I'd probably say penalty reviews/diagnosis.
Panda/Penguin/Unnatural links can completely ruin an online business. In some circumstances, the business owner will have employed an SEO 'professional' in good faith, not knowing what they were getting themselves into. Because of their naivety, they could now be looking at going out of business altogether.
That sucks and it simply shouldn't happen. If a mom & pop shop (to borrow an American term) came to me wondering why they were suddenly not ranking and were worried about the future of their business, I think giving them a free diagnosis is the very least I could do.
Not all SEOs are snake oil merchants - despite what Hacker News would have you believe.
What would you normally do for $180? If you offer any more than that, you immediately devalue your service in your friend's eyes and they will never pay the going rate in future.
Someone I respect once said that you are better working for free than cheap. Make of that what you will!
I audited a blokes website I play squash with at the end of last year for free, 16 pages & 6000 words later.
Happy to help where I can but it takes too long to do it for free, so I don't do love jobs of that scale anymore.
I think it's a common experience for SEO's and Web Designers. You help someone out and it ends up turning into a huge job. Did you get anything in return?
No I didn't get anything in return but I didn't ask for anything either so that is okay.
I'm *not* a local photographer but if I were, I'd take a calculated risk by:
1. Taking good quality photos of a cluster of local shops/bars/restaurants - dusk/dawn type or focal length stunning pics2. Uploading them via Google Local to their Places page - they are better than the Google maps photo so they get approved3. The photos of their Places links to my Google Plus profile photo page - that's automatic and how G+ local pics works4. Invite click through visitors of those pics my photographic services
You'd also be doing the online local community a service by providing quality photos for local searches instead of hard to see, grainy, low-res non-sense.
I've seen one business with just the photo of the top of a wooden table.
I recently managed to crack the screen on my Nexus 7. Getting it fixed is apparently going to cost at least $180.
Being a tight arse, the very thought filled me with dread. Fortunately my co-worker knows someone who can fix the screen for free, if I can do some free SEO work for them.
My questions is, what SEO work would you do for free, and what for?
That's not "Free", that barter and is the oldest form of commerce. I am very proud of my custom tailored suit that I got in exchange for some very focused time doing local SEO for a Riverside tailor and he's just as happy with his custom tailored SERP. WINK.
A Custom tailored suit ehy? I think I know what my next barter is ; )
I'm about to go full-time freelance and considered offering the web designer, logo designer, accountant, etc. free SEO work of the value of their services. However I eventually decided against it. I've known people do it before and when one side doesn't honour the deal, it can get very, very messy.
I could see that escalating pretty quickly, especially if they don't get the results they're expecting.
i'd do a site audit and basic analysis, but no outreach or implementation. strategy yes, tactics no, even though strategy might be more valuable in some ways..
Unfortunately his site is pretty tight. My co-worker has also been helping him out. Otherwise an onsite would be my first choice.
Well most Meetup events I go to and I run called Online Marketing Sydney, I usually give people free advice at the event. Sure I am not going to give you all the secrets in the book but last night for example some web developers wanted advice on selling SEO services, they said should I guarantee ranks, I said NO, sell your services this way....so yeah that's what I do for free....
Great topic, I love the idea of bartering, especially for new businesses who need to help each other out. I used to review products for free in return for keeping the product. It worked very well as the companies got free honest feedback and I got a product for free. At its height I got my entire Christmas for free - tree, food and presents - so lots of companies are receptive to the idea.
I know this may be running against the grain here, but I'd pay for the phone.
Personally I'd just pay the $180 (or buy another phone, but that's another point) and continue to value my time and services as they are. Skill swaps can be fantastic, but I don't feel that they work as well when one service is more tangible than the other.
Alright money bags ; ) I think you're right, tangibility is an issue. Fortunately this guy knows a bit about SEO, so he can appreciate the value.
It depends on how the SEO knowledge of your mate is. SEO is a process, not a thing you do one time. If he lacks knowledge I would guide him through the basic on-page stuff & then try to get him to understand that SEO is being influenced by many factors outside of his website.
Start with the Don'ts instead of the Do's... I've seen it in the past when I tell people something about link building in a conversation in a bar, and the week after they come back telling me they started "Link Building"... What I didn't mention during that first conversation is that link building can be dangerous if you don't know how to do it. And there are lot's of things you shouldn't be doing, so I suggest you start there :)
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