Everyone’s website needs SEO but how do you know how much to pay or who to trust with your website? Learn how to set expectations, spot low-quality knock-offs and learn some of the price ranges you should expect to pay for quality SEO in today’s market.
SEO is a widely adopted online marketing strategy that is used to increase brand awareness, build targeted traffic, and promote your organization’s performance in the search results of Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines, all of which are sought after by many businesses interested in scaling their product or service offerings.
While the benefits of good SEO are clear, the cost of accomplishing an SEO strategy can vary significantly depending on the goals of the company and the type of strategy being implemented. No matter what your budget, the costs associated with promoting SEO should be viewed as an investment for your business and with any investment, you should be concerned with building the best possible ROI.
Prior to signing on any dotted line with any digital agencies, carefully contemplate and document what you look to accomplish with your SEO strategy. Focus on being realistic with your goals, which will help you determine an appropriate budget to spend on your SEO investment.
For example, if your goal is to increase sales by 15 percent, estimate how much you are willing to pay for that result and how that will affect your budgeting and marketing options in the future. Generally, the larger the goal, the more expensive it can be to accomplish.
Hire for Your Goals and Pay for Results
After establishing the SEO and marketing goals of your business, you should be better equipped to hire for your needs. When shopping for SEO, it’s best to consider all of your options and the costs associated with each of those options prior to making any decisions.
Choices can include hiring an SEO specialist or team internally, or contracting an SEO agency. Here are a few points to consider with each:
Internal Hires: Hiring an internal SEO specialist or team will be more expensive upfront due to training costs, but if you have a larger organization or a long list of strategies to implement, this is an option that you can consider for the long term. When finding the ideal candidate, note that they should have a wide range of skills that should include: link building, technical SEO understanding, content marketing, social media know-how, and an analytical mindset.
However, this can get very expensive and it is not uncommon for a veteran SEO to make over $100,000. In addition, you’ll generally need to hire a team to handle all of your SEO needs and not put all the responsibility on one employee.
Content Marketing Agencies: These agencies often offer SEO services as an add-on to their other service offerings, but since SEO is not their primary focus, you should ensure that they have the technical know-how prior to contracting. SEO costs associated may be more expensive, because their SEO services could be bundled within content marketing packages, but this can be an excellent option if your business is looking to accomplish a variety of marketing goals concurrently.
Dedicated SEO Firms: Firms solely focused on SEO, generally have the most industry experience as they tend to consistently use and practice the latest SEO techniques every day across different industries. Some bigger firms employ large staffs with specialists in many areas, which can help ensure that they can solve your SEO challenges.
In addition, these firms often offer a variety of services and pricing options to cater to the needs of your company, such as monthly contracts, project-based contracts, and hourly consultations. This option may be better if you are handling very technical, individualized, project-based, or ongoing SEO specific needs.
How Much Does SEO Cost: SEO Payment Models
How much SEO costs your company will obviously vary greatly depending on the needs of your organization and the experience level of the service provider you choose, but you should expect to pay within these price ranges below based on service type you decide to move forward with.
Monthly Retainers and What You Get:
This is perhaps the most popular pricing model and the cost increases with the needs of your organization.
(Less than $500/mo):
Unless you are a hyper-local company that has little competition and your site is very small, you should be careful when purchasing SEO for less than $500 per month. Most companies that work in this area automate a lot of their link building, use overseas labor for content, and only do basic on-site