Pay For Performance SEO
An SEO company I haven't heard about before, eTrafficJams, has managed to stir the pot recently with both SEO's and non-SEO's alike. They've done this by introducing SEO programs that are guaranteed to bring results every month or that month's fee is waived. At first I thought this was a risky model. However, the move I thought about the more I realized that it can be made to work. Here's how.
Their audience is likely small businesses given the low starting price of $500 per month. What this means is that they're probably going to attract sites that have never been optimized. In addition, these sites are likely to be niche in terms of the services and products they provide. The combination of never-been-optimized and niche topic make it quite likely that rankings can be influenced with relative ease. Score 1 for eTrafficJams.
This performance guarantee also plays an important role in getting people to sign up. After all, one of the hardest aspects of SEO is convincing the client that there'll be a measurable increase in traffic and that SEO isn't a scam. By providing a guarantee, eTrafficJams has the potential to be inundated with clients each of which can be evaluated in 15-30 minutes to determine which ones are candidates for easy traffic improvements via SEO. They are in effect able to pick the low-hanging fruit and pretty much guarantee themselves steady revenue with fear of actually having to follow through with their guarantee. Score 2 for eTrafficJams.
The final tactic is the tried-and-true upsell routine. Rope someone in with the low-cost program, show some benefit, and then get them to upgrade to the more profitable plan that only requires an incremental increase in effort. This SEO company already plants this seed with their 3-tier setup. I have no idea how much more the professional and enterprise programs cost, but one of the additional deliverables is web analytics reporting. Seems to me that no matter what you're doing with SEO you'll be looking at web traffic reports so this seems to re-enforce my point about a small incremental increase in work in exchange for a larger monthly fee. Score 3 for eTrafficJams.
Of course this is all speculation as I have no idea how they actually conduct business. But you've got to hand it to them for at least being able to generate some buzz.