Part of my day as an SEO involves trawling through forums, websites and blogs looking for new, different and evolutionary methods and outlooks within the search engine optimisation (SEO) and marketing world. One question that I see time and time again is the issue of how much does SEO cost? It’s at this point I would be delighted to give you the definitive answer, and in the process then offer my services, obviously. However I don’t think there is a clear cut figure that can be given. What I can do is explain what we offer in comparison to other companies and explain what you should be getting for that figure.
Number 1 in Google
One thing I find very frustrating is an SEO company stating that they can guarantee number 1 spot in Google or saying that they can increase your turnover X number of times without actually explaining what they are going to do achieve this. I have spoken to numerous people and companies who have been stung by these grandiose boasts. In reality what tends to happen with some of, and I do stress some of these SEO campaigns is that you end up with your website optimised for lots of keywords and phrases which are not searched for. Yes you are number one for these phrases, so there in the SEO company in question have done what they have promised, but unfortunately this brings in no more visitors than before and certainly no dosh! This leaves you the customer with a very bad taste in your mouth and a really bad opinion of Search Engine Marketeers. This is the unfortunate battle I face every day, because when faced with a customer I will always put forward a plan of action and then explain the possibilities of this action. How can this approach compete with someone guaranteeing number 1 in Google with a 1000 percent increase in sales? The plain answer to the question is It can’t and I wouldn’t blame the customer for falling for it too. The reason for this is because when I was an IT manager and just learning SEO and SEM as a hobby I fell for it too. I was contacted by a company who wanted to optimise our website. On meeting this company I was wooed by thier promises of global website domination of Google. In reality it did no such thing. In hindsight I should have been a little suspicious when I asked what I would get for the extremely large yearly fee just for link building and the answer I received was well we can’t guarantee anything. And again when I asked what we would be receiving for the massive hourly rate they were charging for SEO and they said “ooh well its difficult to say, It’s very dependent on the pages were working on”. All I can say in my own defence is SEO was all new to me back then and I still had that ‘Google number 1 spot’ ingrained in my mind. Now I know different and this is what I’m hoping this article will pass on to you!
My SEO Campaigns
This is why whenever I look at optimising a potential clients website there are a number of things I will do free of charge. Firstly engage in a telephone conversation to elicit what the objectives of the site are and do a thorough report evaluating how the site is already performing for their current keywords and key phrases. I will also evaluate how competitive the keywords are and whether anyone is searching for them. Lastly we perform give an indication on whether it is cost effective to pursue the keywords selected i.e. is there any chance of achieving good results with the budget the client has available. After this has been completed this will be supplied to the client with a detailed breakdown on the number of man hours we recommend to achieve their objectives and detail, yes detail of the tasks we intend to complete in this allotted time. This report should contain an evaluation of at least the following:
- Page Saturation
- Title tags
- Meta content
- Page content
- Keyword competitiveness
- Keyword competition
- Keyword density
- Site construction
- Inbound and Outbound links and linking strategy
- Page Rank
- Directory listings
Once this process is complete it is entirely up to the client whether they want us to perform any work. I have to say this has worked fantastically well with the clients we have worked with and I would say all have been very happy with the work we have done. We make no guarantees, as in this profession it is impossible to make assurances especially if Google decide to introduce another algorithem mid project that turns the search engine listings upside down. However what I always try to do is show what the client is getting for the time purchased and explained how this should benefit them. This is done in writing prior to any agreement and then signed off by both parties. Therefore you know what you are getting for your buck. This, in my opinion is the very least any prospective customer should expect from any Search engine marketing company. Some do it different but I am from a background where you need to justify what it is you are spending your money on. So I don’t expect any one I deal with to get any different.
So I how much should all this cost I hear you cry, after all thats what this article is all about? Well I can only tell you what we charge and what good companies that we know about charge.
As far as we are concerned we have a number of ways of charging. Firstly we have an hourly charge which is done across the board in all the disciplines of SEO from general content work i.e. keyword reseach, Page content, meta content, site construction which we charge £100 per hour up to 6 hours when the cost changes to a day rate which will cost £650 a day. As stated each job we do will be quoted in terms of man hours so customers know what they are getting for that figure. We do also offer blocks and packages ranging from £999 for a starter package which includes optimisation on up to five pages and going to £1950 for 6 – 10 pages. Both packages include optimisation work on the areas metioned above for those pages and 1 free press release. I must admit I have seen cheaper services and definately more expensive services. I would consider anything around this price range to be worth investigating. However I must stress that you look at what is being offered.
A great sight to check for a reliable SEO company near you is seomoz.org they have a list of recommended companies for various countries around the world. I hope this article has proved useful in giving some guidence, so good luck in your quest and remember always ask what your going to get for the money paid.