It is no myth that SEO can be costly. Every website has unique needs so costs and prices can vary greatly. One of the most important things to look for is specific pricing for the SEO services that you actually need. This blog post will help you learn what SEO should really cost, what it would cost for you to do it on your own and how much time SEO should take.
SEO is a very important part of many companies online marketing strategies. There is tons of competition in the SEO marketplace so pricing can be all over the place when being quoted for services from different agencies. The key to knowing if you are getting accurate pricing and not getting ripped off is to know what services you actually need. Just make sure you aren’t being oversold by the SEO consultant you choose.
SEO pricing is based on many different variables such as the size of your website, the size of your company, the competitveness of keywords and the reputation of the specific SEO. The first step in pricing is to do a basic search for the keywords that focus on your industry. Determine the amount of competition in the results. You can usually tell if a keyword is very competitive if there are lots of what look to be “optimized” titles.The title tag of a web page is one of the number one factors in ranking well for a specific page. Many companies will use keywords loaded in their title tags to influence higher rankings. If you see alot of “optimized” titles, you most likely have found a competitive keyword and can expect pricing to be higher. There are also other free tools available to determine competitiveness such as SEMRush and the Google Adwords Tool. If you get a basic understanding of the amount of competition in your terms, it will help determine if you should be on the high or low end of the following pricing models.
SEO isn’t just “SEO”. It is a product of multiple efforts and methods used to help increase your traffic and ultimately, sales to give you a proper ROI. Don’t let a company tell you that they’ll rank you for “X amount of keywords” on the first page. That is just rediculous. What you want is traffic and conversions.
Prices For SEO Services You Probably Need:
Basic Website Review:
Price Range: $250 – $2,500
A basic website review is an overview of your current website, and can range from $250 – $2500 easily depending on the size and complexity of it. The lower value would be a small business site with just a few pages, while the higher number is a very complex ecommerce site with 20,000+ pages and 1000′s of products. The service should include server and hosting issue reviews, website html and code reviews and a written protocol on what needs to be done to help increase your sales by using SEO.
Website Code Overhaul:
Price Range: $500 – $50,000
Rewriting code is a complex process and prices can vary greatly depending on a number of factors. Again like the above example, this is mainly based on number of pages and complexity of the code. Small business owners shouldn’t spend more than $500-$1,000 on this service while large corporations can easily spend over $50,000.
Price Range: $500 – ∞
This is where to avoid being oversold. A proper link building campaign is not going to include 1,000′s of links to your website. Its going to include quality content creation and other methods used to organically increase the number of other websites linking to yours. In the end, links pointing to your website have the most influence on what terms you rank for. So this is a very important step. Small businesses in a local area should budget around $500 – $2,500 for a service like this.
Price Range: $1,000 – $100,000 +
A pattern is forming here, again this is a service based upon size and complexity of the website needed. Small local companies, depending on the quality of design, can expect to spend $1,000 – $5,000 on a simple website. This should include all the design work, image licenses, and rights of use.
Monthly SEO Retainer:
Price Range: $1,000 – $25,000+
This service should include everything above. Many SEO companies use a monthly retainer with a set contract that has been customized specifically for their client. It will usually include everything from link building, content maintenance, copywriting and design services. Be careful not to get ripped off by your SEO agency here. Small local companies should be paying between $1,000 – $5,000 a month. Always make sure the profits you expect to make from this campaign will outweigh the costs. It’s very easy for a company to bill you monthly after they have attained your rankings and just collect a check and not do any more work. Check your contract and make sure it includes a minimum amount of time that will be put into your SEO efforts each month. Some companies offer a guarantee of service. While many seem too good to be true, there are a select few companies out there that pride themselves in their services and can successfully offer a ROI guarantee.
Price Range: $0 – $1,000 / month
Sure you can do SEO for your site for free. There are tons of free resources and SEO blogs with tips and tricks to optimizing your site. (See: SEOmoz, SEObook, etc.) Just take into account, while you are saving cash by doing it yourself, is it really saving money or could your time be better spent creating additional profit for your company doing what you do best?
How much time does SEO take:
SEO is an ongoing process, once it starts, it should never end. The time it takes for ranking increases for specific keywords can be given a timeframe of 3-6 months, but if they are competitive in nature and other competitors are consitently doing SEO, as soon as the work stops, the rankings may possibly fall. The key is to gain momentum with your SEO strategy, and it will take less effort to keep it going once its running strong.
So give me your comments, how do you charge or what do you expect to pay? I’d love to hear any input. See you soon!