A maintenance retainer – we keep an eye out for you in the long term

Looking for a long term relationship – Wanting to do more over time?

A ‘maintenance’ agreement might be for you!

Some clients want to do more – but not rush into these things.

The following tools are included in a retainer / maintenance plan*

(*Google Site Kit only applies to WordPress installations as it is a wordpress tool)

Why would you want to enter into a maintenance agreement with Search Labs?

Some players are in this for the long haul – they realise that the most effective way to spend, involves constant monitoring and tweaking – one of products are good for getting from point A to point B – but if this is a journey, then sometimes you have agents ready on a retainer, ready to make constant adjustments. As the market mutates and evolves, so does your content strategy

Together we run an ongoing market analysis and make / implement content and framework recommendations, matching the changing landscape.

Kaizen SEO

We follow a Kaizen approach to SEO – namely ‘Incremental Steps towards a non-achievable state of perfection’ – which translates into – ‘do thing to make this better – all the time’.

The reason for following this framework is that SEO is much like mowing the lawn or cutting your hair, the industry doesn’t go on hold when you decide to stop – every day that you don’t make progress is an opportunity for a competitor to get ahead of your game.

As the famous Google once said:

Search engine optimization (SEO) is often about making small modifications to parts of your website. When viewed individually, these changes might seem like incremental improvements, but when combined with other optimizations, they could have a noticeable impact on your site’s user experience and performance in organic search results. You’re likely already familiar with many of the topics in this guide, because they’re essential ingredients for any web page, but you may not be making the most out of them.

You should build a website to benefit your users, and any optimization should be geared toward making the user experience better. One of those users is a search engine, which helps other users discover your content. Search Engine Optimization is about helping search engines understand and present content. 

Search Console Help

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7451184, Google

An ongoing relationship

Think of a retainer as the constant sculpting of a block of clay, as the tick boxes in Google’s list change, so does the content on your site – we will constantly be assessing and changing the pathway to better rankings. 

Why do retainers even exist
  1. Google makes +- 2 algorithm changes per day
  2. Relevancy signals seem to change as often
  3. We track the terms that imply intent
  4. As an algorithm determines what relevance is, we tweak your content to make it relevant
  5. Because we track what relevance is, we track what the market is looking for.

How does a retainer work – how is it charged?

Unlike paid marketing, SEO is effort and time based, not click based – sure the end result is still an impression and a click, but the cost isn’t based on that metric.

We require that our clients pay for a block of time at the beginning of each working month. This block of time can be anywhere from 6 hours up to – well, some clients pay in ‘day rate’ blocks – but we go up to as many as you need.

Once you exceed 6 hours in a day, then we will switch to a day rate – that just makes it cheaper for you, and easier for us.

SEO In the beginning

When we first start, we will analyse and provide a bunch of recommendations – these are to get your site to a ‘competitive parity’ so that we can start on an even playing field.

Correlative Study
  1. We find the signals that are present in the top 10 pages
  2. We match those signals to your site
  3. We provide recommendations on what to do, what to increase and decrease.
  4. We analyse every few weeks, to see how the industry is responding to your site.
  5. We do this again and again, tracking your climb.

So what is included in a SEO retainer agreement – what are all the bells and whistles?

Most of the tasks involved with the average  monthly retainer / maintenance agreement are:

  • Ongoing Competitor research (we find the words that matter to you, and to them, and we track average positions)
  • Review existing website content for opportunities for improvement
  • Optimize existing content for SEO best practices
  • Optimize meta title and descriptions for SEO best practices
  • Review and image file name and alt text for accessibility and SEO
  • Internal linking, do the link anchors make sense, and are they aligned with the landing page.
  • Schema implementation via structured data
  • 301 / 302 redirect review and recommendations
  • Internal linking chain management
  • XML sitemap review and management within Google Search Console
  • Technical SEO audits
  • Local SEO review and management (NAP)
  • Reputation Review and Solution recommendation
  • TF-IDF analysis and recommendations


Stages of creation

We usually break these up into stages, sometimes we move from one item into the next, for other work items each item has stages.

  • Phone interview and discussion around expectations, and reality
  • We ask a bunch of questions, and send you an additional set of questions – we are picky and don’t like surprises – but we love challenges.
  • We require access to Google Analytics, Google Search Console – if your site is a WordPress site (then also wordpress)
  • We will build a Data Studio Dashboard to allow you to track your progress, with data provided by Google.
  • Strategy session with you, to review and discuss your competitors, the effort required to see the needle move, as well as the effort required to own this space – we also discuss the  reports that are being built and how to use them
  • The current state of your site, your expectations and your competitors
  • We perform a rather granular review of your site from a technical perpsective – we break that down for you
  • Customer journey mapped
  • Competitor rank tracking as well as your rank tracking – we provide a scheduled analysis of the terms used to find your content.
  • Search volumes and competition metrics provided for full keyword list
  • Client review of keywords, feedback, and sign off is required for us to move ahead
  • Mapping some of these keywords to specific URLs – others will be site wide terms
  • Action plan created for updates and content creation
  • Creation of content niches and conceptual silos
  • Editorial calendar planning for future blog posts and pages

From a Technical Perspective

We monitor the following and make recommendations based on user interaction with these systems.

  1. Google Search Console – which terms lead people to which pages.
  2. Google Analytics – how are people interacting with the site, who are they and where are they coming from.
  3. XML sitemap submission and monitoring
  4. Ongoing website crawls for technical SEO issues
  5. Creation, testing, and review of Structured Data and Schema
  6. Content audits
  7. On-page optimization of content for SEO best practices, semantics, etc.
  8. Meta title and description optimization for SEO
  9. Internal linking
  10. NAP audits and citation management
  11. If you need ‘live time’ let us know at the beginning – we love talking shop and it can help a client come to terms with the reality that is SEO – it can help a client define themselves.



The Cost – what it all boils down to.

We have been doing SEO in the Enterprise Space (+- 2 Million visitors per month) for over 4 years, and we were playing in other digital fields for over 10 years prior to this, We have experience that crosses, sales, privacy, credit collections, demographic targeting, system design and solution implementation. We are not the new kids on the block, and a lot of our work is the ‘please undo what a cheaper alternative did’ kind of work.  We are experienced enough to train content agencies and manage an SEO agency. This skill allows us to charge  rates that will be much higher than someone new who has been practising SEO for only 1 or 2 years – or less. We are often told that there is a cheaper alternative, yet in saying that we often need to help that person out once they realise that you get what you pay for.

We offer tools that cost you as much time as it takes us to install them, on average about $250 per tool if each is ordered by itself. We do offer cheaper installation rates if we can ‘log in’ and install 3 or 4 at once – However if you are on a retainer for more than 3 months then the installation fee is waived.

  • 10 Hours Per Month = $2,000
  • 15 Hours Per Month = $3,000
  • 20 Hours Per Month = $4,000
  • 25 Hours Per Month = $5,000

Our minimum retainer for websites new to SEO is 10 hours per month. We play hard, but for less than that the needle wont move.

We will reject clients if their expectation doesn’t match the effort required to make it a reality. If you want the top of the world but don’t see a requirement for change, then we are not the agency to help you, and we wouldn’t recommend anyone, because the only people that promice the world for free are ripping you off in some way or another.

Google Analytics

Learn more about your visitors

Google Search Console

Learn more about the question your visitors asked

Google Tag Manager

Level up and control your whole site

Site Kit for WordPress

If your site is powered by WordPress – then this is a gift from Google.

Data Studio

When you want your ‘Data’ to become ‘Information’

Google Analytics

Learn more about your visitors

Google Search Console

Learn more about the question your visitors asked

Google Tag Manager

Level up and control your whole site

Site Kit for WordPress

If your site is powered by WordPress – then this is a gift from Google.

Data Studio

When you want your ‘Data’ to become ‘Information’

Google Tools and Services – Rely on the source of truth!

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Great SearchLabs rewards for new referrals

SearchLabs gives you great referral deals. You can either get a cash payment after the new client pays their bill, or you can trade in referrals for SEO. 
Enjoy discounts on services like ‘site speed breakdowns’ ‘competitor stalking’ and ‘keyword research’ – things that have a substantial cash value.

Just by successfuly referring someone. 

Get The Visitor Numbers You Need / Deserve

how many clicks do you need?