Weekly SEO news: 27 January 2015
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

If you want to succeed with your website, you have to decide how much you will spend on search engine optimization. As SEO is crucial to survive the fierce online competition, the question is not if you should invest in SEO but how much you invest. SEO can be very expensive. How can you get more for your money?

In the news: Google sends usability warnings, the latest search engine statistics, Yahoo and Bing test Google's layout, and more.

Table of contents:

We hope that you enjoy this newsletter and that it helps you to get more out of your website. Please pass this newsletter on to your friends.

Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. How much does SEO cost? How can you get more for your money?

If you want to succeed with your website, you have to decide how much you will spend on search engine optimization. As SEO is crucial to survive the fierce online competition, the question is not if you should invest in SEO but how much you invest. SEO can be very expensive. How can you get more for your money?


How much do SEO companies charge?

If you decide to hire an SEO agency, there are several pricing models:

1. Hourly consulting: the average SEO agency (or individual) charges between $100 and $300 per hour (all amounts in US$).

2. Fixed prices: businesses that are new to SEO often buy services at fixed prices. This can be a website content audit (usually $500-$7,500), link profile audits ($500-$7,500) or SEO copywriting ($0.10-$0.50 per word).

3. Monthly retainer: the most popular pricing model is a monthly payment. On average, SEO agencies and individuals charge $750-5,000 per month. Depending on how much you pay, you can expect different services: regular analytics reports, on-site optimization, link building, keyword research, etc.

Some offshore companies offer 'SEO' services for much lower prices ($100-$500/month). In general, you can be sure that these services use spam techniques to 'promote' your website and that these services will backfire on you.

If an SEO service is too cheap, it's likely that they use risky methods. That's a lesson that many businesses had to learn in the past.

How to get more for your money
Many things that SEO agencies do for you can be automated with the right tools. For example, our web-based SEO tool SEOprofiler can do the following for you:
  • Regular website audits: the website audit tool in SEOprofiler automatically checks the content of your web pages and it shows you all the errors that should be corrected.

  • Regular link profiler audits: the link profiler tool in SEOprofiler shows you the backlink structure of your website. It also shows the backlinks that could have a negative influence on the rankings of your web pages.

  • Regular analytics reports: use the scheduler in SEOprofiler to automatically get website analytics reports by email. You can also view your reports online and you get access to all important key metrics.

  • On-site optimization: the Top 10 Optimizer tool in SEOprofiler analyzes the content of your web pages.

  • Regular position checks: the ranking monitor in SEOprofiler checks the position of your web pages on Google, Bing and Yahoo. You can specify the exact city from which the rankings should be checked. The ranking monitor informs you about dramatic ranking changes, it shows easy ranking opportunities, and much more.
Instead of the $2,500 that the average client pays his SEO agency for these services, you can get all of this for a much lower price with SEOprofiler, which is a do-it-yourself SEO tool.

Even if you only use the fully-automated reporting tools in SEOprofiler, you will save a lot of money. If you use all tools in SEOprofiler, you will save even more.
Should you hire an SEO agency or should use use a do-it-yourself tool?
This depends on your needs. If you have the money, hiring an SEO agency or an SEO professional can be a good solution. To get results, you should invest at least $2500 per month. If you pay less, you'll only get automated reports.

If you can invest some time in your website, a do-it-yourself SEO tool can help you to save a lot of money. For example, SEOprofiler creates the same reports that you will get from a professional SEO agency - for a fraction of the costs. You can even use SEOprofiler to offer your own SEO services.
Search engine optimization takes time. SEO is a long-term investment. You will get the best results if you regularly work on your web pages. The tools in SEOprofiler can help you to do that as efficiently as possible. If you haven't done it yet, try SEOprofiler now:

Try SEOprofiler now risk-free!

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week
Google sends mobile usability warnings to webmasters (and what you have to do now)
"Some days ago, Google started to send email notifications to webmasters whose websites are not mobile-friendly. Basically, this message is a reminder that these websites won’t rank well in mobile search. Adjust your pages to make sure that they get better rankings."

StatisticscomScore releases December 2014 U.S. desktop search engine rankings

"Google Sites led the U.S. explicit core search market in December with 65.4 percent market share, followed by Microsoft Sites with 19.7 percent (up 0.1 percentage points) and Yahoo Sites with 11.8 percent (up 1.6 percentage points). Ask Network accounted for 2 percent of explicit core searches, followed by AOL, Inc. with 1.2 percent."

Yahoo tests Google's interface

Rubén Gómez from the 'All Google testing' blog discovered that Yahoo is testing a new search result page design that is nearly identical to Google's design.

Editor's note: Bing also tests the same interface.

StatisticsBing-Yahoo paid search share rises for two consecutive quarters

"Q4 marks the second consecutive decline in spend share for Google and a 25.8 percent increase in market share for Bing Ads. Google, of course, still dominates with 73.7 percent of total ad spend and  Bing Ads getting the remaining 26.3 percent."

Bing tests show search cards
A Bing user discovered a Bing experiment that shows an expanding news search card.

If you search Bing for news related terms, you might get a box that enables you to click to expand to see more news and links to Bing News.

Search engine newslets

  • Study: users trust search engines more than traditional media.
  • EU considers taxing Google, other U.S. Internet firms.
  • Google sticks to EU only application of 'right to be forgotten.
  • Google ignores everything on 404/410 error pages.
  • Google wants Firefox users back.
  • New Bing Ads feature: preview the result of a bid change on your text ads in real time.

3. Recommended resources

Everything you need

SEOprofiler is a full featured web-based SEO tool that offers everything you need to get high rankings on Google:

  • automatic weekly website audits
  • tools for keyword research and analysis
  • competitive intelligence tools
  • automated ranking checks
  • website analytics
  • tools for spam-free link building
  • link disinfection tool
  • social media monitoring
  • white-label reports (web-based and PDF)
  • and much more.

Free trial Test full version for $1

Create a free trial account now or test the full version.

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4. Previous articles
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