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This is long overdue. I’ve had the chance to compare our services through white labeling to a number of other SEO/digital marketing companies and we are undercharging and outperforming everyone I’ve compared our company to by a lot.

I’m making an effort to cut out all unbillable hours, so I’m going to bring the writing in house again. Over the last couple of months, I’ve become more and more responsible for the keyword research and management of writers without charging for it. And at the volume that clients need to be successful, it hasn’t been working/sustainable.

Anyone can make Animoto videos and run ads on them, and that doesn’t give the best ROI by itself anyways.

The 5 out of our 20 clients that blog 2-4+ times a month and they are all doing 3-4x better than those who don’t. Clients that don’t have dedicated service pages have always been a problem and that has also become our responsibility and liability because without that it delays even getting SEO even started (that is essentially web design and writing, not really SEO). My real value comes from the SEO strategies (not obvious tasks/when things get competitive), keyword/competition research and automation strategies, which I often can’t even get serious about until months 6-12 which is what I want to change.

I need to hire more people so I can get to what I’m really good at, so first writers, second I want to partner with our whitelabel partners in web design and videography to have more expensive packages that can get results in 6months – year every time and I want to do away with 6 month packages asap.

I also got a part-time job offer from Microsoft, and I can’t take it because I am doing basic level SEO for a high volume of clients instead of high-quality SEO for a smaller amount of clients. Too many clients in the last year have quit after 6 months and haven’t even reached the best part of the SEO process.

I got into SEO to get results for clients, and the way things have been structured so far the expectations still aren’t realistic enough.

If someone thinks they are going to get good SEO results for $500 a month within 6 months they are mostly wrong unless they plan to get involved and the competition is low. Clients that start with fully flushed out websites (dedicated services pages), that have been active on social media and blog at least once a month and have a marketing budget all do great, it’s the others that I end up having to educate/convince and help with those issues which just delays/stops SEO from being effective and then I’m held responsible when that’s not my specialty. I shouldn’t be consulting on web design, social media, etc, that means I’m not doing what I’m really good at, and I need to hire people to grow the business or I might as well just go work for Microsoft, which I don’t really want to do, I like our clients, I’m good at what I do and I’ve invested a lot of blog, sweat and time into this business.

On top of that there are plenty of clients out there with money/resources to do all of the above correctly, I’ve been talking to our existing clients about the price increase and in all cases where we’ve worked for 1.5 years or longer they are actually willing to start spending more, like $3000 to bring in a videographer for high-quality videos to help with conversion, hiring writers for 2-4 blog posts a month, and hopefully website upgrades next. I still have clients spending $500-1000/year on Yext, $350-1000 monthly on Yelp, $2-3 grand a month on Google ads, and in one case $20k/month for television ads. So the money is being spent on marketing, and in most cases, it would be way more effective spent on SEO/social media (imagine the quality and quantity of videos you could make and distribute with ads for $20k/month).

I’m convinced our cheap pricing and trying to stay focused on only YouTube/Pinterest has been actually hurting our clients.

Geoffrey Purkis

Geoffrey is the Founder and CEO of Seattle Web Search. He’s a web developer and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) expert located in Seattle, Washington with extensive experience in the field. Geoffrey specializes in helping his clients find the right combination of web, search, social, and video content to get the best results from their online marketing efforts.

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