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  • #989703
    NickKaro
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    All

    After some feedback on recent SEO efforts. We engaged a company for some minor SEO work. More recently, they have offered an audit to determine any backend issues with the site and quoted around $750 for the audit. Resolving any issues is around $1800.

    Now, can someone explain what would be undertaken as part of an audit and whether this is worth $750?

    To me, it sounds like we’re paying for the business development or proposal aspect of engaging with a service provider, which is foreign to me.

    Thanks in advance for any feedback.

    Nick

    #1173458
    Byron Trzeciak
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    Hi Nick,

    An SEO audit should be a comprehensive analysis of your website highlighting issues that reduce the effectiveness of your website in search engines i.e rankings. The audit should provide an explanation of the findings and recommendations for resolving.

    SEO agencies are typically becoming much broader in offerings too so audits may also provide issues regarding conversions, content marketing, social media marketing etc.

    SEO audits typically involve reviewing
    Onsite optimisation: i.e meta tags, header tags, alt tags, website structure, urls, keyword density, canonical tags
    Crawling/indexing: duplicate content, index status, robots.txt (blocking crawling) etc.
    Technical issues: google penalties, google webmaster alerts, google analytics analysis, page not founds and redirects.
    Link profile/backlinks: keyword density, quality of links, keyword spam, poor quality

    Typically they may also expand into content marketing and social media marketing efforts as well as discussing issues that may prevent your site from converting.

    Feel free to take a look at our example for a better picture.
    http://www.pixelrushstudio.com.au/seo-services/seo-audit/

    The price sounds about right considering the amount of work that goes into them if they’re done at a high standard. Send me a message if you want to discuss prices.

    #1173459
    JohnW
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    Hi Nick,
    I would not consider $750 over the top for an audit if it provided a specified level of research.

    The issue to be wary of is automated “audits” that are spat out by one of a number of useless software programs.

    In my book, an audit of this value should include:

    1. Analysis of Google Webmaster Tools
    This should identify:

    • Google warning messages
    • Site indexing problems
    • Duplication problems
    • External links and an indication of problems

    This is not a very time consuming part of the research.

    2. Competition Research Audit
    A $750 “audit” would also look at your online competition and how effectively your site competes with them.

    This is where the majority of the cost should be incurred. The audit should identify:

    • Who are your competitors for generic SE refs, SE advertising, and social media?
    • How effectively are they using these media?
    • What are their strengths and weaknesses?
    • Resultant recommendations for your online marketing communications strategy

    3. Resolving the Issues
    I am extremely sceptical about this element of the quote to you.

    Basic common sense should tell us that no one can quote a price for remedial work when they don’t know what/how many problems need to be fixed, nor by whom?

    Then there is the issue that it is very unlikely that any SEO company will be able to implement MANY remedial problems. Here I’m assuming that we are talking about your crowd funding website.

    If there are significant SEO problems in your specialist website programming, it will be essential for you to go back to your developers/designers to address technical, design and structural SEO problems. A third party SEO can identify these sorts of problems but they CANNOT fix them.

    With complex, specialised websites like yours, SEOs most usually MUST work with the client’s designers, developers and copywriters to implement effective results. An SEO service that suggests it works alone would be highly suspect, IMHO.

    4. On-page SEO
    A lot of SEOs are quoting prices based on them implementing a bunch of on-page elements like titles, meta tag descriptions, URL names, etc.

    If I had to guess, it looks to me like your quote has been spat out of some automated system by someone who has absolutely no knowledge of what you do or the programming complexity behind your site.

    If we are talking about your crowd funding site, it will be impossible for these on-page SEO elements to be managed by some external SEO company. What you will probably need is advice about SEO naming conventions that can work with your customer generated inputs.

    IMHO, what you need is someone to help you through this minefield of questionable advice.

    I’m sure there are a bunch of us on Flying Solo who would be happy to offer this informed type of SEO service to you.

    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1173460
    John Romaine
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    $750 is about right for a comprehensive audit.

    John is right though, anything that gets “spat out” using software isn’t worth $5.

    Get them to send you an example first, so you know what to expect.

    (even if it’s just a dummy audit)

    #1173461
    WebSeed PH
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    If it would be an in-depth audit, (head to toe rundown of your site) I guess $750 is fair enough but if it’s just the basics like what websites like seositecheckup is providing then its too high for that price.

    Do you research, there are a lot of resources available, it will be guide you.

    #1173462
    JohnW
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    Herbet Kikoy, post: 201695 wrote:
    If it would be an in-depth audit, (head to toe rundown of your site) I guess $750 is fair enough but if it’s just the basics like what websites like seositecheckup is providing then its too high for that price.

    Do you research, there are a lot of resources available, it will be guide you.
    Hi Herbert,
    Two comments…

    1. Website Complexity
    It seems Nick is talking about a very complex, database and user content driven website.

    Many of the SEO issues that will need to be addressed won’t be identifiable with a system like the one you reference.

    2. Free Website Audits are worth every penny they cost.
    Sorry but I think the type of tool you reference comes under the description above:

    “The issue to be wary of is automated “audits” that are spat out by one of a number of useless software programs.”

    The first thing I look for is information about what a tool like this does and how it does it. This site doesn’t tell us. (WARNING!)

    As far as I can see, you are referencing an SEO tool aimed at people who know very little about SEO.

    By “the basics” I presume you are referring to the information that is available to us more accurately and in more detail in Google’s Webmaster Tools and/or which can be found on Google searches.

    IMHO, the “basics” from tools like this is likely to be wrong, misleading or irrelevant.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1173464
    JohnW
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    jobette, post: 201991 wrote:
    I do not know what is the market value of website evaluation however, if you visit some web development companies through online search, you will learn that they can provide full website audit for free. Some website audit use software so you need to look for company with manual website auditing.

    Website auditing should includes, competition research, technical audit (server, speed, CMS), on page audit, link profile review, keyword ranking and recommendation, social media audit and recommendation etc. etc.

    Let me know if you need help.
    Hi Jobette,
    It seems I’m a lot less forgiving than you. In 20 years of jousting with these FREE website audit people I have never encountered a single one that is complete, accurate or truthful.

    FSs need to be aware that the offer of a FREE SEO audit is designed for one purpose only.

    The offering service wants to be able to spit out a usually misleading and erroneous list of things that “need” to be fixed on a website (by them, of course).

    Most are “come-ons” that are damn close to fraud in my book!

    Even the SEO tools that have a knowledgeable pedigree and informed background must be viewed with a high understanding of SEO to ensure their results are not misinterpreted.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1173465
    AmberS
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    Hi Nick
    We do website audits and this would be a reasonable price for a comprehensive / not templated audit, going through the points the above guys have mentioned. Compare what this company says will be included with the comments here and you should get a good feel for whether you are getting what you are paying for.

    My concern would be the quote for fixing issues before they have done the audit. Isn’t that the point of the audit, to find out any issues THEN quote on how much to fix them? Depending on what is found, the cost for ‘fixing’ or doing on-site SEO would vary dramatically.
    Amber

    #1173466
    MichaelDigital
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    NickKaro, post: 201553 wrote:
    All

    After some feedback on recent SEO efforts. We engaged a company for some minor SEO work. More recently, they have offered an audit to determine any backend issues with the site and quoted around $750 for the audit. Resolving any issues is around $1800.

    Now, can someone explain what would be undertaken as part of an audit and whether this is worth $750?

    To me, it sounds like we’re paying for the business development or proposal aspect of engaging with a service provider, which is foreign to me.

    Thanks in advance for any feedback.

    Nick

    Weeelll it depends, if they are a generic SEO services agency they will muck about with keyword jargon, make a meal out of the whole thing and blind you with science – if after 6 weeks you are not seeing a return on your investment ditch themp-you pay for results and results is what I operate with. There are far too many charlatans in the business and it has gained a bad name. Insistence on using overly technical language and long winded descriptions is another red flag. It seems SEO is one of those areas where everyone is an expert, and people can say anything – everything you do to optimize your web assets is ‘SEO’ it is not just meta tags h1/h2/ keyword hocus pocus. I always have multiple strategy which is NOT designed to game any search engines, which is what many agencies seem to imply. You need good practical metrics, no messing about with pseudo science and a multiple pronged approach. I would run 5 blocks away from any $1800 bargain basement SEO – it takes investment to make it work and if you are not prepared to invest at least 3K per month you may as well not bother.

    #1173467
    JamesNorquay
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    Depends how large the website is for an Audit to be priced.

    If you have a 200,000 page website then a $750 audit will not be viable.

    If your site is say 150 pages then $750 may be an ok “starting point”.

    Agree with the points above you really do pay what you get, and most free tools will scratch the surface on metrics and show you really top level metrics.

    #1173468
    JohnW
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    JamesNorquay, post: 203642 wrote:
    Depends how large the website is for an Audit to be priced.

    If you have a 200,000 page website then a $750 audit will not be viable.

    If your site is say 150 pages then $750 may be an ok “starting point”.

    Agree with the points above you really do pay what you get, and most free tools will scratch the surface on metrics and show you really top level metrics.
    Hi James,
    Providing potentially complex info via a forum is always difficult.

    I agree with the above in general, however the complexity of an audit can also be impacted by the the volume of products/services offered and how potential customers may search for info about them. (In theory a 10 page website in a market where its competitors contain 200,000 pages should also require a lot more research than one where all competitors only contain 10 pages.)

    For large sites, an audit might explore a sample of product/service pages and use these as an indicator of the SEO problems on the site.

    This approach uses the old 80:20 marketing rule (80% of profits come from 20% of products). In my experience, an audit based on this principle can often cut SEO audit costs dramatically yet still provide the basic answers needed.

    I don’t believe you will find this level of SEO sophistication in a free SEO audit.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1173469
    JamesNorquay
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    JohnW, post: 203690 wrote:
    Hi James,
    Providing potentially complex info via a forum is always difficult.

    I agree with the above in general, however the complexity of an audit can also be impacted by the the volume of products/services offered and how potential customers may search for info about them. (In theory a 10 page website in a market where its competitors contain 200,000 pages should also require a lot more research than one where all competitors only contain 10 pages.)

    For large sites, an audit might explore a sample of product/service pages and use these as an indicator of the SEO problems on the site.

    This approach uses the old 80:20 marketing rule (80% of profits come from 20% of products). In my experience, an audit based on this principle can often cut SEO audit costs dramatically yet still provide the basic answers needed.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    John it depends on what type of site you are dealing with, you are referring to a eCommerce site audit where you have product level pages.

    We normally work on complex portal sites which are content heavy so its not a case of taking only a small sample. Most clients if they are serious probably wouldn’t want a “Sample”.

    Especially once the site is 100s of key categories and millions of pages, lets not even go into the different things you can include in a complex audit such as

    You can really dig deep into an audit and spend ALOT of time, it usually comes down to requests example areas you can include – Content analysis, Internal linking structure, site speed testing, crawl efficiency, content bottleneck analysis, local optimization analysis, over optimization analysis, external linking analysis, inbound link quality testing, social media testing, technical analysis, prior history analysis, Action plan development and many other areas.

    Now if you have a site with 10 pages and a small link profile its one thing.

    If you have a site with 1 million pages and a huge complex link profile with legacy issues then it creates a whole new problem.

    So yeah see how people say WOW $700 is a RIP, then think about WHAT are you paying for? What is included? How big is the site?

    Ect ect

    #1173470
    Peter Mead
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    NickKaro, post: 201553 wrote:
    All

    After some feedback on recent SEO efforts. We engaged a company for some minor SEO work. More recently, they have offered an audit to determine any backend issues with the site and quoted around $750 for the audit. Resolving any issues is around $1800.

    Now, can someone explain what would be undertaken as part of an audit and whether this is worth $750?

    To me, it sounds like we’re paying for the business development or proposal aspect of engaging with a service provider, which is foreign to me.

    Thanks in advance for any feedback.

    Nick

    Great topic. I have done plenty of audits. Here is my take.

    It is less about what you get for $750 and more about who is doing the audit.

    Others on this tread have also pointed out that the type of website and the intended audiences are also a big factor.

    There are some very fundamental audit items that are pretty standard across most types of websites, but I really feel that a decent audit is a very personalized process.

    So to make sure you get quality, I would do your research on the provider. Some companies put lots of pretty logos on their site to make it look like they are well respected in the industry. Do some checking into their profile, the LinkedIn and other social profiles, and see what kind of activities they are involved in. For example I would tend to go with a provider that is recognized and regarded in the industry. Better still, if someone recommends a provider to you after having a good experience, then maybe go with them?

    It is also worth contacting any of the testimonials or references that they are putting up, talk with any of their clients get it from the horses mouth. Lots of people reading SEO 101 and then claiming they can do audits.

    Either way, and audit is essential, and preferably on a regular basis. So it wont be the last audit you get. But definitely try to get a quality SEO Provider who you are comfortable with and who understands your business.

    HTH

    #1173471
    kangaroojosh
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    This topic is totally subjective to many sub questions.

    1. how big is the website
    2. who is doing the audit.

    If the website is huge and complex, 750 might sound a very small amount. If the website is too small and to give a quick SEO audit, this might sound like a huge amount.

    Now, it all depends who does the audit. If you are choosing a freelance SEO expert, this amount might be high as only one person is involved. If you are choosing an agency, this amount is Ok or probably less.

    Cheers
    Josh

    #1173472
    Kosta_Kondratenko
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    I work my ass off on proposals and don’t charge for it… all though I ask the client to grant me access to their Analytics/Google Webmaster Tools before I do.

    The trick that I have is – usually a client will come to me looking for some SEO – I’ll find some issues right off the bat that I can fix and tell him I can work for 2 hours and if he’s not satisfied he doesn’t have to pay.

    Then after I fix a couple of issues the client is usually really satisfied and then once we have that little relationship I don’t mind spending 2-3 hours creating a full on SEO proposal (not auto-generated).

    Maybe I’ve been getting lucky recently but since I started doing it this way every client has closed on me.

    $750 for a proposal sounds very arrogant – I’m not trying to judge and if they can give youa solid strategy in the proposal great.

    But if all they’re doing is pointing out obvious things (like content reviews, broken links, url structure, heading tags, keyword focus etc.) the I don’t think that’s worth $750.

    Best,
    Kosta

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