Can you fix my SEO?


There is something wrong when people think about doing SEO. Most will come after results are missing to an SEO Consultant, asking indirectly: Can you fix my SEO?

Let me tell you a story to explain this better.

When my brother was in school he had, what to him looked like a great, strategy. He will start the school year doing nothing. Not learning, just going to classes. The first tests will come, and some he will pass because they are easy, some he won’t. After the first semester he would have some suspended, but never mind, there is still a semester left to get these right. So in the second semester, he will only learn for the once that didn’t work. So he will fix the once that are broken.

You can imagine that my parents were thrilled with his strategy, always thinking he will suspend a year. While this is actually not a bad strategy for school, where 80 % is useless for the rest of your life. Do you really want to go like this with your business?

The problem is, when the plan for my brother will not go well, he just repeats a year. Not much to lose there. If the plan for your business doesn’t go well – well you go out of business. How big this lose is for you, I can’t tell. But most entrepreneurs won’t be like: Well, let’s just start another business. 

SEO as a fix

I feel sometimes like my parents when a client comes to me with his website and wants me to fix it. Often it starts like this: “We just had a big relaunch and the website is really beautiful now. But we are not selling more. The traffic went down. And we don’t know what to do.“

The problem at this point is that what we will do to fix your SEO is, rework a lot of things that were done, let’s say, not optimal in the process of building the website. We then struggle with getting the budget for developers – either way, we just paid them a lot for the relaunch, why should we get more budget now?

And somehow they are right. Yes, we could have avoided all this extra costs doing it right from the start. But nobody was thinking about getting an SEO Expert to help to build the website. The focus was on the new branding, the burger menu everyone hates, the animation of the website and so much JavaScript we are now criticizing. Because why think of SEO, we can fix that later.

The cost of SEO after go live

Let’s give this example some numbers so you can see what’s happening here. 

In the process of building your website, the web designer needs to sit down and think about all the pages your website will need. The so-called Information Architecture. Let’s say it takes him 25 hours to do so. Including talking to you and get the basic information. On an hourly rate of 200 CHF, these will cost you 5.000 CHF.

After the go live and the missing results, you contract a SEO Consultant. First thing he will need to do is a Keyword Research. The result will be that you need more pages, others need to be deleted, others can be joined to make it more efficient. 

Now you paid the SEO Consultant also around 5 000 CHF, for more or less the same. We are already at around 10 000 CHF just for the information architecture. After that the work is not done, it is just an analysis. Because now we need to change the pages and might need the developer again. 

Let’s say he can do the changes really fast. In around 10 hours. Another 2 500 CHF goes there.

10 hours he already invested in building every thing like it was for the go live. So another 2 500 CHF from the relaunch goes there.

But that’s not it either. Have you thought about the content? Because that’s the next thing we need to change. Content you might have paid before that is not working. 

Let’s say you outsourced it to a freelancer that made your content with an hourly rate of 100 CHF, and it took him one work week to write the texts of the whole website, so 45 hours. In this time he wrote around 10 pages. That cost you another 4 500 CHF. Now you need to buy new content, or update the content. Ok, you will need a more skilled copywriter this time, as he needs to understand SEO. You will pay around 1 000 CHF for each text that’s SEO optimized. So another 10 000 CHF goes there for your content.

Information Architecture (IA)  from web developer5 000 CHF
Implementing IA 2 500 CHF
Content for 10 pages4 500 CHF
Total you spend for this part of the relaunch12 000 CHF
Now you are not getting the results you wanted to,
and contract an SEO consultant
Keyword Research from SEO Expert ( with IA)5 000 CHF
Implementing the new IA2 500 CHF
New Content that’s actually optimized for SEO10 000 CHF
Sum of the all the costs29 000 CHF
Cost of Information Architecture with SEO as a fix

Now let’s look at the same numbers if you had asked an SEO Expert from the start.

Keyword Research from SEO Expert (IA)5 000 CHF
Adding sites that are not SEO relevant (your business websites)1 000 CHF
Implementing the Information Architecture2 500 CHF
Write SEO optimized Content10 000 CHF
Sum of the costs18 500 CHF
Cost of Information Architecture with SEO from day 1

You saved 10 500 CHF. Not bad for having a better website, that’s optimized from the start and will bring you rankings much earlier. 

This is just the start

In the example, we just talked about a small part that you will need to do after the relaunch. Because you will need an SEO Consultant doing a Website Audit, and for sure there are many problems arising that need to be fixed just to have the base right. So this is just the start of what you will need to correct. 

And the technical Issues almost always can only be fixed by the developer himself. Which costs a lot of money. And some things will be building back stuff (like animation) that cost you a lot of money implementing it.

And if we take into account now the opportunity costs, for the months you were not ranking. The time it will take to get you up there now. And the traffic you lost when the relaunch wasn’t made well (which happens like 80 % of the time). This little thing of “SEO as a fix” gets quite expensive.

What should you do now?

In the end, you can do what you want. It is your business, it is your money, and it is your website.

But keep in mind that you are not in school like my brother. And some companies might not be ready to survive the “SEO as a fix” approach. You might, but it will still come with a huge invisible extra cost. So maybe it is not SEO that you want to save on, but the new business card design. 

But of course it is your decision.

Dani Leitner avatar


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