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How to Set Pricing for Reputation Management and SEO

Pricing has always been one of the most difficult parts of starting a new business. You can have a loss leader to gain clients, you can try to just break even in the beginning so that you gain new clients (needs high LTV). Beyond those two methods, there are literally a hundred different ways to price your product or service.

For SEO there is often a race to the bottom and that leads to product devaluation and greater expectations because of the perceived competition.


A good product can be sold at a price that makes both buyer and seller happy – Brandon Hopkins

I’ve always believed that a good product can be sold at a price that makes both buyer and seller happy, but this is a fine line. If you’re priced correctly, you have enough money to get a job completed and the customer is happy to pay for the results you can achieve. If either of those are skewed you’ll have no clients or no results.

[tweetthis]A good product can be sold at a price that makes both buyer and seller happy[/tweetthis]

ORM Results

Getting results with online reputation management campaigns can be tricky. Depending on who the client is and what the negatives are, your approach should be different. For small clients, generally individuals without a lot of online assets and only a weak negative you might be able to get away with some social media accounts and an EMD (exact match domain). For someone with a large online profile you’re going to need some kind of premium content, social media won’t be enough. If you’re not focused on results, you’re doing your client a disservice.

[tweetthis]If you’re not focused on results, you’re doing your client a disservice.[/tweetthis]

If you're not focused on results, you're doing your client a disservice.

If you’re not focused on results, you’re doing your client a disservice.

SEO Results

SEO and ORM are different but in pricing they’re similar. They both will often take ongoing and often long term engagements to achieve and maintain results. With SEO I always look at the long term goal. If a client wants to be in business 2 years from now you need to be building a marketing plan that won’t damage their business or website so that they can be long term clients and have long term success. This usually involves substantial cost or time, both drive the necessary budget up.

Here are a few Do’s and Dont’s – Lessons I’ve Learned Over the last 12 Years.

Don’t Race to the Bottom

Don’t focus on being the cheapest, unless you can do thousands of transactions and have the infrastructure to deliver on those transactions. This has never been a successful business model for me. I’ve tried offering a freemium model of web hosting that didn’t work out. I’ve offered $77/month SEO which didn’t work. Nothing cheap has ever worked out for me.

[tweetthis]Don’t focus on being the cheapest, unless you can do thousands of transactions per month.[/tweetthis]

Do Know Your Strengths

My strength is in sales. Throughout my career most of my jobs has been sales oriented in some aspect. My uncle taught me how to upsell and teach customers what they need rather than what they ask for. I’ve learned from that and understand that my strengths do not lie in a high volume of clients.

Don’t Copy Competitors

You need to be able to establish and clearly communicate a unique selling proposition (USP). What makes you different? Can you explain that in 30 seconds to a prospect? Your USP should be different from your competition. If you’re selling the same thing as everyone else, it’s a race to the bottom and everyone will lose.

Do Offer Additional Value

If you can one-up your competitors go for it! Are they offering an inferior product? Make sure you’re highlighting where you’re different and why that’s better. Just like every other SEO and ORM company, we create EMD’s, web 2.0’s, social media accounts and other low-hanging fruit.

My additional value is two-fold.

  1. Premium content – I have a focus on premium content right now. I can get you featured on Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, Huffington Post and many other publications. Want to be featured on an industry-specific journal, magazine or website, we can do that too! These articles and links will be around 5 years from now and we have exclusive access. That’s my USP, I have abilities and connections that nobody else has.
  2. Adaptability and Testing – I spend a considerable amount of money every month so I will know what strategies are effective. This allows me to spend money testing rather than spending a clients’ budget testing and hoping for results. I know conclusively what will make a website rank and what makes them tank.

I believe that pricing should be reflective of your values and in a free market economy, you’re worth what someone will pay for your services. Want to charge more, offer more value.










By |August 3rd, 2016|Reputation Management, SEO/SEM|0 Comments

Reader Question: What is PR?

Short question from a reader:

What is PR and what does it affect?

Thanks for the question.  Page Rank (PR) is a metric that Google created.  PR is a valuation of all of the links coming into a site.  Google looks at and analysis the links pointing to a web page then gives that page a PR value from 0-10.  Without any in bound links (IBL’s), most sites will remain under 1. Once your site starts gaining traction, you will likely get to 2 or 3.  Without purposeful link building you won’t likely ever get higher than PR 2-3.

There are many services that offer to build links to increase PR, but does that matter? Personally and for my clients, I want to rank better in the search engine results pages (SERPs).  If you have a PR9 but don’t rank for any good keywords, does that PR matter?

By |June 13th, 2013|SEO/SEM|0 Comments

How to Maintain a #1 Ranking

This is my first post in a while. The reason I generally go through dry spells here on the blog is that I have clients that I’m tending to, it’s a great problem to have! I found a few minutes on a late Saturday night and wanted to share something that I’ve been sharing with my clients lately, an effective strategy for maintaining your #1 ranking.

The client in this picture came to me a couple of months ago and asked, “How do I stay at number 1?” He was obviously enjoying the fruits of his labor and wanted to make sure that he stayed at the top as long as possible.

Number 1 Ranking

My advice to him was simple. Do what you’ve been doing. For him, the successful link building strategy was my private blog network.

My general strategy is to do half of what you have been doing. If you got to #1 by building 300 links per month, now drop that down to 150 links per month. You’ll keep your ranking and have a larger profit by saving some of your link building budget. This particular client wanted nothing to do with that and actually reinvested more of his profits into long tail keywords and launched a new business.

Since you’re at #1, you have already defeated your competition, but that won’t always stop them. In fact, moving ahead of your competitors can often force them to start a new link building project so they can try to get back to where they were. If you’ve ever been at #1 for your primary keyword, you know how that feels. One day you’re making money, the next day your income is down to just 25% of what it was yesterday.

Keep in mind that this is a general strategy. If your website is your primary business you might never want to stop building links. Recognize that your competition will likely never stop building links, but to maximize your profits spend half of your previous link building budget and save the rest.

By |August 25th, 2012|Link Building|0 Comments

Stop the Junk Links

Stop the Junk Links, Love Google

Today Google released an update to it’s algorithm that targeted junk links such as forum profiles and comment spam. Many people that sell services aimed at forum profiles and high pr comments are really fighting this, but the proof is there.  Check any major webmaster forum and you’ll see plenty of threads discussing the latest “Google Dance”.

By |May 17th, 2011|Link Building|3 Comments