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Good SEO Starts with Smart Purchasing Decisions

Things to Consider When Purchasing an SEO o Strategy

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Good SEO Starts with Smart Purchasing Decisions
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I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get completely overwhelmed with the sheer amount of time, energy and raw hours that go into properly marketing a website online. The thing that gets me the most is that with SEO and other forms of online marketing, there really is no situation when you can sit back and say “we’ve arrived.” Once you optimize a site, there are still so many things that can be assessed, analyzed, uncovered and corrected that you never really can say, “It’s Miller time!”

This is what I envy about web designers. They get to produce a finished work, then go and collect awards for their work. But, online marketing – that’s a different ballgame all together. Sure, we can celebrate top rankings, but tomorrow there is another keyword that needs improvement!

Making a Smart Purchasing Decision

Ninety percent of the online marketing services my company provides are based on the amount of time we guesstimate the job will take to get results. There are a few expenditures the clients may have to buy into (directory submission fees, requested analytics tools, etc.), but most of the cost associated with SEO services comes down to determining how many hours are needed on a month-to-month basis.

We look at time needed for researching, writing, analyzing, tweaking, optimizing, communicating, reporting and linking, just to name a few. Sometimes I think it’s difficult for clients to fully appreciate the time invested in doing a job properly, especially when they see “less expensive” options floating round. Sure, you can hire some kid down the street to mow your lawn, or you can hire the gardener to take care of your lawn, garden and flowerbeds and to get rid of unwanted rodents, weeds and other pests while making sure everything is properly fertilized and pruned each week. The time difference between the two is substantial.

The problem comes, in SEO at least, when many people are expecting to hire the gardener at lawn mower kid wages. There is just no way the gardener can do their job effectively in the time it takes for the kid to mow the neighbors lawn across the street. Can’t happen.

How Much Time Does a (Good) Job Take?

When it comes to purchasing an SEO or SEM strategy for your online business, there are two things to consider: How many hours does it take to meet your expectations, and how much are you willing to pay for each hour that goes into meeting those expectations?

Many SEOs charge a pre-determined package price. That just means they have pre-determined how many hours they will be providing you for their service. If you purchase an SEO package for $3000 per month, you can get anywhere from 30 hours ($100/hour) to 10 hours ($300/hour). The question you have to ask yourself is – can the $100/hour guy get the same results as the $300/hour team?

If you can confidently say yes, then maybe that’s your guy. If not, maybe you need to consider the more “expensive” option. But we all know, cheap and ineffective usually turns out to cost a lot more than the expensive option that gets results!

Ten hours per month on SEO or SEM doesn’t seem like much, but in the right hands, a lot can be accomplished. Here is a simple breakdown of what I would consider the average, high-quality SEO campaign:

  • Site Architecture and Site-Wide SEO: five to 10 hours needed at the onset to analyze the initial site architectural problems and create a concatenation schema to make all pages “search engine friendly.”
  • Keyword Research: initially, up to five hours to research the site’s core terms, determine which pages/keywords are a top priority for optimization and create an optimization plan moving forward. An additional 30-60 minutes of keyword research can go into each specific page being optimized.
  • On-Page Optimization: one to two hours per page to optimize keywords into the text, streamline the code (if necessary) and implement onto the site.
  • SEO Maintenance: two to four hours each month to review past optimization efforts and implement tweaks and changes designed to improve site performance. This also includes reviewing site usability and conversion issues.
  • Link Building/Social Media: five to six hours each month, at a minimum. New or competitive sites can, and often do, need much stronger link building or social media campaigns.
  • Analytics and Testing: three to five hours per month. No SEO campaign is complete without some way to analyze the overall performance of the optimization, usability and conversion improvement efforts that are being invested. The better the analysis, the more hours that must be invested.

These numbers can fluctuate depending on the size of the site, but this is what we would consider a pretty basic campaign. If you’re looking for the best pricing option, how much from this do you feel you can cut before you’re cutting into your success?

That’s the key question. If you’re looking solely at pricing and not factoring in the actual work, you’re bound to make a bad purchasing decision. The real question is, will the price you’re paying (or willing to pay) give you the ROI you need to make a profit? It’s probably not a good idea to purchase SEO until you can answer that question affirmatively.

Originally published at E-Marketing Performance

Good SEO Starts with Smart Purchasing Decisions
About Stoney deGeyter
Stoney deGeyter leads a spectacular team of seasoned marketing experts at Pole Position Marketing and has built a wildly successful website marketing company that succeeds through both personal and professional integrity. You can read Stoney's blog posts at the E-Marketing Performance blog and more of his work on several well-known SEO and marketing news sources including Search Engine Guide and WebProNews. Stoney has authored two website marketing books: E-Marketing Performance: Effective strategies for building, optimizing, and marketing your website online and Keyword Research and Selection: The definitive guide to gathering, sorting and organizing your keywords into a high-performance SEO campaign. WebProNews Writer


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  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/website-internet-marketing.htm Nick Stamoulis

    In the world of SEO, you get what you pay for! I try to warn my clients of that all the time. Black hat firms will call them and promise to do everything I do and more for the low, low price of $50 a month! Site owners need to remember that it doesn’t pay to be penny-wise pound-foolish when it comes to SEO!

  • http://www.seolaws.com/ seo ct

    Several well-known SEO and marketing news sources including Search Engine Guide and WebProNews. I THINK IT WOULD BE A VERY GREAT WAY OF ADVERTISEMENT.

  • http://www.ntouchmarketing.com Ryan

    Excellent article. I think that when you are talking to clients about SEO, it is important to make sure that you break down the amount of time that you will be spending on their site. Many times you will spend more time than you are allotting, but it is important for your client to understand that they are getting their moneys worth. Many small businesses believe that they are just paying someone to do a couple of hours of work a month and don’t realize the amount of time that it takes to make a site rank well in the search engines.

  • http://www.engmineseo.com/ Jennifer Hudson

    This is the right things that you have said in this post.

    * Site Architecture and Site-Wide: five to 10 hours needed at the onset to analyze the initial site architectural problems and create a concatenation schema to make all pages “search engine friendly.”
    * Keyword Research: initially, up to five hours to research the site’s core terms, determine which pages/keywords are a top priority for optimization and create an optimization plan moving forward. An additional 30-60 minutes of keyword research can go into each specific page being optimized.
    * On-Page Optimization: one to two hours per page to optimize keywords into the text, streamline the code (if necessary) and implement onto the site.
    * SEO Maintenance: two to four hours each month to review past optimization efforts and implement tweaks and changes designed to improve site performance. This also includes reviewing site usability and conversion issues.
    * Link Building/Social Media: five to six hours each month, at a minimum. New or competitive sites can, and often do, need much stronger link building or social media campaigns.
    * Analytics and Testing: three to five hours per month. No SEO campaign is complete without some way to analyze the overall performance of the optimization, usability and conversion improvement efforts that are being invested. The better the analysis, the more hours that must be invested.

  • http://www.redalkemi.com Internet Marketing Company

    You are very true here that SEO is not a one time process like web designing and it happens that if your rank on first page and then suddenly your competitor comes up and you need to optimize your website again with more new and advanced strategies in order to keep your rank high as compared to your competitor. SEO is an ongoing process drive by the industry competition and client requirements.

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