While WordPress is quite possibly the most SEO-friendly content management system out there, any WordPress website can benefit ongoing SEO-optimization tasks.
If you’re building WordPress sites for clients, it’s a good idea to educate your clients on the benefits of on-going SEO maintenance. If you already offer basic WordPress maintenance services to your clients, you should consider also offering WordPress SEO services as premium add-ons to those maintenance plans. Your SEO packages can be broken into different tiers, depending on how much assistance a client needs with their SEO work.
Things to Consider Before Offering SEO Maintenance Packages
- Have a plan for tiered packages/pricing. Professional SEO Maintenance Services can range anywhere from $100/month – $2,000/month. Consider creating three SEO package tiers, with the lowest including monthly basic audits like checks on new pages, posts, keyword performance, etc. The highest tier of your WordPress SEO services might include developing new content such as keyword-focused blog posts and content.
- Consider limiting your SEO services to hourly chunks. Each post, page or content piece on a site will need quality titles, descriptions and focused keywords & keyphrases, so know what you’re getting into with older sites. Make sure your pricing reflects the time you’ll need to invest.
- Make sure you can help clients understand the goal of SEO. On-going SEO maintenance is more for the “long-tail” SEO effect, unless the client wants to go with your higher-tiered package and incorporate you (or your staff) into the development of the content.
How to Sell Your SEO Services to Your Clients
If you’re new to offering monthly WordPress maintenance plans, the first step is to take an audit of your existing web development or web design packages. Many clients won’t be looking beyond the initial launch of their website to the day-to-day tasks of managing their own site, such as making edits, running theme and plugin updates, running regular backups and maintaining best WordPress security practices.
- Take advantage of 60-day, 90-day or 6-month check-ins. Send an email to your client or make a phone call to check in on how their website is running. Include a special offer or discount on your new WordPress maintenance and SEO services.
- Offer to analyze existing analytics reports. Some clients may not understand their Google Analytics reports, so offer to go over their analytics to spot trends like best-performing pages, posts or traffic from unexpected search terms. If Google Analytics was never set up correctly, you could also offer to take an audit and correct their setup.
- Set up a meeting to define their keyword strategy and target demographics. As a part of your SEO services, you could offer to consult on gathering a list of keywords and look at their current rankings and competitors.
- Show them their place in current search results and how they could be improved. Perhaps the most convincing case for the value of your SEO services is a good, honest look at their current place in search results. This could include their place on keyword searches or how their website displays in Google search results (Is there a description for their site? Are top-level pages listed?)
- Offer a one-time “mega” SEO audit option. If clients aren’t ready to pay for monthly SEO services, have a one-time “mega” SEO audit package (a lot more tips/resources on that in the next section). This audit can be important for relaying information back to clients about their need for your services.
- Promise (and deliver!) results. Be sure to collect the “before and after.” Make sure to report back to clients on how traffic has improved by spotting upticks in new or longer page-views, keyword traffic, etc.
A Roundup of Tasks for Basic WordPress SEO Audits
There are a ton of helpful resources available for creating SEO audits. Here are just a few:
- SEO 101: An Expert’s Guide to Auditing a Website’s Onsite SEO Health – this exhaustive post includes 20 tasks (and tools) for auditing the SEO health of an existing site.
- How to Perform the World’s Greatest SEO Audit – a comprehensive guide for performing a technical SEO audit. It’s a long read (6000+ words), so settle in!
- Technical Site Audit Checklist: 2015 Edition – Another great guide from Moz, this post has a checklist (and PDF download) of 80+ tasks for performing a technical SEO site audit.
- A Step by Step 15 Minute SEO Audit – A much shorter, but thorough checklist by Danny Glover, author of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Secrets.
- The Ultimate SEO Audit – Yet another checklist with specifics on technical and content SEO audits.
- The Definitive Guide to Higher Rankings for WordPress Sites – This in-depth “final WordPress SEO tutorial” article has been kept up to date with the best practices specifically for WordPress SEO.
A Few Recommended SEO Tools:
- WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin – Running on over a million WordPress sites, Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin is a must-install plugin. This plugin adds a ton of SEO-optimization features to your WordPress site, such as an in-page/post section to grade your content on keyword usage.
- Screaming Frog – A small desktop program (PC or Mac) that allows you to quickly crawl, analyze and audit a site from an onsite SEO perspective.
- Google Search Console – a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor and maintain your site’s presence in Google search results.
- Google Keyword Planner – Research keywords and get historical statistics and traffic forecasts.
- Search Engine Genie 100 Web Tools – An impressive offering of free tools for each specific search engine that can retrieve quick results on page rankings, backlinks, crawled/ banned info, keyword positions, etc.
- Moz SEO Tools – Free and Pro tools to uncover link building opportunities, dig into Twitter analytics, show your local search result potential and more.
- Copyspace – a free plagiarism checker that allows you to detect duplicate content and check if your articles are original.
- Google PageSpeed Tools – Use Google’s PageSpeed tools to analyze and optimize your site following web best practices.
Get More Tips on Developing WordPress Maintenance Plans for Your Web Design Clients
Download our free ebook How Selling WordPress Maintenance Can Save Your Freelance Business for more strategies and tips on how to start packaging WordPress maintenance services for your clients. You’ll get steady, reliable income and your clients get peace of mind. Everybody wins.
Kristen has been writing tutorials to help WordPress users since 2011. As marketing director here at iThemes, she’s dedicated to helping you find the best ways to build, manage, and maintain effective WordPress websites. Kristen also enjoys journaling (check out her side project, The Transformation Year!), hiking and camping, step aerobics, cooking, and daily adventures with her family, hoping to live a more present life.