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.

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4 Comments

  1. Marios Alexandrou

    Michael, I've never liked the silent partner thing either. I can understand why such requests are made, but that doesn't make it a good thing. It's funny that you grew up in Westchester. I think I might like the weather better in Florida. Are you guys hiring? :-)

  2. Hi Marios: No, we do not allow other firms to sub out their clients to us. SEO (as you know) needs to be done carefully and we get the best results when we can interact with the clients on a regular basis. When we get calls from other web firms wanting to outsource to us, they want us to be a silent partner. We turn those down. A side note, I like your blog and I am actually from Westchester myself (White Plains...Loved going to SunShine Pizza on Mamaroneck Avenue when I was a kid)

  3. Marios Alexandrou

    Michael, Thanks for filling in the details about your service. You probably can't answer, but do you get other firms sub-contracting to you knowing that they only have to pay if you perform? And sorry your message didn't get posted. For some reason it was flagged as spam by Akismet when clearly it isn't.

  4. Hi Marios: This is Michael Pedone, current owner of eTrafficJams.com. First let me say "thanks" for the blog post and link. You bring up some valid points however none of them are the case with eTrafficJams.com. For example, I don't think the keyword: daybeds, would be considered a "niche" or easy market to go after. Yet, our client, http://www.furnitureesuperstore.com is on the first page in Google organic rankings for that very phrase. And they hired (and fired) other SEO's before us. Yes, we turned the SEO world upside down with our pay for performance model. We originated it. There are no tricks...for example...even a well known company like network solutions has a tricky contract / misleading guarantee....they include rankings for 12 major search engines...so what that means is, they get to count search engines like altavista, hotbot, iwon askjeeves etc to count towards their rankings...we only count first page results on Google, Yahoo and MSN. We even do custom proposals for clients who only want Google top ten. Our clients include large (duPont REGISTRY...30 million dollar company) as well as small mom and pop shops. Naturally with have larger packages than the $3,000 one you are referring to but all of that is laid out in the proposal our clients get before signing up. Please let me know if you have any questions.

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