Good resources for outsourcing SEO work for local clients?
Looking for some additional resources to outsource SEO work for my local clients that won't cost thousands of dollars for them.
They always have companies insisting they need to be seen nationally yet some clients only want a local following. Just looking for some new ideas. I have a great business I work with to do some detailed work but sometimes folks just want someone local that I could refer them to.
That is a very good question to ask, and one that many graphic designers struggle with as there are many moving parts to building a website. Same as you, I myself have been in business for 15+ years catering to SMB, non-profits, and a few large corporations.
Pricing is very subjective, especially when it comes to cost of living in various locations. We often get asked how much is it to do a website. I always answer back...It depends. It's like asking a doctor how much it would cost without any sort of diagnose. It simply can't be done. Coming from the perspective of working with clients of all sizes and being trained as a traditional designer myself, it's actually harder to develop according to various customization in design than it is to make it look good in my opinion. So you really have to define the scope of the work very clearly up front as there's always danger of scope creep from clients when it comes to development. Scope creep is very obvious when it comes to print, but it's easy for clients to asks for all sorts of "little" things when it comes to the web that can easily add up :)
You did mention mom & pop (m&p), hence they don't usually set aside a budget for marketing like they should. Therefore, it's typical for the need to charge less with a need to cap off the rounds of revisions. Otherwise, the sticker price will usually scare them off. Also, m&p "usually" just need a brochurware site for the most part. So the functionality is generally simple. However, you'll be amaze at some of these clients as they want a lot of things that they see online from other sites from larger businesses, which dramatically changes the price of the job.
Another thing to consider is the maintenance and sustainability of the site. A lot of m&p don't have the expertise to maintain the site. So you have to ask yourself whether they are better off being a maintenance contract instead of a CMS for them. I really could go on and on as there are so many various situations :P
If you are looking for a potential collaborator for the develop side like you had before, then please visit our site (volumesquared.com) and see if we might be a good fit. We have aligned ourselves with various print designers who need the online expertise and experience. It's a win-win situation as we save our partners a lot of time and confusion, while we can focus less on the marketing side of things.
Lastly, I know SquareSpace has been flooding the media with how great and simple their tool is. However, after being forced to use it for a client out in west coast through a referral, there are simply much better options for the same relative price point. It's extremely not developer friendly as you spend awful lot of time going through their interface as it's trying to cater to non-developers. Also, it limits possibilities for certain function customization. The devil is in the details and often times the system simply doesn't allow us to do what the client wants.
Hope this helps. Our space has changed dramatically since I graduated ('97 :P), and I enjoy helping designers especially the younger ones. They face quite an uphill battle as design has been commoditized quite a bit over the years.
Best of luck. If you are interested in finding more about me, you can also check out my LinkedIn profile as well (www.linkedin.com/in/kapang/).
So I've been facing a similar challenge in my own practice. A lot of my clientele are based in the smaller businesses, and therefore need something to look good and be easy to update. I think at this point you could ask yourself, "How long would this really take me?" in conjunction with "How much could I charge to make this worth my time?". The way I see it, by the sheer fact that these WYSIWYG editors are updated live and are that easy to use by nature, it pretty much cuts the average workflow for a website in half (I think most smaller sites would average at 2.5 months tops). Most of what you're doing is editing images, plugging in web fonts, changing the colors, and so on. I feel like what you'd end up charging more for would be overall design of assets and setting up the site (i.e. copy, social media accounts, domain name, etc.) with however many revisions you'd allow.
Pricing in general is, as Ka Pang mentioned, very subjective. I could give you a number or a range, but it may not be enough for you. Ultimately you have to charge what you believe is fair for both you and the client, but particularly you. I hope this helped. Aside from this, I love connecting with other designers! Feel free to get in touch with me if you'd like.
You sound like you're in a very similar position as me. However, you have a few more years experience. I had a career change a few years ago, went back to study to do a Graphics degree and have been working freelance for the past 5 years.
I too started off with just print based work, but had to relent and dive into web design, but must admit, coding is my nemesis, so am pleased that things like Wordpress etc exist. I've mainly been using Adobe Muse to create sites for my cients and for the moment am charging £100 set up fee then £100/page. This will vary of course depending on the complexity of the site. I haven't ventured into any e-commerce as such yet, but may do in the future.
I recently went on a Wordpress course and found that really helpful as I want to be able to offer clients who want more freedom to update their own sites the opportunity to do so. I also want to give SquareSpace a try to, but haven't got around to it yet (too busy working, which is a good thing i guess!).
My own site is created in Adobe Muse (cathiedesigns, it needs updating but you'll get an idea of the sort of site you can create in Muse without being a coding genius.)
Hope that helps.
You might have already found your answer but since I do this exact thing all the time, what I've found that works great for using SS to build sites, is to charge by the hour. As discussed some sites take a lot less time than others depending on the needs of the client and when all is said and done, can range pretty drastically in time and cost. I let my clients know up front my hourly rate and then estimate how long their site might take according to their needs. This has proved to be a successful approach. Good luck! Carla
One thing you might want to consider is the 'value' of your work. A Ma and Pa Company doesn't have the time or the expertise to make their own great website and a great website is the foundation of any business today. If you just position yourself on price, then you are going to get nickled and dimed all the time. Sometimes the best way when quoting is to ask the client what their budget is and what they are looking for in a website and quote the pricing based on their answers. For example an ecommerce website with all the set up required is in one price range, whereas a simple 5 page site for a bookkeeper is in another. Do they want to update their own site or have you make the changes? Make sure when you are quoting your are showing your value, ie wireframe, SEO campatibility, site back up, CAPTCHA plugins, tutorials etc. These are all items you may take for granted but they are tools that are valuable to the client (explain to client what they do) and therefore should be part of the price. You are showcasing your expertise which your client does not have and that is very important. It doesn't really matter what platform you are using to build the site, frankly the client doesn't know the difference. Sometimes you have to educate the client as to what makes a fantastic website. ie Responsive websites that automatically re-size for tablets and smart phones. Perhaps they are not even aware of design elements such as this. Good luck with your pricing.