Well, I’m not saying I’m surprised, but I’m saying that I’m shocked how folks in our business devalue their services. I recently read this report by Bright Local about how much national SEO agencies vs regional SEO agencies earn and then…it added the final “nail in the coffin”, the “SEO Freelancer” earnings column. Let’s get one thing straight:
If you’re a business owner/CMO/CTO/SocMed Manager for a company and you are “shopping” for a digital marketing expert firm based on PRICE, you should be fired (or fire yourself, I suppose). It’d be a cold day in hell where one can charge $900 per month in “SEO services” ($913 was the “freelancer SEO fee average per month” in the report) and it’d be done correctly (as was the point of the aforementioned column, under the heading “What does an average customer pay you each month?”).
Let’s do some Sushi SEO
Let me explain and let’s take a sushi restaurant in Las Vegas as an example:
In month 1, between SEM Rush, Majestic SEO, Ahrefs, Link Detox, SpyFu, SEO Centro, and other Google/Bing data, if you’re a GREAT SEO, you’ll probably spend, oh, I don’t know…10-15 hours just perusing data…on your client’s site. If you’re a GREAT SEO, you’ll also probably spend 10-15 hours doing on-page SEO, Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Bing Analytics, Sitemaps, Robots.txt, Meta Tag, H1, H2, H3, link clean-up, Page Speed Insights, Image Optimization, Permalink checks, etc.
So, you’re 30 hours in, and you haven’t even done ANY competitor research yet. For $900 per month. You haven’t built one link. You haven’t done one piece of content. You haven’t even implemented a single analytics install, reporting snapshot, or baseline report. For $900 per month. Still confused?
Amazing Sushi for $0.13
Let me equate this to some sushi. Let’s say you want the freshest lobster roll, but you’d prefer to pay $0.13. Thirteen cents. Can it be sold at thirteen cents? Sure, of course it can, making the owner lose $23.87 in the process (I literally pulled that number out of thin air, I have no idea what the ACTUAL going rate for a lobster roll is, nationally-speaking)….
Now, if the owner did that nine times in a day, he has an issue called “lack of profitability”…and he’ll have to shut down his wonderful sushi restaurant fairly quickly (overhead, electricity, staff, margin, fish, sticks, etc).
So, unless you’re are the world’s WORST search engine optimizer, charging $913 for sushi restaurant optimization in Las Vegas holds NO FUTURE. You should pack up your shit, leave the world of economics and SEO business forever. Or, you could do the entire world a favor, become an expert at your craft and charge accordingly. Unless you like earning $.13 per hour, in which case, I’m sure there’s a sushi restaurant who’s willing to trade you a lobster roll for your one hour of SEO.
Be wise. Do well. Charge accordingly. Not too complicated, I think.