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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 Do I Keep My Competitors From Stealing My Links?

Stealing links is a very popular link building method for many people, including my team. If I can get all of the links someone else has, then build more, I will theoretically outrank them.  That doesn’t always work out because there are many other ranking factors including domain age, age of links (yes, that’s right, the age of your links), quality of the site, on-page SEO, etc.

By |April 23rd, 2011|SEO/SEM|4 Comments

How To Find Long Tail Keywords

Finding Long Tail Keywords

The “Long Tail” keywords are phrases that contain up to 5 key words and are highly specific. Since they are so specific, the search volume is very low.

Long tail example:
“Large Sony Plasma 1080p Detroit” – This key phrase is a very specific search phrase. Someone that searches for that knows exactly what they want. They want to buy a large Sony plasma TV in Detroit that has 1080p resolution. If you Google that key phrase you’ll see there are less than 10,000 results, and none of the results are any good.

A regular key phrase would be “Sony Plasma 1080p”. Not only do you have a lot more competition with that key phrase, but you don’t know very much about this visitor. You don’t know if they want a 32″ or a 50″, do they want to spend $500 or $3,000? Do they plan to buy online, or are they doing research and plan to buy locally? Do they really want a Sony, or are they looking for specs. Do they already have a Sony and need a new remote?

When you target the long tail, you will get a much higher conversion ratio because you already know what your visitors are looking for because they’ve been specific with their search. Since you know what they want, you can give it to them above the fold, quickly and easily.

The best way to find long tail keywords and key phrases is through your own data. This is your search engine referrer logs. If you’re site is new, you probably don’t have logs showing what people searched for just yet, but you will. Once this data starts rolling in, start making pages based on what people want.

Until you have that data another good way to find long tail keywords is through a keyword suggestion tool. Google has one, but Keyword Discovery is my favorite. The numbers in the search totals are not very accurate, but it gives you a good idea of what is being searched for.

Using “Sony plasma” as an example we get the following long tail key phrases:

sony multisystem plasma tv
sony plasma dvd connections
comparison chart for sony, toshiba, and panasonic plasma tvs
repair of sony plasma tvs
biggest sony plasma tv
sony plasma dvd digital receiver connection diagram
prices on sony plasma hd tv
sony 37 wega plasma tv specs
sony 950 plasma wall mount
sony bravia hdtv 46 plasma
how to get my sony plasma off standby

As you can see, after a 30 second search, you now can create 11 pages of content that is highly targeted. Some of those searches aren’t going to convert to sales (diagram, specs, off standby), but others could convert very well (wall mount, dvd connections, repair). Even if your page isn’t designed to convert, it could still make you money.

Imagine someone in a forum asks “how to get my sony plasma off standby”. Someone answers by linking to your site. When someone else comes along looking for issues with Sony TV’s, they’ll find your site. Then they might find your comparison chart, or your 1080p vs 720p guide. Since they’re looking for more information, you keep giving them information and your site makes a sale, and gets a link. Win-win for you and the person you helped.

Do you know of other ways to find long tail keywords?

By |July 18th, 2009|SEO/SEM|8 Comments