Q and A: Is it normal for SEO/SEM firms to disclose their process to clients?

QuestionDear Kalena…

Is it unusual for a SEO/SEM firm to NOT disclose to their clients what their process for SEO/SEM is?¬† Isn’t it the client’s right to know exactly what is being done on their behalf??


Dear Susan

I certainly advocate education between SEO and client, but I do know of many SEO operators that prefer not to reveal their process. By the same token, some clients will be very interested in learning what is being done to their site, while others will have no interest at all.

I particularly hate it when SEO/SEM operators claim that what they are doing is “proprietry” or “secret” – really there is no secret sauce for SEO – just acquired knowledge, experience, trial and error!

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Q and A: How should I charge for SEO services?

QuestionDear Kalena…

I’m very excited about finishing the SEO course today and getting my certificate! Thanks for a great course.

One thing I was hoping I’ll find in the bonus lesson and I didn’t, was some information on service pricing. I personally started providing web design services to my clients then wanted to add SEO to my services. How do you recommend I charge for this “extra” service?


Dear Lamees

I’m so glad you enjoyed the course and are preparing to launch SEO services to your existing clients.

Regarding SEO pricing, Patrick Altofts recent blog post Peanuts, Monkeys, Tailors and Charging for SEO should help you. Also check my older blog posts about salaries in SEO/SEM.

For anyone interested in starting a career in SEO, I suggest you read my article about the subject.

Best of luck Lamees and please stay in touch.

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Enter Marketing Pilgrim’s $10K SEM Scholarship Competition

Marketing Pilgrim SEM ScholarshipWe are thrilled to be sponsoring Marketing Pilgrim’s Search Engine Marketing Scholarship once again this year. The competition involves submitting an article on any subject related to search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising (PPC) or social media optimization (SMO) before May 23.

The 2008 scholarship is MP’s third in the series and offers the biggest prize pool to date – a USD 10,000 prize package that includes training, subscriptions, consulting, books, an Amazon gift certificate and broad online exposure for the winning article.

As long time sponsors, Search Engine College will be donating enrollment in our Certified Search Engine Marketer Pathway for the lucky winner. I’ve also been asked to judge again this year, so I’m really looking forward to reading all the entries.

On June 30, the five entries that have achieved the highest overall traffic will be selected. To ensure quality traffic influences the outcome, if an entry achieves an average “Bounce Rate” below 75% it will be awarded a bonus equal to 10% of its total “unique views”. If an entry achieves an average “Time on Page” greater than 2:00 minutes, it will be awarded a bonus equal to 10% of its total “unique views”. On July 7, Marketing Pilgrim will announce the grand prize winner, which will be the entry that receives the most votes from the panel of judges.

Good luck everyone and make sure you get your entries in early.

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Lazy Friday

Well it’s Friday so I am taking the easy option and providing a bit of humor today. Casie Gillette of KO Marketing has put together a list of her 22 favorite funny SEM related blog posts.

My site scraper rant made the cut too – thanks Casie!

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Q and A: What is your opinion of SEO Standards?

QuestionHi Kalena

This may be a little off your normal topics… But, you always seem to have such a well thought out view that I want to know your opinion of SEO Standards?

What do you really think about the idea? Good and bad?


Hi Chris

It’s interesting that you bring up this topic, because we’ve been hashing this very subject a lot on Sphinn lately. Jill Whalen made a post on Search Engine Land where she stated that she didn’t think we needed standards and this resulted in some passionate arguments both for and against standards.

My opinion? Until search marketing has an official, widely accepted industry body, I don’t see how we can have official standards. This industry has unspoken standards and they’ve worked well for 10 or more years. We white-hat educators promote the unofficial standards and search engine guidelines already. The creation of official standards without a ruling industry body would, in my opinion, just spawn more problems.

Besides, creating standards is not going to get rid of shoddy SEOs or make them switch hats. Creating standards is not going to prevent the general public from being ripped off by SEM cowboys. Buyer beware has to come into play at some point.

I’ve written an article about this for SiteProNews about this: SEM Industry Standards: Nonsense or Necessary?

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