Most SEOs charge minimum $3500US a year and put you on a monthly payment plan so they can take the money from you more slowly, hence less noticeably, and one year can slip into the next…
But don’t blame them too much. SEO isn’t rocket science but you have to do that if you’re going to play “corporate”. What you’re paying for is their marketing, the money they spend on advertising and especially “cold calling”. You’ve probably all been contacted and they send you this “free” report telling you what’s wrong with your site and how they can fix it all, bringing you to page 1 for 10 keyword phrases within a few weeks. In reality, they’ve barely glanced at your site. They’re like these marketing firms that call you on the telephone but there’s always that pause because when you answwer, they haven’t actually picked up yet; in other words, they don’t actually pay attention to you, until you’ve shown some interest.
I’ve lost business over the years by not charging more. And yet, I’ve picked up large entities including large manufacturers as clients. I’ve brought them to #1. The truth is they should be paying a lot more than they are paying. But I’ve always set my pricing for the small business person and I’ve always just charged for my time rather than the potential value of my service. I guess that’s my working class mentality. I never learned how to play corporate.
So, my home page optimization fee is $249US. The vast majority of my clients are American or oveseas clients so it’s just more convenient to work in USD. I’m afraid I can’t offer a discount to my Canadian clients although I will do that if you also join up for my links service. There’s a reason why I prefer to start with the home page, apart from it simply being an approach that involves more integrity. Yes, later, we might optimize additional pages at a lower fee but I don’t believe in doing additional pages until we determine the reach of the home page. When SEOs tell you they’ll optimize 10 pages for 20 search phrases, or whatever, it’s all part of the “smoke and mirrors”. They’re trying to quantify what they do. But that’s not the right way to do it.