Main Points

  • I’m a one-man SEO firm. My services are most appropriate for small to medium-sized companies.
  • SEO companies use a variety of pricing methods. Many are complicated and need to cover the overhead of a large staff and expensive office space.
  • I charge $70/hour, with an initial $420 deposit.
  • I can work with clients on tight budgets and am willing to adjust the budget from month to month.
  • In additon to my time, ongoing fees may include pay-per-click, directory submissions, etc.
  • I don’t pad in any profit on top of these fees.

How Much Does It Cost?

For over a decade, I have been a one-man SEO firm, working out of a home office in Southeast Iowa. A Madison Avenue SEO company might be better suited to handle American Airlines’ account, but my services are ideal and much more affordable for small to medium-sized companies. In fact, some of my clients have transferred from larger SEO companies, preferring my personal approach and lower costs.

SEO companies have used a variety of pricing methods over the years:

  • Some have charged on a “pay-per-hit” basis, noting site visitor totals when they begin working on a site, then charging $X per visitor as site traffic increases.
  • Others have charged by top rankings achieved. For instance, they might charge $100 for each key word that achieves a top 10 ranking (1st page) on a single search engine, $75 for a ranking between 11-20 (2nd page), and $55 for a ranking between 21 to 30 (3rd page).
  • Some base their fees on how competitive your keywords are.
  • Others offer “packages” of various sizes, each covering a range of services.

All these approaches are somewhat complicated and can be deceptive. Many are designed to pad in enough profit to cover the substantial overhead that larger SEO companies have to cover. I find it simpler, more fair, and more economical for my clients to charge an hourly fee ($70). I’m confident of my ability, I work efficiently, and I can thus assure you that you’re getting your money’s worth. (I charge $85/hour if I’m just dispensing advice so that you may do the work yourself, but most of my clients opt to have me do it.)

I request $420 up front to cover the first six hours of my time. For some clients on tight budgets, that may be all they end up spending, and for that amount, I can usually provide keyword research, basic optimization of their site, and set up pay-per-click accounts in Google and Microsoft. Most clients invest more the first month, then scale it back for subsequent months. In every case, I work with you to arrive at a figure that works for you, and if necessary, we can adjust it each month.

Pay-per-click fees, and fees for submitting to paid directories such as Yahoo! are charged directly to my clients’ credit cards – I don’t pad in any profit. Pay-per-click fees are controllable – you can set a cap on cost per click and total expenditure per day. There are a few paid directory submissions that can improve your rankings in the free listings. They include

  • Yahoo! ($299/year)
  • Business.com ($299/year)
  • Best of the Web (One-time fee of $399.95. 20%-25% discounts are offered many months)
  • And a few others.