What is SEO?

Today I would like to ask an important question: How much does SEO actually cost? As many of you may know, there are SEO to monthly budgets ranging from under 100 euros to five-digit amounts. But what is the right budget? What does SEO actually cost?

Billing models: Package -Monthly-After success

In principle, there are three billing models for SEO:

  • Unique: If an SEO look only once on a page – such as an imminent relaunch – makes sense. The effort is pre-calculated, the result is also.
  • Monthly: This is the most frequent billing method. For money X, customer gets monthly service Y. SEO is never really ending, so this billing method makes sense.
  • After success: If you settle “only on success”, use this as a sales argument. Some agencies offer a performance-related component, but I do not recommend a 100% “money back guarantee”. Let’s put it this way: From the SEO agencies I know and appreciate (and I know a lot), no one offers a money-back guarantee.

Were you contacted by Kaltakquise?

If someone has contacted you by cold call, so by telephone, e-mail or even fax, then the probability in my opinion is very high that you are not a good agency. Good SEO agencies do not need my telephone calls, and the good ones I know do not make it. Sometimes these people even call us and offer us search engine optimization – I always let me make an offer

Imprint: In Germany/Austria? If not: Caution!

There are bad email spammers who are always in touch with millions of users. Take a look at the imprint. If there is none or is it not within Germany or Austria, then the offer is probably very untrustworthy. Of course, there are also good agencies outside Germany – but they usually do not contact you by e-mail.

Unfortunately, that is not enough, because some fraudsters have unfortunately used to use German imprint addresses, which do not exist at all. My tip: just googlet the address. If it exists, look at Streetview to see if it is an office application or a private apartment. One can also work as an agency from the private apartment (so I have started), but the team with 20 employees is then rather unbelievable.


My tip to future customers: Look closely at what services are included and how much effort they will have. What do you pay for the money? In principle, these are two types of benefits:

  1. Specific services: Revision of landing pages, writing texts, building links and much more can be written directly as billable services in the contract. Important: It is important to specify a number. For amount X you get Y Landingpage revisions per month or Z links. Who simply “Landingpages overworked”, the makes often only a few months and afterwards no more. Therefore: Check the number in the contract!
  2. Hours / man days: Another pricing model is the billing of hours. This is more flexible and more transparent for both the customer and the agency. I’ve become a strong fan of it now.

In my opinion, in a contract, either the number of hours or the number of “things” produced in one contract. If your agency does not, then ask why.


SEO for 99 euros?

I will stick with it: For 99 euros monthly can be delivered in my opinion no serious performance. Simply because you can work as an agency then at most one hour a month – and SEO takes more time. The tragic thing: many small business owners and startups have no more than a few hundred euros available for SEO monthly. I have probably already led hundreds of conversations with good and motivated customers, but unfortunately did not have the necessary minimum budget (with us: 2.000 euros). When I started with SEO almost ten years ago, there was unfortunately no great alternative for these people, except “Learn it for yourself.” I then told them:

“Put someone on a base of 400 euros, make him smart in the SEO area, and then he / she should do it himself. So you can make sure that someone is working for your money, and the output is probably better than the low-cost agencies. ”

Nowadays there are also many great tools such Onpage.org which are even free for small sites. Especially with the Onpage.org Navigator you can achieve a lot on your own, because it gives you a step-by-step description of what you should do.


So my opinion is: SEO must have its price. Not because we are such great stallions (and mares) and so deserve superviel. Instead, as a self-employed person or an agency, you have to expect at least 80 Euros per hour. An hour a month does not matter much anyway. The result is that nothing is done at all and the performance is automated as well as it is. At 99 euros per month it can happen that someone pushes once per month on a button, whereupon the customer gets a report, maybe a few links from (in-house) web catalogs and so it was.

If you do not have the necessary small money, you should look for someone within the company (or yourself), register with Onpage.org and do it yourself. What costs nothing, is usually nothing. If 99 euro investment per month could really bring any page up, there would be a lot more millionaires in Germany.

Hourly rates at SEO

Here, of course, a lot of nonsense is written, which is why I once with the Honorary Guide of iBusiness have brought, have more than 300 agencies and service providers participating in the battering. I do not want to go into detail now: Usually 75 to 150 euros per hour. Obviously, there are eruptions up and down, but this is what you pay on average with SEO agencies and freelancers. You should pay for what you are ready for. One can not say that a good agency is also expensive or vice versa. However, I would never take the best offer with SEO, because you can quickly destroy it.

Minimum term of contract

Many agencies still demand contracts of 12 or even 24 months from their customers. Whoever signs it, does not come out earlier. Personally, I would not sign it with anyone. For what? The only advantage is that the agency can then calculate much better. Unfortunately, I see no advantage for the customer. We at Seokratie work with a three-month notice period.

Good questions to the future SEO agency

In the following I have some good questions to your future SEO agency.

  • How many customers are supported per employee?For some agencies, an employee is working for up to 50 clients – an impossible figure in my opinion.
  • Do you take you to the Google Webmaster Guidelines ? If you want to be safe, pay attention to how the agency reacts.
  • W hen your link building operates: W he operates your link building exactly? My Opinion on the link building one knows. Whoever wants to, should be aware of this: as soon as we are talking about some elaborate “systems” or pyramids. Leave my finger away!
  • What makes you different from others?Here the agency should score points. This question, incidentally, is almost every company I work with. You can tell whether someone loves his job or just makes money because of the money.
  • What successes can you guarantee?Here, the answer should be differently differently than expected. A good agency does not guarantee success. We (agencies) optimize websites as good as possible for Google, but ultimately have no influence on it. Any guarantee of success, especially on the phone, must be treated with extreme caution. In my opinion, often applies: “The more promised, the less will be respected.”
  • Who is my contact, how can you reach it? A good agency should be available at all times (at normal office hours).
  • How do you measure success?Some agencies have – practically indestructible – indices with which they expect success. If the Seocracy Score is constantly growing, then you are naturally happy. Fun aside: The success is measured firstly by the number of visitors who come to Google via Google and secondly (much more importantly!) The turnover that these visitors make.


What ultimately costs SEO, you can not say directly. 100 Euro per month is definitely not enough as an agency service – as a cheap SEO tool is more worthwhile. Ultimately, it is mainly the performance. What do I get for my money? These concrete things in advance with the service provider to discuss and agree in writing is far more important than the amount. If then the indicated achievements / hours make sense and also with a healthy human understanding of the effort are justifiable, then everything fits.

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