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How Much Do SEO Services Cost?

Check out our SEO service pricing page to get an idea of what our services cost.

If you have been shopping for an SEO firm you soon discover that prices range from “Free,” to ridiculous, sky-high fees.  Then of course, there is every price in between.  So how do you determine how much SEO services cost, and if you will be getting the value that you are paying for?

This article will help you to choose an SEO service that meets your website’s needs and budget, and to avoid costly mistakes that can slow down, or completely derail your SEO marketing campaign.

Why do SEO Companies Not List Their Prices?

The majority of SEO firms do not list their prices.

The reason for this is because every website is unique.  There are no two businesses that will require the exact same services, and it is difficult to determine an approximate price range for every business, all at once.

The problem with this approach is that until you contact an SEO firm for a quote or consultation you don’t know if you are looking at $500 or $5000 to get started. The last thing most people want is to be contacted by a service that they simply cannot afford.
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SEO Pricing – How Much Should I Pay for SEO Services?

SEO PricesWhen searching for SEO service prices, you’ll notice two things: That SEO fees vary wildly, and that often they are not listed at all, requiring you to request a price quote. SEO prices range from “free” at one extreme to ridiculously expensive at the other, with a broad spectrum of seemingly arbitrary fees in-between. When you’re searching for SEO services that meet your needs and your budget, it’s helpful to be aware of what’s being offered and what the various pricing methods are all about so that you can choose wisely and avoid any costly wrong turns in your website marketing strategy.

Unlisted SEO Fees

Many SEO firms don’t list their prices, instead requiring you to contact them for a price quote. In some ways this makes sense since all websites have different service needs, but it is also often intended as a tactic by SEOs to have you get in contact with them so that they can begin a conversation with you with the aim of convincing you to engage their services. Talking about your site with you before offering a price is certainly not a bad thing and it’s always important to determine what will be required to get the site the visitor traffic that it needs but, when you contact an SEO with unlisted prices, be sure that the focus of the discussion is on identifying your specific requirements and that you are offered pricing and services which are well-suited to your needs and your budget. Often, SEOs with unlisted prices turn out to be priced very high, usually unjustifiably so.

“Free” SEO Services

As the saying goes, nothing in life is free, at least not really. Some SEOs offer “free” or “pay for performance” services which require you to pay only if they achieve agreed results on search engines for your site. That sounds great, a real, risk-free “no-brainer” of an offer, right? The problem however is that, to offer their services in this way, SEO’s need to handle the project in ways which might not be in their clients’ best interests.

They may need to enter into a contract with the client in which specific benchmarks must be achieved in terms of certain keywords or keyphrases acquiring agreed rankings on search engines, goals which will then be targeted to the exclusion of all others. The SEO will target keywords which they know will perform well in terms of rankings on search engines, but not necessarily the most effective keywords in terms of delivering quality visitor traffic from people who are seeking what your site offers. It’s one thing to boost rankings on search engines, but another thing entirely to boost website sales, sign-ups and conversions. With that service model, the SEOs focus is more on getting you to pay for their services than on getting visitors to your site to pay for yours. They may work hard to acquire the agreed rankings for the agreed keywords, but there is little incentive for them to do more than that or to explore and capitalize upon other opportunities to advance the aims of your website. And, if they do offer more comprehensive services beyond what was initially contracted, these services will generally be charged outside of that agreement.

SEOs with “pay only for rankings” services also need to account for those clients who, despite having their site optimized and seeing its rankings and traffic improve, may simply choose not to continue with the SEO beyond the free stage. That is, they may choose not to pay the SEO even if the agreed goals have been met, perhaps simply because the resulting improved rankings did not convert into increased sales or conversions. The SEO needs to account for these losses and you can bet that it doesn’t come out of their pocket, but is instead embedded in the fees that their ongoing clients pay. This results in higher than necessary fees for those clients who do continue paying.

While “free” SEOs seem like a safe and obvious choice, it’s important to realize that nothing is free and that engaging one of these services is not necessarily as wise or risk-free of a choice as it might seem on the surface. This is also the pricing strategy preferred by SEOs who are new to the field and have not established themselves with a large number of happy customers, or are not specialized in the required skills and offer the services only as a sideline to their main field of business, and that is all worth bearing in mind when you’re considering this option.

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SEO – A Lifestyle Change For Your Website

SEO - a lifestyle change for your websiteOne of the hardest points to drive home is how important it is to make SEO a constant priority.

You want a steady stream of organic search traffic, but don’t want to redesign your website, create compelling content, build links, or spend any time social networking. It’s a lot like like losing weight. You want to lose 20lbs, but don’t particularly want to change your diet or devote any time to exercise.

Think about Oprah. When she wants to lose weight she hires a personal trainer and a personal chef. They’re paid to ensure that she works out and eats right. She loses weight, feels great, and then fires them. What does she need them for now? 6 months later, she’s gained weight, is out of shape, and feels lousy.

You looked at your under-performing website and decided to outsource in the same way. You hired an SEO firm, they did extensive…
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How Does Google Determine How Old A Website Is?

While the question Google’s Matt Cutts is answering here is about site age (how Google determines website or domain age, and how much that matters) what’s fascinating to me about this clip is something he mentions as an aside.

But let’s cover the question first. Google determines a site’s age based on when it first crawled it, or when it first found a link to it, not when the domain was purchased. In typical Google fashion, Matt doesn’t really answer the question about exactly how important a site’s age is, and mentions quality content and links again (Oh Matt!). He mentions that Google acquired a patent on using historical data in search results 5 years ago, which might lead one to believe site age really matters to them. Though Google has acquired an awful lot of patents over the years…

Either way, we do know that site age IS an SEO factor. Having a domain that’s been up and running for 10 years is a definite boon to rankings. Though not enough to cancel out the big two – lots of good content and quality back links. Without those, the age of your domain is insignificant.

What particularly interests me is how Matt suggests buying your domain 2 or 3 months ahead of time and putting up a placeholder before putting your website live. As you can easily buy a domain, upload your already completed site, and find it crawled by Google in a matter of days with no effort on your part, this is peculiar. It almost seems like a validation of the much disputed “sandbox” for new sites theory that still rears its head from time to time. This theory being that new websites would be indexed but were unlikely to be ranked for a period of time, which they would spend in a metaphorical “sandbox” created by Google. Whatever it means, I think we should probably follow his advice on this one. “2 or 3 months” ahead of time for new domains.

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4 Signs Of A Bad SEO Company

1. Claiming to be “Partnered With” or “Certified” or “Approved” by any Search Engine

This is simply not possible. No search engine has ever entered into a partnership with an SEO, or used any kind of system to certify or test them. The general consensus on SEOs from search engines isn’t positive. Officially, they’re not fans. But they are aware that SEO is necessary and filling a need.

There is no governing body for SEOs. Given the global nature of search, there probably never will be. There is no official certification or qualifications. Anyone posting a seal or emblem on their website stating otherwise is simply being untruthful.

Google does offer an official certification for AdWords – the Google AdWords Certification Program. But this certification covers their PPC system only – no organic search basics or practices, which means no “certification” for most of what an SEO does. If you’re looking for someone to manage your large AdWords campaigns ONLY, then this Google “badge” on their website is something to look for. If you’re looking for an SEO, this is no indicator of competence or trustworthiness.

2. Anything “Guaranteed”

Anyone promising you “#1 at Google, Guaranteed” is pulling a fast one. First of all, with Google’s search results becoming more and more personalized, and geo-local results rising, it’s almost impossible to know what’s coming up as #1 in someone else’s browser – let alone guarantee it. Just not realistic. Second, what exactly are you being guaranteed? Keywords they’ve deemed best for your site, or keywords they’ve deemed the easiest to rank?

“Pay For Performance” is a less dubious concept, but be very clear on what “performance” is before entering in to this. Your version of success may be quite different from theirs.

3. Talk of Submitting to Search Engines

Search engine submissions have not been necessary for years. If your site is brand new it’s still not necessary. The search engines will find your site. That’s what they do. Even worse, there is still submission software available that will regularly submit your site to “all of the major and minor engines”, and this is still being offered by SEOs. This is not just out-dated, it’s completely invalid. It’s never worked, and it’s never helped.

4. Selling a “Secret” Strategy

Most of what an SEO does for a website is not top secret. What works and what helps is widely known. The information is all out there, if you have the time and inclination to learn about it. Most don’t, and that’s why the SEO industry exists. All search engine optimization companies will have their own pet strategies and methods, and if you ask them for more information about exactly what they have in mind for your site they will probably tell you. So, an SEO firm with “Top Secret Super SEO Strategies” as their methodology is either lying or engaging in some techniques that may be considered “black hat.” If it’s the latter, they need to be upfront about it. There are plenty of site owners willing to take a “black hat” risk, but the SEO company involved needs to make sure they’re fully aware of the potential for trouble, and most commonly, the potential for an algorithm shift that completely wipes out their rankings. If they won’t answer your questions under the guise of keeping their techniques under wraps, something is amiss.

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