SEO agencies have always struggled with pricing dilemmas. Your chosen pricing structure will have dramatic consequences for sales, revenue and repeat custom – and in an industry that thrives on tailor-made packages and unique services, it can be a real struggle to agree set prices, let alone publish them.
With that said, your SEO agency will benefit from published prices. Period. As we’re about to explore, the decision to publish will work wonders for consumer trust, business growth and sales revenue – and after reading this post, you’ll be as convinced as I am!
3 Common Reasons for Hidden Prices
1) “It’s not done in the SEO industry”
Even if the majority of businesses within your industry refuse to publish their prices, it takes just one agency to buck the trend and publicise their pricing strategy – and in doing so, pull-ahead in the honesty and transparency stakes. Potential customers will always search for price information, and will keep searching until they find it. If you don’t publish prices, you’re giving the competition an unfair advantage.
Similarly, there’s no guarantee that other SEO agencies have the right approach to pricing. Instead of blindly following your competitors, it’s always wiser to weigh-up the benefits of published pricing for your business.
2) “Our competitors will out-compete us on price.”
Prices play an important role in a consumer’s decision to buy, but they aren’t the only differentiating factor. Customer service experience, social proof and brand identity all play a role in convincing potential customers of the value of your service and products – meaning that lower-priced competitors aren’t always a concern.
Even assuming similar prices between agencies, the services on offer from each business are likely to vary hugely. Your business should offer a unique range of SEO services, and specialise in a particular facet of search marketing – and as a result, your prices can afford to be higher than a competitor’s.
3) “We don’t operate standardised prices, every quote is case-by-case.”
Few B2B businesses will be able to adhere to a strict pricing structure in the way a B2C company can; and this is especially true of the SEO industry. However, B2B customers will understand the nature of pricing, and won’t always expect a hard-and-fast set of prices. Instead, they’ll be looking for tiered pricing services or rough estimates of the average spend of your typical type of client. Not providing this crucial information could put your agency at a serious disadvantage.
5 Benefits of Published SEO Agency Pricing
We’ve tackled the most common issues with published pricing, and hopefully put your biggest fears to rest. Now, it’s time for the good stuff – the tangible benefits of publishing your pricing strategy!
5. Published prices allow you to offer a scalable service.
Growth of your agency is a likely to be your primary goal – and in order to scale your business, you need to be able to effectively scale your services. Published pricing makes it possible for you to quickly and easily market, sell and up-sell your services. You’ll be able to mix-and-match services as required by your clients, without ever losing sight of the costs of providing each service, and your own profit margin.
4. Published prices offer your agency a USP.
If relatively few of your rival agencies are upfront about their pricing, publishing your prices offers your brand a unique selling point. You’ll be able to talk openly about the pros and cons of published pricing (for both agencies and your clients), and, like this article, you’ll be able to blog and write about the topic.
3. Published pricing prevents ‘Sticker Shock’.
Published pricing structures help avoid the ‘sticker shock’ often associated with high agency prices. If you’ve ever had a client ask about your prices, only to be stunned into silence by your rates, you’ll be familiar with this phenomenon. Published prices prevent this unexpected shock, and by including several tiers of pricing, potential customers should be able to relate to at least one of your pricing categories.
2. Published pricing helps your agency connect to the right customers.
Similarly, published prices offer potential customers a clear idea of the suitability of your services. If you’re running an SEO agency geared-up for big business, chasing leads from small businesses is likely to be a waste of time. Prices will help segment your traffic, filtering out unsuitable prospects, and leaving behind only the most interested and sales-qualified prospects.
1. Published pricing offer dozens of low-competition keyword opportunities.
Last, but by no means least, published pricing (in conjunction with blogging) offers your agency a chance to rank for dozens of lucrative keywords. If published prices are unpopular within your circle of competitors, it’s likely that price-related keywords will be relatively uncompetitive. Long-tail search terms like SEO agency cost, price, day rate etc. will allow you to attract highly sales-qualified lead to your website, with minimal expenditure on SEO!
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