SEO Professionals: Why You Should Guarantee SEO Results

SEO Professionals: Why You Should Guarantee SEO Results

We all know that SEO professionals who offer guaranteed rankings are either shady characters or magicians (or maybe both). However, though no one can guarantee high SEO rankings, it is possible to guarantee and deliver great results: namely, more webpages ranked and improved site indexing using technical SEO. And because so few people in the SEO industry currently offer guarantees, doing so yourself could give you a competitive advantage. The key to making SEO guarantees work under a pay-for-performance model is to be selective with which clients you take on. They have an SEO-friendly product While any business today requires an online presence, certain businesses derive more value from SEO than others. Granted, you can't guarantee any specific rankings, but by simply getting more pages ranked, you'll increase a client's revenue-earning opportunity. Then, using those benchmarks, you can put together a business case showing clients exactly what kind of improvement they can expect—and how much they would benefit. You can think about how to structure your SEO guarantees: 1. For example, you could structure a deal whereby you earn a certain amount extra per month after reaching agreed-upon levels of traffic increase over a certain amount of time. This type of revenue-sharing structure doesn't work well for some big companies because they tend to have a fixed budget per quarter (or per year) and can't have such an extreme variable cost.

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Dear SEO community, clients don’t simply want our SEO recommendations—they want guaranteed results.

Now, before you start proclaiming that Google algorithms are moving targets, let me clarify one thing: I’m not talking about guaranteed rankings. We all know that SEO professionals who offer guaranteed rankings are either shady characters or magicians (or maybe both).

However, though no one can guarantee high SEO rankings, it is possible to guarantee and deliver great results: namely, more webpages ranked and improved site indexing using technical SEO.

The idea that the best SEO firms don’t offer guarantees isn’t just holding back your clients… It’s also holding back your business—and the industry as a whole.

Why should you offer SEO guarantees?

For starters, considering that two top challenges for SEO professionals are that clients don’t understand the value of SEO and that it’s difficult to prove return on investment, you’d be wise to start giving clients what they really want. If neither you nor your clients can justify the value of your service, you’ll be the first thing to go at budget time.

Offering guarantees, by showing them the objective value of your service, also makes clients happier and keeps them around longer. And because so few people in the SEO industry currently offer guarantees, doing so yourself could give you a competitive advantage.

The greatest upside potential, however, comes from replacing your project-based pricing or hourly rate with a pay-for-performance revenue model based on your SEO guarantees. But that only works under certain circumstances.

When should you offer SEO guarantees?

The key to making SEO guarantees work under a pay-for-performance model is to be selective with which clients you take on. You must assess the opportunity up front by vetting potential clients to make sure they meet the following five criteria.

1. They have an SEO-friendly product

While any business today requires an online presence, certain businesses derive more value from SEO than others.

For new products or services, SEO is a terrible channel: If no one knows that a product exists, they won’t be searching for it online. Similarly, certain products, such as perfumes, benefit less from SEO because they’re normally tested and bought in stores, not online.

In contrast, if a client offers a product that people are already searching for—and buying—online, like clothing or sunglasses, the potential to add value through SEO is huge. You can verify growing demand for potential clients’ products using Google Trends.

2. They have product/market fit

If a potential client’s product is SEO-friendly, you must check to make sure they’ve already achieved product/market fit, meaning that customers are already buying products on the company’s site.

As SEO professionals, our job is not to build businesses but, rather, to help reduce clients’ customer acquisition costs through organic search results. So, if consumers haven’t yet validated their need for a given product, there’s no guarantee that even the best SEO strategy would get them to buy.

3. They have a strong reputation for delivery

Even more than having proven demand for…

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