Like a number of SEO companies we have occasionally offered performance related services in the past. These normally work by us taking a percentage of the increase in revenue we drive via organic search.
The problem with these agreements is when it comes to setting benchmark figures to measure our performance against. When the economy is in freefall and retailers in most industries are issuing profit warnings even the best SEO companies might struggle to achieve positive growth over the next 24 months.
Some industries such as insurance and payday loans are recession proof but in retail it wouldn’t be a surprise to see online revenues falling by 20-40%. Any SEO company on a performance related contract benchmarked against last years turnover is going to really struggle!
Of course SEO is a fantastic way to increase profitability during these uncertain times. If you can maintain turnover while your competitors are losing then you gain valuable market share. Once the economy recovers you have a huge advantage by being at the top of Google for all your keywords.
The number of clients wanting performance related deals is likely to increase over the next few months and working out a fair deal is going to be increasingly difficult.