Lower Head


E-Marketing Performance Blog

Single-Serve vs. All You Can Eat SEO

I’ve always thought of SEO as a long-term process. More of a perpetual process, really. SEO firms (not to be confused with SEO consultants) tend to provide one of two different types of service.

  • Single-Serve SEO: These firms provide a proposal for optimizing your entire site or optimizing for a set number of keyword phrases. Once that is done you are wither on your own or you can sign up for a “maintenance” plan.
  • All You Can Eat SEO: These firms provide a perpetual ongoing SEO process. This might include continuously uncovering and optimizing for new targeted keyword phrases, continuous link building, ongoing consultation and analysis as needed.

Here are a few pros and cons of each:

Single-Serve SEO:


  • Pages gets fully analyzed, optimized and rolled out within a few weeks or months.
  • No long-term contracts.
  • No large re-occurring fees.


  • Nothing gets rolled out until its all complete. If the contract calls for a large number of keywords or pages to be optimized you might be in for a long wait.
  • Some important keywords many not get optimized as the contract has limitations as to how many pages and keywords are to be optimized.
  • Newly popular phrases don’t get optimized without making an additional optimization purchase.
  • Reporting and analysis is limited.
  • Link building is limited.

All You Can Eat SEO:


  • New keywords are always being found and optimized into your site.
  • Ongoing analysis, maintenance, reporting and consulting.
  • Ongoing link analysis and building
  • You know who is ultimately responsible.
  • No fees for just keeping the status quo or a few reports
  • Pages are rolled out as soon as they are ready, no waiting for “everything” to be completed.
  • Constant analysis for new trendy keywords that can bring in targeted traffic.
  • Ongoing link building efforts
  • Ongoing reporting and in depth performance analysis


  • Some important keywords may take a while to get optimized and rolled out.
  • Larger ongoing fees.
  • Long-term contracts often required.

Both forms of SEO campaigns have their merit. Your particular budgetary and optimization needs will dictate which is best for you.

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

2 Responses to Single-Serve vs. All You Can Eat SEO

  1. Stoney … the choice between the 2 is complicated when you speak to many SEO companies. With this post you make it clear and easy to make a decision. If I was a client I would chose the #2 (All you can eat).

    Problem is … many SEO companies offer this at $400 to $1,500 month and when you ask them specifically what will be done you can translate their “blah blah” to “duh, well, umm, reports!”

    You’re right. SEO is an “ongoing” process and even if you achieve great results for a client, with time their rankings will drop because while they relax, their competition won’t.

  2. Stoney G deGeyter
    Stoney deGeyter says:

    Thanks igor! Of course, we don’t subscribe the the “maintenance and reports” version of the ongoing contract. There really needs to be much more than that. What is “maintenance”? Is it link building? Great, then say so. Is it reports? OK, Cool. What else? Is it link building and tweaking but only when rankings drop? Well, that’s OK if you’re not paying a lot, but that’s still single-serve to me. All you can eat means you’re constantly going out and optimizing for more keywords every month. And then some more again and more again.