The number of hours required depend on the scope of work and the amount of competition. It also depends on how much revenue you are hoping to generate. Using this website benedict.co.uk as an example see the table below.
Please note that SEO is possibly one of the most competitive keywords online so the example is pertinent.
Cost on Average £79 per hour
VERY HIGH (500 million)
300 - 400 page website complete with detailed information, good design and case studies. Regular updates, content can only be written by an expert
About 40, SEO and Marketing based, long tail and Geo targeted
Business / Corporate / UK
Sales / Leads
Telephone / email
Expected / required traffic
4000 - 6000 pcm
G+. FB, TW (low priority)
£250,000 per annum* (new sales)
Very High / no products
GA / Web stats
weekly SERPs / monthly / quarterly
This website is about SEO and is designed to inform users on how Benedict can assist their company. If offers a balance of enough information to prove competence and (hopefully) and enough persuasion that a user may contact us by either telephone or by email.
The competition for "SEO" is very high with 500 million web pages competing for a top position. This means that a website that stands still will drop in the rankings as other websites overtake it.
Scope of Work required pcm
20 hours pcm content / optimisation / web design
5 hours web development reviews / rss
2 hours Brainstorming new ideas
2 hour Social Media
8 hours link building
4 hours analysis
1 hours reporting
Total: 42 hours @ £79 per hour £3318.00 + vat pcm
Benedict.co.uk requires new content and "tweaking" on a weekly basis, with plans for new sections of the website regularly scheduled. In fact we spend about 8 hours a week maintaining this and other SEO website we have in our armory. We also have a monthly brainstorming session, to come up with new ways of inducing companies to choose us.
In addition we spent an afternoon a month analysing where the traffic is coming from, where it is converting and where users are exiting the site and about a day a month building backlink to the sites when required.
In less competitive markets the spend could be reduced by as much as 30%.