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How to SEO in2016
  • On page optimization
  • + User behaviour optimization
  • = Top search engine rankings

SEO Time and Cost

Let's start with the answer for the market in general - the cost is about £350 / $500 for the front page of a simple five page site which should buy you:

  • Clean W3C validated code (HTML and CSS)
  • Code heavy reduction (code reduced to less than 80% of the text)
  • Image file sizes optimised to below 50kb
  • Images given alt tags and width and height attributes
  • Removal of any text/code that could be seen as scamming
  • Correction of (or adding of) meta tags
  • Text Optimization
  • Create or correct your robots.txt file
  • Create or correct your sitemap.xml file
  • Review and refine within 3 months

Note that your home page usually contains content (such as the menu and footer bar) that is repeated on other pages so the home page carries the greatest SEO cost.

Now while this is called optimising it is actually more about stopping your site being penalised for not reaching "Ground Level" as we call it in our how to seo your website guide.

From here on in there are no limits on cost with some companies spending hundreds of thousands but in general it should always be remembered that much depends on your competition and what they are doing.

What work makes up SEO cost?

Beyond cleaning up your code and making it altogether easier for the search engines you can pay an SEO company to do any of the following which will help your site's performance.

  • Change your urls to be search engine friendly
  • Forward old urls (via 301 commands) to your new urls
  • Submit your site to respected directories such as the DMOZ
  • Take part in forum discussions where they can sensibly provide a link to your site
  • Write articles for sites such as buzzle/howto which then allow a link back to your site
  • Find RSS feeds which can be carefully used to bring more content to your site
  • Create RSS feeds from your site and promote them to other sites
  • Create and post videos on YouTube which allow for links to your site and promotion of your products or services
  • Find sites of similar content that you may want to link to (one way)
  • Create press releases so news and magazine sites write about you (and usually link to you)
  • Manage online advertising campaigns to bring more traffic
  • Link Building campaigns
  • Continually reviewing and refining your site's search engine performance

The cost of these actions greatly depend on the size of your site and the scope of the work (e.g. how many articles you want written) so it truly becomes "as long as a piece of string".

Time frames for SEO

Again it is difficult to be hard and fast because time depends what you are trying to do. When this article was written there was no competition for "Wibbles Flower Shop" so if you purchased the domain and made a website you would probably be number one for this key phrase within a few days.

Thus many "guaranteed results" services promise you they will make you "number one for your company name" within a specific time frame - say three months. Most of the time that really is straightforward but see what they say when you tell them your company name is "Laptops for sale"!

The more competitive the keyword or phrase the longer it will take or the more aggressive you have to be in terms of time and resource. For a medium competitive keyword you can focus large amounts of time and resource and you can get your rankings.

If your competitor is spending thousands every month on SEO don't fool yourself into thinking you can compete on a shoestring budget. Look at less competitive keywords and phrases instead.

Within Google Ads there is a keyword tool which will tell you how many people search for a certain phrase every month and how much competition there is for it (from advertisers). This is a good starting point because if people are fighting over advertising spots for a keyword, they are going to be doing even more to get the top spots of the organic search.

So to be number one for "Laptops for sale" is going to take a great deal of time, potentially months, and/or resource (which means cost!). However it is not a blind process. You can follow how your site is improving via Google Webmaster Tools and make changes accordingly.

But what if you need to be top of "Laptops for sale" right now? You have after all got a business to run. Well the best move is not to go head on with the already established companies but consider a keyword phrase that has been ignored such as "london laptops for sale".

By the way - For clarity I'm not saying that keyword phrase "london laptops for sale" has been ignored, I'm just using it to explain a point.

Time and cost summary

There are many services with a fixed cost for fixed services but really you should be looking for a company that will carry out the right service for your site. Otherwise much of the cost can be for SEO you don't actually need

When it comes to time much will depend on the competition for the keywords or phrases you have chosen. And the time factor on day one can change if the competition also start carrying out more SEO of their own.

I'm Tim Hill, a Search Engine Optimisation and Online Marketing specialist. I created this site to help others understand that SEO is not a mysterious black art!.

If your a newbie try the Getting Started in SEO page, otherwise feel free to dig around and learn more.

Find me on Google+ or get a quote if you need help.

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