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SEO Marketing Price Quote

Price seem high...

     
3:58 am on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hello,
I'm having a 17 page database driven web site created for a real estate company. The site will target every state and city in the US. The companies sales rep told me that it will cost $7000 more likely around $10,000 per year for SEO marketing and sight maintenance. Does not include top positioning marketing or any email campaigns. Is this price out of line? I estimate they are charging me for about 10 hours of labor per month. Month after month year after year. Yikes! What should I ask them what it covers? And finally, can someone do this by themself with a good book and a good forum like this?

Thanks

4:16 am on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Welcome to Webmasterworld.

For a "real" Internet Marketing company, that is quite a bit on the low side.

For a typical "SEO" company, it is probably a typical price for a competitive industry but is not likely to be worth the money for what you will probably get.

Quotes from competent companies who are worth the money are usually in the range of $8000-$35,000 for the first three months in highly competitive industries.

4:21 am on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Looks like I better find some good books... No way I can pay $100,000 a year even for a superior company. Is it possible to do any of this work myself without a technical background?

Thank You

4:30 am on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It is always possible to do most of the work yourself, and often possible to do all of it.

You also learn a lot that way as you go through the process of discovering what works and what does not.

Often when you run into problems during that learning process, people here will be willing to help. The biggest concern is to be sure you don't take the easy route and become a notorious black hat seo practitioner.

4:32 am on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The most important part of the work is all done by you.

That is the part which says:

"Develop large quantities of fresh, unique, high quality content."

The rest mostly takes care of itself.

4:38 am on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It's best done by you, if you know what you are doing. To get started in understanding SEO I suggest that you read these articles and visit these sites below and of course stay around here at WebmasterWorld:

[webmasterworld.com...]
[searchenginewatch.com...]

5:05 am on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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"Develop large quantities of fresh, unique, high quality content."

Does this mean the sight must have a lot of text or is good keywords and tags an acceptable substitute?

Thank You.

5:46 am on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Lots of text which is new, meaningful, and useful.

If it is just another 50-100 copies of the local MLS, why does it need to be out there and why should it rank well?

12:27 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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If this site is for realtor's or mortgage brokers, then I don't think $50-100K in a year on "effective" SEO would be a bad deal at all. This is a highly competitive market online because there is a lot of money in it. Mortgage brokers generally make $1500-7500/deal. Realtors make what, 3-7% of each home sale? Seriously, if your site is generating good leads and the salespeople are not horrible, it should not be difficult to recoup $100K. If you are building the site to generate leads, and you are selling the mortgage leads for $50/each, if you generate 10 leads per day that is $175,000+ per year.
12:49 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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OK, let's go back up to the "having developed" part

>>I'm having a 17 page database driven web site created

SEO friendliness is built in from the ground up, even before the first line of code is written preferably, with the back end, directory and file naming structure - and how the URLs will look to crawlers set up right from the beginning. Not to mention internal navigation and effective use of anchor text within the site. It isn't always the greatest thing to have a site built, and then find out that it should have been set up a different way, and have to make extensive modifications after it's already been built.

Some developers of dynamic sites build them search engine friendly from scratch - but not all. I've seen sites I'd never have knowm were database driven if the developer hadn't shown them to me.

That's the first step, and everything else will be built on top of that foundation. You may be able to get someone in on a consulting basis to help out with just that part of it, to make sure it's built search engine friendly to begin with - and then work on building out more of your content to keep the site fresh and growing at a normal pace.

1:02 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Guys seriously - it doesn't matter how high $$ the industry is, talking 6 figures for a 17 page site is not a good deal! ;)

WebOne, it varies a great deal and no matter what the price tag is, it's what you are getting for your money that's important. Have a look at this thread for more information on what to look for in a SEO company [webmasterworld.com].

In general terms, if you are looking for a company to optimise your site (that is, your 17 page site), then anywhere between $3,000 and $20,000 could be considered reasonable, depending on the specific services the company offers.

As for learning it yourself, certainly it could be the way to go. Perhaps even consider a combination of both methods - have a SEM firm provide you with a consultancy service, which you go on to implement yourself. Or learn about SEO and SEM and create your own strategy and employ a web design / development service to implement it for you.

The references to $100k+ services were relating to (usually) big brand, or high volume sites that are looking to create a long term web marketing strategy, probably encompassing multiple areas varying from PPC management to content syndication and everything inbetween.

As for month to month maintainance costs, you should be looking to quantify what exactly you are getting for your money and exactly how much "maintainance" is really required. 10 hours labor per month - reasonable if they are providing value for that time.

If you are likely to be charged $10k for the initial work *AND* the 10 hours of maintainance per month for a year, then it's a reasonably good deal *ASSUMING* that the company is providing a decent service.

Scott

1:08 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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You are probably going to need a lot of links to rank highly. This will bump up the cost a lot more than a site in a medium to non-competitive area.
1:14 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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OK, now hold it and let's think about how much that company could actually do for a small, 17 page site for that price. Are they going to be optimizing 17 pages for ALL THAT - all the states and cities (which does not sound feasible size-wise)? Or adding a slew of doorway pages?

SEO is SEO whether it's competitive or not, the basics stay the same and it starts with the foundation of a well-planned, well laid out site. BUT the link acquisition in a competitive market will be the biggest task - and what needs to be watched is whether legit links will be developed, or site-wides within a company's own network of sites.

Will 17 pages be enough to be able to get deep-links to the right interior pages as needed? IMHO this all has to be thought about before the project gets well underway.

2:21 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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For that money you can probably stay home, learn the stuff yourself, and break even:) I guess it all depends on what they are going to achieve for you.
KG
2:54 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I've seen some very nice web sites that do not contain a great deal of text but have high ranking. Is the only way to accomplish their goals thru PPC?

Is rich text content suppose to inlude links to relevant informational resources even if they're non-reciprocal? I think I need a better description of rich text content if you would please. I don't want the sight to look like a newspaper either. Or are those actually the better ranking ones?

Thanks

12:52 pm on Apr 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I've seen some very nice web sites that do not contain a great deal of text but have high ranking. Is the only way to accomplish their goals thru PPC?

PPC effect on rankings

1. Lists your site within "sponsored listings" or otherwise named subset of a results page. The key point is that these listings are OUTSIDE natural rankings. That is, you could conceivably have NATURAL / ORGANIC rankings and PAID FOR rankings (PPC) at the same time.

2. It is entirely possible that Google factor Adwords data into their ranking algorithm. However it is entirely unlikely that this has any major impact on your ORGANIC rankings whatsoever.

Therefore, PPC = very little impact, if any on your organic search rankings.

Is rich text content suppose to inlude links to relevant informational resources even if they're non-reciprocal? I think I need a better description of rich text content if you would please. I don't want the sight to look like a newspaper either. Or are those actually the better ranking ones?

What is rich text?

In this respect, rich text simply refers to formatted keyword rich content. For example, not just random "fluff" content - actual information! With headings, bold, italics, links and everything! ;)

Supposed to include links?

It doesn't have to do anything - it's your site.

The reason people argue the benefit of outgoing links is that they consider it to be a factor in the ranking algorithm - ie, it helps define your site within your subject area and show the SE's that your site is good for the subject area it is in.

Again, it's a very small factor. Don't feel you need to link out for the sake of linking out, particularly if you feel it impacts your sales conversions.

That said, a good compromise would be to add sites that your users could genuinely appreciate and dedicate a seperate page for the links.

Newspapers

Just because you are writing copy for your site doesn't mean it needs to look like a newspaper - it can look any way you design it! :)

Newspapers tend to get good search space coverage simply because they have a lot of content about a lot of popular subjects that is updated frequently.

You don't need to be a newspaper to achieve this (or even look like one!) but the basic marketing model of creating new content and providing a service for surfers tends to work well on the web.

Scott

2:56 pm on Apr 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Thanks a ton scott!
 

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