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Growing Your Agency by Offering SEO Services

People in a modern office discussing strategy

If you are designing or building websites for your customers, chances are they’ve asked you about SEO. Do you offer SEO services? How do I get my website found on Google? What do you recommend for SEO?

To meet your clients’ requests, you may have tried a few different approaches that haven’t worked out as you had hoped. Many offer it as an add-on service but discover they lacked time or confidence, and are unsure whether they were providing enough value.

Others install a Plugin like Yoast or Rankmap and then tell their clients to take over. In the end, they either did little with it or turned to another agency for SEO support.

Finally, some try partnering with an SEO company to find that they either didn’t deliver or they end up pinching clients with their full-service offering.

While you know that outsourcing is always a valid option, there’s still that part of you that wants to solve your customer’s needs and help them grow through SEO. 

Well, it’s more than possible.

Should I offer SEO services?

Even with the challenges, there is a lot of value in offering SEO services for your business and your clients. It is a fantastic driver of relationships, facilitating long-term collaboration, while still solving a key problem. It really is a great way to win new business, become more referable, and build your recurring revenue. Besides, as Lindsay Halsey from Pathfinder SEO puts it:

There are four steps you need to follow in order to fix that.

Small parcel in open hands

1. Packaging

Firstly, you want to create a model that you can follow consistently. This is what will allow you to scale the service over time.

There are a number of models you can use:


Hourly services are for small, definable problems like creating an XML sitemap or 301 redirects for a new website launch.


The one-time services are geared toward larger, easily definable projects. This may include SEO for a new website launch or local search for a business that’s changing its address.


With the monthly model, you embrace the marathon aspect of SEO. This retainer-based solution will give you and your client the space to evolve as the search engines do.


Finally, the hybrid approach is where you take on a larger project with a definitive end, before continuing afterwards as you would with the monthly model.

Of all the options, the most beneficial to you is generally the monthly service. It allows for a predictable, steady income as well as the opportunity to really develop your relationship with the client. In essence, your monthly offering should include:

  • Top communication with the client
  • Reporting on results for the last month
  • Action items

Within the offering, it’s a good idea to offer three tiers of service so they have a choice.

Tier 1: Awareness

This is for people just starting out who really just require information. It answers the question: How do I get in the game?

Tier 2: Action

Perhaps the most common, this is for those who know they want to get going. The question it answers is: How do I get results?

Tier 3: Accelerative

Finally, the accelerative tier is designed to give people next year’s results this year. It’s essentially the service for the people who say “I should have hired you twelve months ago.”

Sample tier breakdown:

Sample packaging tier breakdown

For more information on helping your client choose their tier and a breakdown of what services to include in each plan, have a look at Lindsay Halsey’s webinar on the GoWP Niche Agency Facebook group.

One Dollar

2. Pricing

When it comes to pricing, again we want to make sure that we have a model that’s clear and easy to follow.

For most people, the easiest way to think about pricing is to base it on the average number of hours it takes to deliver each tier. For example, awareness could be five hours a month, action 10 hours a month and accelerative 20 hours a month. Simply take your normal hourly rate, multiply it by the specific tier and you’re good to go.

Value vs hours

Although this is a valid approach, ideally you want to get to the stage where you’re pricing based on your value rather than the number of hours it takes you. There are a number of ways you can assess the added value you can bring to a client.

  • Experience with SEO or a specific industry
  • History with your client’s business, audience, and website
  • Ability to determine high-impact approaches and follow through with action
  • Your own process

Consider the industry

If you move from hourly into value-based pricing models, you can begin to offer different amounts depending on the industry you’re in. Local businesses generally have lower competition and so it is easier to meet their SEO needs. An industry like insurance, on the other hand, is highly competitive and is also likely to have larger budgets.

Lindsay from Pathfinder SEO offers this model as an example of what you could do:

Table for pricing based on sector

3. Pitching

As long as your perceived value outweighs the price, you are able to command higher amounts. This is where pitching comes in.

Ask the right questions

During the discovery phase, it’s always worth jumping on a call and asking the right questions. Firstly, you need to ask how they’ve approached SEO in the past. You can gain so much insight into where prospects are just by letting them chat. You can figure out their level of familiarity, pain points, and what they want to achieve.

Sell the business future

The next question focuses on selling the destination.

What would your business look like if Google sent you twice as much traffic as they do today?

Instead of just pointing out the mistakes that the client is currently making, you should concentrate on what they will be able to achieve if they contract your services. Always remember why they’re hiring you.

Avoid jargon

Even the most common terms in SEO can be unfamiliar to clients and can come across as intimidating. This is convincing the lead to purchase your services by overwhelming them — and this isn’t how we want to start a collaboration. We want it to begin with clear communication.

Set expectations

Firstly, you need to make the entire sales process entirely clear for the new prospect. Let them know:

  • When they will hear from you next.
  • What you need them to do (including access to Google Analytics, etc.)
  • Your price ranges to ensure it’s worth continuing.

But it isn’t just about the sales process, you also need to be clear on the kinds of results they can expect. Let them know:

  • When they will begin to see results.
  • If their desired keywords are reasonable.
  • How you work.
People working together on a whiteboard

4. Process

Finally, you need to consider the process or the way you plan to consistently deliver your service to the client.

Your process should place over three phases:


This is perhaps the most important phase of your SEO process. During the onboarding, the client should be reassured that they have chosen the right partner to work with.

Laying a solid foundation

Next comes the foundational tasks. This is the ground-level work that needs to take place at the beginning of any SEO initiative, such as setting up Google Analytics, optimizing page titles and meta descriptions, etc.

Continual evolution

The third phase is the continual evolution, where you return to your client on a monthly basis and explain your results. Here, you will account for your actions based on different trends you’re seeing and build their SEO standing.

Given its importance in ongoing business success, developing a methodology for offering top SEO services to your clients is a highly effective way to build your agency’s reputation and gain recurring revenue.

For more help and support in your SEO services journey, sign up to our Digital Agency Owners group on Facebook. We’d be happy to welcome you!


Joshua Burns

Joss is a Dedicated Copywriter at GoWP, providing partner companies with all the right words. Originally from Ireland, he moved to Spain in 2015 and still lives there to this day. His spare time is generally filled with fun, friends and long hikes in Madrid’s mountains.

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  • Daily security scans and malware cleanup
  • Maintenance dashboard
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