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Also, is there a current pricing guide for web design services where I could see the common per hour rate?
Not for us. We break out web design services separately from our SEO work. In most cases, however, site design and SEO go hand-in-hand, since proper SEO setup can often mean significant changes to conventional web designs developed without SEO in mind.
As far as pricing, it is all over the board. Larger firms add in a project manager, graphics design, html coding, SEO development, etc. Typically, if it is not too complex a project, hand-coded html and custom graphics run $60 to $80 an hour (US), and SEO is in the $100/hr range.
What a particular firm charges isn't necessarily an indicator of a site's performance. I have seen large firms charge $25 grand for worthless sites - and people working out of their spare bedroom charging $5,000 for sites that are dominate in their client's markets.
Because I've been fairly successful at SEO, these designers often approach me to help with their clients who are lost in the search results.
I'm still awaiting a decison by one such client. He's been paying another SEO outfit $2000 a month and, for his desired keywords, he ranks anywhere from #350 to #800 or worse. This has been going on for nearly two years. Talk about a ripoff!