Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.
Justin Y: I think it generally depends on the work needed. I prefer packaging the work in to one price when I can, other times I`ll base it on the hours needed. In other situations if I`m doing a complete website build I`ll wrap up the basics in SEO and include it in the overall price.
FinancingUSA: Ironically SEO is becoming more about word-of-mouth referrals. Nobody trusts a stranger in the SEO world anymore. Our local SEO clients were all from referrals. Once they hear stories and see proof they`ll find you.
Justin Y: + is that an opinion? <br />I don`t think the owners of this community like people leaving comments like yours. They prefer opinion based answers not facts.
Joe Perkins: Hi Guys, <br /><br />Thank you for your comments, I do love this community. <br /><br />Upon reflection my question was a little hazy. My take on the current state of SEO is that Google is making every attempt to discourage us from optimising for search engines, so that our focus is optimising for the user. So when people say “Can you build me backlinks” I say no and actively encourage them to get healthy, legitimate backlinks from credible sources. So I never offer a link building service. Content has never been more relevant as we all know, so in that respect – should we be offering a copywriting services as part of any full blown SEO package? I see SEO becoming more of a consultancy service and less of a product that “Get`s me to page one of Google”, like customers always ask. So in conclusion I will go for hourly rate and complete transparency – I always carefully manage expectations. <br /><br />Thanks again, you`re all great.
Justin Y: You`re not thinking about the basics though. If you`re web development company, you can charge extra for SEO. Not all websites are SEO friendly out of the box and developers have to go through and clean up the code and add items to make their site better for search. There`s more to it than writing quality content and talking about natural backlinks. I don`t offer a backlink service either, but I`ll charge to teach them how do it naturally.<br /><br />Example: What about a full redesign or a change of domains? Who`s going to do all of the 301 redirects and make sure that everything is setup properly; that`s SEO work; that`s a service.<br /><br />Overall I don`t think it`s fair to say google is trying to stop anything and that SEO is dead from the way you make it sound. It`s just a change in the game in my opinion.
Joe Perkins: Hi Justin, <br /><br />I couldn`t agree more with your comments and am not trying to undermine the value of SEO in principle; I would always start with the basics for which I have a tried, tested and proven process. <br /><br />And like you mention messy links can become a real issue - I use Screaming Frog to help out with that sort of thing. <br /><br />I do apologies if you misinterpreted my last comment as a "SEO is dead" message...quite the contrary.Yes the game is changing. There is a certain negative mindset with SEO which I think is wrong - which I for one would like to try and change. <br /><br />Please don`t for one moment think I am trying to de-value what you, what we all do. <br /><br />I do stand by my guns on the fact that Google is trying to actively discourage us from optimising a lot of areas and that the safest bet is to do SEO with the user in mind. <br /><br />Thanks for your comment. I value everyone`s opinion here.
FinancingUSA: Think + might have been talking to me on that one+ and Justin is correct.<br /><br />Our company does not provide SEO rescue at all - we insist on creating a new domain from scratch so we have total control. Cleaning past SEO mistakes can either be impossible or a waste of time.<br /><br />Now for an SEO company that provides ALL services that`s an entirely different story.
And I wasn`t saying SEO is a defunct model - never could be. ALL I was saying is: there are SO MANY hacks out there claiming to be SEO experts now that the average business owner doesn`t know who to trust, so most are trusting the SEO companies their friends, family, and colleagues recommend - SEO companies that proved themselves over the years. <br />
Dave Elliott: you insist on creating a new domain? Really? That might make sense for but for that is ridiculous!
AlexTheSEO: Charging hourly and offering an package should both be on your plate. There are some jobs that have no need for a package and others may require one. I believe in understanding your job and its requirements. You don`t want to scare someone away with an intimidating package when they only need a few things done. :-)
FinancingUSA: Yes +, + is correct. It all depends what the client`s goals are. If we are talking about an existing company brand we let them do what they want with their site and build a separate site (sometimes more) selling their most productive widgets. Most of the time they just want the traffic so they`re happy. For example: we have client in Vancouver called ABC Carpet and they have had that site sitting there four years getting very little traffic. We build them a site called CarpetDealsVancouver.ca - get the traffic and send it their way via phone only and no links. We put their brand images in the header and they`re very happy to get traffic.<br /><br />But even better, we have been building sites before they launched their business. And the domain name that we end up using is what they register with the government and build their business cards etc. around. Then we have branding and the search engine advantage. Keep in mind though, we still have to add a lot of content to compete in competitive niches.