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What Is Your Process If A Client Asks You To Review A Site
Posted 09 August 2007 - 08:32 AM
I thought this might be a good question for other noobs.
Posted 09 August 2007 - 11:38 PM
Posted 10 August 2007 - 01:33 AM
Posted 10 August 2007 - 02:40 AM
SEO takes knowledge, time and effort. In many cases you can't get round the fact that it will be the client (or at least their pesonnel) that will need to supply content, even if you were willing, writing raw content is not always something that an outsider is qualified to do.
You can try and charge for an initial consultation, or you can treat it as a loss leader, but bare in mind that just because someone has taken the first step towards SEO doesn't mean to say that they will invest the time and money required to make it work.
Probably the biggest problem is that many of the first time clients expectations are set too high, they want results, they want them today and they don't want to pay the earth. In a lot of cases what they think they want, you know they really don't want at all; this is especially true in some of the search terms they say they want to rank well for.
If you are doing your job you need to be the one giving them the reality check but you will be up against the hype and the unscrupulous cut and run brigade telling them what they want to hear. Sometimes it is very tempting to just do what they ask knowing that the terms they want to rank well for are uncompetitive, so it would be quick and easy to do even though you know that it will do nothing to improve their traffic. Lesson one, rankings is not what SEO should be about but attracting high quality traffic.
In my experience 80% of all first time inquires don't make it past the initial meeting. You can easily improve on that if you are prepared to have unhappy clients, but personally I prefer to tell them from the beginning what they should expect within a given time frameand what they need to commit to for the project to succeed. There is no point wasting my time or theirs if they are not prepared to follow through.
Posted 10 August 2007 - 02:56 AM
Posted 10 August 2007 - 09:00 AM
Going on 3 years we have offered that querty... there is probably an old thread here where I asked about it here initially. It does work, is a great prequalifier, and I find myself spending a lot less time on unqualified prospects and their websites.
It turns some off, but I can do without those "type" customers. I am a professional, I expect to be compensated for my time and consultations... if the prospect does not understand that concept, then I can't work for them. I plan on working very hard for them - and my results and testimonials speak to that - if $500 is too much to get started, how do you explain the $16,000 or whatever that it may take to help make your business a Hub in it's Industry online?
I can still show them I know what I am talking about, and that I am the professional I claim to be - without a "free" review of your website - how much effort do you put into "free" stuff, and what's your payback? (Besides being 'new' to seo and doing some pro-bono work for dot.org's or something... differnt altogether).
Sure, I'll do a free review... all I have is time - here it is - "Your website sucks" - Details can be researched for a payment of....$
Posted 10 August 2007 - 09:02 AM
The RFP process is a way that some companies try to get free consulting. They'll invite me in and ask, "What would you do with our site?" Sorry, I have no idea what your site needs until I look at it and make a list. The cost of that would be X. Do you want to proceed?
A site review can be as simple as a numbered list of recommendations. I typically include comments about SEO, SEM, usability, and whatever other reactions I have when I look at their site. Clients like the numbers because that makes it easier to discuss particular items. We include a phone consultation. Most of the time clients pick items from the list and ask how much it would cost for us to do them.
Posted 10 August 2007 - 01:37 PM
Posted 10 August 2007 - 02:29 PM
To determine this we run a couple of trackers on the clients site to see usage and click patterns.
We do keyword research to see if the client is targeting the correct phrases, then do a copy of their page with our changes.
As for costs, they can run from almost nothing to thousands of dollars. It all depends on what the client is willing to do themselves or what they want us to do.
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Edited by Randy, 10 August 2007 - 04:32 PM.
Posted 11 August 2007 - 05:20 AM
Can you please suggest me whether I am right or wrong in my approach.
Posted 12 August 2007 - 09:43 PM
Same with both, I give tiered feedback and pricing. As in: You need work done on your basic code for it to be optimised = $300 OR You need to scrap tables for div and CSS = $550 OR you could even say that it needs an overall overhaul with optimisation = $2500.
I've gone through and only done meta tags (at clients request) for a few hundred and I've written copy for only 2 pages for a thousand. As long as I offer them options in the form of pricing packages and multiple deliverables, most people will pick what you recommend, they just like knowing they have a choice.
Good luck with that though, and with all the other great advice on this page.
Posted 12 August 2007 - 11:50 PM
When I do a review I bill for it. And I generally ask for ftp access to the site files whenever possible. A good site review is worth tons to any serious business owner with a website.
After learning about the prospect and his/her business goals/challenges/etc, we come to an agreement (contractual) and off we go. Essentially, I provide in depth commentary around aesthetics, usability, content/copy and SEO/html, plus recommendations (in brief). Just listing off the problems does not allow the client to grasp the real issues nor the website's performance potential. I want my clients to walk away feeling educated and enlightened.
Sometimes the client goes off on his/her merry way and implements the changes internally. Fine with me as I've already been compensated for my work But quite often, the client returns and asks for a quote to implement some or all of the recommendations from the formal review (or audit as I tend to call it).
Hope this helps and good luck!
Posted 13 August 2007 - 12:18 AM
Am I missing something? It seems like the question is what to include in an analysis, but all of the responses have to do is with what to charge. When I do a report for client, whether it be someone I know or not, is where they rank for specific keywords. And then an analysis of why they're not ranking for these terms (such as a lack of content or few links to a site). What do others include in their analysis?
Posted 13 August 2007 - 12:27 AM
They can be quite customisable. Even if you just use them to indicate spelling errors, broken links, spiderablilty & other things that can be checked trechnincally, they can be usefull. (as a freebie anyway) I wouldn't mind something that listed the number of pages with original textual content exceedeing a certain word count.
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