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what I could charge......
Well, that is almost impossible to answer, and may be the reason that the search engine optimization industry could use some form of an average or standard like many other industries have.
I know of certain SEO companies that go over $100K a year, and some that go as low as a $5K a year for their services.
What you can charge depends on a number of things:
- How good you are/What you know
- What experience do you have?
- What clients do you have?
What the project/SEO campaign will cost, also depends on a number of things:
- What keyword market are they in?
- How fierce is the competition?
- What business level are they? (small, medium, corporate, etc.) (this does matter)
- Many, many, many website variables
It really depends on how competative etc you want to be. Contract lengths blah blah blah.
From what I have seen most SEO companies charge a set fee for all engineering whereas I charge between about $300 and $1500 (approximatly im in england and have an american keyboard so no pound sign) depending on the job.
Nobody can tell you what to charge you just have to work out what you think is right and offer it. If they get a better deal they will go elsewhere.
Yeah, I like that free-market thinking. I want to earn $150,000 a year and so I will ask for big bucks! If they dont like it they can get someone cheap!
In the US I used to earn $80 per hour and people said I was over paid. However, those same people paid a guy $20 an hour to fix a problem and after 32 hours he admitted defeat. They asked me to take a look at it and I fixed it in about 3 minutes - really! So the cheap option cost them $640 for no result and I cost them $4 (approx). So where is the cost effectivness in that?
Minimum is $1000/month/client/site - that's from 1 page up.
Today had a 20,000 page site owner contact me which doesn't quite fit well into this model, thus the client will have custom contract developed.
It should be pointed out that "price" is not the key issues "term" and "performance" are. Anyone can say #1 results and produce it... as anyone can rank on "pink elephants zoo seatle washington", and guarantee this ranking performance... but it's has no "performance value" for quality traffic nor conversions for the client thus not worth much.
Longer term contracts obviously generate more revenue... but they also generate better performance "all consultant abilities being equal", as well as more trust, and more potential for other "non-solicited" contracts from client referrals (and this is where the true value is). Not needing to market yourself - others do it for you.
No matter what you charge... some potential clients will, some won't, or "too cheap", "too expensive".
There are clients out there for every level, it just depends who you target and why.
In the end your own experience, adaptibility, credibility, and integrity are the defining variables to guage price strategies, and successfully marketing them.
You will never find a consultant that is successful at catering to all... therefore pick the level you are comfortable with and stick with it.