Home – New Forums Tech talk The current state of the SEO industry and how you can avoid getting burnt Reply To: The current state of the SEO industry and how you can avoid getting burnt

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Peter Watson, post: 199904 wrote:
If anyone thinks that they are going to get value for money investing less than $1000 per month in SEO is dreaming.
Hi All,
Can I bring us back to SEO for the small business websites of FS readers? (Most of them will have websites that are less than 50 pages.)

I focus on providing SEO (and Internet marketing) services to small businesses. As a result, I don’t have a single client who pays me $1,000 per month for my services.

Peter, Are you saying I don’t know SEO and that my clients don’t get value?

If not, then our differences may lie in one of these areas:

  • We don’t agree on what is the SEO process
  • We are talking about different sized business websites.
  • We are talking about a different range of effective services that SEOs can provide to small business.

Therefore, discussions of SEO costs based on $X per month are pointless and I believe misleading to our small business audience.

No SEO can quote a price until he/she knows what needs to be done, by whom and how quickly.

What is also missing from the discussion is “SEO cost-effectiveness“. Anyone who leaves “cost-effectiveness” out of an SEO implementation plan and quotation is a fool to themselves and a danger to others.

IMHO, the SEO quoting process should go like this…

1. Cost of the initial research and planning function
The initial step in SEO is to identify problems with the businesses’ site, the level of competition in the market and to develop a strategy to cost-effectively attract potential customers. From this comes a planning report with implementation options for discussion with the business owner.

Depending on the complexity of the website and the search market, this cost may be around $500-$1,500. (Some SEOs will offer to spread this out over a few months.)

I would strongly suggest people run away from SEOs who blindly quote $X per month for “Y” number of keywords.

2. SEO Implementation Costs
Very large numbers of small business owners prefer to write and publish their own content and this can be a major cost if it is provided by a third party.

The trouble is few people really know how to do it correctly and I include many SEOs in that category.

SEO is not rocket science. It can be taught. Content writing plans can be provided. Naming conventions for on-page elements can be established for business owners to implement.

Most of my small business clients want to learn effective SEO that they can implement themselves.

3. Monitoring (Either training or reporting set up cost)
This is another area where training is often needed initially by one group of small businesses.

Another group may find it useful for the SEO to set up a number of relevant monthly reports for the owner to monitor.

4. Reviewing
Many small businesses clients who adopt the above DIY approach to SEO then want a regular review or audit of their DIY SEO.

Some also see the value in a review of the initial site and market audit at regular intervals.

Let me summarise,
IMHO blind statements that SEO should cost a minimum of $X per month are either:

  • Provided by misinformed SEO services,
  • Provided by people who don’t really understand SEO
  • Are fixated on generating revenue for the quoting SEO service

I’m not the only SEO/Internet marketer on FS who specialises in small businesses. I just felt it was essential to head the thread back to realistic costs and SEO options for their needs.

Before my post is hammered about the lack of referral to the importance of “conversion” and where is social media in the discussion, let me say that SE referrals without conversions are a waste of time and money.

I’ve omitted social media from the discussion solely because the thread is about SEO.