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How to Buy SEO? A Guide to Understanding SEO Prices & How to Make the Right Move

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by Reyone, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. Reyone

    Reyone Elite Member

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    The following article will discuss a bit about myself, the reasons for writing it, what is SEO, the basic elements of SEO, SEO pricing, SEO buying guidelines and a conclusion. Skip any part you are not interested in. I would be very happy to receive constructive criticism and engage into conversation. Only thing I will ask you is that if you are going to make a critic, please make sure to read the entire post and not just a section. Feel free to PM me if you want to discuss anything or have a chat, I'll gladly help you.

    About myself

    A few of you know me, most of you don't. I got started into the business world about three years ago, after finishing University in the UK. My first company's business was marketing and event organization, based within the UK. We organized events in nightclubs and the occasional fashion show. We did well for a year, after which, things started getting rough. We had different views on how to take it forward and hat is when we decided to shut the activity and move on to walk our paths.
    After that, I got started in the online world, so far I've met some outstanding people and of course, a large array of shitty ones. Right now I have some big projects with different partners, and some SEO clients.

    Why this guide?

    The reasons that made me write this guide are the unfamiliarity yet cockiness we portrait when buying "SEO" services. I honestly hope you can fully read this guide if you are about to purchase a SEO service or better yet, if you feel like your SEO provider has ripped you.
    I have myself been a victim of poor SEO services that led you nowhere but to an empty wallet and a penalized domain. But you know what? There is NO ONE guilty behind it other than YOURSELF. Your task when buying a product or a service is to fully understand what you are about to receive. If you choose to blindly trust the person/company/agency without researching about the service and you get fucked, it is your mistake. You can choose to blame whoever you want, but if you want to grow and learn, accepting your mistakes is the first thing to do.


    What is SEO - Whitehat and Blackhat-?

    There is a general misconception with the whitehat and blackhat concepts. There is no SUCH THING as WH or BH, everything is link building. The minute you build a link with the aim of ranking a url, you can be penalized! A lot of people tend to think they are safe if the content is manually written, the links are manually built and everything is done in a qualitative manner, NO! You are still under risk when everything is done "whitehat". Now that being said, a properly built whitehat campaign will 99.99% of the time succeed, but of course, unless you have a huge budget, it will take many months.

    SEO Elements

    I am not even going to grasp the tip of the iceberg but let's just outline the very basics of a SEO campaign. These are the elements that you will want to include in your SEO map:

    Onsite SEO (optimizing your website and urls)
    +
    Offsite SEO (Content -articles, images, ppts, videos, comments- + Links to your site)
    +
    HOW THIS IS DONE

    I capitalize "HOW IS THIS DONE" as it is the key to having a poor, medium or a successful campaign. This refers to, how is the content written, is it original, is it spun and if so how well is it spun, how is the quality, the link building speed, the TLDs, anchor diversity and MANY other factors.
    There is a universe to it, so feel free to read any of the fantastic SEO guides that you can find around BHW if you want to have a deeper understanding about it.

    SEO Pricing

    As for any business activity, a SEO company will require to do an investment of either time, money or both. In most cases, both are required. How a company invests their time and money is the ultimate key to success, failure or mediocrity.

    A company may choose to permanently hire someone or to outsource their work. Any established company will have a team ready and working on a daily basis, while a starting one will have the need to outsource most of this work. Now, having a set of 20 people hired does not imply that the company will provide a good service, as the key to it is how they manage these assets. The same goes for a starting one, they might provide an outstanding service without having any full time staff.

    As stated before, there are a series of elements which can have an impact on your SEO campaign; however, more important than which elements is how they are used.

    Content

    Hand written content:

    When choosing hand written content, we can differentiate three different levels. Marketing content, what ideally you want for any SEO campaign (most expensive), quality content, and the so called SEO content. Each of them comes at a price, and the price is based on the amount of time it takes to create it and the skill of the writer. These are estimations of the ‘one off' prices and the monthly salary:

    Marketing content:
    Freelancer/Company - Between $20 to $100 per 500 word articles. Of course if you get Stephen King to write an article you will need to raise your budget. Makes sense?
    Fulltime employed - Between $1k to $3k. (1 to 4 articles a day)

    Quality content:
    Freelancer/Company - Between $5 and $30 per 500 word articles.
    Fulltime employed - Between $700 to $1.5k (2 to 8 articles a day)

    SEO content
    :
    Freelancer/Company - Between $1 and $7 per 500 word articles.
    Fulltime employed - Between $150 and $800 (3 to 10 articles a day)

    You see? The cheaper it gets the more you can produce. Why? Because of the quality required. Essentially the SEO content is usually provided by companies located in India, Pakistan or Philippines. Don't take this the wrong way, there are outstanding workers from these areas, unfortunately, most of the time people chose to exploit them and the result is shitty quality.

    Many of the SEO content companies are just exploited individuals working full time for a shitty salary. Thing is, many of the companies around the world work in that manner. Whether this affects you or not, it is up to you. Some people feel the need to be socially responsible, and most business owners do not. Why? Because it is easier to beat the competition by hiring a person for $150 and lowering your monthly prices by $50.

    Spun content:

    Most of you will be aware of what this is, for the ones who don't. Spun content means the content obtained from one single article by modifying its order and adding word, phrases and paragraph synonyms. Unless you spend a full week working on it, a Spun article will not produce the most loved articles. Spun content can be shitty or it can be great. Again, I'd like to say that there are three levels. Lets take a deeper look at it:

    Level 1: High quality article spun in a high quality manner. Word synonyms, 6+ sentence variation, 2+ paragraph variations.
    Result - 90% - 99% original articles (around 1k of them) among each other, maybe even higher. The quality of each article will depend upon the quality of the synonyms and grammar used.
    Time required - Will depend on the paragraph variation, for a 2 paragraph variation it will take around 8 to 24 hours of work. This will vary according to your skill. The more paragraph and sentence variations you add, the higher the uniqueness will be.
    Price - For a high quality spun article the price should go between $100 and $300. When I mean high quality I mean synonyms that make sense, perfect grammar and an overall great effort.

    Level 2: an article spun in a shorter frame. Word synonyms & 2-6 sentence variation.
    Result - 70% to 99% uniqueness.
    Time required - Between 2 and 4 hours of work.
    Cost - between $20 and $50 for a single one.

    Level 3: an article spun in a matter of minutes. Word synonyms & 0-1 sentences variation.
    Result - 50% to 90% uniqueness
    Time required - Less than an hour.
    Cost - $5 to $10
    Onsite Optimization

    I will keep this one rather short. Onsite optimization is the implementation of a SEO structure for the URLs under your domain. The time required will depend upon the current structure of your urls, the skill of the optimizer and the degree of optimization.
    The price, in my personal opinion, should be between $2 and $20 per url. Again, these is just based on my personal view. If you want to charge $0.000000001 or $2000 is up to you.
    Videos and PPTs

    I am grouping these together as I believe it more or less takes equal time to create them. Again, this will be based on the degree of quality the SEO provider is going to give you. The prices are for 1x unit.

    High quality:
    Time required - 8 to 24 hours. Cost - $40 - $300

    Medium quality:
    Time required - 2 to 8 hours. Cost - $10 - $80

    Low quality:
    Time required - Minutes to 2 hours. Cost - $0.5 to $20

    The above prices are based on my experience and my views. Some people might charge more and some others might charge more, but generally, the costs for those services will lie around those numbers.

    SEO Buying Guidelines

    The following are some guidelines that I believe everyone should apply when purchasing SEO. For the newbies (I hate that word), it is very easy to choose a service that has a low price and a shit ton of properties. So make sure to keep your eyes opened as there are many factors to look for.

    Learn how to differentiate between value, price and quantity

    In order to be able to do this you will need to learn more about SEO, how it works and what it implies. I am not telling you to become Amazons's SEO guy, I am simply asking you to learn the basics. Refer to any of the many SEO guides available at BHW. If you don't do this, you will be like a ping pong ball going from service to service.

    Ask questions and ask even more questions!

    This applies to anything you are going to buy in life. If you are not clear or you are missing on a couple of things, ASK! The seller should be crystal clear when telling you what he/she is going to do, if they are not, take a step back and leave. Don't leave anything uncovered and watch out for yourself.

    Do not make assumptions & Don't judge a book by its cover

    This goes out to all of the flashy sales threads and the amount of stars found next to your username. THIS, MEANS, SHIT. There are services that come from so called "pro" SEO agencies that will brainwash you into thinking they are the best without you even looking at their packages, after a few months of emptying your wallet, your domain gets penalized. Your mistake! Same thing around, you can find some poor thread from an unknown user selling HQ services. Do not judge a book by its cover.

    Cheap or expensive? Ask WHY!

    Fair enough, there are some "companies" who charge thousands while they spend pennies on their service, but most of the time, there is reasoning behind a service price. It is your very own duty to find out about it.

    Stop expecting things that cannot happen

    So you are looking for a top notch service that provides outstanding articles and that takes you to the moon in a month, better yet, your domain won't be penalized for $100/month. NO! That does not exist. Every price has its consequences, so think before buying. If you want to buy top quality, be prepared to pay $1k to $10k a month, and if you are paying $100, expect low quality, especially if they tell you to put up to 10 keywords...

    Long term results take long time to achieve

    I want to put one of my clients as an example. Before getting started I told him that going with hand written articles, no shitty links (including all tiers) would be costly and it would take a lot of time, especially when targeting buying intent keywords. The guy trusted me and we have been at it for 7 months, he has been paying a high amount every month, but guess what? He has been making sales (high quality articles spread across the internet bring sales), he is now ranked in first page for all keywords and it is likely that the results will remain there for long term. So if you are looking for HQ services, prepare time and budget.


    Conclusion

    To conclude, buying SEO services is no easy task. If you want to evade being scammed or getting your domain penalized you must ensure to learn how it works and understand what it takes for a company to offer a service. If you are looking for high quality SEO with real articles chances are you will need to pay more than $150 per keyword per month. Don't expect to be taken to #1 in a month and stay there forever, long term results take long time to achieve. Be careful and take time when selecting a company to outsource your SEO, and next time you see a company charging $500 a month, don't start shouting "what a rip off", ASK WHY!

    Hope you found the guide somehow useful and enjoyed it :cow04:



    - If you want to have a chat, feel free to drop me a PM, please don't PM me asking things like "what is the right keyword density" and other stuff that you can find in minutes -
     
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    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
  2. DeniX3

    DeniX3 Regular Member

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    Thanks for your time and writing all this. This sentence is confusing me: "Offsite SEO (Content -articles, images, ppts, videos, comments- + Links to your site)"

    I always thought that articles and images are Onsite SEO...
     
  3. Reyone

    Reyone Elite Member

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    Thanks for the time you've taken to read the guide.

    In regards of your question. It is applied to both, however, when building links, you will submit those elements to certain websites that approve and display them.

    There are sites where you can submit images with a link, ppts, videos, etc. So all of these are different type of links which can help your rankings.


    -Onsite SEO: SEO efforts you apply within your own domain.
    -Offsite SEO: SEO efforts you apply outside of your domain.
     
  4. Commoner

    Commoner Power Member

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    Hi Reyone,

    May I know if you do offer SEO services for all Pages to Rank - I don't expect First Page, Rank 1 as my belief is that it is the efforts that matters.

    Again, I saw you offering Quality Articles to your client, may I ask the pricing as well as the types of content being hand-written.

    Thank-you for taking time to write this guide,
    Commoner.
     
  5. kazhkaz

    kazhkaz Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Great guide! It should be useful for new people ;)
     
  6. seoranksmart

    seoranksmart BANNED BANNED

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    Very help full guide for offsite SEO keep it up OP.
     
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  7. healzer

    healzer Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Thank you for giving back awesome information!
     
  8. Reyone

    Reyone Elite Member

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    Thanks. You are most welcome.

    Thanks but I don't think you really read it

    Appreciate it, I see a lot of people asking "what is the best service" hopefully this will help.

    Hello Commoner,

    Thanks for your interest and time reading the guide.

    You can contact me and I can have a look at your case if you want.

    As for the articles, it really depends on what you consider high quality. I've got a person doing articles on a daily basis and I pay him around €800/month for a min of 5 articles a day.
     
  9. iBrazilian

    iBrazilian Regular Member

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    Really helpful guide, thank you for your time.
     
  10. seocrab

    seocrab Senior Member

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    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
  11. Reyone

    Reyone Elite Member

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    Thanks

    Hi seocrab,

    Thanks a lot for your comment.

    It is true that I have not attached any payment slip as a proof of payment, but I believe it not to be required as you can find these prices if you have a look around the internet.

    Websites or even threads in BHW that offer extremely high quality content written by journalists and people in the "writing" industry tend to go for those prices.

    As for the claims, I did not make a claim at any time.
    "These are estimations of the ‘one off' prices and the monthly salary"

    As mentioned there, those are simple estimations based on my experience.

    Hope it helped
     
  12. timmy79

    timmy79 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Great introduction guide.
     
  13. Reyone

    Reyone Elite Member

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    Thanks man
    asdasadsasdasd
     
  14. redkoplax

    redkoplax Junior Member

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    I found it very useful and clearly explained guide.
    Thanks for the post.
     
  15. mrson_eimm

    mrson_eimm Newbie

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    Excellent Reyone, thanks for taking the time to write this guide for the benefit of those who seek good results with SEO services.


    For weeks I am looking for an SEO service for my YT videos, but I've been wondering: how good will hire services intended for the English language phrases position to position sentences in Portuguese for example?


    Greetings!
     
  16. tojamie

    tojamie BANNED BANNED

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    Great guide. But in-direct promotion about your service. If you're not attachment Payment slip.. Can you tell me you're doing promotion for your service..
     
  17. Reyone

    Reyone Elite Member

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    Thanks, feel free to post the link to my sales thread or the website where I sell SEO packages... Oh wait, I don't have any...
    I could not understand the second phrase, so won't be able to reply.

    This guide was made with the intention of helping people to understand the reasoning behind SEO pricing. Also, because the number of people whining about SEO services is too damn high. See it as you wish.

    As far as I've heard from some contacts that offer English only SEO, it works just fine.

    I would advice to always do the SEO in the same language as your website/video/etc. Why? Simple, good links will bring you traffic, but if the articles are in a language your traffic cannot understand, they won't bother visiting.

    Thank you for reading it.
     
  18. lucasbraydon

    lucasbraydon Supreme Member

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    Nobody can ever understand what he/she says ever and guess what? Check his/her thread for 100% unique content :D
    Urmmm no thanks lol
     
  19. Reyone

    Reyone Elite Member

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    . :) .
     
  20. umarfatih

    umarfatih Junior Member

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    so it seems you do seo for your clients?