Asking for SEO Quotes - understanding the range of possibilites
We often are asked to quote for an SEO project at short notice as if it's a standard off the peg service, and such enquirers are surprised when we decline to give them one. The reason is simply that every site is different, every set of targets is different, and every marketplace is different. This means that to be effective the solution has to be tailored to meet those different situations.
To begin with we need to have some idea of the background of a site - both technical and historical. e.g. its underlying technology:
- Is it a static html site or is it a dynamic database driven site?
- If it's dynamic what language is it programmed in? - such as PHP, ASP .Net, or Coldfusion
- Does it uses a content management system and if so what type and what capabilities and limitations does it have?
- What is the history of the domain - has it always been owned by you or did you buy it from someone else and if so when?
- What SEO has been done previously?
- Are there any existing rankings and what level are they at for what keywords.
All of these and many more can be crucial to gauging the achievability of a project and that begs the other question that clients are often vague about - what are you trying to achieve, what are your targets? What keywords do you hope to rank for, how highly, and in which search engines and countries? Without this any attempt at a quote is pure guesswork.
While we can quickly ascertain some of this information from studying the visible pages and their source code, there is much that is not immediately apparent. In order to provide a reliable quote we need time to study the site and we need know what you are trying to achieve.
In order to help us provide a sensible estimate of cost you should try to have available the following information before you contact us:
- The keywords you believe are most relevant to your business
- The approximate current positions for those keywords in Google
- The number of pages in your site
- The type of site it is - static or dynamic - and the programming technology if any
- The market you are aiming to capture - UK, Europe, Worldwide - and the engines you wish to be found in
- Information about any additional domain names that you possess and whether they contain similar or identical content
- A rough idea of the budget that you have available
Depending on the complexity of the site we may need to request further information and get ftp access to the site's source code in order to be able to understand how the site works and what scope there is for making adjustments.
The more complex the site the harder it is to make a reliable estimate without spending more time studying the site. While we endeavour to provide estimates without charge there are some cases where we cannot discover the important issues relating to a site's poor performance without spending a number of hours in analysis. In such cases we may have to make a charge for this or we may recommend that an SEO Audit is undertaken to establish a comprehensive picture and put together an effective project strategy.
Do contact us to learn more, and try to read as much of our site as you can so you know what we'll need to ask you. Just don't phone us at 4.45pm expecting a detailed proposal and binding prices by the next morning...