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How much do you charge for SEO/SEM?

Making some sense out of the "rate gap" in SEO services

3:32 am on Aug 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Just wondering what you folks are charging for various services. For example, what should you charge for a Yahoo! submission? Yahoo! charges $299, but considering the time it takes, the knowledge you have of the editorial guidelines, etc...what should you charge to submit?

Do y'all have somewhat "standard" fees for various services? I've been trying to put together an internal pricing structure on our services. I'm not even sure how much to charge for a "ranking report" every month. I've seen some folks charge only $50 and have inherited some clients who are paying hundreds for the same thing for about 15-20 keywords.

Your thoughts are always appreciated!

6:15 am on Aug 6, 2002 (gmt 0)


WebmasterWorld Administrator skibum is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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It totally depends on you market. Bigger companies often pay more, small companies pay less. Presentation can determine what people think the services are worth.

If they like fancy reports, they may be willing to pay big bucks for them reguardles of the actual results. You'll find publicly posted prices from a $100.00 markup on YAHOO! submissions and $50.00 rank charts to agencies that charge $40,000 per month to handle a FORTUNE 500 client with a huge website.

Some firms sell SEO as "branding". This is better suited to the larger market that is not selling online. 35,000 top 30 rankings sounds really impressive. Create a "visibility index" that shows the client how visible they are compared to the competition and even though they may only get 2,000 referrals a month from those 35,000 top 30 spots it might be worth a lot to them.

If they are not selling online and not generating leads maybe traffic and visibility are what they care about. Maybe the CEO wants to have the top spot for what (s)he thinks people should search for but nobody does search for. If you are working for a law firm that specializes in billion dollar class action suits who wishes they could pay more than $50.00 per click [overture.com] on Overture, clicks are worth a lot more. Anyway, it's as much about how you sell and what you get the client to focus on as it is about traffic, conversions, revenue, etc..

As a general rule, smaller companies with smaller budgets are much more concerned with direct ROI and expect services to be price accordingly. Larger companies are more likely to have different metrics.

12:13 pm on Aug 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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That's a great perspective. I've not thought about the "visibility factor" before. I've been very concerned about demonstrating to our clients their ROI or ROAS. Right now we only have several medical specilists, a couple of car dealerships, a historical magazine, a lakefront "resort" community and a logistics company that we are working with. All of these are concerned about ROI (which seems to be more work on our part).

SEO is not our primary business, but is quickly becoming a major part of our services. Maybe you can give me some better insight into what our services would be worth.

We have developed a tool in house that does the following:

When a user contacts a client from any email form on a Web site (or purchases something in the shopping cart) an email is sent to the client w/ all of the client information. A second email is sent to me w/ the user's Refering URL (showing what SE they came from and keywords), with the modivational code (overture1, google2), number of times they visited before contacting/purchasing, the number of contacts from that user, which form the clicked (if there are multiple) and it shows any "non-paid" motivational codes (to tract leads/sales from specific non-paid sites).

All of this information is also dumped to a database on our servers where we have developed a Web-based admin. I can log on (almsot exactly like PostiionTech's backend) and choose a client. There I can see Total Users for the Month, Total First Time Contacts, Total PPC Contacts, Total Non-PPC Contacts, Run Ratios on all the Data (%of contacts to total users, % of PPC contacts to Contacts, etc.), Show TOP PPC and Non-PPC motivational codes, and see the raw data in a spreadsheet of refering URLs, etc.

I can then click to send the client an email. Our setup process includes creating the client table in the database and entering emails, passwords, etc. so it has all of this information already when I'm ready to send.

From the email screen I choose what kind of report to send: weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc. I also can put my own comments in or choose "standard greeting". The email will send the YTD, Last month and current month's stats along w/ several links to go directly to the client's online stats for more information (TOP 10 Keywords by Server, TOP Documents, etc.). These links are updated automatically w/ ASP based on the month you chose to send. I can also attach the client's ranking report w/ each email.

As you can see, we've "tried" to put a lot of thought into this thing. Now, we have NO IDEA what it's worth! :) I have a couple of people who are chopping at the bits to get an estimate, but I've not been able to really qauntify the cost.

SEO may not be our primary business...but I have unbelievable techical developers! Surely there's a way to make this thing a significant revenue generator.

Thanks again for your thoughts!


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