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Paladin- I like the idea of packaging hours per month. However, we would propose a 6 or 12-month campaign for most clients which means hours could be higher in month 1 and 2 rather than month 5 and 6.
Also, we have had those "special" clients who just don't understand SEO. They want things done their way, they only want certain pages of their site ranking in the search engines- nevermind that more pages equals more site traffic! It's a lot of back-and-forth and unnecessary meetings with these type of clients. We have gone over budget in hours spent on "special" clients and there's no way to really know which campaigns will run smoothly and which ones will get dragged out because the client doesn't "get it." It doesn't seem fair to charge one client more than another for the same campaign just b/c we assume they will be a "special" client.
I know most time is spent upfront with consulting, positioning report, strategy outline and keyword research. So, to go back to my original question, how much time should you estimate to spend on an SEO campaign each month? Let's say you are optimizing 5-10 pages.