Are All Good SEOs Outrageously Expensive?

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This post is the part two followup to The Invisible SEO.

I’ve been wanting to write this for a while, and finally have a few minutes to post my thoughts on the ever-rising cost of SEO.

Diane Aull did a great piece yesterday over on SearchEngineGuide called “Why do the (good) SEOs cost so %&*# much? She had a good story about a maintenance man that knew just what to do, and where.  It’s a good read.

Now, as I mentioned last week, I listened to the SEO 101 webinar from HubSpot, and in particular I wanted to hear what the guy had to say about finding a good SEO.  I’ve already complained about him saying a good SEO should rank, so its time for me to bitch about the other thing I didn’t agree with him about – price.

Mike says: “Any good SEO that is worth their salt, the majority of them are going to be more than $2000 a month.”  He goes on to add, “and anyone who’s only a couple hundred dollars a month… doesn’t provide a good value for the money”.


While I agree, $2000 a month is probably a good number for decent sized small businesses, it’s not fair to use it as a generic baseline.  There are many factors involved in each business that determines this amount.

SEOMoz said they won’t take a client for less than $10k a month.  They have a great staff that can handle large accounts, and can dedicate staff to each project to make sure their clients get the value they are paying for.

Not-so-prominent SEOs such as myself don’t (or can’t) hold themselves to such standards, and still be able to eat each night.  While sure, I’d love to get me a few $10k accounts, I must continue to live in the real world.  And my world is full of small business with small budgets that want to grow.  And I’m just the guy to help them do it.

I have a small business client who I just took on recently who rents out those cool bounce houses that every 35 year old wishes existed twenty years ago (where were they!?).  This client doesn’t have a big budget. And to add to that, she has a short window of time when these things can even be rented out (who wants to bounce while it’s snowing? Not me.). So its fair to say she’s not going to spend $2000 a month right away on SEO. And that’s ok with me.

So for a few months we’ll do what she can afford, and we’ll reassess the situation then.  Spring will be chugging along, and (if I’m doing my job) her business will be well. Perfect. Now she has the opportunity to adjust her budget and do a full-court press the rest of the summer. We both win.

I end up with a client that is spending a nice amount of money for my services, and her business is growing (and ranking).  Had a told her upfront that there was a $2000 entry fee, I’d have never made a dime.

Now, I should also mention that I am selective about the clients I take on.  Some clients just want it all, and they want it all for under $500 bucks.

It ain’t happenin’.

I’ve got ‘buddies’ who are willing to put up with these types of clients, so I’ll just pass them on.  Headache avoided, friends fed.

But $2000 or they are “worthless SEOs”? I don’t agree.

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