Search Engine Optimization Pricing Q & A

  • June 17, 2012
  • Q&A
1 Comment

Susan asks…

What’s a fair price for search engine optimization…?

for a 20 keyphrases package?
SEO varies from company to company and they all promise to do the best job.
but what would a company who charges $900 setup and $500/m do more then a company who charges $300 setup and 30/m. i am not into computers, please explain. thanks

Summer answers:

It depends on:

The amount of competition you will be facing for a keyword or phrase.
Example: mortgage loan rates (1,000,000 monthly searches) vs mortgage loan quote (100,000 monthly searches)

Are you targeting searches city-wide, state-wide, nationally, globally?

I work for a national search engine marketing company and depending on the customers market we charge about $120 a month for 3 keywords and $250 for 6 keywords. If a customer wants a larger campaign (dozens of keywords for multiple markets or nationally) we charge $995 set up and about $1000 a month. All of our SEO campaigns come with landing pages, custom videos, and extensive reporting. Our custom managed campaign includes all that plus remote call forwarding, a dedicated representative and more.

We never guarantee a #1 placement (be skeptical of companies that do). But our customers do get to the first page and usually get in the top 3 spots over time and we show new clients examples.

The bottom line is you get what you pay for. However make sure that you will see a good return on your investment.

Shop around, get references, and go with the firm that makes the most sense. To be honest there is no special software or secret technique to SEO, 99% of all the information and resources are available 100% free online. SEO companies are charging you for labor and their technical knowledge. The best way is to do it yourself and spend almost no money at all, however there is alot of information to learn and the search engines are always changing – It really is a full time job and a campaign set up by an honest and capable SEO company will take anywhere between 2-6 months (usually about 3) to start getting some good results.

By the way – I used to do freelance SEO work and I would have never been able to survive on charging someone $30 a month. They are most likely outsourcing to india where labor is cheap or ripping you off. If cost is a concern then maybe focus on less keywords and add more to your campaign when you start seeing some returns.

David asks…

What is a good price to pay for search engine optimization?

Just hired a web developed to create my website and want to know what a fair price to pay for SEO is.

Also, he is creating a CMS for it, since it needs to be updated ver frequuently. I heard CMS’s are harder to properly optimize… is this true?

Summer answers:

Really depends on the amount of work they are willing to do. Typically $500-1000 is standard. CMS’ aren’t necessarily harder to optimize, just more time-consuming from all of the new content that you will be publishing.

Donna asks…

What’s a good price per month for Search Engine Optimization of my website?

I’m considering on doing it continually for about 6 months to a year.

Summer answers:

Impossible to say without knowing more about your website and looking at the competitiveness of the sector you are in.

For example to SEO a casino site into the top ten would cost in the region of $100k+ in total but the owner’s return on investment could be very high. At the other end of the spectrum if someone wants their site to be number one for the search term “orange penguin” which is not very competitive then the total cost would be less than $100.

William asks…

Is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) really worth the price?

I’m a very small startup social networking site and I need traffic; however, when I checked the prices for SEO, I was shocked at the prices. Maybe I’m just naive or SEO is definately worth the price it demands.

Any opinions on how effective SEO’s are and if the prices are worth its reputation?

For example, the cost for SEO and maintenance for 3 keywords is $500 setup fee and $200 annual maintenance. For 20 keywords, it is $2,300 setup fee and $1,000 annual maintenance.

I know some SEO’s go as expensive s $25,000 – $100,000.

Summer answers:

SEO charges may be shocking in light of the simple fact that most website owners and designers do not know how to go about on their own to achieve high SEO rankings. Here’s a step-by-step procedure on how to achieve and acquire large net traffic.

The most effective way to advertise on the Internet is
to first set up a website and publish its domain name
on major search directories such as, [at…… And since 85% of Internet shoppers rely on these
search directories to provide them with goods and
services. In a sense, these search directories are a
very large Internet Yellow Pages.

Nevertheless, should your website or opening webpage
fail to contain “generic” keywords, then anyone using
such “generic” queries will not be able to discover
your website. Your domain name [URL] of your website,
in a sense, will be invisible, undiscoverable.

You may want to consider some simple algorithms which,
when observed and committed in designing of a website
with placement of various critical metatags that can
surely achieve a high search engine presence and
increase Internet traffic to your website. These
metatag strategies work well with published webpages
at Google and Yahoo.

Design: Should you create an extensive Flash-based
website, make sure to fill-in the property entries
such as the Title, Description and Keywords. Failing
to do so, leaves no hard HTML or ALT resource that can
be readily indexed by search robots. Also consider the
Internet audience and their incoming setup. For
example, if they are on analog/dialup, Flash webpages
take too long to load up and therefore analog users
will likely lose interest and discontinue entering the
Flash site. On the other hand, anyone on hi-speed DSL
lines, will welcome Flash pages which load quickly. So
before designing a pure Flash websitge, ask the simple
question, “Who’s my end user – is he on dialup or
DSL?” And if you had to choose between these two users
for maximum marketability, then select analog users
since 80% of most resident users are still analog
Internet subscribers and pure HTML designed webpages
is best for them.

A non-Flash-based website which relies on hard text,
is far easier to be indexed by search robots. Limit
the use of stylized text saved as .gifs since as a
graphic, they are not indexable by search robots.

Avoid use of frames since any number of search robots
are unable to properly classify textual material.

Placement of Metatags:

A ranking or search order does take place with Google
and Yahoo and it begins with the “Title” metag which
should consist of no more than 60 characters separated
by commas. The “Title” should describe in generic terms, the goods and services, followed by a location from which the resource is located, i.e., city, state. The placement of a domain name which is not generic within the “Title” is not appropriate, unless your
domain name is a major recognizable brand name.

The second metatag is the “Description” which is
usually up to 41 words to form a complete paragraph which
best describes one’s goods and services. It is not merely a list.

And the very last category – “Keywords” are also
somewhat limited to 15 words which can be plural
and compound in nature. Again, avoid multiple entries
which could be mistaken as “spamdexed entries” which
is defined as the loading, and submission of
repetitive words into a particular metatag category.
“Spamdexing” when discovered on a webpage and reported
to Google’s can result in the
elimination of your website from their search

Here’s an example of a very highly-placed website on Begin with the very “generic” search query
“sandwiches downtown los angeles,” taking note to not
abbreviate Los Angeles to “LA” and of course, leave
out the parentheses (“). It will bring up some 2.4
million+ search results. Check out where “”
is ranked. It’s on the SECOND FRONT [ranked 15]!
Again,’s high web presence was achieved by
proper web design and placement of relevant metatags
according to Google’s publication guidelines.

Good luck!

James asks…

Can you help with Search Engine Optimization?

My client came a crossed this site:

We are wondering if this is normal pricing for SEO? Many of the things listed there seem to be one time setup….am I wrong? Is there a lot of tricks to SEO which is why they charge so much, or should I just take the time to do it myself…..

Thanks in advance for your help…

Summer answers:

Honestly, you’d be better off learning it yourself – you never know what you’re really paying for, some of these folks (not saying this one is) can do some really hinky stuff that will mess you up.

Carol asks…

search engine optimization help?

I made a website for a dentist and he is looking for a company that will submit his site for their search engine so when someone types in Miamisburg, Ohio dentist his name shows up in the top 10. Can you list a company that will do this for a decent price? Or does it even cost any money to even do this? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Summer answers:

You can submit it to Google and Yahoo and more than likely Google and Yahoo will come and index the site. What you need to do to rank better is optimize the website. Check out Search Engine Marketing Inc. It will give you some basic info to optimize the website. Focus on the URL name and title tag for starters

Maria asks…

Search Engine Optimisation services?

I have a website which is in development. It will be a pretty big website overall. Does anyone know about companies that offer SEO (Search Engine optimisation) and what are the price ranges for that? I have seen many who say they will train your employees for that, but i am looking to subscribe to someone who will manage the SEO for my website. What kind of prices does one pay for such services?

Summer answers:

You’ll find there are roughly four types of SEO service:

Something that costs a few hundred $/£ per year. Steer clear of that, because you won’t be getting any value for your money – it’s too cheap, and the chances are the company will do very little beyond submitting your site to search engines (something which isn’t actually a great idea anyway), if they do anything at all.

Next up are companies which offer a sort of monthly management scheme, where they do a bit of SEO and other internet marketing as well as generally looking after your site every month. In my experience, this is around £200/$300 per month. It’s okay if you’re not in a demanding market, but generally not a sufficiently dedicated SEO programme to give new sites the push they need.

Then there is dedicated SEO consultancy, for which you can pay through the nose for if you want the best; you can expect to pay up to £300/$500 per hour for the top notch SEO consultants. You might also find some who will take you on on a monthly retainer, probably around £600/$1000 per month, for which you will be able to talk to them at any time and get a constant flow of advice.

Finally you can outsource different bits of your SEO out to different companies who have more expertise in one area. This works best in conjunction with some form of consultancy so you know what you need. Again, costs will vary according to the quality and reputation of the provider. For example, you could hire a linkbuilding team in India extremely cheaply, or you could pay thousands for the creme de la creme of linkbuilders.

By the way, in my opinion you DO need SEO consultancy before and during your site development, otherwise you will end up having to change things which just adds more cost. This way, the consultant will also be able to tell you what kind of future promotion your market will require : it might even be something you could do yourself with a couple of books, or it might well require a large investment in ongoing SEO from a professional.

There are plenty of companies and individuals out there, just keep looking. And if you don’t find anyone, well there’s always me!

Sorry, after writing so much I felt I deserved a small pitch 🙂

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