Pricing and quoting for SEO can be very subjective and is mainly based on the client’s needs and budget. This is the precise reason why it’s imperative for us to ask many many questions to understand where the client is at, how fast they want to go, what their expectations are, etc… We want to sell them an SEO package that is right for them.
While we do a customized approach, it can often be helpful to show a client a list of different packages they can buy. See this example.
These are not set prices
This can be changed/altered for each client in order to give a visual to what they would receive
It’s important however to not make them feel like they are getting nothing for their money. So we would need to likely update this accordingly.
Biggest challenge when using a table like this is that it often brings up even more questions and can pull the client into the weeds. They start wondering what the heck a paid backlink is, what map citations are, etc… And it can sometimes derail the conversation. However, for some clients that really understand SEO and want to see what they are paying for, this can be super helpful.
A few rules to pricing SEO:
We will not do SEO for less than $750.00/mo
We will not do SEO for extremely small companies in low margin niches
Ex: We won’t work for a one-man lawn mowing company
We will not offer paid backlinks in Starter type packages
Price the deal according to the client’s healthy budget. Don’t sell them more than they feel comfortable.
If the client needs leads sooner than later, be sure to bid the project with some room for Google and FB ads.
Putting together a Bid:
Start with the client’s gross revenue from the prior year
Statistically, companies spend about 8-10% of their gross revenues on marketing. Paint a picture and educate the client on what a healthy company looks like.
Quickly do math in your head and figure this number out for them.
We do NOT want them to literally throw 100% of their budget at SEO, but it should definitely be a portion of it depending on their needs.
A breakdown of their budget could look like this:
30% Online Advertising
10% Traditional marketing like mailers, door hangers, etc…
Next, move into their budget and what they can feasibly afford to invest into marketing
They may ask for a ballpark bid, but it’s important to help them understand that prices can range wildly because it depends on how fast we go. Our quality is the same, but the higher they spend, the more labor hours they get.
If they really force you into a budget range, you can say “we have some clients that pay $1,000/mo and some pay $10,000/mo. It really comes down to what you want to do.”
Their Niche and Competition
Lastly, it’s imperative to understand their niche and their competition.
What are we going up against?
What is the average cost per sale for them?
How much do they net?
Ex: A lawn mower might clear $20/job while a roofer might clear $5,000/job. One of the reasons SEO doesn’t make sense for a lawn mower is because they don’t make enough per job to make it worth their investment.
How many sales per month would it take for them to break even with the marketing budget we are proposing?
Again, we are dealing with highly subjective pricing. Some things to consider:
Do they have big competition in the area that would be hard to overcome?
While they might be in a high end niche like roofing or painting, it’s not likely that we could be super competitive with a 750/mo SEO deal. Now, we can certainly start off that way, but the client needs to 100% understand that we will NOT get to the top of Google with that kind of a budget. A small budget in a high end niche that is competitive will only take us so high.
A small budget can start moving the needle, but in order to fully get to the top of page 1, it will take a higher budget. But… you need to start somewhere!
What do we think other companies are paying for their SEO in that specific locale?
How old is the client’s website?
Website age is very important and if we are working with a brand new company with a brand new website, it will take us longer for Google to see the website as trustworthy.
Average pricing for various niches:
Single location contractors
Window washing & gutters
Real Estate Investor (NOT agents)
Misc Notes for SEO pricing:
Always qualify during your first interaction. Make sure they have a budget for their niche and competition.
No need to give a definitive price until later in the deal. Start with a ballpark and work out from there.
Make sure they understand their own margins. Trying to get someone to spend $2500/mo when they make $7k on one job shouldn’t be hard, but you’d be amazed at how some business owners don’t really understand this concept yet.
Build the deal according to their needs. Each one will be slightly different. You have building blocks, but its up to you to build the right structure for the client.