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I'm looking for SEO business advice please

 6:28 am on Jan 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hello Everyone,

I am a recently certified SEO Professional. I want start my own SEO-only business, (i.e. not PPC), but am not sure how much I should charge for my services, whether I should get a certain percentage of my fee up-front, or whether I should provide clients with audits of their websites. I would appreciate feedback on any or all of the above questions please.


Peter B



 5:42 pm on Jan 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Certified by whom? There's no 'recognised' certification.

And no easy way to set rates.

it depends on what you do - and how well you do it. How long is a piece of string?

The best way is to start out cheap and raise your rates as you get more in demand. But you are one of thousands entering an already crowded market.

Good Luck!


 1:57 am on Jan 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

I am a recently certified SEO Professional.

Certification for SEO is about as useful as telling a manager at McDonald's that you're a certified burger maker. SEO certification is a joke, in my opinion, a sham right up there with "domain name appraisers."

A prospective client that pays well will not care about titles, or how you learned about SEO. They're going to want to see examples of what you've been able to accomplish with your skills. As far as what to quote, its almost always on a case-by-case basis. Getting someone to rank well for a city-specific search is much easier than a generic and competitive search ("Cityname Wood Furniture" vs. just "Wood Furniture"). You also have to determine if you will charge them by the hour or by the link, for link-building services (and factor in how difficult it is to find link partners within that industry). For some businesses, you can charge up front, others may only be comfortable with paying for results.


 7:39 pm on Jan 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

your "certificate" should consist of a first page g serp screen shot and caption that reads "proof is in the pudding"


 9:31 pm on Jan 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

That would be much cheaper than citation's citation - but a lot more valuable!


 8:02 am on Jan 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

your "certificate" should consist of a first page g serp screen shot and caption that reads "proof is in the pudding"

As long as its a recent screenshot ;)

I've seen companies with SERP screenshots of a site in the #1 spot, ran the search myself and they were at the end of page one or even on page two of the SERPs.


 9:42 am on Jan 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

citation113, Welcome to WebmasterWorld!

I am a recently certified SEO Professional.

I'm certified too. I'm also certifiable. And, I can offer you certifications in just about anything related to the Internet. Just let me know and I'll open up my Certificate Generator and whip a few out for you. ;) < Can you believe I used 4 permutations of that keyword in just one paragraph? Hehehe...

I've seen the work of those who claim to be Certified. Most are Certified Amateurs and so are their instructors which leads me to say that your certification is going to be only as good as those who taught you.

It may be in your best interest to tone down the touting of the certification as it will probably cause you more grief than you want. :)

One of the very first things your instructor should have taught you is not to post on WebmasterWorld saying that you just got your SEO Certification. :)


 12:03 am on Jan 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

What I usually do is try to estimate the # of links needed to reach the top for a particular keyword and how much of my personal time is involved. If it costs me an average of $x per link my employees build and takes 10 hours of my personal time I bill $x + $5 per link + $x times the number of hours I estimate I'll have to work. In some cases we'll set up performance goals where top 3 ranking or #1 ranking earns a $x bonus - but only with highly competitive keywords with clients I know have the money and I'm fairly sure will earn a good ROI from our work.


 2:21 am on Jan 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

>> What I usually do is try to estimate the # of links needed to
>> reach the top for a particular keyword

Not trying to jack this post but this is a very important element of seo...

How exactly do you estimate this? What is your equation?


 3:09 am on Jan 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

the truth is that it depends and quality as well as length of time having the links has a huge impact on ranking. What I do is look at the # of backlinks of all the sites ranked in the top ten of Google for that keyword (using Yahoo's link: command) and right off the bat we'll assume we need at least as many links as the site with the fewest amount of links in the top ten. If our site is much newer than the older existing sites we'll assume 1.5X the # of links as well as understanding it could take a year or more to get these top rankings. time is the biggest factor that clients have a hard time understanding assuming you simply aren't working hard enough - very frustrating! if you want to pm me with a keyword (or post it publicly if the mods allow it) I'll let you know how many backlinks I'd expect to build and what I would bill for my services if anyone is interested. Mods - this is not for the purpose of selling my services but to help educate the community on a good method of SEO invoicing / proposal creation which took me 6 years to master.

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