The question that comes from any potential client is always "how much will it cost?" followed by "what do I get for that?" ... My answer is normally along the lines of "first I need to do an seo audit, that is £60 which later gets taken off your first months bill, then from that seo report I will quote you based on what work needs doing". This is normally followed by asking why they should pay me for a review they believe they can get elsewhere for free and why don't I have set prices like other seo consultants. So I wanted to write a post to answer these questions and to ask openly "should I work differently?"
Why You Should Pay for an SEO Audit / Review
There are many websites across the web that you can punch in your web address too and get a few stats and figures back and a little overview of what you are doing well and not so well at. Great, use them to your hearts content but don't think they are a gold mine of information to you - they simply aren't.
Automated systems like those mentioned above, as I say, are great for an overview but are very much generic in output and won't give you detail into where you are going wrong and what in particular needs changing. So they are a good starting point but little else in most cases.
Other SEO Companies will give you a free seo report and base your quote around it, but you will tend to find that these are ran by some software and will be just statistics about your website and won't tell you what you need to do. Statistics are useless unless there is a comparator or explanation, which there invariably isn't in most of these cases.
So this is why I charge for your initial SEO Website Audit. I like others use software to generate information to put in your report, but I don't just give you the output from those like others might. The information that comes from these systems, combined with access you may give me into analytics, is used to form a complete SEO Audit Report. This report contains lots of statistics, yes, but it also contains explanations and guidance on what you need to do to improve and how to do it. My reports are written such that you can take them and use them yourself, for the most part without my intervention. This plus I give an hour long consultation / meeting to discuss the report and what needs doing going forward.
SEO Reports that you pay for will come with this kind of guidance written within them, they tend not to tie you to an SEO agency but rather help you as a marketer and website owner move forward and grow your website. That is why I charge for SEO Reports.
No Set Prices for SEO Services
Another common question is "why don't you have prices for your SEO services on your website?". The answer is fairly simple, each and every website on the internet has it's good bits and bad bits. Each website will require some work that another may not. From one website to the next you never know what SEO problems maybe found.
With that in mind, I don't have a set table of prices for SEO and never will. My SEO prices are based on the SEO Website Audit I do for your website, or you can send me one someone else has written. No two SEO projects are ever the same, in some cases it's just a case of reporting and supporting, in others it's more hands on and in others a website may need design changes - each project is different and so set prices (in my view) have no place on a real SEO Company website. If you see a table of prices take it with a big pinch of salt, if you dig into the terms you may find hidden costs or you may find that actually the company isn't as reputable as the site may make them appear.
I do of course have set fee's for certain services, like consultancy, training and reports - but that is because I know how long they take and roughly the effort involved. All other services are so variable in requirements I would be doing you a dis-service to even pretend there is a set price.
Should I Be Working Differently?
One of the questions I've always asked myself is, should I work differently. It's led to lots more blogs on here, tidying of the pages around the site (and continuing to update them), it's led to my design portfolio being moved from andykinsey.co.uk to this website and a slimming down on service offerings across the board to make everything much simpler.
But I want to ask you, my readers. Should I be doing something differently? Should I be writing more of one type of blog than another? Should I make your life easier by putting a contact box on each blog (something I've not wanted to do so far)? or Maybe you think the blog should be more hidden and this become a more corporate website?
Seriously, I want to know what you think. I want you to tell me if you think I should try to list guide prices somehow or if you think I should allow less guest posts or if you think I should do a round up of news - anything, your ideas are welcome. (even if you say I'm doing something badly).