April 20, 2011
I have a client who was called by [one of those online Yellow Pages–type companies] that would build him a website for $39 a month, which he wants to look into. The website that he initially hired me for is not built yet. In other words, he is considering "firing" me. I now understand from your lynda.com SEO course just how important it is to do keyword research BEFORE building the site and developing content.
When I told him that I charge $250 a month for SEO, he thought that was outrageous. I am trying to "save" him as a client and I just really want the best for him. I told him that I feel it would be the wrong way to go for me to just get a site "up there" without doing the SEO research and implementation.
What could I tell him that would convince him to go with me? By the way, it really doesn't look like the cheap company includes SEO in their web design, other than "submitting to search engines."
I've been in business long enough to know that you can't convince people to pay for SEO who don't understand SEO or its value. You can certainly try to educate him, but it's likely you'd be wasting your time because this client seems to be basing his decision on price alone. It sounds as if the client might not be a good fit for you if he's prepared to go with an extremely low-end solution.
While I'm sure you don't want to be in the habit of turning away business (or at least not trying to win it), you'll be much better off not working with this person. Believe me when I say that he will likely end up costing you much more than the $250 a month you would charge him -- in both time and aggravation. If he already thinks your prices are outrageous, he'll probably also have unrealistic expectations about the results of the SEO you do for him -- that is, wondering why he's not ranking #1 in Google for some arbitrary 1-word general keyword that he thinks he should!
Some people will purchase SEO purely by price, in which case you can't really compete, nor should you. If it were me (and I know it's easy for me to say), I'd simply let him go. He'll find out soon enough that he won't receive much value in the low-end offer, in which case he may come back to you later after he becomes more educated.
That said, the best way to sell the value of SEO to those who don't really understand it is to show them the hard numbers from any of your current or previous clients. After you have gained some data about how much additional targeted traffic and conversions your work has brought in for others, you can show it to potential clients. This will lend credibility to your skills and give them some sense of what you might do for them.