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SEO Pricing by Reg Charie

False SEO Arguments. SEO Pricing.

When researching search articles I often see false arguments presented to bolster the writer's position.

"My positioning efforts rely upon painting a stark contrast between a low-priced SEO firm that relies purely on keyword-stuffing and basic link building which leaves a lot of money on the table from missed opportunities."


"Effective search engine optimization requires someone experienced and knowledgeable and who has the patience it takes to assess a site, optimize a site, and follow the site to make sure work is going well. It is time consuming and high quality SEO work is not cheap. SEO consulting alone can cost hundreds of dollars per hour, and in some cases, as much as $1,000 an hour."

"Flat-rate, low-cost fees will probably get you little to nothing. It takes long hours to analyze and optimize a website properly. A good company will read your sites' content, study your industry and your competition before even making a price quote or other proposal."

While the fee structure *could* indicate a level of professionalism, there are valid exceptions to the 'rule'.

A fair way to judge if a fee structure is a bargain or useless is by what is offered and results.

High quality SEO work is not rocket science, (once you understand), nor does it take a long time.
A few hours of company/keyword/competitors research starts the process.

On the technical end, the building of a page template with fields for title, keyword, and descriptions metas.
The choosing of a content management system that incorporates proper SEO templating.

The hours that it takes to "analyze and optimize a website properly" is not as indicated above.
An outline of the onpage work necessary to build on the selected keywords including layout, copy, and code changes only takes a few hours.

This does not change from industry to industry. Only the keyword choices do.

SEO is a visual process and components are placed strategically with regards to eye tracking studies.
The psychology of the user is taken into consideration when determining how to present content relevant to their search phrases.

SEO depends on presenting the 'proper' relevance where it immediately confirms the user's quest for relevant content.
(See Relevance theory.) A proposal by Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson that seeks to explain the second method of communication: one that takes into account implicit inferences. It argues that the hearer/reader/audience will search for meaning in any given communication situation and having found meaning that fits their expectation of relevance, will stop processing.

If one works to a (proven) system, understanding the changes that must be made to layout and display, a lot of time is not needed.

Keyword discovery, onpage factors, and local marketing take a maximum of 5 hours.
Prices in the $1000 range are grossly inflated.

Another factor in the cost of SEO is the overhead of the business and the target market.

I keep prices low by working out of my home.
95% of my work is done online with no need to meet face to face.

My target market is NOT corporations with Thousands of dollars of marketing budgets.
Been there, done that, just too much hassle.
Too many people in the management chain which often precludes the making of needed changes to layout, taglines, conversion factors, and content.

My target market is The small business owner that needs a 'leg up' to pull ahead of their competition, but  cannot afford the high tariffs some successful SEO firms command.

I can do wonders on a $500 budget and will train you to do it for about half that.
I charge a base rate of $130 per hour for SEO work.
A basic SEO audit is $249.

Items I cover in the SEO work are as below:

  • Current standings for your 5 major keyword phrases. (Short Tail)
  • Long tail Evaluation.
  • Competitor Evaluation.
  • Keyword Selection - Global/Local Monthly Use.
  • URL selection.
  • Title composition.
  • Meta Description composition.
  • Meta Keywords composition.
  • Visible page header use.
  • Visible page header layout.
  • Navigation.
  • CSS image replacement use.
  • Visual hierarchy.
  • Code hierarchy.
  • Semantic relevance.
  • Content presentation.
  • Keyword use.
  • Silo use.
  • Conversion Factors
  • Server Evaluation.
  • Loading time.
  • W3C compatibility.
  • Cross browser compatibility. 
  • Local marketing factored in.

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This article was published on Friday 25 November, 2011.
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