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Performance-based Pay & Control Of Site Problem


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4 replies to this topic

#1 PatrickGer

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 06:37 AM

I used to think performance-based deals might be great for SEOs. However, Ive heard many people say it just doesnt work for them (have heard/read others rave about it, though). Most seem to think it sucks,...

One reason I came across was that there's basically a control-of-site problem. the SEO might do all the work and the client just doesn't implement it. I had that experience with the first 2 sites i worked on biggrin.gif:

#1 allowed me to work on his site for over a month and then was too scared to even change the site-wide title element to have unique page titles for each site. He had unsuccessfully(!) used black hat techniques in the past...that probably was the reason..

#2 was a really nice guy (actually turned into a friend), but he ended up closing his business/website because of going back to college to get his PhD or something....

I can definitely see this is a problem in terms of not implementing the advice.

Is this the same issue why performance-based SEO doesn't work for most people? Say you were a bit smarter about this aspect than I was the first two times...and made sure you dont do any work that doesnt get implemented (and/or use a combination of a flat fee and performance-based pay)....couldn't you make the performance-based pay work...by... getting a contract in place?

I assume the problem with this is that even you have a contract that says the site owner owes you a profit share, you actually getting it would mean you have to deal with tons of court issues, etc.? Is that the reason why so few SEOs do the performance-based thing?

thanks!





#2 Michael Martinez

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 01:34 PM

QUOTE(PatrickGer @ Sep 29 2010, 04:37 AM) View Post
I used to think performance-based deals might be great for SEOs. However, Ive heard many people say it just doesnt work for them (have heard/read others rave about it, though). Most seem to think it sucks,...

...

I assume the problem with this is that even you have a contract that says the site owner owes you a profit share, you actually getting it would mean you have to deal with tons of court issues, etc.? Is that the reason why so few SEOs do the performance-based thing?


In my opinion, contracted SEO should be paid for providing a service, not performance. Performance can be measured but you have to have full accountability and that just happens so rarely that it doesn't make a good business model.

When you provide a service, you should also offer some metrics so that people can see the progress you're making. That way they are responsible for their own future. If someone pays you for an SEO plan, it's not your fault if they don't implement it (although a whole 'nother business case can be made for making a reasonable effort to ensure that the SEO plan is implemented).

Performance-based-SEO is often asked for by people who don't have a budget. They cannot pay for the basic SEO services they need. If that's the case, and you believe in the proposition, you might be better off doing some pro bono work to get them started and after a grace period ask for a paying contract. If they don't or cannot offer the contract, walk away. That's not a great business model, either.

In fact, if you're going to be in business, then you need to conduct your business like a business. Ask for payment and deliver the service as agreed to. If they don't pay, they don't need the service. There's nothing personal in that -- it's just the way real business is supposed to work. You exchange value for value, not value for a promise.


#3 PatrickGer

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 03:22 PM

thanks Michael. the main reason I was asking this is that it always seemed like this had enormous profit potential...the niche in which im working on a site, right now seems to have nice profit potential, but its not really a niche i could enter with an affiliate site (just wouldnt make sense in this local business niche). teaming up with a business and getting them to rank at the top of the SERPs and getting a profit share (for the added value aka additional money theyre making, now) would be awesome, considering how long SEO work in uncompetitive niches seems to pay off for the business...especially with a business that ranks very low in the SERPs (and thus gets no traffic, at all yet) or thats only listed in a directory with their phone number...and so on....

it just seems so tempting LOL, but I've heard plenty of voices say that was a business model that usually just doesn't work. I guess im not the first SEO who had this idea ;-).

I guess this is basically the reason why many of the top SEOs/IMs out there end up just running their own sites rather than working for anyone, right? (just s o there's no misunderstanding - I said many, not all)

Is that the case for you(,too) Michael? I remember you once said you didnt do much consulting anymore...thus thought youre probably focussed on your own sites, too...but then I remember you mentioned you had an employer (who owns the seo theory website)...

QUOTE(Michael Martinez @ Sep 29 2010, 08:34 PM) View Post
In my opinion, contracted SEO should be paid for providing a service, not performance. Performance can be measured but you have to have full accountability and that just happens so rarely that it doesn't make a good business model.

When you provide a service, you should also offer some metrics so that people can see the progress you're making. That way they are responsible for their own future. If someone pays you for an SEO plan, it's not your fault if they don't implement it (although a whole 'nother business case can be made for making a reasonable effort to ensure that the SEO plan is implemented).

Performance-based-SEO is often asked for by people who don't have a budget. They cannot pay for the basic SEO services they need. If that's the case, and you believe in the proposition, you might be better off doing some pro bono work to get them started and after a grace period ask for a paying contract. If they don't or cannot offer the contract, walk away. That's not a great business model, either.

In fact, if you're going to be in business, then you need to conduct your business like a business. Ask for payment and deliver the service as agreed to. If they don't pay, they don't need the service. There's nothing personal in that -- it's just the way real business is supposed to work. You exchange value for value, not value for a promise.



#4 Michael Martinez

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 12:16 AM

Many of the best SEOs I know run their own affiliate sites. Affiliate marketing is highly competitive and faces an uphill algorithmic climb given the search engine's reluctance to promote affiliate sites above brand sites. But affiliate marketing has given rise to the lead generation industry, which generates billions of dollars in online sales.

It's not something I would advise a beginner to get into, but it could turn out to be a fast track to success for the exceptional individual who learns quickly and doesn't mind taking risks (I don't necessarily mean engaging in risky SEO).

#5 PatrickGer

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 03:19 AM

thanks for the reply (once again)!




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