Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from

Forum Moderators: LifeinAsia

Message Too Old, No Replies

What should I charge for SEO?

For my first customer

11:28 pm on Dec 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 19, 2006
votes: 0

I am fairly new to the world of SEO, and I am wondering how I should charge my first client.

I will be targeting one keyword only, even though I think he should target more than that.

I will be posting a fixed number of posts advertising the sites products to on-topic usenet newgroups and forums, and not in a spammy way. I will also be adding their products to froogle, modifying their existing pages to be more search-engine friendly, researching their products and creating more landing pages.

Eventually I will be administering their forum and wiki when those are up and running.

Is there anything else I should charge for separately, like adding their products to froogle? Should I charge more for adding stuff to nextag, msn shopping, resellerratings, shopzilla, productwiki, pricegrabber etc... since those are much harder to add things to?*

I plan on this being an ongoing thing for this company and charging them every two weeks.

Right now they don't get a lot of traffic, and their site has been around since may, so it won't be much work right now.

Should I charge a fixed-price for the various things I'm doing, or charge per-hour? I would prefer just doing it at a fixed-price, since some things take longer than others to accomplish.

* unless there is an oscommerce addon

12:01 am on Dec 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 30, 2006
votes: 0

I don't do hardcore SEO 'per se' but I know it's one of the easiest parts of web technology to bluff. You might get some work, but w/o proof of results, most smart clients will beg out ofter a while. It is in your best interest to develop a system that empirically demonstrates the impact of your worth for every client.

If I were you, since you're just starting: I would make a thorough study of web traffic BEFORE YOUR SEO and show your findings to your client. Then makes some goals. For example we want to see an average daily increase in traffic of 5% after 3 months. (I don't know the exact figures since I'm a developer and not focused on SEO. ) Then follow traffic trends and regularly study how your progress is coming.

This is of course a gamble. If after 3 months, you have nothing to show for your work, you'll probably be out of a client. But then again if you have nothing to show, you probably should be.

If I were you I would want to charged a fixed rate. If I were the client I would want to pay for results. Perhaps an hourly charge contingent on results is a good compromise.

3:48 am on Dec 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 19, 2006
posts: 25
votes: 0

Well the client had only one page listed in google when I began, and now they have eleven pages seen by google in the site: search.

Also I've gotten their rank up to 238 for the main targeted keyword already.

So I've proven to him that I do have talent.

They are ready to accept a business proposal so that I can begin doing more intensive seo work.

I'm just not sure on pricing, since it's a small business, and my seo business is just me.

I should look at my competitors prices, but most of them will quote you on a price. Maybe I'll do that, just get some quotes from various companies.

8:21 am on Dec 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 6, 2006
posts: 42
votes: 0

Well be sure your comparing apples to apples.

Independently I charge 2500 then a monthly maintenance of 1000. For clients that fall within the corporate structure of the company I work for, they have dozens of employees and more of an infrastructure to handle larger businesses. Their fees starts at 15,000 plus maintenance.

My independant cost is also my fee after doing this for 7 years and having a portfolio of case studies.

A 200+ position isn't that big of a deal unless it is driving trafffic. Bear in mind there is a lot of work that needs to be done to get front page. If its over 200 you probably have stiff competition.

Depending on your current knowledge, you may need to devote several hours a day just on research.

Either way congrads, and be sure to spell out your milestones and that both sides understand the expectations of the other.


1:28 am on Dec 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Oct 12, 2006
votes: 0

Not to be rude but this is kind of like when a new site owner comes and asks how to rank their site better... and when you visit the site it is a site about SEO. It just doen't get any better than that. I like to reply to just sign up for their own service plan (the silver plan should work).

I did not charge anything for the first 5 jobs I completed. And even though they were succesful I still didn't ask for anything but a referal. Believe it or not 4 out of the 5 sent me a paying referal within 1 year.

You shouldn't expect to get paid until you fully understand what it takes to get a particular job completed. Not only for your customers benefit but for your own as well. Think about this if your flat rate is to small and it takes you 6 months to make $1000 dollars it isn't worth it. If you charge hourly and your client finds out that they could have gotten it a whole lot cheaper you lose a client.

I didn't mean anything by the first comment and wish you success in your new career path. Critical opinions from the community helped me when I was first starting out. Go ahead and give them a freebie and you will be amazed at what you can learn with a hands on approach. The best part about doing that is if you f$#@ up then your reply is you get what you pay for. Just make sure that you make them aware of the situation up front.

P.S. To answer your question directly...
1. I take and write down everything that I have to do on a project. 2. I then figure how many hours that will take.
3. I then multiply by my hourly rate which just so happens to be $100 US.
4. I then quote said dollar amount to client.
(The most important thing to remember is your client. The best way to figure out how to word the charges is to ask them what they expect to pay for. Does it really matter if you call it an seo charge, or a link building charge or a Silver Plan SEO special, etc. As long as the money goes in your pocket. Sell the client what they ask for and you can't go wrong.)

6:06 pm on Dec 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 19, 2006
votes: 0

I've gotten him to #19 in google (#11 in the advanced search, eg: as_q=[Keyword]), #3 in yahoo, and #12 in msn. Pretty good considering their site only had two pages in google's index before I started. This is offtopic, but I can't get the clients site to move up in msn. Does anyone have any msn tips?

I read all the seo and webmaster blogs to keep on top of what's new.

I keep a google spreadsheet that lets my client view the current rankings in the different search engines anytime.

By the way, does anyone know of an easier way of tracking rankings other than manually via a spreadsheet? It can be tedious at times, checking all the keywords I'm optimizing for.

The client is really happy with the work I've done so far, and he's paid me. He wants to have a six-month or year-long contract.

Also, DMOZ directory editing is back 100%!

[edited by: encyclo at 9:06 pm (utc) on Dec. 27, 2006]
[edit reason] terms of service [webmasterworld.com] [/edit]

6:14 pm on Dec 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Nov 1, 2002
votes: 0

By the way, does anyone know of an easier way of tracking rankings other than manually via a spreadsheet? It can be tedious at times, checking all the keywords I'm optimizing for.

I pretty much quit tracking rankings a couple of years ago.

I find that tracking traffic is a much more productive pasttime.


11:04 pm on Dec 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:July 14, 2003
votes: 0

I've always watched rankings, and probably will continue to do so, although not as intently as I once did.

Let's say my client sells red widgets, blue widgets and green widgets. But their real profit center is blue widgets.

If I get great rankings for red widgets and green widgets, but so-so rankings for blue widgets, the client isn't making as much money as is possible.

So, I'll focus on blue widgets and do whatever I can to boost the rankings for that term.

m1t0s1s, keep in mind that it takes awhile before your efforts pay off. If you're #238 for a particular term, in a couple of months you may be #5 if you've done your work properly.

As for MSN, it's a whole different animal. Usually what ranks well for me on Google ranks well on MSN, but not always. So, given the choice, I optimize for Google and hope for the best on MSN.