The Hidden Costs of SEO - Part 1: Implementation Costs

Friday, 30 January 2009

Search Engine Optimization is with no doubt one of the most, if not the most, cost effective way of attracting qualified traffic and generating sales to your website. Basically once you have optimized your website and you rank high in the SERPS, you get free traffic. Obviously it makes sense to every website owners, who have made SEO a strong priority.

As most of the SEO costs occurs at the beginning, many website owners consider SEO as a one-off cost or investment rather than an on-going cost (like SEM). However they do not realise some of the underlying costs associated with SEO. In some cases, these costs can be high and therefore need to be understood if you want to measure the real value of SEO

A standard SEO proposal usually includes a keyword research, a review of the website and some recommendations on how to optimize the website for the selected keywords. Once your agency or consultant has performed these activities, he sends you the documentation for your developer to implement.
Now, that is when the cost of your SEO project can hit the roof. For example, your SEO specialist might have recommended some changes that will require a lot of development work, or will simply take time. If your developer is pricey, the implementation of your SEO recommendations can be more expensive than the SEO work itself.

Not long ago at a party I met a website owner, who hired a SEO consultant. The SEO guy who did his job providing recommendations. When that person sent the document to his developer, it came back with a long and expensive quote, which more than doubled the initial cost.
I had a look at the SEO proposal. While it was good, it was not customized to the website CMS and therefore required new modules to be developed. After having a chat with the developer, we found an alternative way to achieve the same results without having to develop anything. Our collaboration reduced significantly the cost of implementation.

The implementation will generate additional costs unless you do the work yourself. However there are always way to minimise these costs. It is important to make sure that your SEO consultant understand that and work with your developer to understand how the website work and how to make the most of it without spending huge amount on development.
As a tips, I would advise to give your developer's details to your SEO consultant and encourage them to work together. This will facilitate the implementation as well as save you money.


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three months SEO training said...

thanks for ur recommendation .
I m glad to know about these hidden things.