How Much Does SEO Cost?
What’s The True Price Point Behind A Successful SEO Marketing Strategy?Search engine optimization, commonly referred to as SEO, is a widely used Internet marketing strategy that helps to bolster the awareness of a brand, build a list of targeted traffic and promote a company’s performance in Google, Bing, Yahoo or other search engines’ search results. Businesses are always looking for ways to spread the word of their product or service. There is no doubt how beneficial SEO can be. However, the cost to carrying out your company’s SEO strategy is going be dependent on two things:
- The kind of strategy to be put into place
- Company’s goals
Internal Hires:If you hire an internal SEO team or specialist, you’ll pay more upfront for the training costs. However, if you have a large corporation or have a very detailed strategies list you need to put into action, this is one option to consider if you’re going for a long-term strategy. When you’re trying to find the right candidate, you need to look at the skills they have. Do they have knowledge in any of the following:
- Analytical mindset
- Technical SEO
- Link building
- Content marketing
- Social media
Content Marketing Agencies:These kinds of agencies provide an array of SEO services along with their other service offerings. These agencies don’t focus solely on SEO, which is why you need to find out if they have the technical knowledge to handle your strategy. SEO services may be bundled with their packages, which could increase the cost. This option is worthwhile if you’re looking to do several marketing tasks at one time.
Dedicated SEO Firms:Firms that focus primarily in SEO usually have the most industry experience because they constantly use and test the latest SEO techniques in various industries. Larger firms hire specialized staff to make sure their SEO challenges are dealt with. Dedicated SEO firms provide an array of services and have a range of pricing options that will cater to your company’s needs including:
- Hourly consultations
- Project-based contracts
- Monthly contracts
What Kinds of Costs Can You Expect With SEO:The amount of money your company spends on SEO is going to be dependent on two things:
- Organization’s needs
- Service provider’s experience level
$500 or less per month:When it comes to paying for SEO services, you really need to be wary of a company that offers their services for $500 or less unless you’re a local company or your website is small. The reason is that these companies focus their efforts on link building, hire overseas labor and do just the general on-site technical work. This may be well and good for local companies who want to show in Google Local or Yelp, but not good if your goal is to use a keyword that’s got a lot of competition behind it.
$1,000 to $5,000 per month:Small companies who don’t have a lot of SEO demands or have easy target keywords can do well on paying within this range. However, lower costs often equates to inexperience or lack of real results. SEO demands continuous content creation, good link building and real focus on improving conversions, accessibility and usability. It’s very hard to find a company that provides these services within this price range.
$5,000 to $10,000 per month:In this price range, you’re liable to come across more experienced SEO companies that have a proven track record in regards to success, which is necessary if your company will invest in SEO. This price range ensures you get a company with a dedicated SEO team that uses professional content managers, copy editors, web development experts, account executives, analytics experts, link outreach specialists and conversion specialists. This type of team ensures you get the support you’re looking for.
$10,000 to $20,000 or more per month:Companies that have ambitious goals usually work with SEO companies or partners within this price range. After all, the SEO team or partner generally handles everything from beginning to end. With this kind of price range, a senior SEO team is generally reserved and the investment made tends to bring in significant results, as the project is fully funded and ensures more opportunities. If your company is in a competitive market, this type of investment is typical for the first year or so. Some companies spend more than $100,000 a month for SEO when they decide to target the lucrative keyword spaces.
Fixed Price or A La Carte Contracts (Contracted Services):What are your SEO needs? Well, this will be dependent upon four things:
- Where you’re currently at in SEO techniques
- Your site’s size
- Your competitors
- Your objectives
- Link profile audits ($2,500 or higher) – dependent upon the link profile size
- SEO/website audits ($1,000 to $3,000) – dependent upon the site’s size and audit depth
- Link building ($250 to $2,000 for each link) – dependent upon quality and tactic
- Per page implementation and optimization ($100 to $250)
- Copywriting ($0.75 to $1) per word
Hourly Consultation ($100 to $300 per hour)If you want to work with an SEO consultant, you could spend more than $100 an hour for a professional that can produce results for your company. This price range is extremely competitive but you need to be mindful of the “too good to be true” consultants. Bear in mind that SEO specialists are an investment, and you don’t need to cut any corners. Be sure you find a consultant that’s had a good track record and will deliver what you’re looking for. You can find less expensive consultants, but they are generally not as experienced and tend to take longer in getting you results.
Employee Costs ($50,000 to $120,000 or more a year)Your company may have continuous needs that demand certain attention that can be dealt with internally. However, you can always hire the experience of a manager or SEO strategist. The salary of an SEO employee is generally based on geographical location and experience. For instance, an SEO director at a large San Francisco tech company can make nearly $200,000 a year. What should you pay for an SEO specialist? Check out websites like Glassdoor and Indeed for your region. Now, it’s possible that some solutions may not be in within your company’s budget or be the right thing for you. However, whatever option you decide to go with, the results you get need to be based on goals and time to generate a positive return on investment. For most cases, employing a marketing or SEO manager to have on staff is a sensible thing to do. However, if you have really ambitious goals, it may be a good idea to outsource some parts of the work. This is especially true of link building and web copy, as these are often time consuming and dedicated.
5 Things to Watch Out For In Choosing Your SEO SolutionWhen it comes to picking the right SEO solution for your company, you want to do a little bit of research to ensure you get the right partner to attain results. What kinds of flags should you be on the lookout for so you know to steer clear?
1 – Claims of Immediate Results or Overpromising GuaranteesIt doesn’t matter how good an SEO consultant, agency or specialist claims they are, they don’t need to make promises of guaranteed instant success. A well-thought-out SEO strategy could take up to six months to see any positive results. When you choose your SEO provider, you want them to explain everything about how they will attain the goals you have and how long it’ll take them. If you have a complex strategy, results could take up to a year to be seen.
2 – Be Apprehensive Regarding Link Building StrategiesIf you come across a strategy that recommends you buy large amounts of email lists, followers or link, be apprehensive of them. For the short-term aspect, they could help boost your SEO efforts but it could actually damage your website’s reputation. Google, Yahoo and other search engines are always on the lookout for suspicious SEO activity, and if they find it, they’ll do one of two things:
- Penalize your website
- Blacklist the website