How To Profitably Pay for
Pay-for-Performance SEO

The Key In Any Commission-Based System Is To Balance Supplier Compensation with Your ROI

With pay-for-results SEO, you are essentially asking your supplier to invest in your business. As such, they are going to want assurances of sharing in rewards if successful. Conversely, you will need a way to terminate the relationship if it doesn't work or, in some cases, works too well.

Do It Yourself, Do It for Hire, or Do It On Commission?

There are ways to "partition" the content additions to your site so that it will either cost less, take less time or create less risk. As with all things there are a balance. For example, you may wish to write your own product/service descriptions, or company profile since you know the nuances of these best. You may want to outsource areas such as commenting on various Linked In groups related to your industry. And you may decide to have your articles written on a commission-basis to increase their volume and timeliness (and be able to use them simultaneously as email newsletters to keep qualifying the prospects in your pipeline.)

Here are examples of "levels" of involvement typically considered in executing website content additions:
  • Self-Created Content - This clearly provides more information accuracy and depth, but can take a long time (in truth often never gets done).
  • Pay for All Content - This means the content will more likely be completed, but of course will require much more oversight.
  • Pay for Performance Fixed Contract - This of course will be lower in risk since it it performance based, but may be difficult to terminate.
  • Pay-for-Performance with "Escape" clauses - This may cost more but includes the ability to terminate the program.
Out program is based on the last approach, which provides the best balance between SEO supplier motivation and accountability, as well as providing a reasonable and comparable profitability on the client side, since many accounts already have experience with working on a pay per click basis.

How We Charge for Pay-Per-Results SEO

As discussed here, we typically charge based on a pay per click or pay per unique visitor model. For performance-based SEO, this method typically provides the best balance between simply ranking for a particular term (which may not produce much traffic) and paying for some type of sales (which requires a level of control over factors the SEO provider typically will not have). The actual price per click is determined through the website and return-on-investment phases of our analysis.

Our goal is to be below the average pay per click fee charged by Google for a particular set of keywords (an analysis we will do as well). However, the bottom line in setting per click fees is, well, the bottom line. Both our upfront projections and the ongoing results have to prove potentially profitable for a program to be first considered. For example, the above table below shows an example of a program that is profitable at a per click rate of up to $1.75 but not beyond.