If you’re reading this, chance are you are trying to figure out the cost of SEO should be. this blog post, then you’ve already SEO needs to be integrated into your website’s culture and are now delving into what is would cost of SEO to be implemented. It is important to remember that the main goal of SEO is to build brand awareness, increase website traffic, and regularly land in page one search results for popular search engines.
Under that larger umbrella, some businesses may have more specific goals for which a detailed SEO campaign strategy is required. Depending on the scope and complexity of those objectives, those businesses will need to choose between customized SEO packages above and beyond that of a basic campaign.
Regardless of if you choose a general or more specific SEO strategy for your business, as the client you are in the driver’s seat when you draw out the parameters of your SEO campaign. Here is what I mean. A SEO professional is likely more knowledgeable in best SEO practices, so tell them your goals and let them use that expertise to advise you on the best path forward. That said, you know your budget and how much you are prepared to pay for an SEO campaign that will offer high returns in the long run.
A SEO campaign that is done correctly is worth every dollar you budget for it, but remember, you will only get out of it what you put into it. In other words, don’t be stingy with dollars budgeted for SEO and still expect grand results.
What Is The Cost of SEO?
Sometimes the best way to get where you need to go is to start where you want to end up and work backwards. Fixating solely on the cost of SEO is sometimes counterintuitive to achieving the goal. In this case that typically means knowing what you want your end SEO goals to be, identifying the steps needed to get you there, and then establishing a timeline and a budget.
As you can imagine, different goals warrant different workloads which can directly impact the cost of each unique SEO campaign. Although there may be other options, the cost for SEO is generally broken down into the following primary categories:
1. Hourly SEO:
In this model, clients pay simply for the hours worked and can have some control over how many hours are worked each month. However, take care to get in writing the boundaries for hours worked and hourly rates. On average, most clients can expect to pay upwards of seventy dollars an hour although this can vary from company to company.
2. Monthly SEO Retainer:
If your SEO goals require an ongoing SEO campaign strategy, this may be the most cost effective option. Clients may be able to pay a standard monthly rate, but beware of signing any long term contracts to access this payment method as that should not be required by a reputable SEO provider. Don’t get so focused on the ability to pay a routine monthly rate, that you forget to check that what you are getting for that rate matches your SEO goals.
3. SEO Projects:
Some clients will have only one specific SEO goal and in that case, SEO project rates may be more prudent. Depending on the intricacy of the project, clients can generally expect to spend anywhere from one to seven thousand for an SEO project. The primary downside with this option is that it doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room to account for pivots in strategy.
4. Performance-based SEO:
This is probably the least common way a company pays for SEO. Not many companies use this form of pay and there are certain drawbacks such as the unpredictability of how much a client will owe each pay period which can make it hard for the client to budget. This option may also require the client to read the fine print to ensure they don’t end up paying three times what they were expecting to pay.
How to I Determine What Kind of cost of SEO Services that are Best For Me?
Before you can begin to think about the kind of SEO advisement you need, consider where it will come from. This is just as an important part of your overall SEO strategy as the plan itself, so don’t rush finding the right provider. It is critical to choose a provider that can perform a SEO solid campaign for a reasonable price.
For most companies seeking out SEO help, there are three main options when it comes to providers:
As the name would imply, these companies live and breathe SEO and excel at it. But honestly, you are under estimating what an SEO company can do if you only look for this one service. For instance, although SEO is a primary service that I offer clients, we also offer web hosting, web design, and cyber security. This is the kind of SEO company you want working for you because it can make your dollars work harder and smarter and all in one place
Hiring a SEO position within a company can seem like a great way to keep everything all under one roof, but that is unfortunately one of the only pluses to this situation. An SEO specialist must have a wide range of knowledge and skills of their craft that they have likely built up with lots of experience. Translation, a company can expect to pay through the nose for an in-house SEO professional which usually does not make hiring the position cost effective. Another downside worth noting about this in-house option is that the strongest SEO professionals generally work in teams rather than as individuals.
A benefit to hiring a marketing company is the sheer amount of knowledge and skills from which your company can pull from. However, ironically, the knowledge and skills a marketing company possess can also be the problem if they are not SEO specific. You don’t want to buy a toaster from a hairdryer company. See what I mean? These large firms tend to focus on all things marketing, rather than SEO. While this can be beneficial in some ways, if your end goal is to have kick butt SEO, all the marketing charts and graphs in the world can be a little useless.
Considerations for Hiring A SEO Provider
When you know what kind of SEO provider to go with and the basics relating to cost, the next step is to vet possible providers. This may be the most crucial step in determining your SEO success, so be sure to compare each of the below areas before signing on the dotted line.
- Find out how long the company has been in operation and how many years of experience employees average as it can be a good indicator of their success. We have been providing SEO services in Houston for more than twenty years and my staff has been handpicked with most enjoying more than seven years with the company. Employees with that many years of experience in one place are usually a testament to that company.
- As I mentioned before, look for a company with a strong SEO service that also offers other related services such as web hosting, web design, social media strategy, and pay-per-click. This one stop shop experience can be far more convenient than floating between multiple providers and may also be more cost effective in the long run.
- Ensure that the company is results driven when it comes to a digital marketing campaign. Ideally, this means they are focused on increasing website traffic as well as increasing sale conversions.
- Client Reviews. Most SEO companies have at least a partial list of clients on their website. Do your homework and take a few minutes to reach out to a client or two to get their honest take on the company before signing a contract.
- Dedicated Project Managers. Even when working with a large SEO company or firm, clients should have a dedicated project manager assigned to oversee their digital marketing efforts. Having this type of personalized leadership is critical for communication and can keep a smaller client from getting lost in the daily shuffle.
- No Long Term Contracts. Be wary of a company that asks you to sign a long term contract up front. A reputable SEO company will let their work speak for itself meaning that if they truly do a good job, there is no need to lock a client in to a long term contract. You will thank me for it later…don’t sign a long term contract.
- Award Winning Client Care. For my company, this means that we focus on the customer and provide support twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred sixty-five days a year.
Amazing SEO results do not happen overnight, but if you choose to work with an SEO professional the results will come decidedly faster than if you attempt it on your own. An SEO campaign that is well researched, planned, and executed has the makings for fantastic success all while keeping the cost for SEO reasonable.