SEO Services Pricing – How much does SEO cost? [2017]

SEO services are supposed to facilitate getting your website found and indexed by Google and other search engines, and getting it to appear in a top position on the search engine result pages (SERPs). I don’t think I need to explain the benefits of having your business rank #1, right? Well, maybe we should think about this a bit more.

Before determining how much you’ll need to spend on SEO services, you first need to figure out what your online business goals are and how ranking in Google would help achieve those goals.

Where do your clients come from?

The first question you need to answer is where do your clients come from? That’s going to depend on the kind of business you’re in. If you own a “brick and mortar” establishment (like a restaurant or retail store) or you are a service provider in a particular area (ex. plumber, accountant) then your clients for the most part come from your local area. They’ve either seen your store or sign, heard of you from friends or seen one of your ads in a local newspaper or directory.  The directory most often used these days is Google’s local listings.

For example, when I type in “web design” into Google on my laptop, I see a few paid ads for web design companies and then a map highlighting local web design companies in my radius. The screenshot below the first listing — “Teaneck Web Design” — represents one of our branch locations (where I am working at the moment) and the third listing is our Hackensack, NJ main office.

SEO services in NJ

These local listings are what will drive local traffic to your local business, so you definitely must appear there. To do that will require some basic SEO services including setting up a Google My Business listing and putting your business address and contact info on your website. There’s a bit more to it, but you shouldn’t have to spend a ton of money getting listed on Google for your local area.

If your clientele is national or international or if you are engaged in ecommerce, simply appearing in your local area listings isn’t going to cut it.

Below the Google local listings is where you’ll see the list of organic (non paid) search results. These primarily include national brands or companies who in most cases have invested heavily in content and SEO services.

Studies of the billions of daily Google searches show that 95% of searchers click on organic links as opposed to the paid ones and 95% of those clickers don’t get past the top 3 organic search results on page one. In other words, ranking in the top 3 organically can potentially drive a lot of traffic to your site, but ranking below the top 3 might not be worth the effort and investment.

To compete with the “big boys” for search terms (keywords) such as “web design” or “shoes” or “home improvement” is probably not going to be feasible for most companies, even those willing to invest a substantial amount (the reasons for that are beyond the scope of this post). You might, however, be able to rank for longer and more specific search terms, known as long tailed keyword phrases. For example, while ranking for “shoes” is probably impossible, if you sell “shoes made of snake skin made in Africa” — that might be a phrase that you could show up first for. It probably won’t get you a ton of traffic, but here’s the point: you are only really looking for the person who is looking to purchase your type of product.

Trying to rank in order to get traffic simply for sake of getting lots of traffic is not a good reason to invest in SEO services.

The reason for investing in SEO is because you know (based on data or research) that it will help you get more clients or sell more products. If that’s not the case then there’s no reason to waste your money. For example, a company that represents international drug manufacturers and gets its clients through relationships and personal sales probably has no good reason to invest in ranking for relevant keywords other than the pride of seeing their company at the top of a search. Unless, of course, they want to modify their marketing strategy to try and broaden their client base. But driving traffic without a strategy for converting that traffic into clients or customers is not a good reason for investing in SEO. SEO Guru Rand Fishkin discusses this and other related stuff in his video – How to Choose a Good SEO Company for Your Business or Website.

Assuming that you want (need) to drive search traffic to your site as part of a plan to increase revenue, you’ll need to invest in SEO. So back to our initial question: how much will you need to invest in SEO Services?

There are basically three areas of work included in SEO:

1. OnPage

2. Content

3. Links and Distribution

OnPage SEO

OnPage SEO includes optimizing the text, tag and code on a particular web page. It includes crafting unique title tags and meta descriptions that utilize the keyword or keyword phrase you’re targeting for that specific page. It also includes creating appropriate header tags, alt image text, internal links to relevant content on your site and external links.

An experienced SEO pro will suggest additional content and images when necessary, to improve your pages potential ranking. He or she will also make sure that all of your images and code is optimized to load quickly and display correctly on mobile devices.


The most important factor in getting your page ranked highly in Google search engine results is the substance and quality of your content. Through various changes to its search algorithm, Google has made it clear that its mission is to answer search queries with the most relevant content — and it’s taking that mission very seriously. The days of throwing together stings of keywords in non sensical sentences and paragraphs for the sole purpose of getting ranked are gone. Doing that now might even get you penalized or banned from the Google index.

The only sure way to get your content ranked highly by Google is to make sure that the content is well structured and composed and most importantly, provides valuable information that users are searching for. So basically, SEO and content creation have joined forces and in many way actually become one and the same. You simply cannot Search Engine Optimize unless you have the right content to optimize. Therefore, a large part of your SEO strategy and the SEO services your need to invest in will be related to the creation of quality content. Keep in mind that the content you create for SEO purposes will also have to convert readers into leads and customers. So it needs to be informative, engaging and marketing oriented.

Here’s another reason why your content needs to be informative and substantive. Google tracks what happens after a searcher clicks on your link and goes to your site. Does he stay there for a couple of seconds and bounce somewhere else, or does he remain on your site to read your content? If most people coming to your site from Google aren’t sticking around to read, it sends a signal to Google that your content probably isn’t that great after all. Google will then drop you in their rankings, because you’re obviously not provided their users with information they want to read.

There’s no way around it. A winning SEO strategy revolves around quality content. Creating that type of content requires an investment.

Links and Distribution

The Google search algorithm determines the trustworthiness and authority of your content at least partially by the amount of other relevant, quality sites that link to it.

For example, say you write a post about how to choose a family car, and Ford, GM, and all link to it. That means it’s probably worthwhile content that Google wants to present to relevant searchers. Getting a link from is probably not going to be very helpful SEO-wise.

The only way to get authoritative sites to link to your content is to create truly awesome content and then let them know about it. Reaching out to authoritative sites to get them to link to your content requires research (to find the right ones), skill (to draft the right email pitch), persistence (to send a ton of requests hoping to get a few responses) and luck (you always need luck).

Distributing your content on social media and other relevant platforms can also earn you links, if the right people see it. An effective social media strategy can get your content in front of the right people, who might then link to it.

Bottom Line

So in addition to creating or modifying code, tags and keywords on web pages, SEO services includes content creation, relationship building, outreach and social media. All of these skill sets come together to form an effective SEO strategy.

How much would you pay for all that?

One SEO Tweak That Can Help Grow Your Business

I recently had lunch with an old friend who works for a family owned furniture rental company. She told me that she just implemented a new automated payment system on their website. I asked her who she used to do the work. She told me she used a small company in Ohio (she’s in New Jersey). I asked how she found them. She said that she Googled something like, “automated payment system for furniture rental companies” and bingo!

Besides illustrating the power of search and the impact it can have on your business, there’s a huge lesson to be learned from this story that can help you grow your business with just a tiny tweak to your website code.

One of the primary elements that Google uses to determine what search results to display is your website’s title. The title of your page is the linked text that you see in organic search results.

If you hover your mouse pointer over the page tab of any webpage in your browser, you should see the title appear. The page title is one of the primary things that search engines use to determine what your page is about. It is therefore a very valuable piece of SEO real estate.

Many companies waste that valuable SEO real estate by either putting their company name in the title or something like “home” or “welcome to xyz company”. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have your company name in the title tag (as long as it isn’t too long”. But more importantly, your title tag should contain the keywords you are targeting.

Let’s assume that the name of the furniture rental solution provider is ABC Solutions. If they used their name in their title tag, it’s far less likely that they would appear in a search for “furniture rental payment systems”, unless the searcher also included their name in their search.

What they should have in their title tag is a phrase that describes what they do and includes the keywords that potential customers will be using to search for them with. In all likelihood ABC Solutions had something like “furniture rental payment systems” in their title tag, which is probably very similar to what my friend typed into the Google search box.

Every webpage and blog post on your website should have a unique title tag that represents the content of your page.

Before you create a new title you need to do some keyword research to determine the keywords and phrases that your potential customers are using to search for your product and service. Once you’ve got your keywords, you can start creating titles from them.

How to you change your title tag?

If you’re using WordPress for your website, then the easiest way to optimize your title tags and the rest of your seo is by using the FREE  Yoast WordPress SEO plugin. You can download it from their website or from the wordpress plugin bank directly from your website. Once installed and activated (which takes about 30 seconds) it will display a field on every page and post where you can insert your unique title (and description). That’s it, your done!

seo wordpress plugin


If you need to manually modify your website code (which is HTML) you’ll find the title tag in the <head> section at the top of your web page code in between the title tags – <title> Insert Your Title </title>.

Here’s a screen shot of my website code (line #7):

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 9.46.29 AM

Most website building programs give you the ability to easily modify your title tags. just remember to modify your titles on every page.

You can have about 55 characters in your title tag, so you could add more keywords or even your company name or brand. But make sure to include your keywords in your title tag.

Also keep in mind that your title tag does not have to be the same as the actual title of your page or post that readers see.

You can read more about title tags in this article.

Bottom line

The first thing I do when evaluating a website is to hover over the page tab in my browser to see what the title is. In most cases it’s either something like “home” or “about” (which means that they haven’t touched their SEO) or the name of their business, which is a huge waste of SEO opportunity that’s costing them search visibility and customers.

If you want your website to show up when potential customers are searching for your product and service in Google (or any other search engine), take a moment to create unique title tags that include your keyword phrases. Overtime (and sometimes even within days) you’ll begin to see more visitors to your website coming via search. That means more business for you.

3 SEO lessons I learned from being #1 in the iTunes App Store.

A few months ago I worked on launching a Jewish dating iphone app connected to an existing dating site called There was no marketing budget for the launch. The plan was to get the app into the app store and see where it goes from there.

When you search for “Jewish dating” in the app store on your iphone you get around 17 results. The objective was obviously to rank as high as possible in those results.


I started researching how the app store ranks apps in search results. I couldn’t find anything conclusive. Nobody really knows exactly what criteria Apple uses.

According to this article in Moz:

There are several aspects of ASO, including optimizing screenshots, optimizing your app icon and filtering negative reviews. […]Some apps have seen as much as a 300% increase in their downloads just from keyword optimization, so this process can have a huge impact on the number of times that your app is downloaded.

So choosing the right keywords and using them in your title and description is pretty important. Getting the right images also plays a role. I’ll talk more about this later in the the post.

But keyword related SEO or ASO (Apple Search Optimization) isn’t all you need. In an essay on Venture Beat, Michael Silverwood of Silicon Valley mobile startup accelerator Tandem Capital, describes how people believe Apple’s ranking algorithm actually works:

Apple obviously doesn’t make this public knowledge, but anecdotally app developers have come to believe the current iteration works something like this:

Ranking = (# of installs weighted for the past few hours) + (# of installs weighted for the past few days) + REVIEWS (star rating + number of reviews) + Engagement (# of times app opened etc.) + Sales ($)

So it’s a bit more complicated than getting the right keywords.

App Launched

A day or 2 after launch the Jzoog Jewish Dating app was coming up 5th in the app store search results for “Jewish Dating”. After a month it was at #3. Then it hit #2. After around 3 and a half months the app was #1. Woohoo!! With zero dollars spent on marketing. Time to celebrate.

How exactly did Jzoog snag the #1 position for Jewish dating? Honestly, I don’t know for sure, but I’ll try to make some sense of it in the lessons I learned.

Lessons Learned

Here are some of the SEO lessons I learned from the experience.

1. Importance of position
I was familiar with the statistics indicating that something close to 90% of searches don’t go any further than the top 3 search results and the majority of those just click on the #1 result. But I didn’t really get it until I experienced it first hand. The number of daily downloads of the app in the #1 position is so much greater than when it was #2 or #3 that it almost make you feel like throwing in the towel if you aren’t first.

The important of position might even be greater in the app store because you can usually only see one app listing at a time, due to the images. Most people are just not going to scroll more than 2 or 3 screens. Being first is key, and nets a amazing results.

2. Details Matter
The average business person might view the relatively large amount of time SEO’s spend on choosing keywords and optimizing titles and description as a waste. Well, they would be wrong. Small changes that seem insignificant can make a huge impact on SEO rankings, whether it’s on Apple or Google.I didn’t need to do a huge amount of research to figure out that “Jewish Dating” was a primary keyword for my app. But incorporating it in the app name was a move that I think made a huge difference.

The original name of the website is Jzoog (zoog is the hebrew word for couple), so the name of the app should be the same. But that would miss out on the benefit of keywords. At the time of launch the number 1 Jewish dating app was “Jewish dating”. Simple, yet powerful. It was also a paid app, so I knew there was no way it had the most users. Their name must be playing a huge role in their positioning as #1. Therefore, it only made sense for me to incorporate Jewish dating into my app title. Hence, the app is called Jzoog Jewish Dating.

I also worked hard on optimizing my description and displaying images that were properly optimized, clear and useful to the user.I don’t think I’ll ever be able to pinpoint exactly what got Jzoog Jewish App to the #1 position for “Jewish Dating”. It might have something to do with the velocity of downloads, or maybe not. It definitely isn’t the biggest Jewish dating app. Jdate holds the title for largest Jewish dating site, but their app is an embarrassing 5th or 6th on the list.

I really believe that my small optimization details have had a HUGE impact on the app’s ranking. The little things do matter.

3. The Mystery
At the end of the day you can do everything in your SEO power. Then the search engine will do what it pleases, and the results might surprise you. If you’re involved in seo you’ll have watched your sites jump from page to page, up and down, back and forth, often without having a clue as to why it’s happening. That’s because there are so many factors beyond your control.

There’s an old Yiddish saying that goes like this — “Man plans and God laughs”. It works for SEO too — “Man optimizes and Google (or Apple) laughs”

You need to do everything in your SEO power, but once you’ve done your work you need to take a breath and realize that you can’t control what happens next. Well, I guess you can pray.

If you found this post valuable, please share it.

7 On-Page SEO Techniques You Should Implement ASAP

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of making content as accessible and attractive to search engines as possible so that the content gets found, indexed and ranked as high as possible on the search result pages.

On-Page SEO refers to optimization done directly on the respective page of content as opposed to external link building, which takes place on other websites and is important for obtaining high PageRank and placement in search results.

On Page SEO includes:

1. Keyword Research
In SEO, keywords are the words and phrases that users type into search engines to find what they’re looking for. For example, if you’re looking to purchase airline tickets you might type “airline tickets”. You might also include your destination – “airline tickets to boston”. Or maybe, “cheap airline tickets to boston”. Each individual word is a keyword, and each individual phrase is a keyword phrase. When creating your content you need to identify what keywords you are targeting to make sure you are reaching the right potential customer.

2. Titles
There are really two titles to every article or post. One is for your reader to see and one is for the search engine to digest. The title for your reader must grab their attention and convince them to continue reading. The search engine title (or title tag) needs to contain your keywords and be constructed in a way that makes it easily searchable. Keyword placement within the title tag can also play a role.

3. Meta Descriptions
These are the short blurbs that appear beneath your title on search engine result pages (SERPs) that tell the searchers a bit about your page and convince them to click on your title or move on to the next search result. Although meta descriptions do not directly influence search engine rankings, they are important for getting your page link clicked on by the searcher. In addition, any keywords used in the search will be highlighted in your description on the SERP.

4. Keyword Usage
You need to use your keyword in your content, which shouldn’t be difficult since it does represent your main focus. But don’t overuse it (known as stuffing) or just stick it in out of context. That can cause the search engine to view you as a spammer (bad, very bad).

5. Image Alt Tags
An HTML coding tag that describes your image, allowing it to be read by the search engine.

6. Internal Linking
Linking content within your site. This helps search engines navigate through your entire site and might also help page rank.

7. Duplicate Content
Something you want to stay away from, because it could possibly cause Google to penalize you. This is a complicated subject, but the best way to go is to avoid duplicate content altogether.

On-Page SEO is just one part of a comprehensive SEO and Content Marketing strategy. To learn more about how we can help you with your SEO, please contact us today.