Billing for SEO: per effect or subscription?
Billing for SEO: per effect or subscription?
Digital marketing agencies offer different billing for SEO. The two most popular ways are subscription and payment for effect. Both ways have their advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the best one depends on your business needs and goals. In this article, we will discuss both billing methods in detail to help you make the best decision for your business.
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An SEO subscription is a fixed fee that a client pays an agency for a specific range of SEO services. It can include such services as content optimization, link building, keyword research, SEO auditing and more. The subscription price depends on many factors, such as the size of the company, the industry, competition, etc. The scope of services it covers should be written in the contract to avoid misunderstandings.
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SEO subscription advantages
1. cost predictability
With an SEO subscription, the client knows how much they will be paying each month, making it easier to budget for marketing. There are also no unexpected costs for additional services, as the agency has to stay within budget.
2. continuous optimization
The SEO agency is constantly working to optimize the client’s site, which contributes to a long-term increase in organic traffic to the site. Subscription allows the client to see more natural and steady increases in visibility.
3. access to SEO specialists
The client has access to a team of SEO specialists who work on his site, which gives him confidence that his site is in good hands. If in doubt, he can contact the maintainer of his site to dispel doubts or suggest that something is not working as it should.
SEO subscription disadvantages.
SEO subscriptions are expensive, especially for small businesses that don’t have a large marketing budget. This can be a big expense in the long run, as you have to wait at least several months for SEO results.
2. no guarantee of results
The customer pays a fixed fee, but there is no guarantee that he will achieve his goals. An SEO agency will work to optimize the site, but it won’t always achieve the results the client would expect.
3. long contract period
Many SEO agencies require a long-term contract for several months or even longer. This gives the client less flexibility to change agencies, as sometimes notice periods are long and contractual penalties are high.
Payment for SEO effects
Payment for SEO results is a method of billing in which the client pays the SEO agency only when the intended goals are achieved, such as a specific increase in organic traffic, sales, etc. This is a type of no cure, no pay contract, meaning that the client pays only when positive results are achieved.
Advantages of paying for SEO results
1. no risk
Payment for SEO results reduces the risk because the client pays only when they achieve their goals. This is advantageous for him, because there is no financial loss in case of lack of results.
2. motivation of SEO agencies
The SEO agency has to work hard to achieve the client’s goals and receive their payment, which motivates them to work more efficiently. This is a benefit to the client, as the SEO agency will try to achieve the best possible results.
3. short contract period
The customer does not have to sign a long-term contract, which gives them more flexibility. It may be easier to change SEO agencies if not satisfied with the results.
Disadvantages of paying for SEO results
1. high commission
SEO agencies tend to charge a high commission for pay-for-performance, as they take on the risk that SEO will not yield the expected increases. This means the client can pay more for SEO. Depending on how big and well-known your chosen agency will be SEO price list can vary significantly.
2. complicated goals
SEO goals can be complicated to achieve, which can lead to disputes between the client and the SEO agency. It’s worth discussing your SEO goals and strategy in detail before signing the contract.
3. limited services
An SEO agency can limit the scope of its services to minimize its risks. This means that the client may not receive the full range of SEO services. Thus, the price list should not be the only factor when making a decision, as the results may turn out to be disappointing.
4. artificial visibility gain
Unfortunately, when billing for the effect, agencies often resort to the so-called “billing for the effect. black hat SEO, because they want to achieve satisfactory results within the timeframe declared to the client. So it happens that the positioner acquires numerous low-quality links or clogs the site with low-value content to increase visibility and fulfill the contract. Unfortunately, this is short-sighted and does not translate into long-term benefits for the client, and in extreme cases can even result in a penalty from Google.
How to choose the best way of billing with an SEO agency?
Choosing the best way of billing with an SEO agency depends on the individual needs and business goals of the client. It is worth considering what budget you can allocate for SEO services and what goals you want to achieve. If a client needs continuous optimization of their site and wants to keep costs under control, an SEO subscription may be the best choice. If a client wants to minimize risk and pay only for results, payment for SEO results may be a better option, although it is becoming less common in practice due to the abuse of prohibited SEO practices by many agencies in the past.
Before making a decision, it is worthwhile to carefully analyze the advantages and disadvantages of each billing method, compare costs and contract requirements, and ask the SEO agency about references and results of previous clients. It’s also a good idea to thoroughly discuss your SEO goals and strategy with the agency before signing a contract.
I have been active in Google Ads, SEO and e-commerce for almost 10 years. Now I share my knowledge and experience on the blog, on social media and in courses, audits and training sessions.
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