Many small business owners believe SEO’s have mystical faeries in their basements who brew a fabulous mixes of pixie dust which magically make websites rank overnight. The fact is, Google has specific standards and requirements as outlined in their ‘Webmaster Guidelines.’ These enhancements are designed to not only improve the overall performance of a website, but make the websites more understandable to the crawlers.

Following these guidelines will help Google find, index, and rank your site. Even if you choose not to implement any of these suggestions, we strongly encourage you to pay very close attention to the “Quality Guidelines,” which outline some of the illicit practices that may lead to a site being removed entirely from the Google index or otherwise impacted by an algorithmic or manual spam action. If a site has been affected by a spam action, it may no longer show up in results on or on any of Google’s partner sites.”

While the ‘fairy dust’ analogy is cute – it’s true. Many businesses undervalue the true work and cost involved to properly ‘optimize’ a website¬† to be in compliance with the guidelines stated above.

Before we get started, consider checking these out:

If you’ve glanced at any of the above mentioned documents then your head is likely spinning. Lets face it – the world of SEO is like the ‘wild wild west’ and everyone is claiming to be able to do it without the actual capability to do so resulting poor results, millions of dollars in wasted revenue and a lot of bad insight on the SEO world. In reality, when SEO is done right – your entire user experience will be heightened, your conversions improved and your overall rankings driving in new business.

What are some of the cost involved with SEO and why does it cost so much?

Without getting into too much detail, there is a lot of software required to do a proper analysis of a website. Google offers free tools like the keyword planner and Google Trends however, those only contribute to projecting search volume. At Altitude SEO, we use a variety of software types from Search Metrics, Ahrefs, Link Detox, SpyFU and more which when put together can exceed $10,000 in annual licenses depending on how many clients are being monitored and evaluated.

Technical Requirements & Cost:

  • HTML Validation (Average $300/page/template)
  • Website Speed Compression & Optimization: (Average $1,500/site)
  • On-page Coding Optimization (100 point process): (Average $800/page)
  • Creative Optimization (Image Compression, Style Sheets etc) (Average $500/site)
  • Google Webmaster Guidelines Audit & Compliance (Average $2500/site)
  • Professional Keyword Discovery, Planning & Site Architecture (Average $3500/site — up to 10 pages)
  • Google Webmaster Tools Audit & Repairs (i.e. HTML Errors, Duplicate Content etc) – $750+ site
  • Misc repairs etc.. ($1000/site)

Estimated On-Page Optimization for 1 page: $9,850 + $5,000 per page. = $800/mo+