Okay, so why is there such a big difference in price between the services Online-Access offers and what similar website/search engine optimization (SEO) companies want to charge? If you ever took a moment to look at our package pricing that question has to be going through your mind. Typically, the questioning goes something like this:
Why is your total monthly cost only a quarter of the $2,000-$3,000 a month other large SEO companies are asking?
How can you provide a customized responsive-design website template for me at no additional cost, when other companies charge $4,000-$5,000 dollars to do the same thing?
I guess the simplest answer is… because we can. However, in fairness, I need to explain why.
Automation is the Key
Online-Access has an ‘edge’ that other SEO companies don’t. Our ‘edge’ is called PagePilot. PagePilot is our own proprietary website content management system, built especially for our industry. PagePilot was launched in 2002 and, since then, we have continually updated and improved it so that we achieve unmatched efficiencies through automation others can’t match. The fact that we have an on-staff full-time programming team shows our dedication and commitment to keeping this edge.
Here is a quick example of the automation to which I’m referring: SEO efforts are always more effective when focused. Simply put, during the summer, an HVAC contractor’s homepage should be all about air conditioning—not heating & air conditioning. During winter, the page should be changed to focus only on heating, with air conditioning keywords removed. With PagePilot, this change happens instantly at whatever date we set it to occur—where others, hosting websites on conventional platforms like WordPress, need to remember to do this manually twice a year for every site they host. It’s not that big a job if you only have one or two sites. However, the more customers you have, the more man hours this takes—time that needs to be billed somewhere.
Nearby Now is another example of how PagePilot’s efficiency allows us to pass on the substantial cost savings our prices reflect. With PagePilot, we can create city review pages for every city you operate in, in seconds, with just a few keystrokes. Compare this to the hours it takes others to do this manually in other platforms. This is why, unlike others, we don’t charge extra for every city page created after your first ten or so. Our clients get city review pages for every city they work in at no additional charge and no initial set up fee. (If you’re not familiar with Nearby Now and how it can help you dominate in local search, here’s a 15 minute video you really should watch).
PagePilot’s automation is also how we can host and manage over 350 contractor websites, and still answer the phone with a friendly, live voice ready to help. Many of our clients who have switched to us tell us that the only way to get site changes made by their old provider was to write up a request then send it through a ticket system, email, or a voice mail. That’s not us. Sure, email is acceptable and certainly best for sending content, but we’re also glad to talk whenever you need help with something. Unless it’s a real complicated request, between our graphics and customer service team, we typically complete 95% of all the changes and updates within one business day. PagePilot lets us cost-effectively automate many repetitive, non-essential, and time consuming tasks so our costs and pricing are focused on the individual and custom SEO tasks our clients need to be successful.
A Philosophy of Pricing
Now that you know how we price things so cost effectively you’re probably wondering, “So, why not take advantage of the efficiencies you have and charge what everyone else does to make more money?” It’s a good question, and one I’m sure our competition wishes we’d act on and bring our prices up to theirs. However, we’re playing the long game. Currently, we are sustaining a 30-40% growth rate each year with, really, only fixed costs on the other side of the income statement so we are already profitable. Because of what we deliver for the price we do, our current growth has been almost strictly through referral and word-of-mouth, which means we avoid a lot of marketing costs or having to resort to gimmicks to get attention.
Another advantage of not increasing our price simply because we can is that our lower price keeps our attrition rate comparatively low, and in a subscription business model—that’s key. The ROI we deliver easily justifies our client’s investment. It’s a lot easier to see a great ROI on $600 a month versus $3,000 a month. In fact, in the last 12 months, we’ve had 13 previous clients return to us after checking out what looked to be greener grass somewhere else.
What you should also understand about our pricing philosophy is that we won’t sell what we can’t guarantee, or in which we cannot find real value. It would be very hard for us to tell you that you need to have a blog for an additional $500/month, when we know that typically less than 15% of the search traffic it generates will actually be local to you. (For more information about things like this, you might want to watch the presentation I did for Comfortech and ASHREA this year).
Can We Really Deliver what We Promise?
Of course, I can say that we deliver what we promise. I can also say, that we offer a 90-Day Money-Back Guarantee so you can try us without risk. I could even entice you to try us by saying that we cover the cost to design your new mobile responsive website (a $3,000-$4,000 value) when you sign up. However, the best way to see what it is like working with us would be to see what our clients say. So, with that thought, here’s a page with thumbnails linking to 80 or so of our client’s websites. If you’re even a little bit intrigued about the idea of reducing your website costs, why not call one and ask? Wishing you all the best in your marketing efforts. –dave
President, Online-Access, Inc.