This probably belongs on the private forum but since I am not one of the elite I will put it here instead.
I have a lot of top ranked websites, and through knowing a lot of entrepreneurs including some famous (or infamous ones!) I get asked to do SEO for companies.
The problem I have is knowing
(a) what kind of formula to use
(b) how to keep any measure of control to ensure that the deal is honoured
I have tried some partnerships of various kinds, none really work.
The point is, speaking as an SEO one nagging question is it takes me no longer to SEO a new site for me and keep 100% than it does to SEO for a third party. So the answer has to be leverage and playing bigger games.. Much of what I do is multiplicative particularly on conversion, so 10% increase of 7 figure turnover is worth more than 10% of a small wholly owned site.
My view is you can spot poor SEOs a mile off, by the fact they are selling for fixed low price per month. If they could do it, why are they not doing it for themselves.
So any good SEO will want a piece of the action.
Remuneration has various forms.
-A retainer for work.
-A profit share.
-Building equity for a capital event when the business is sold.
So the deal has to be a share...
So use as an example, something I have to answer right now: a UK company making high 6 figures profit , cash rich and growing in the UK/europe - almost none of it over the web, a mix of retail and other routes to market - but nothing US : they want to sell out in a couple of years.
They have asked me whether I will build US online infrastructure for them, in what could be should be a $7figure profit business by getting #1 for a couple of the key terms.
The competition is medium - ie a mix of Pr3/4 with 1000s links and moderate to good onsite SEO, none of it well focussed.
What deal would you go for and why?
Would you want control (eg of domains) to tkeep the relationship honest?
If there is a joint venture company, who funds the cost of setting up US infrastructure? Who pays initial outsourcing costs, and so on...
I prefer %gross cart as a means of basing remuneration because it cannot be manipulated.
To put the UK operation online which is a different ball game because there is already a high level of sales, what should the deal be then?
What do you professional SEOs ask for? What would you do?
I turn down a lot of partnerships because I have never managed to find a good formula, and too many end in tears.