How Much Does Search Engine Optimization Really Cost?

Happy President’s day! To celebrate, we wrote our next post :)… If you’ve ever called around, in our city or any city, getting quotes for search engine optimization services, you’ll notice several things. First you’ll realize that competition is fierce as there are tons of businesses offering search optimization services. Second, once you start contacting these people and getting estimates for their cost of services, you will see that prices range wildly. This actually is not really all that surprising with all the SEO Denver has to offer. 

Some agencies will charge upwards of $10,000 per month. Granted this will probably include up-sells, like Google Ads or Youtube marketing, but wow, it is a lot. You will find other “companies” that charge a flat fee of maybe $100. We put companies in quotes because these are usually an individual that is looking to make a quick buck from people who don’t really understand what search engine optimization entails and a liable to getting swindled. 

Don’t be afraid to ask hard questions

A good way to keep yourself from paying too much for optimization services is to have a thorough vetting process. Part of this process should include a list of questions to ask. These should include what you are paying for, what exactly they will be doing for you, how you will track their progress and how it works if you don’t want to work with them anymore. 

It may be hard for you to ask direct questions like this, but it is important and completely worth it. A true professional will not mind being asked these questions. If they get upset when you ask these questions of fumble when answering, that is a bad sign.

It varies because not all services are created equal

Ultimately, not all agencies are created equal, so why should the prices they charge be equal? Some people will provide better attention to you while others will not answer the phone as often. If that is important to you it may be worth paying more for that. Or maybe you are most concerned about results so can forgive them if you don’t get along with them that well. 

We would recommend not doing a yearly contract in case you aren’t happy with the services or results. This allows you to switch providers and compare and contrast who is best. You can always go back to your first provider if the second or third ones are not as good. Keep in mind though that results aren’t instantaneous. 

Ask for a cost benefit analysis and do it yourself

Using a few free tools, you can get an idea of how much money there is to be made by being on the first page of Google, particularly the number one spot. If you are a lawyer there is a lot of money to be made there. If you are a handyman, it may not be worth it to pay for search services. To calculate it, you need to know the conversion rate of new leads and how much an average client is worth to you.

Once you have an idea of how much money can make by being number one or in the top three, you can decide how much you can afford to pay for services. It won’t necessarily be an easy decision. Maybe you can afford one provider and not the other, but maybe the one you can’t afford will actually get you to number one and they one you can afford can’t and you’ll end up losing money. This is why it is be good to ask for client samples as part of the vetting process. 

How To Make Money With An Affiliate Website

It seems like recently a lot of our SEO contacts have been clamoring about how badly they want to get into affiliate marketing. If you are not familiar with what affiliate marketing is, it is a way to get money through commissions by selling products for other people. There are many websites that allow you to sell their products as an affiliate. The largest one is Amazon as they will let you sell essentially anything on their website with commissions ranging from around 1% to 10%. You’d be surprised at how many sellers have affiliate programs. Another big one is ClickBank. 

If you know SEO, you know the potential of affiliate 

The neat thing about affiliate marketing is that SEO is the backbone of any successful affiliate site. So it is with good reason that our SEO friends are excited about getting into it. Why not? Once you have your site ranked on page one, you can sit back and make money while you sleep. 

Think of it as investing in digital real estate. Affiliate marketing is a great form of passive income and you don’t have to invests hundreds of thousands of dollars like real estate investors. This isn’t to say that you don’t have to invest a lot of time and money to get a site ranked. Because it is the dream of many, it is very competitive, especially certain niches like health related ones. 

Prepare for the long haul

It takes a long time to rank well in Google now. It can take up to two years to get a site on page one in competitive niches. In more niched down niches it can still take a year. Like that song says, the waiting is the hard part, but after those few years you can rest assured knowing that you’ve put in the time and effort to get a good quality website ranking. 

Also, since affiliate is so competitive you may not be able completely sit back and relax after you’ve ranked. That is because the people behind you will be trying their darnedest to surpass you. But if you have your technique down well, you shouldn’t have to work to hard and you can automate many of the processes. 

The best strategy is to start small

If you are just getting started with affiliate you should start with a very specialized niche and some long tail keywords since those are easier to rank for and will help you get your feet wet. Think something like “best green and pink pinstriped tank tops for 5 and half year old girls who like to draw”. Ok maybe you don’t have to be the niched down, but you get the point. 

The other benefit to this is that smaller sites require less time and resources. Starting out you are sure to make some mistakes. It is best that you mistakes with a small niche so that if you mess up big, you won’t have as much sunk cost. Knowing this should give you the confidence to be bold in you process and really swing for the fences. If you strikeout, you can easily get up and start again. 

Get creative

A lot of people just go straight to Amazon and stick with it. That could be good starting out, but eventually you will want to broaden your horizons. If you dig a little deeper you can find amazing private affiliate programs with great payouts. Also think about affiliates that charge on a recurring basis and try and get it on that. It is the gift that keeps on giving!

How to Use SEO as Promotion For Your Company

If you really want to get more clients then Denver is a great location. There are so many people moving into Denver everyday it is ridiculous. Just look around and you’ll see giant apartment complexes popping up on just about every corner! But if you really want to be successful, you need more than an ideal locale. 

Because there is so much solid traffic in Denver you better believe that competition will be through the roof. We aren’t the first one with the idea of doing this! Therefore, results won’t be easy to come by and you will have to be committed for the long haul. Here are some things to keep in mind as you begin the journey.

Know what you are getting into 

When choosing your consultant you simply must have a list of qualifying questions. One of those should have something to do with expectations. After all, in this field, you do not get results over night. This is especially true if your domain is only a few months old. If you have a new domain and someone tells you they can get you on the first page in a month or two, run for the door!

Not all keywords are created equal and this will also determine how long it will take to get results. You also need to have an idea of how many people will visit your website as a result of getting on page 1 of Google. If there just isn’t enough people searching for your terms, you may not be able to break even. Knowing this will keep you from being surprised and help you practice patience throughout the process. 

Pay-per-click is a real option

Some people think PPC is only for giant corporations with money to blow on advertising, but that isn’t necessarily true. It can be a great option for advertising your business. It is actually a good way to place ads because you don’t pay unless someone actually clicks on the link to your website. With many ads you have to pay just for placement and some people may never even click. 

The only downside of this method is that you will be missing out on over half of your target audience. Why is that? Reports vary, but it is estimated that around half of users click on paid ads (see one report here). That means over half of people will skip right past you ad to the organic results. Still you can get immediate results using this method which is why it is such a great option.

Think outside the box

It can be easy to be so focused on Google that you forget that there is an endless supply of sites where you could also be getting visibility. Think YouTube and social media and weblogs. You can even contact owners of other sides to see if they will accept a piece from you promoting your business. You could even consider social media marketing, but that is worthy of its own post. 

Your focus should always be on bringing in more traffic and you should think long and hard about how to do that. After all, the more traffic you get the more money you will be taking in. Get creative and have fun. The opportunities really are endless!

You can do it

It may seem overwhelming when you first start, but the key is to stay focused and not give in to negative self talk. Whenever you have doubts, ignore them and keep going. Take action every day and before you know it, you’ll be right where you want to be. Now get out there and get some new customers!

Posted in SEO