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I might be starting on maintenance of an existing website in the travel sector. They don't get a lot of traffic through it. However, I want to make changes that will drive relevant visitors to the site to make more sales and for me to take a percentage of it. I would like to therefore do SEO and any other techniques to get more traffic.
My problem is, I am not really sure how to charge for it. Take a percentage of the profits is my first thought. Opinions and previous experience is most welcome.
As for what to charge, well it depends on results you are actually able to deliver. Percentage of sales will take time to build up and will require a lot of resources from you. I'd suggest either by the click, or by the hour. (35-150/hr, again depending on deliverables) Look at Adwords, and Overture for ppc rates for your terms as a general guideline for the per click charge.
The company does have a good local client base so that is something to perhaps build on. They also appeal to a minority community so there is scope to develop that angle further.
I don't think they will go for a charge upfront unfortunately for any SEO work. Also, since it is the first time i'm trying to do it commercially for a client i'm not yet sure what results I will achieve.
The site currently also does not have the ability to buy tickets online (not yet anyway). It's more a case of phoning to make bookings. However, latest deals are online. Maybe this is something that should be developed for them.
The only thing I think I can do is to charge a nominal amount and propose to take a percentage cut of profits (or maybe even a set figure) depending on results.
They are unlikely to get Spot No.1 so you need to manage their expectations. Obviously you need to convince them you know what you're doing and if possible give them examples of what you have achieved in the past, but it needs to be clear that each project is unique to itself. I hate websites that guarantee a certain ranking improvement.
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I'm a web designer and I started doing SEO work a few years ago. I charge by the hour. I charge the same for design as SEO work, but as I get better, I can see charging more for SEO than design.
Since SEO encompasses a lot of areas, I can't do it all. In my last proposal, I got a quote from a link builder and a copywriter and put that in my proposal. I think I added on 10-20%. I'm doing keyword research myself, but I may pay Dan Thies to help me out with that.
Otherwise, I'm charging by the hour. But this is with an existing client who has already seen that I've gotten him high rankings for several keyword phrases.
Until you have the confidence that you are pretty good at what you do, just charge what you think you are worth - whether it is a lump sum, or by the hour (which not many clients go for). Maybe just try, at first, to optimize one or two pages. Then you can push for more money.
Hope this helps.
thats very important i had a nightmare with this because a client thought SEO is a short time magic and i rank him #1 in quickly while under the business agreement i said i will try to get him om the top 10.I am new to SEo too so i learn from experients, i just forgot to tell him that SEO takes time specially due to his big competition,its best to always tell your client what they should expect and give them a timeline