Okay, So I want to rank for a specific keyword. I use tools like market samurai (first tool that came to mind, I know there are plenty of others) to understand the competitive landscape. I am trying to understand the easiest and most accurate way to estimate and calculate the cost to rank a particular keyword. Please review my thoughts below and please share your feedback and suggestions. I look at the top 10 competitors using tools like seomoz and market samurai and look at the following elements: Average Number of backlinks from the top 10. Average domain authority. Average Page Rank. Average Social Signals. i take the above data (mostly avg number of backlinks) and estimate the cost and time needed to generate more then the average count and I use that as a baseline. If I get positive signals from the prospect, I will dig deeper to measure the overall quality of the backlinks to refine my estimates. What do you guys think? What do you personally do to estimate your seo costs to rank?