Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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We often have conversations come up in the Consultant's Corner Forum about Local SEO pricing, so I wanted to share this post with you.

It's primarily about traditional SEO costs, but Local and SMB marketing does come up some. It goes not only into various pricing levels and pricing models as well as red flags to watch out for when shopping for SEO services.

Since Local SEO is a specialized subset of broader SEO I think there is something to be gained by reading this post.

<a href="">How much does good SEO cost?</a>

(Sub $500/mo):

Unless you are a hyper-local company that has little competition and your site is very small, you should be careful when purchasing SEO for less than $500 per month. Most companies that work in this area automate a lot of their link building, use overseas labor for content, and only do basic on-site technical work.

This might work for a local pizza shop looking to rank for their name and show up in some local listing sites like Yelp and Google Local, but if your goal is to rank for a keyword that has competition, you should probably look into DIY SEO courses.

Hourly Consultation ($100-$300/hr):

If you are considering working with a SEO consultant, you should expect to spend over $100 an hour for a professional worth your time that can generate results for your business. Certainly this price point will vary on the competitiveness of your market, but you should be wary of any consultant that seems ?too good to be true.?

Remember, working with an SEO specialist is an investment and you shouldn?t cut corners, look for a consultant with a proven track record and attention to deliver the performance that you need. There are cheaper consultants out there, but they tend to be much less experienced and will likely take longer to get results, if they ever do.

Most consultants and agencies I know don't do one-off consulting - they want a full SEO contract. But many of the ones I know that do consulting under-value their time. When I still personally did consulting I charged $300 per hour with a 2 hour minimum. And I think that's what you'll find most of the leading well known Local Search consultants charge.

But even if you are not a big name consultant, I would think you could charge 200 or 250 for your highly specialized local search knowledge and often that consult will get you the client for a full contract down the road.

In addition to covering different types of pricing models, the post warns about "Instant Results or Overzealous Guarantees" and other red flags to be concerned with when you are shopping for SEO services.

I'm thinking that in cases where you have lost the sale due to price and the prospect is bringing up lower cost services, this might be a good article to share with them.

Don't try to sell them - use reverse psychology and do the opposite of what they expect. (Which is laying on more pressure and desperately trying to convince them why you are better.)

Say something like: "It seems we are not a good fit at this time due to price constraints, and I understand. However since many of my best clients come to me after using a service that hurt more than helped them - I want to share a very detailed article about how to shop for SEO services to help you avoid some of those problems and make a more informed buying decision."

Because you cared enough to take the time to help them, even though you were letting them walk, I think many times this prospect will come back to you if they end up getting unsatisfactory results with someone else.

What do you think? Can you see sharing this post with a prospect that's a heavy price shopper and that you think you'll likely lose due to price anyway?

Other thoughts about the post???
Oct 25, 2013
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I think that's absolutely the way to handle it... nothing like having run a business for a while with the scarcity mindset to make you realize that fighting for a sale is an easy way to get a problem client.

The only thing I'd add though... I'd question a little what a small business owner would get from a more general article like this, especially with the bigger numbers as you go down. I think all of us here know how to interpret those numbers, but I think within specific industries (Dentists or whatever) those numbers and expectations might be a little different, and would make the biggest impression on the potential client if they didn't have to connect any dots. Any consultants here specializing in a particular industry might be served by doing some research and putting together an industry specific report of their own like this. I think giving it them like you said: 'sounds like we're not a good fit, but read this and you won't get too burned when hiring someone else' will eliminate any thoughts they might have about ulterior motives when they see you wrote it yourself. Of course, you'd need to do a grip of research in that industry to be able to use numbers with confidence, but if you're going to be surveying a bunch of business owners anyway...

Thanks for sharing Linda!
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