This is an interesting question posed over at http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/000812.html –
should an SEO charge monthly?
“RustyBrick” describes the issue and says only charge for man hours, work performed.
There is an argument for that and I would say I agree .. mostly.
I think though that it is best not to undervalue the consultative aspect of an
SEOs job (not that I would ever say I am an SEO).
In the scenario laid out at SEORoundTable, once the client has been handed a CMS they
are on their own? I doubt it, I expect what really happens is he gets the occasional
call saying “for some reason we have dropped out of search engine X” or “how can we
get widget Y more prominent” or even “I hear the news about issue Z, how does that
affect us”. I don’t think you can just fire and forget and I think ongoing advice
should be paid for.
Monthly reports are mentioned. I think reports should be not just the “what” and “where”
but also the “why” and “what this means” – ie. not just data but actionable information
I guess it depends wether you see yourself as an SEO-monkey or a consultant. There
is value over and above the hours you spend or the number of words you type.