Dear SEO Client. You Want a Mansion but are only Paying Enough for a Trailer

20 Jan

Dear SEO Client. You Want a Mansion but are only Paying Enough for a Trailer

Hitting the Jackpot for Pennies NEVER happens!

I love it when I send a proposal to a potential client where they tell me to put together something that will work. So after hours of research, analysis and competitor reviews, I eagerly send them a killer proposal that should they implement, would drive their competition down in the rankings and earn them top rankings in Google.

Besides all of that, the proposal also include a social media review which also will provide them more exposure, community engagement and a process on how to use social to drive targeted customers to their site.

Included are a set of recommended keywords that make sense because they have the content to support those efforts effectively and since they want to grow the business, more competitive terms were chosen.

Then they get the proposal in their hand.

Sticker shock ensues.

This is where the fun begins.

I recently agreed to talk to a potential client only because a good friend of mine asked me to help a friend of his out. So I talk to this person who can easily afford to get what they need is instead using his “friend of a friend” method to try to get me to go after 20 keywords for an absurdly low price. Money shouldn’t be an issue here since they are located in Beverly Hills and perform cosmetic surgery, so you can probably guess what they do.

Anyways, as I am explaining WHY certain things need to happen. You know, make the site SEO friendly, add a SSL certificate to their shopping cart (they had asked why no one would buy from them online, instead people called) and just making sure they had a sitemap, he starts telling me about another company in India that can do everything I proposed for $500 a month.

My first question was, “So why did you contact me?” His reply: “What they are doing isn’t working”


As I continued to describe what I would do, he would just interrupt and simply state that he only had a certain amount of money to “try me out” and that he wanted me to do everything I mentioned.

My reply was to inform him that he couldn’t afford to do everything on the budget he was insisting on. He quickly went back to the “well, we are both friends with so and so, and he told me that you were good”.

Yes, I am. And that comes with a price my friend.

For almost two hours I continually tried to explain to him the reasons for making code changes and why it was important to be active on social. All he wanted to talk about was how he could get twenty keywords per month for his budget price.

If this was not a good friend of mine asking for a favor, this conversation would’ve ended 90 minutes ago. Instead, we plowed through until I was able to talk him down to a more reasonable number per month.

We all agreed and then I sent the contract.

But I’ll save that story for another day.

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  1. Yiannis Gedeon | January 31, 2014 at 7:27 am

    typical story of people who wants to do SEO thinking that online is free or cheap. I have been there countless times and this is why I now focus on big contracts (working with 2-3 clients) than smaller ones. I cant stress how many hours I have lost in meeting to end up with £400/month for work worth minimum 2500-3000 a month. meh! I am with you 🙂

  2. Spook SEO | February 18, 2014 at 5:31 am

    Same thing happen on me way back 2012. One of my client assigned me an Seo Campaign and aim to ranked his 9 long tailed-keyword in Google for just 2 weeks as he has no budget for a long term work. Very nonsense thing. I was irritated that I don’t have the choice but to caryy the heavy.

  3. Ned | March 7, 2014 at 3:40 am

    Hey, Paul, like your blogging style. Familiar story here, I’m afraid. Keep up the good work!

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