SEO Search engine optimization

How Much Does #SEO Cost?

How Much Should SEO Cost?

Everyone has either gotten the phone call or e-mail from someone offering affordable SEO services starting at $99 per month!  Are these real?  Can they really get your website on “Page One Of Google” like they said?

What Is SEO?

#SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.  #SEO is having your website rank for specific keywords that your potential customer may be putting into Google.  That sounds easy right?  Keep in mind, there are ONLY ten places on Page One Of Google for any particular set of keywords. The next time you go to Google and type in a search… pay attention to the number of results.  Why?  Well, that will show you the number of pages that are trying to rank for the term you just put in.  If I put in the search term “real estate SEO” you will see that we have one million six hundred thousands results.  How easy do you think it is to be the “first ten”?  Well what about page two you ask…

The old joke is “where do you hide a dead body?  Page two of Google”

SEO Takes Work

This article will not cover what needs to be done to rank your website on page one of Google… there are millions of search results telling you how to do that– if you don’t believe me, just Google it!  To give some explanation of the work involved in ranking a website — here is a Guide to real estate SEO.  Real estate SEO is generally much more challenging than most verticals because of the immense amount of competition.  To get some idea of your current site’s SEO – Here is a FREE SEO Website Audit.

What we will go into is: Real SEO takes time!  There is a ton of work involved including On-Page SEO, which is setting up your website properly including:

  • H1, H2, H3 Headers
  • Meta Title
  • Meta Description
  • Keyword Density (even if its simply double checking for keyword stuffing)
  • URL Structure
  • Internal Links

And that is just scraping the surface.  Once the on-page SEO is done, then someone needs to write some high quality, original content.  That’s right, every page of your site needs to be custom written and not plagiarized from any other place on the internet.  Once all of that NEW copy is written, then someone is going to syndicate that content on social media.  That is not just posting the new blog on your personal Facebook page, but somehow figuring out how to have it shared, liked, plus 1’d, tweeted, retweeted, upvoted and everything else that shows its a quality piece of content.

SEO Takes Time

Anyone claiming that they will have you on page one of Google instantly (or even within a month) is either lying to you…or simply running an Google Adwords campaign. It takes months, sometimes even years, to properly rank a site.
SEO Search engine optimization

How Much Should SEO Cost?

Now that we have somewhat of an understanding of the work involved in SEOing a website.  Understanding the work, time and ability that SEO takes, now we can look at the affordability of real SEO.  Different SEO agencies provide different levels of SEO with different pricing models.

SEO Pricing is based on a variety of factors:

  • How much work needs to be done to your existing website
  • The number of monthly searches for your keywords you want to rank for
  • How competitive the search is
  • How strong the competition for the search results are
  • Domain age and existing domain metrics for your existing website
  • The going Cost Per Click paid for Adwords for those keywords

Once again, we are just scraping the surface.  Needless to say, its easier to rank a website that wants to be found for “Dog Walking in Granbury Tx” than it is for “New York Real Estate”.  One search term will have very few searches and very few competing websites. The other search term has thousands of monthly searches and millions of websites fighting to be on page one of Google.

 NO ONE can guarantee page one placement on Google for a pre-determined price

Real Esate SEO

Is SEO Affordable?

Affordable SEO is a matter of value.  Any digital marketing service, such as search engine optimization, should provide a return on investment.  The amount of ROI dictates its affordability.  Most businesses are perfectly fine in spending any amount of money, if it provides a consistent return on investment.  At the same time, it doesn’t matter how little you spend (yea, we are talking about you $199 per month SEO guru) if you don’t acquire any new business or generate any new revenue.
SEO - Search Engine Optimization

How Do I Know If My SEO Price Is Affordable?

There are many ways to qualify value in SEO services.  Whether your long term business goals are brand recognition, product awareness or bottom line sales, there are may was to measure success.  One common way is to compare your SEO Quote to what it would cost to run Google Ads (which ultimately gets you on page one of Google). This is not an direct comparison for a variety of reasons.  Some basic reasons are:

  • When you stop paying the ads go away instantly
  • Some people skip ALL ads and go to the first “organic search result”

Comparing your SEO Spend to the Google Adwords equivalent costs is a quick way to get an idea if your SEO is Affordable.

When you get a quote for ongoing SEO services, it should include some of the main keywords the SEO company anticipates you ranking for.  It should also include the average CPC or Cost Per Click needed to pay for an ad on Google. Simply multiply the number of searches by the Cost Per Click.  Keep in mind when looking at comparing organic ranking to paid ads, don’t anticipate getting 100% of all of the clicks — but this process will give some relevance and assign a value for each search term.

The only way you get 100% of the clicks is if you don’t have any ads and rank for all ten positions.

The point here is that you can look at each key-phrase searched in Google and know how much  it would cost to show up (in the ads) each time that keyword is searched.  Your SEO for those series of keywords has a direct relationship to the amount of the equivalent Google Adwords.

Real SEO Can Be Affordable

Depending on your specific business goals, SEO can be very affordable.  SEO has single handily created multi-million dollar, publicly traded companies.  Let’s look at real estate SEO, Zillow for instance…They would only be a funny name if they did not beat out everyone else in the extremely competitive world of online real estate.

SEO is all about getting a return on investment.  It really doesn’t matter how much it costs.

If every dollar you spend makes you a dollar fifty — spend 100 million!!


Get Your FREE No Obligation SEO Report


e-mail security for real estate agents

E-Mail Security and Real Estate Agents

Security is something we all think of regularly when it comes to technology. We use security software on personal computers, tablets, and smartphones. In the real estate world, every REALTOR and real estate broker use technology every day.  The use of some security measures is a good thing and a necessity in this time. REALTORS generally transmit personal information, mortgage information and other sensitive data over their “free” e-mail account. Real estate agents have their clients sign a document explaining “agency”.  In that document, they guarantee a certain level of privacy.  Using what may technology vendors look at as “obviously not secure”, using a FREE E-mail system may not be enough to avoid being responsible.

Is The Broker or the Agent At Fault?

The unfortunate answer to that is BOTH.  Both the real estate broker and the individual REALTOR are both responsible for data breaches that affect their customers and clients.  Many real estate brokers provide their agents with broker branded e-mail accounts.  Needless to say, if the broker is providing the e-mail then they are directly responsible.  Even if the broker does not provide the e-mail, in most states they have ultimate culpability for the agents on their roster.  At the agent level, if you have subscribed to a free e-mail service, especially one known for security vulnerabilities (such as AOL) then you are responsible too.  Remember, in most states, the real estate agent is the person who has the agency relationship with the client.  This is a problem when you have active homes for sale.

Large Breaches In Security

email security Back in 2014, Yahoo, EBay, Home Depot, and AOL were breached by hackers who stole the data of more than 500 Million user accounts. This information included things such as usernames, passwords, email addresses, phone numbers, as well as other sensitive information.  For any real estate agent using one of these systems, the confidential aspect of their real estate transaction could be at risk.  The mentioned breaches are only a small number of successful attacks which took place in 2014. Many of the email providers that people use for personal email simply do not deploy or maintain the same security measures one may find with a dedicated exchange server.

Companies like Yahoo and AOL were great for providing a free personal email account in the early days of the internet. However, they should not be used to transmit sensitive sensitive data of any kind. Using AOL is a bad idea in itself. The company has been a target for hackers for many years because of a lack of security. At the same time, Yahoo is not much better. It too has been a target favored by hackers for many years. Companies this large have attempted breaches of security almost daily if not more often. The public only hears about the large breaches that are made public.

For an interesting view of recent breaches over the years, take a look at the chart here: Worlds Biggest Breaches. The page is a great visual representation of some of the biggest breaches in the last decade.

words biggest security breaches
When it comes to security of data, the user’s computer or device is not the end of the line. To protect data regardless of being personal, business related, or otherwise, the user must think much farther down the line and be proactive against possible breaches of security. Far too many people are using insecure methods of exchanging data. Lawyers, doctors, real estate agents, corporate CEOs, and many others are using personal email accounts to transfer data with clients or other organizations, often never realizing that the risk is not at the computer sending the email. Nor is it the issue with the computer receiving the email. The real issue is with the service being used to send or receive the email or other message.  With real estate agents transferring critical, personal information over their e-mail, REALTORS may have some level of culpability if a security breach is found. Simply using a service that has had a data breach puts real estate agents at risk.

Website Vulnerability

If you do business through your real estate website, anything that passes through there, such as your clients:

  • Names
  • Email Address
  • Home Address
  • Phone Number
  • Other Potentially Private Information

If you own your domain – and pass client information of any sort, you are responsible for that data.



security hackUsing a service that has had a data breach is a serious risk. Any messages that are transmitted can be seen and manipulated by a third party aka the hacker. The stolen data is often sold on the black market and then used for many things like identity theft. The information pertained in one account is often similar to, if not the same as, the information used in other accounts for the same person. Once a hacker or organization has enough information it can be used to check for accounts and other information on many different websites. This means that the email used to create a Facebook account is often the same as the one used to create an Instagram account. The chances that both accounts use the same password are fairly high. All the security questions that are answered are also common among many websites making that information just as valuable as the email and password.

Secure e-Mail Options for Real Estate Agents

There are many better options in email services for both business and personal use. Companies like Microsoft and Google offer free email services for personal use as well as dedicated email domains for business use. Both are much more secure than using an outdated service like AOL. When transmitting sensitive data related to business, an employee should never use a personal account for any communication. All employees should use the company provided email account for security. As for personal email accounts, there are many free secure options available. Microsoft offers a free account to anyone signing up for a Microsoft account. Google has always been free to sign up for an account that includes much more than just email. A Google account gives the user access to many different services and tools from Google. There are many more free email services for personal use available on the internet.

Digital Security

Security is a big factor in the world when it comes to digital information. The use of old outdated systems like AOL can lead to potential data breaches by outside sources. Moving email and messaging services away from old systems is a simple step to keeping all data and communications secure. The next step is to keep personal messages separate from business. Never use a personal account for company related communication and vice versa. Finally, using simple passwords is a disaster waiting to happen. Creating secure passwords and changing them often is the best way to keep all communications secure. The password that is used with one account should not be used with other accounts. All these steps mentioned will help to ensure all communications, personal and business related, stay secure and out of the hands of hackers and other malicious persons.

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