How to offer SEO as a service

8th August 2019

8th August 2019

If you read our last blog then you should already be aware of the benefits of offering SEO as a service. Now you need to know how to do it! Read on to find out…

So, you’ve decided that you want to begin offering SEO as a new service to your existing and future clients. That’s great news! You’re on your way to increasing revenue, improving retention, and adding credibility to your agency.

Below are some tips to help you get set up, to help you manage client relationships and expectations, and how to deliver what you say you’re going to! I’m going to cover:

  1. Your options for selling SEO
  2. How to price your SEO services
  3. What goes into an SEO campaign
  4. How long it takes to rank your clients on page 1
  5. How much training you will need to do
  6. What support Hike can give you

If your business has clients that trust you and can make the link between what you already do and SEO, then Hike is a perfect platform to help you launch, maintain and grown your SEO income.

James Eades, MD of Systemagic

Your options for selling SEO

There are a number of different routes you can take to provide SEO to your clients, and which one you choose will be dependant upon what revenue you want to generate, how much time you have and what you feel most comfortable with.

However, below I’ve detailed the two main options available to you:

  1. Providing the full SEO service – this solution is where you deliver everything for your client’s SEO. Ideally, you sell this on a retainer model.
  2. Providing your own SEO platform solution for them to ‘do it themselves’ – you can white label the Hike platform and then sell access to customers on a monthly basis. This is ideal for lower-paying clients who maybe can’t afford a full package.

The majority of this post will be based around option 1, as this requires the most information, training and support.

How to price your SEO services

One thing we always suggest to agencies when pricing SEO for their clients is to focus on the time you will be spending on those accounts, and not the cost of the tools you use to help deliver for those accounts (eg the price of Hike).

I would advise that you use your hourly charge, alongside the amount of SEO work you want to complete for the client, to work out how much to charge them.

Many agencies/consultants/freelancers charge SEO on a retainer basis, and there are a few reasons for this, but the two main ones are:

  1. There is often a lot of work you can do for SEO, and it works out that it’s easier to budget costs and time (for both the client and the agency) when it’s spread over a longer period
  2. SEO is a longterm game, and it can take months to start to see the promised results (see further down this article for information around timescales for SEO). 

The best thing we’d recommend you to do is to create a 12-month roadmap which details all of the work you will be completing on a month-by-month basis. Then you can price each month based on your hourly rate, and provide them with a fixed monthly SEO retainer cost to use your services.

So, let’s break down what SEO actions need to go into a 12-month roadmap…

What goes into an SEO campaign

Each website requires different levels of SEO depending upon:
– How they rank at the moment (do they perform already on page 1, and so only you need to keep it ticking over)
– How competitive the industry is (general rule of thumb – local business = low/medium, national business = medium/high, international business = high)

However, every SEO campaign requires you to conduct the same actions on a frequent basis, and these need to be included in your SEO plan for the client. They are:

  • Creating/reviewing their keyword strategy
    • How – using Hike’s keyword ideas tool
    • Frequency – quarterly
    • Duration – 2-4 hours (depending on size of site)
  • Crafting their landing page strategy
    • How – using Hike’s sitemap keyword assignment tool
    • Frequency – quarterly
    • Duration – 2-4 hours (depending on size of site)
  • Creating and updating their content strategy
    • How – using Hike’s content ideas tool and competitor analysis tool
    • Frequency – quarterly
    • Duration – 4+ hours (depending on size of site)
  • Conducting a ‘content’ website audit
    • How – using Hike’s action engine to highlight all changes you need to make
    • Frequency – quarterly
    • Duration – 4+ hours (depending on size of site)
  • Conducting a ‘technical’ website audit
    • How – using Hike’s action engine to highlight all changes you need to make
    • Frequency – monthly
    • Duration – 4+ hours first month, 1-2 hours ongoing (depending on size)
  • Competitor analysis
    • How – using Hike’s competitor audit tool
    • Frequency – quarterly
    • Duration – 4+ hours (depending on size of site)
  • Link building
    • How – using Hike’s backlink opportunities and journalist outreach tools
    • Frequency – monthly/bi-monthly
    • Duration – 2-4 hours per link
  • Conducting a link audit
    • How – using Hike’s backlink tool
    • Frequency – month 2
    • Duration – 4 hours
  • Reporting
    • How – using Hike’s reporting tool
    • Frequency – monthly
    • Duration – 2+ hours (depending on size of report)

For more details on the above see this post I wrote here.

Worried you won’t have time to do the above for your clients? Then worry not as you can pay for the Hike team to do them for you 🙂

My company was paying hundreds of dollars a month on bloated software, using only 10% of the features (if that). With Hike, anyone in my company can manage an SEO campaign with minimal supervision, saving me at least 2 hours a month per account and thousands in software fees.

Pete Polgar, Glenmont Consulting

How long does it take to rank your clients on page 1

It’s important to know that SEO is a long-term game. Google won’t rank your client’s website on page 1 straight away; it needs to build trust in your website and that’s exactly what the process SEO does. But that doesn’t mean there are short-term wins to be had, as well.

Time-to-rank (hereby known as TTR) depends primarily on two factors:

  1. Your client’s SEO authority level – the more SEO you can do to improve this, the better
  2. The competitiveness of the keyword you want to rank for

OK, so based on the above, let’s provide you with some general timescales for SEO:

  • If you write a good blog (following the rules set out herehere and here) you can expect to start driving traffic to that blog within 1-2 months
  • If you optimise you a product/service/homepage with a keyword that is low in competitiveness for your website*, then you can expect to rank within 3-6 months
  • If you optimise you a product/service/homepage with a keyword that is medium in competitiveness for your website*, then you can expect to rank within 6-12 months
  • If you optimise you a product/service/homepage with a keyword that is high in competitiveness for your website*, then you can expect to rank within 12+ months

*Use Hike’s priority score to judge competitiveness for a keyword for your website. The higher the bar, the lower the competitiveness of that keyword for your website.

To make it super clear; the above are all based on previous experience/general SEO timescales but are dependent upon the quality and amount of SEO you do. 

How much training will I need to do

The great thing about Hike? It enables you to complete, deliver and report a full SEO strategy for your clients, without having to spend months learning the art of SEO.

But, learning as much as you can about SEO will always help. Not only with your client’s campaigns, but in how you communicate with them too. That’s why we place a big focus on education within the platform.

Every part of the platform has help videos, every SEO action details why we’re suggesting that SEO change and we have an ‘SEO School’ on the dashboard that displays our latest SEO videos and blogs. We also have the following:

  • Our free Facebook group where we record weekly videos, give daily SEO tips and answer any SEO questions you have
  • Our Youtube and Vimeo channels where you can find all of our videos
  • Our help centre with articles around using the platform and general SEO educational tips
  • Our blog where we post SEO tips and Hike news

What support can Hike give me?

The Hike team can help you across all areas of your new SEO product, as we want you to be as successful as possible. Below are the ways in which we can help:

  1. We have great support – you can contact us via live chat, email or our facebook groups and we’ll help you with any questions you’ve got.
  2. We can help you setup your client’s SEO strategy – want to make sure the SEO strategy for your client is perfect from the start? Then we can do this for. This includes choosing the right keywords, landing page set-up, content marketing strategy, local SEO audit and competitor analysis.
  3. We can complete your client’s SEO actions for you – don’t have time or resource to do your client’s SEO? Then we can do these for you. You just pay for exactly the actions you want us to do, when you want us to do them. It’s completely flexible.

Get in touch to see how Hike can help

If you want to find out more about Hike’s agency product then simply head over to our website, or book a demo with one of the team here and we’ll show you exactly how it can work for you.

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