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No-Contract SEO Business Model Spreading Quickly In NZ And Australia

In an industry known for dubious dealers and unbreakable long-term contracts, a pioneering young SEO agency is attempting to change the industry’s standard business model. Premium SEO, the agency that started in Christchurch and is now spreading throughout Australasia, has built itself on a no setup fee, no term contract platform.

“When I first came into the industry, it was a shambles,” said Premium founder Tom McSherry. “Everyone was getting burned. There was no regulation, no oversight. And the reality is, in 10 years, not much has changed. The stats show that 70% of clients in the industry would not recommend their current provider to a friend. That’s a shockingly low satisfaction rate.”

Starting from humble beginnings in Christchurch, the Premium model has been expanded to service clients in Auckland, Wellington, Kerikeri, Dunedin, Hawke’s Bay, Melbourne and Brisbane. McSherry aims to build a hub in every city in Australia, with Premium SEO Auckland and Premium SEO Wellington being the current areas of focus in New Zealand.

“The simple reality is that most clients spending money in this industry are earning a negative return. If they actually sat down and looked at how much more they are getting compared to their pre-campaign level, and how much they’re spending, they will realise they are not actually making money. Most SEO companies can’t produce a good enough result to cover their fees.”

This, he said, is why so many agencies sell 12 month contracts.

“They have to sell contracts – they have no choice, because they can’t stay in business on the strength of their results alone. So their model is to sell contracts, that way the agency has a guaranteed revenue stream, and the client can’t leave no matter what the result looks like. But in reality the client is usually just subsidising the growth of their SEO agency.”

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