Seo services

Should you cut back on your SEO services because of the coronavirus?

The coronavirus pandemic is taking a heavy toll on all citizens of the world.

When the final tally is over, it is unlikely that anyone will be affected in any way.

Right now it is a time of great uncertainty on many fronts.

Along with worrying about our health and that of our loved ones, there is also enormous financial instability.

The economy is on hold in an unprecedented way.

Formerly secure jobs don’t seem so reliable anymore.

Those who have the luxury of a full-time job are motivated to go the extra mile to make sure they keep their jobs.

For full-time consultants or service providers, things can be a bit more tenuous.

During a period like this, anyone whose income (personal or business) will go above and beyond to retain existing customers and sign new ones.

This is especially applicable to SEO consultants and agencies at a time when marketing budgets are one of the first to be cut.

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Economic uncertainty could cause consultants and agencies to lower their prices to close deals, but the question remains.

Is discount always a good idea?

As a digital growth consultant, I am opposed to any discounts, even in a tough economy.

Here’s why.

Consulting pricing is based on a calculation of value delivered which depends on potential returns to the business, but general economic winds are not a factor.

The value of SEO is now the same as it was a month ago.

Therefore, the refresh sends a signal that it has changed in some way.

Plus, I think now is the time for people to invest in a long term, strategic SEO effort.

With so many marketing channels like payment, display, events, and even branding efforts on hiatus, now is a great time to band together and build an SEO strategy that could have been deprioritized for a faster effort. in the past.

In fact, the value of SEO consulting is higher than ever because smart leaders know that now is the time to make investments that will allow them to outpace competitors who suspend all efforts during this time.

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I didn’t want to leave that to my own mind, so I posed the question to my network to hear their thoughts.

Peep laja, CEO of CXL, said:

“You might feel the need to lower your prices. It is the recession after all. However, this is short-sighted (obviously depends on your cash reserves).

If you don’t compete on price to begin with, lowering the prices is likely to hurt your brand and your bottom line for good, even when the downturn is over.

Studies have shown that in many cases, the more people pay, the more value they place on their purchase. Price anchors perceived value. If you lower prices during tough times, customers may start to question the original value.

The latest financial crisis showed that many consumers never want to pay “real” prices again. Instead, create new low-end offerings. New products / services cheaper, but without comparison with your existing products. This way, you can avoid the discounts, while still giving people the price cuts they might need during tough times. “

Nigel Stevens, CEO, Organic Growth Marketing, gave me a similar perspective for early stage businesses. He said:

“If you are working with start-ups that haven’t reached product market fit, your only option may be to cut prices or find yourself out of work. I focus on companies that are fit for the post-product market, where the long-term value proposition of the company is unaffected by current events.

If the long-term value is unchanged, why should SEO prices (making the most of that value) change? And if the long term value proposition is undermined by these events, then SEO is not going to save them! Instead of lowering your prices, think about ways to get creative with the terms and compensation models. “

Ethan smith, CEO of Graphite, a boutique growth agency, echoed the idea of ​​value and investment.

“I think it’s always best to price work based on value created (aka ‘value-based pricing’). This is especially true for counseling.

For SEO consultants, we need to ask ourselves if we are creating more, less, or the same value as before. As many businesses shift their resources from paid marketing to organic growth, SEO is arguably more valuable than it ever has been.

In addition, the market would suggest an increase in resources for SEO rather, not a decrease. “

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However, I found an outlier that recommended the discount (with a catch), when I spoke with Will Erlandson, vice president of strategy for Adogy, a public relations firm that works with small businesses to do fortune 100 companies.

Adogy also does value-based consulting – it’s just that their value is relationship building first and profits second. He said:

“We approach pricing and discounts as a way to connect and help our customers.

We pride ourselves on lowering prices every time a customer has a bad time. This pandemic is no different and we are adjusting our prices in order to build long term goodwill with our customers.

This allows them to devote more of their budget to their employees and customers, which overall helps to make the world a better place.

The theme repeated among these four agencies is that of value, and prices should only be adjusted when value changes.

What if things change?

To be clear, if economic realities indicate that an agency or consultant’s prices are currently outside of the range of what they should be, the prices should be adjusted.

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The new price must be presented as the current rate and not as a discount, such as a 25% reduction on prices for a limited time.

This could be seen as a decrease in the value of the offer.

In addition to reducing the perception of value, an advertised discount opens the door to negotiating additional discounts.

This could then put the agency or consultant in a price war with one of their competitors who could offer even lower prices.

Going down this path could lead to significant issues for the sustainability of the agency or consultant’s practice that could take a long time to dissipate.

Giving back as a way to give back

One of the bright spots of the current global pandemic is the way people around the world come together to support each other.

Agencies or consultants who wish to do their part by giving back to businesses that have been harmed by COVID-19 might be tempted to cut back on their services.

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This is admirable and should not be avoided by those in a position to do so.

In offering this discount, it is once again important not to diminish the value offered or to open the door to a price war.

One way to avoid this is to include a disclaimer in a pitch that discounts are available for those who qualify.

This condition would align the price of the services with a standard tariff but allow a price reduction only for those who really deserve a lower price.

Ideally, this could eliminate customers who are just looking for the cheapest deal rather than those looking for the best value for money.

Qualification criteria can be defined as flexible or as strict as necessary, it is simply important that there is a threshold to be met.

An obvious advantage of this approach is that when the pandemic ends, there is no need to revert to higher prices with a phased approach.

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Essentially the pricing itself never changed, rather it was a specific scenario that could have given a set of customers different pricing which is now thankfully no longer needed.

Summary

Should You Cut Down On SEO Services During This Pandemic?

It really depends.

But it should always be based on value.

If you have determined that something has changed both up and down in the calculation of value, then the price needs to be adjusted.

For those looking to offer their services for free or at a reduced price to help those in need, Lily Ray has set up a matchmaking service to match consultants with businesses.

If you have extra bandwidth, this is a great way to give back.

Finally, for companies who understand that now is the best time to invest in digital marketing, now is the time to hire the consultant or agency with whom you did this dance of engagement.

Or better yet, go ahead and hire a full-time employee.

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Michael the King, CEO of iPullRank, has put together a list of the most complete talents you can hope for.

It may be a time of unprecedented uncertainty, but it is also a time where we will likely look back and realize that there were tremendous opportunities to move forward.

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