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Well, I can see their problems...Crappy web site, page copy...Just plain garbage.
I find myself directing clients to put their money into me using highly optimized paid search, using highly optimized landing pages, and fixing the simple stuff...
In other words, I fall back on using the quickest way to bring traffic.
If keyword research shows some keywords for easy ranking, I may include to.
What strategy would you use?
I always make them aware that the best investment would be a revamp of their website and some personal attention to the social networks that are relevant to their company, and then tell them it takes three months to start seeing results. When a client replies with, "oh no, we need this fixed NOW", I just repeat myself so there's no miscommunication, and then I do what they want.
I don't feel the least bit bad about "band-aiding" a client's SEO issues if they don't think they have to adhere to the laws of time and space. It's no different to me than if they were to ask me to cook a turkey, and said they need it done in the next 5 minutes... well, it doesn't take 5 minutes to cook a turkey, it takes 5 hours. So I'll be happy to give you whatever it is that I can give you in 5 minutes, it sure as hell won't be a cooked turkey.
I would even guess that $1,000 is still a very high hurdle for majority of sites.
I also think that the smaller the site the less like they can do technical changes to their site.
Most sites I see are canned products deployed in some fashion, with some "skin" or "template" modified or adjusted to their needs. There is not much these sites are willing to change because of compatibility, and upgrade worries.
So the question I would love to get an answer to is any alternative solutions to $10K?
What low cost off-site marketing solutions can an expert offer?
I think there is a huge group of web site owners whom are willing to wait, but hungry for solid solutions at a reasonable price.
[edited by: Tapolyai at 4:29 pm (utc) on June 18, 2007]