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  1. #1
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    Local SEO Pricing Models

    I am doing some planning for 2013 and have started to rethink my pricing model, and the services I'm providing to local clients. Currently, I charge a monthly retainer, and provide the following services to everyone:

    • G+ optimization
    • Citations
    • On page SEO
    • Article/video creations and distribution (unique content/manually submitted)
    • Review system
    • Blog posts
    • PR, if the client has something noteworthy to talk about
    • A little social media thrown in


    The monthly retainer varies based on what the client wants to rank for, competiveness of the niche/geography, etc.

    I think I'm doing way more than I need to do to get local clients ranking.

    I'm thinking about moving to a project fee basis, with payments front loaded to cover initial research/set up, and then after 3-4 months, charging a lower on-going maintenance/monitoring fee to keep an eye on rankings and then tweak as needed. When the fee drops, I would then cross sell additional services, such as email marketing, monthly newsletter, PPC, mobile website, etc. in order to keep my revenue/client where I want it to be. I'm also thinking about eliminating the content creation piece I'm doing, as I'm not convinced that it matters for local clients in light of the changes Google has made this year.

    What pricing strategy do you use and what services do you include? Does anyone have any sales data to suggest whether a monthly retainer or project fee is easier to sell to new clients? I'm interested in the group's thoughts as we head into 2013. Thanks for sharing!

    Cindy

  2. #2
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    re: Local SEO Pricing Models

    Thanks SO much for kicking this topic off Cindy! It's one I've been wanting to delve into and I'm sure the discussion will be helpful for all.

    I've openly shared my pricing model and package with my training clients and am happy to share here as well. My model and packaging was really pretty unique on a couple levels and was def on the high side. But I had a killer acceptance rate. (I don't call it closing ratio because I never 'closed' anyone.)

    Am working on some other posts and don't have time to write it up this second, but will try to do that later today.

    In the meantime who has ideas to share with Cindy about packaging, pricing structure, fee based vs retainer??
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  3. #3
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    Re: Local SEO Pricing Models

    Most marketing companies I train are curious about my rates so I provide this info to consultants I train. Below are the standard optimization fees I used to charge Dentists when I was still providing the service.
    (Right now I refer all my leads to some of my training clients who have integrity and I feel would do as good a job as I would. So they end up being referral partners.)

    Here in a very brief nutshell is my old package and pricing.

    Google Places Optimization for Dentists: $3500 (Financed over 3 months at 1500 set up and 1000 a month for 2 months.)

    Included: Place Page optimization, my extensive "Increasing Customer Reviews" training program and my one-time Local SEO and Local Hooks package designed for the 5 main keywords on Place page.
    (Duplicate Troubleshooting Fee: I also charged additional $300 for each dupe.)

    So that's all I did. No citations or link building. Just the above. One time fee. 3 month package. I could always get clients a really good ranking doing the above except for a couple that were in very competitive markets.

    Many consultants tell me I was leaving money on the table by not charging an on-going fee and doing on-going service/maintenance. I 'could' have and many clients wanted that but for numerous reasons I did not want to provide that service. Primarily because if I kept clients on long term then I'd have to deal with all the recurring bugs and dupes that were time-eating and frustrating to deal with. If a client had problems down the road I would just do service at an hourly rate.

    NOTE on pricing. One of the reasons I could command fees on the higher end is due to the way I got clients. If you are prospecting and cold calling you fall into the commodity category where all the low ball competition lives. All my clients were personally referred and pre-sold on me as an expert in the field.
    (Using a lot of the authority building techniques I shared in this post.)

    I know most consultants charge an on-going fee. Some weight 1st month with a higher set-up fee which makes a lot of sense.

    But I think if I were to start offering services again today I'd do a model similar to what I shared above with a higher fee over 3 months to do all the intensive work, then a 500 a month on-going maintenance fee.

    WARNING - due to all the potential Google bugs that can totally eat your time and destroy your bottom line - I would include a strong cap/limit. I'd explain the 500 a month includes reports, normal optimization and X number of hours. But if bugs and problems arise that exceed that time, support is offered a $X per hour.

    So how about the rest of you? Any pricing questions, ideas or tips to share?
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  4. #4
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    Re: Local SEO Pricing Models

    Good point on the on-going maintenance fee. There's nothing worse than having committed to do the work and then feeling like you're not being paid for it! I've had that learning experience. Definitely not fun!

    Cindy

  5. #5
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    Re: Local SEO Pricing Models

    Thanks for sharing that Linda!

    I was wondering, in regards to charging for dealing with duplicates, how did that go over with most of your clients?

    Did you have to do a lot of schooling for your client in regards to what a duplicate is, why it's bad...etc?

    Did you have to resolve the duplicate situation in order to charge for it?

    Sorry if I'm prying too much
    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
    Vice President, Local Search at Sterling Sky
    Connect on Google + and Twitter

  6. #6
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    Re: Local SEO Pricing Models

    Oh no not at all Colan. I'm an open book.

    Well like I said above, that was 'in a nutshell' not in detail.

    But on dupes, the more detail is... If they had several dupes I would not charge 300 each I'd give a discount or do one extra or do 3 for the price of 5 or whatever. (But my most common scenario was - if they had more than 3 dupes, I'd pass on the client. Most had 2 or 3 so I would charge for 1 or 2, based on perceived difficulty. As you know some kinds of dupes are easier than others to deal with.)

    Since they were Dentists they almost always had dupes AND often times already knew how dangerous they were. (They'd already lost reviews to the dupe or seen raniking drop when one cropped up.) Or I could show them how the dupe stole 1/2 their reviews or I'd explain how it was hurting their ranking. So yes I'd educate them quite a bit about dupes and the problems they can cause.

    HOWEVER now that I think about it, this was in the good ole day (just a few months ago but light years in Google time) when I could still get rid of Dr dupes. But even today most dupes need to be managed/minimized so they donít steal reviews or kill ranking, so I think I'd still charge something, maybe not as much.

    And no, no guarantees and fee was not performance based. In fact I was very upfront and said it was work that needed to be done, was expensive because tricky and time-consuming AND warned them that even IF I could get rid of the dupes, they would often come back. BUT I would also explain (in cases where it was true) that the duplicate problems were due to their fractured upstream data, due to inconsistent use of their name. (Again, only when the dupes were due to problems they created by having a bunch of different versions of their name all over.)

    But to be clear, I didn't view this as an upsell or additional service I did to make money. (I'd prefer to just ignore them if only I could.) I dealt with dupes because they were problems that needed to be fixed (if the client had any) that required time over and above the normal optimization service.

    Does that make sense?
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  7. #7
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    Re: Local SEO Pricing Models

    Makes a lot of sense.

    I'm sure I speak for a lot of consultants when I say that we can get so used to dealing with duplicates and other problems that we forget that these are very complex issues for the average Joe to understand.(not that they still aren't complex to us too )

    So it makes a lot of sense that these situations are handled with a premium service tag attached to them.
    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
    Vice President, Local Search at Sterling Sky
    Connect on Google + and Twitter

  8. #8
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    Re: Local SEO Pricing Models

    I have a two-pronged approach to SEO.

    I charge an upfront fee for Google+ Local Optimization and onsite SEO. I also offer an ongoing monthly SEO fee.

    Google+ Local Optimization includes-
    • NAP research
    • Places optimization
    • Work to remove dups for 2 months
    • Axciom claiming
    • Yelp optimization
    • Citation building


    Onsite SEO includes-
    • Resolve any duplicate content issues
    • Keyword optimization for the top X pages
    • Write unique meta tags for the top X pages
    • Integrate local markup into site
    • Implement Google Webmaster Tools (includes sitemaps, etc.)


    As for ongoing SEO (more than just SEO- more like internet marketing)-
    • Content development (blog, PR, etc.)
    • Google+ Local monitoring
    • Online reputation monitoring
    • Facebook content development
    • Link building
    • Local listing management


    Just recently, I've decided to drop PPC... it's too much to monitor.

    As for how much I charge, well, that's between me and the client.
    Chris Ratchford
    Prodentite
    Dental SEO & Websites

  9. #9
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    Re: Local SEO Pricing Models

    How do you guys handle reporting for local? Is everyone here using Places Scout or some other program like that to show the client the work being done? Chris I like your Local plan model, it's similar to the kind of work I'm doing.

    The client typically doesn't want to know every little detail you do for them, they seem to only care about how they're currently ranking on Google. What has worked best in the past?

  10. #10
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    Re: Local SEO Pricing Models

    @EsR I use Brightlocal and love it.

    I use their SEO Checkup tool when preparing a proposal- which I send to the prospective client.

    Once I've completed the onsite SEO and G+L Optimization, I run the SEO Checkup again to compare.

    I also use their Rank Checker tool for monthly Google ranking reports. You can add Yahoo and Bing, but I keep it simple and stick w/ Google results only.

    You can automate the Rank Checker reports to send directly to the client- on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Personally, I automate the reports on the 1st and 2nd of each month- but it comes to me first. After reviewing the results, I send to the client.


    Chris Ratchford
    Prodentite
    Dental SEO & Websites

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