Sep 29, 2014
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I am wondering how you come up with a price for a client for ranking a local business in the organic searches when it comes to smaller cities/towns where competition is less?

For example when it is a larger city and a more competitive term; forumulating a price is easier.

For example if you were ranking a client organically for "plastic surgery dallas" (say for position 1#) that gets 500 searches per month with a suggested bid of 8$ cpc --

You could multiply 500 searches(x)0.40 (0.40 = 40%, which is roughly how much the 1# place of a query gets in traffic for that term).

This equals roughly 200 visitors. Which if they were to use via adwords would cost them $1600 in cpc. So you get offer it to them for $800 or so.

But I am wondering how you calculate a price for say, a dentist in a city of only 50,000 people where there is no suggested bid and maybe only 10 searches for "city + dentist"?

Sometimes there are even other cities in an entirely different state with the same name. So that 10 search volume for that term may really be targeting say "dentist woodplain" (a city in wisconsin) as well as "dentist woodplain" (a city in kentucky). Making the term maybe really only get 5 searches a month if you were targeting the wisconsin city.

So I'm very confused on how you would price something like this? Which also ties into even knowing if its worth targeting those terms in the first place.....

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Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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Hi Denise,

Great question! I moved this to Consultant's Corner where you will find other pricing discussions.

Tweeting this now to see if we can get some pros to weigh in.

Eric Rohrback

Oct 3, 2012
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I've actually used a very similar method to give a rough estimate on competitiveness of a term, but never used it for a pricing model. Google's keyword planner is giving an average over the last 12 months, and when I work on SEO/organic keyword values I always set the location to "United States" since you're not able to target the same way as you would with AdWords.

I think those values in Google's KW planner can be very deceiving so you should be careful if you're using them for a pricing structure. The search volume being reported could be low (10 avg searches/mo), but the value could be very high. If it's a highly targeted term to your niche then the strength of the competition (high DA, high quality links pointing to the page, high relevance, etc) could be much more than you're factoring in.

I would price based on the level of effort you would need to put into the project. Hourly rates might be better and create more of a standard moving forward. If you're asking a client to pay $800 with the hopes of ranking on city+dentist, then what kinds of activities are you doing for that $800?
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