charges is $20/hour, however, this does fluctuate up to around $90/hour. I would do some research into other local SEO agencies and discover what is fair in your area.

    As for your link building question, sometimes finding backlinks is a long and difficult process. I wouldn't buy too much into these linking programs or anyone that promises 100s of links overnight or even in a few days. Natural Link Building is the best method. I've done what you are doing sending dozens of emails, and it takes forever, with often very little reward. There are "easier" methods like article submission, commenting, forum posting, directories, and social networking/bookmarking. These links likely aren't "worth" as much, but they'll help. A balance of all of these link sources, including the quality links I'm sure you're currently building is ideal. A diverse source is key. Lastly, don't be afraid of no-follow links. Although they won't help in the organic rankings, they can drive a lot of traffic to your site if it's a quality link.

    Hope this helps. Just keep researching and asking questions.
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    CIK Marketing - Big Ideas for your Small Business Chatham Ontario Website Design and Marketing

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    • Profile picture of the author junkdna
      Originally Posted by CIKMarketing View Post

      Hi Eric,

      ... Natural Link Building is the best method. I've done what you are doing sending dozens of emails, and it takes forever, with often very little reward. ...
      Hope this helps. Just keep researching and asking questions.
      This is the best question in the whole thread.

      How do you price the quantity that nobody can measure? How can one give the client quote, when, for example you do not know how many responses are you going to get for your emails? Neither one knows how long it will take to find those important sites. Practically, both parameters are, sort off, open ended.
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  • Profile picture of the author wsiebler
    Price according to the value to the customer. That is if one sale for them is many thousands then a fee that reflects that. Choose who you work with carefully and only choose people who can gain many times your fee back with one or just a few sales.
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  • Profile picture of the author yushaojun
    Banned
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    • Profile picture of the author junkdna
      On the subject of 'link quality', I would have one question.

      I know that assessing the value of a link is very complex thing, because there is at least dozen factors. There is a 'link quality' factor in SEO SpyGlass. It is obviously not consistent, but it seems to me that, generally speaking, it makes this assessment well.

      Does anybody else thinks this as well?
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