Happy New Year!
I've recently jumped into the world of search engine optimization, and I'm enjoying myself. Funny though, there's a lot of tricks and cheats you can do for your site and from what I can see, if a search engine determines you are cheating, then no soup for you. Search engines like good, honest sites. I started my SEO experience with SEO Tools at http://www.webconfs.com/. Huge help, discovered the benefits of using <h> tags, static looking URLs instead of dynamic URLs and of course keywords. I was able to get decent results for customers based on this basic information. Also, familiarized myself with the 15 minute SEO on that site as well. Quick and easy reference for SEO tips.
Deciding I wanted to really understand and agressively attack SEO, I read through the Search Engine for Optimization for Dummies book. This book help explain a lot of things, why search engines prefer or hate cetain things. It explained the importance of keywords and their placement. Using some of the tools it suggested I worked with my father-in-law's site, Acrylic Bathliners and Shower Surrounds by Preferred Baths, to see what I can do, as a "test site". Within a month of putting his site live and submitting to the major search engines, he is being returned in the top 5 for "acrylic bathliner". We have more work to do for other important keywords, but the initial results are very encouraging.
One of my customers paid another company about $30K to optimize their e-commerce website. After reviewing all of their documentation (I applied the changes so I could paruse as needed) I'm even more confident in my SEO techniques. The cost killer is keyword analysis. In just playing with Preferred Baths I came to realize that the large ticket of $30K is almost justified for this customer. They optiimized every page, category and product. I have spent hours researching keywords for Preferred Baths and that's a small site! SEO costs definitely depend on the site of the site and the complexity of it's keywords.
If you're interested in SEO optimization for your site, we can provide such services. Our basic seo optimization package includes proper keyword placement, ideal HTML/CSS text usage and navigation/link recommendations. This is assuming you, the customer, are providing the keywords. All new websites we create include this package. If you want us to provide a keyword analysis, we can provide you a proposal for your site. Remember, it will depend on the size and keyword complexity of your site.