SEO Packages Need To Die

I’m sick of SEO packages. You know the kind, where you get an email asking you to send them a proposal for what you would do for their company and what your packages and pricing are. I’m tired of companies that offer things like “10 blog posts for $150.”


This is old school small scale thinking. If you want 10 blog posts for $150 and your hourly rate is $30 per hour, write a blog post every 30 minutes for 5 hours. I bet the quality will be a lot higher than paying someone random to do it for you. Marketing “packages” don’t work. Marketing that works isn’t a product that is plug and play for every business. Depending on your business and who your customers are, and your current stage of company, different channels are going to work better or worse for you to actually get you results.

I’ll give a lot of businesses asking for packages the benefit of the doubt because they don’t know what else to call them, but the language underlying it signals to me that they view marketing consulting as transactional – I give you this and I get that. I’m sorry, but that’s not how marketing works. That’s not even how business works! If business were that easy, everyone would run their own business.

Check out these two examples:





Now, the second example here is someone who means very well and is thinking well about how to grow their business but their language bothers me.

What Kind Of Marketing Works?

When you hire someone to grow your business, you’re usually hiring them to figure out which channels are going to work best and then to start them and optimize from there. If you’re a marketer, you know that your first efforts are never your last efforts – you start and then optimize continually as you figure out your users, what channels are working, and where to put future efforts and money.

Anyone selling you “packages” of marketing work for what feels like a “fair” price is probably not going to get you the results you need. Instead, here are the things to consider as you seek someone to help you grow your marketing:

  • They listen to your history with marketing and what your business needs are
  • They give you advice about areas that you have not yet considered for growing your business
  • They tell you where they are going to start, not what the end game will be. Beware of guarantees.

The best marketing consultants and agencies take a consultative approach to everything they do, starting at the sales process. If you’re able to take out your credit card and pay for marketing, you’re not going to get what you need to actually grow your business. Sure, you may get a few blog posts published, a few more followers on social media, or a few more email subscribers, but how will you know if this will move the needle for your business? My guess is – you won’t.

Don’t get suckered by marketing “packages” of services. If you’re serious about growing your business, invest in it and hire the best you can find.

5 thoughts on “SEO Packages Need To Die

  1. We no longer present pricing examples upfront or in a manner like this. But, when people ask for more specific pricing details earlier on in talks, we’ve somewhat resolved this gap by having “recent examples of actual client scopes” at various price points that we share with clients. We’re not recommending any specific set of deliverables at that point, but it also makes it clear that we’re also not pulling a number out of the air and making sh*t up when we finally get to the point of recommending high & low budget options at the end of a proposal phase, and it gives them some benchmarks of what to expect. And – we definitely don’t call them packages.

  2. John,

    I love this post. Sadly, it’s how it’s been done for so long that business owners/decision makers don’t know any better.

    Also, I run into it all the time with the prospect trying to make me come up with a package price because they have a budget and they want to get “the most bang for the buck”. If they only knew what they got for most packaged pricing. Well, actually they do, but they often just go back to ordering/paying for it from another vendor, selling the same pig with a touch of red lipstick.


  3. I have never offered packages as part of our marketing services. Every client is unique so it stands to reason their marketing requirements are also unique. Bespoke marketing based on the goals of the client and their business are the only sensible way to go. Good article John.

  4. In-depth keyword research and recommendations based on current rankings and future ranking capabilities of each website
    On-page optimization & content development with ongoing monitoring and improvements as dictated by ranking improvements and keyword evolution
    Title & meta tag optimization
    Technical audit to address potentially problematic website architecture, user interface, content design, navigation, and internal link profile

Comments are closed.