Nobody wants to see prices going up. I know this can cause some concern for clients, and that causes us concern as well because we know that concerned clients might not stay. So this isn’t something we take lightly. The consideration to increase spending in order to achieve our goals has been ongoing while we have examined some critical SEO problems and possible solutions.
While our current approach has produced results for our clients, we can do better for everyone. We’re going to address the individual reasons for increasing our spending and why we are raising prices to cover these additional costs.
SEO Problem #1: Citation
One of the challenges we’ve faced since we began offering managed services is business listing citations. Citation, in this case, is the cross-referencing of your business listings across the web, such as your listing on Yelp, YP, and Tripadvisor. Google and Bing use the information in these listings to determine accuracy and credibility. More accuracy means better SEO for your business listing on Google and Bing.
Some of these services generate listings automatically but may not be entirely accurate. Sometimes clients create listings and forget about them, or forget the login information. For whatever reason, there are inaccuracies in the listings for some of our clients and we simply don’t charge enough to cover the hours it would take to fix hundreds of listings.
Solution: Moz Local
To address this, we will begin using Moz Local. This will help us maintain accurate listings on all of the major listing services and result in improved ranking on Google and Bing. We were initially considering Synup as mentioned in our last blog post. We decided to use Moz instead because Moz Local fits our exact requirements without the bells and whistles that we don’t need.
SEO Problem #2: Inadequate Hosting Resources
Some of you may have received notices about “reaching resource limits” from Godaddy. If you haven’t, you will as we grow your traffic. Just like your personal computer software grows and changes through updates and newer versions, so does the software on the internet.
Godaddy’s entry level hosting is no longer a viable solution for websites that have even a moderate amount of traffic. The software is requiring more resources and images are becoming a larger part of our strategy. This is just too much for entry level hosting.
Here is a screenshot of what I’m talking about:
Solution: We Will Begin Providing Hosting
We will begin providing hosting on a virtual private server with Godaddy by August 2017. Clients may choose to retain their hosting or take advantage of the VPS; however, we are integrating this into our cost regardless of usage so that we can cover the cost.
This will allow us to control the level of hardware resources to match the demand of high traffic and search engine crawlers. A VPS will improve server response time and eliminate server failures, which is good for SEO. Additionally, clients that decide to drop their hosting can save between $80 to $120 annually.
SEO Problem #3: SSLs (HTTPS) by October
Beginning October of 2017, Google will begin flagging sites that don’t have an SSL, making your website appear untrustworthy to consumers. Basically, all websites should have an SSL or the website’s position in search will tank in the near future. By taking care of this now, we boost your SEO in the coming months and eliminate risking damage to rank as we move forward.
Solution: We Will Begin Providing SSLs
Once we start our virtual private server with Godaddy, we will also purchase annual SSLs in bulk to cover each website. Google has stated plainly their algorithm gives preference to websites with an SSL so this is a worthwhile investment.
One Plan & One Plan Only
Our monthly service will be $135 starting in June when we invoice for July services, and then increase to $175 on July invoices for service in August. This will be our monthly service price from that point on. To reiterate, starting August of 2017 our only plan will be for $175 per month. This is the only plan we will be offering. Not because one size fits all, but because we aren’t ok with producing poor results at a lower cost, so we are working to provide the best service we can for all of our clients, equally.
You Don’t Have To Do Anything
…except pay us every month. We will take care of the rest. Making this as effortless as possible for clients is a large part of why we are choosing this avenue. As always, please feel free to call us at any time.
Nobody wants to hear that prices are going up. But, I also know you want to stay competitive, and you know getting more costs more. I also don’t want to leave anyone with the impression this will happen again anytime soon. We don’t foresee any more major shakeups or changes coming for at least two or three more years. This will be the only increase in price for the foreseeable future.
While we want to remain as competitive as possible when it comes to pricing, we don’t want to be so affordable that we can’t take appropriate action when needed. We want to say thanks to our clients for sticking with us. We are looking forward to continued growth, now and in the future.
We are capping off our service at 20 accounts. That’s 20 websites. We initially said 22 but in the end, we decided on 20 as our number. This will give us the time we need to dedicate to each account and pursue other projects that will also benefit our clients. We have 4 openings for new websites. Now is the time to contact us if you have a website or referral in mind.