How To Charge For SEO
Few know how to charge for SEO. If you are getting your feet wet with Search Engine Optimization, then the only mystery bigger than how Google judges keyword stuffing is how to charge prospective clients. The "how much" part is easy enough; check ads in your area to get a sense of comparable services and the prices they are being offered at. Then you have to come to a decision about how you want to be paid.
Basically you have three options.
- Payment up front for SEO. This is when a client pays the sum total of what the project will cost. If your client is an individual or small business, this might be be delivered by an online pay service PayPal.
- Payment when the job is done. In contrast to payment up front, taking payment when the job is done allows some flexibility in terms of incentives. some clients are willing to offer a little extra for a job finished ahead of schedule.
- Some money up front, usually 50 to 70% of the SEO job, followed by a payoff when the SEO project is complete. This is the pay structure most SEO gurus recommend. It offers a good mix of security for both client and expert.
Experienced professionals can get very creative with these price schemes. For example, if you want to get some cash flow going, you may want to charge a maintenance fee. This is sensible if your client is constantly or even frequently updating site content. Optimizing as you go is a worthwhile service and you shouldn't be afraid to charge for it. There are also ways to become more competitive without lowering how much you charge. Consider making your charges conditional on performance. Note that this is tricky, however, as you can do a perfectly serviceable job and the results may not show up for months. Be certain your setting realistic goals for your clients web pages.
The most important thing to remember is that charging your clients is the most legally treacherous element of running any service. Do not give your clients ambiguous terms or murky promises. Be direct. Honestly and fairly naming your price is the sign of a professional.