Search engine optimization companiesand consultants are not all alike. One seo consultant can have a totally different approach to seo than another consultant. Some seo companies offer basic link building services such as search engine submission, directory submission, article submission and so forth. These seo companies basically have a cookie-cutter approach to marketing their search engine optimization services. The problem is that the one size fits all approach doesn't really work so well, for the search engine optimization company or the client. In reality, there isn't a single solution that works for every client. So why do search engine optimization companies offer such cookie-cutter packages? One reason is because clients want something quantifiable.
The online world of internet marketing and search engine optimization is full of question marks for the average small, medium or even large business owner. If you consider the instant return on investment that is part of the offline advertising and marketing world, and compare that to the not so instant return on investment in the internet marketing world, it's no wonder that clients want to know exactly what they are getting when they fork over the big bucks.
The fact of the matter is that in an online environment, search engine optimization is a slow process of increasing your web site's exposure. You pay now and receive later, sometimes much later. When search engine optimization companies do their job correctly the benefits are enormous! Your web site ranks for many keywords that get searched thousands of times per month, thus increasing traffic and sales in a huge way. It just takes time to do it right.
I think the problem with seo services and the clients who purchase them is the lack of education in regards to exactly how seo works. In other words, people have unreasonable expectations. They expect to pay "x" amount of dollars to receive instant (or pretty close to instant) returns in the form of high ranking keywords and tons of traffic. My gut feeling is that as time wears on this will be less of a problem. Right now the gulf between the internet savvy and the internet unsavvy is pretty big. That gulf will become smaller and smaller over time though as more and more people become properly acquainted with the role of search engine optimization and the companies who provide such services.