Is Search Engine Optimisation Expensive?

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  • July 21, 2008
Patrick Altoft

Patrick Altoft

Director of Strategy

Search engine optimisation is charged at a huge variety of price points depending on the supplier and the services they are offering.

There are companies that offer SEO for £50 a month and there are companies offering it for £50,000 per month so what’s the difference and are you getting value for money?

First of all let’s consider linkbait

Linkbaiting is a service offered at an average of perhaps £1,500 for an article including promotion. £1,500 for a single article seems expensive until you analyse what linkbaiting actually involves.

Unless the writer is 100% familiar with the topic they need to spend around a day researching and coming up with ideas.

Writing a quality article, sourcing images and perfecting the formatting takes perhaps another day.

Linkbait articles need careful promotion by email and social networks. The time taken to source contact addresses and spread the bait via social networks takes 24 hours which is 3 days of time based on an 8 hour day.

UK SEO companies charge £500-£1,000 per day on average so a linkbait article that takes 5 days to develop and promote costs between £2,500 and £5,000.

An average paid link costs perhaps £50 therefore to make linkbait a better option than paid links a £5,000 linkbait would need to generate 100 links. A pretty low target for most accomplished linkbaiters.

Link acquisition

A brand new website (or an existing website without many links) has to carry out an intelligent linkbuilding campaign to catch up with their competitors.

It is rare to find an industry where you can rank at the top of the search engines with less than 1,000 decent links (using Yahoo Site Explorer figures).

On average a new link “costs” perhaps £50 either as a paid link (not a good idea because Google doesn’t like them) or in the time it takes for an SEO company to acquire the link by using linkbait or other means.

For a new website to acquire 1000 links in the first year the outlay would be £50,000. This is quite a large SEO budget even for an established company.

What do you think? Is this expensive?

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