Yep, you read the title right. No, it’s not a typo. In this post I’m going to talk about a novel idea I had for a client of mine that may be applicable to yours: doing SEO for your clients’ clients (indirectly, sort of). That said, I imagine that it may only be applicable to a very small and narrow niche of client types, so apologies in advance if it’s not something that you can utilise – although if it is, this could be worthwhile to you…
With that in mind, I’ll cut to the chase… I do a bit of work for Welsh ICE, a co-working space and startup hub/community based just outside Cardiff. It’s also where I’m based as a freelancer. As part of the work, I’ve been keeping an eye out for HARO* requests (something that I’ve previously written about here) about entrepreneurship in general, co-working spaces, etc. I get the HARO updates daily and noticed that there is a steady stream of requests aimed at entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses.
Then the lightbulb went off – what if I were to pass on relevant HARO requests to ICE’s members/residents as well?
* For the record, just in case you don’t click that link above but you don’t know already know much about HARO (Help A Reporter Out), it’s a free service that hooks up writers/journalists looking for comments on articles. So if someone needs a bunch of entrepreneurs to tell them about their experiences for their next article, willing entrepreneurs can express their interest and get involved.
How we went about it
ICE uses the system of another ICE-based startup – Noddlepod – as a sort of intranet and project management system for members. I realised that I could upload HARO requests to Noddlepod, and if an ICE member wanted to contribute to one, they could leave a comment and I’d send it over to the requester on their behalf.
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We’ve all been there. Every year, renewing your car/home/whatever insurance, you’re hitting the comparison sites because your current provider’s 2nd+ year quote has leapt up a notch. One year, instead of ‘renewing’ the traditional way, it was cheaper for me to leave my car insurance provider and rejoin the same company immediately(!) than it was to straight-up renew. Absolutely absurd.
Too many companies focus on rewarding new business, not on trying to keep what they have. Bearing in mind that it’s supposedly 6-7 times cheaper to keep a current client/customer happy than to win a new one, you realise just how crazy that is. I always used to laugh whenever I received direct mail from BT… the new customer/crosssell/upsell materials would be nicely printed, colourful and on nice glossy paper, while your bill would be printed on rough paper and look cheap (in the days before they went paperless/online).
So it was a nice treat to be wowed by a genuine exception to the rule recently…
own am a slave to three cats and we use VetProtect as our pet insurance provider, which also includes check-ups, jabs, flea treatments, etc. at our vets (Heath Vets, who run VP) for free on top. I recently received a letter thanking me for continuing to use VP and I was offered a thank you gift. When I read that the thank you gift was worth £160, my jaw hit the floor. A company rewarding loyalty, and by doing something like that? What the hell, right?
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Yesterday I attended The Business Of Web Design 2014 (#tboWD), which was held on my doorstep in Cardiff. Although I am not a web designer, I could see from the conference’s talk topics that a lot of it would relate heavily to SEO freelancing – and I was right.
The question “how much does a website cost?” is so similar to the question “how much does SEO cost?”, when you’ve not even been told the prospect’s industry, their goals (e.g. whether they want to rank for a really tough keyword or a few less competitive keywords) or even the URL of the site. Determining how to price yourself as a consultant – whether it be on a basis of time or the potential value/ROI offered to the client – is applicable across both industries. And getting a client to say “yes” to things can be just as tricky in SEO as it is in web design.
In addition to eight fantastic talks, there was a panel Q&A at the end, and to my terror (but also delight), the wonderful world of SEO was debated. I spent the first few minutes of my recent unified.diff talk tackling the subject of SEO’s terrible reputation – especially in the eyes of the web design/development community – and have previously blogged about how one of the best compliments I’d ever received was from a highly-respected local developer. Fortunately, while there were some stirrings of the typical “SEO is evil” type talk that we’re so used to seeing, I was really surprised and pleased to discover that the debate was handled really well. I’ll go into more detail below.
(Note: for those where it says “[Slides TBA]” for now, I’ll update the post with the slide deck embeds as-and-when they all become available.)
1) How much does a website cost? – Sean Johnson
Sean (@seanuk) kicked things off with the question from prospects that often causes the most chagrin: “how much does a website cost?” Why? Because the answer is always: “it depends!”
What’s your industry? What are your goals with the website? Do you need eCommerce functionality? Does it need a blog? This applies to SEO so, so much: What’s your industry? What are your goals? Is the site brand new? Is the site even live yet? Has SEO work been carried out before, and if so, were spammy tactics involved? How can a web designer or SEO quote effectively without knowing that type of info first? The answer is: not very effectively. Not very.
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