Risks

When Internet users type a keyword or phrase into a search engine query box, they expect a list of websites that offer information, products or services related to that keyword.  Search Engines strive to list the most qualified websites at the top of the list.  Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of modifying visible website content and invisible code in addition to establishing links from other websites.  The purpose is to gain higher ranking among Search Engines.  Higher ranking produces more qualified visitors and more sales prospects.

Although the business rewards can be significant compared to the PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaigns, there are also risks.  The following covers the risks associated with an SEO campaign.

SEO Campaign Risk:

The primary risk associated with SEO is performance related.  Achieved rankings may be less than expectations resulting in lower visitor rates.

Professional SEO companies mitigate this risk in 2 ways.

  • 1. SEO companies look to their historic results and relationships with current clients as evidence of future performance.
  • 2. Professional SEO companies invest in extensive research to determine what effort is required to affect a desired result.  This research enables professional SEO companies to develop realistic campaign costs.

Search Engines, by nature, are constantly evolving.  They continually modify their ranking algorithm in an effort to produce better results for their visitors.  As the rate and complexity of evolution increases so does the risk associated with an SEO campaign.

As a professional SEO company, Position Research engages in extensive research for each of our prospective clients.

For if an SEO company cannot show prospective clients why the current top ranked websites are there, then how could that SEO company know what is required to achieve comparable results.

Research gives us the best possible assessment of what action is required to produce strong ranking.  Even the best analysis tools, however, cannot anticipate future Search Engine changes.

Further, SEO implementation is not without compromise.  SEO practices must be “married” with existing content and website structure.  It is not uncommon that marketing and editorial readability requirements take precedent over optimal SEO practices.

Finally, other circumstances beyond the control of an SEO company can influence rankings.  Other persons such as webmasters may make changes to a website without the SEO’s knowledge.  These changes may be benign or catastrophic.  Although rare, website hosting providers may have an outage just when a Search Engine spider attempts to crawl a website.  This too can affect ranking.

It is for these reasons Position Research’s pricing structure is segmented into 2 areas:

  • Setup fees
  • Maintenance Fees

Setup Fees:

Setup fees cover a specific list of deliverables.  These deliverables may include:

  • 1. A number of pages to be optimized
  • 2. Meta tags
  • 3. Body text
  • 4. A number of pages to be added
  • 5. A number of links to attain
  • 6. Re-architecting website navigation
  • 7. Special submission or Pay-Per-Inclusion fees
  • 8. Special setup and software fees

Position Research guarantees that work it performs will be conducted using “best practices”.  However, as long as there is uncertainty and issues outside of Position Research’s control we cannot guarantee the resultant Search Engine ranking from its effort.  These costs are considered “sunk”.  Ultimately, the client must bear the performance risk.

Maintenance Fees:

Maintenance fees are more performance based.  Maintenance fees typically start the second full month after order receipt.

These fees include:

  • 1. Access to PositionEyes internet reporting of SEO campaign statistics
  • 2. Ranking reports compiled every evening
  • 3. Original vs. current ranking report
  • 4. Inbound and Outbound link report
  • 5. Perform inbound link verification; add new links a required
  • 6. Evaluate campaign progress and make adjustments as required
  • 7. Compile and send written SEO campaign report summary

With the exception of the first maintenance report, which is included with the initial payment, clients may choose to continue with SEO maintenance.  Maintenance is the best assurance of maintaining/improving Search Engine ranking.  However, clients may choose to discontinue Position Research SEO maintenance services for any reason, including dissatisfaction with campaign performance.  In the latter case, a 30-day written notice is required.

Conclusion:

SEO setup fees and their deliverables are based on Research.  Research gives us the best possible assessment of what action is required to produce strong ranking.  However, Search Engine algorithm changes and implementation compromises do affect resulting rankings.

If a campaign setup effort does not produce the expected results, clients may choose to cancel monthly maintenance services.  So it is in Position Research’s best interest to set achievable expectations that foster a long-term business relationship.  In this way, the burden of risk is equitably shared.