I have wanted for quite some time to write this post but just never got around to it so here we go. Side note before we start I don’t handle the pricing in my company (Becky does), in fact I don’t really know how much a client pays, I don’t need to. I do this to win and if I have done my job before we start then I should never need to know the billed amount.
OK, we don’t have a minimum monthly fee, we have a client expectation to a return on investment value, and this is how I have always worked. If the retainer is too small we find it hard to make a positive return on the clients investment, in fact we both could lose money on the deal. If everything goes right and I identify the competition correctly, the ROI graph looks something like this. The pink area is the bit I need to get out of quickly, it’s the amount above the retainer we have to do in the early months for things like analysis, content, man hours and implementation.
The blue line is Bronco output and the green is the client ROI. We accept in the early months we both lose money I can’t just flick a switch and traffic turns up, that’s not the way these things work, but a client can really mess the whole process up by not moving quickly enough with the changes we need so if everything goes according to plan, we see this:
If I get it wrong or the client is way too slow at moving forward, and it happens, I'm losing money in fact we both never get a return, of course if this was a 3 year contract we might start seeing profit but that's something I wouldn't want to enter into. Now the graph below maybe due to a too low retainer it just means I can’t spend the time needed or buy in all the data i need to get a win, it just drags on and on .. unhappy SEO and unhappy client
But what’s worst than that is if I over charge, now this seems an odd statement but roll back to the top of this post where I said “we have a client expectation to a return on investment value” if I ever see a graph like the one below I have got it wrong simple as, I have over charged they will have the rankings they wanted but are paying over the top so they never get a good ROI and I end up with an embarrassing bag of cash you would think it wouldn’t bother me but it does!
My all time favourite is the quick win I don’t actually make any more money from it I still have to produce the reports, buy the data etc but when it happens it looks like this