caution: There is now an updated version of this guide: How much does SEO cost?
Almost every business today has to decide how much to spend on search engine optimization (SEO).this is If question. Robust online marketing is essential for survival in a web-driven world.
A question that every business professional must ask themselves is, “How much should I spend on SEO?” All the information you need to make that decision, plus some helpful tips on how an SEO agency works so you can be successful in forging important partnerships with your online marketing company. Please continue reading.
SEO payment model
To understand the dollars and cents discussed below, you need to understand the payment model used by the agency. SEO agencies typically offer four main services and payment methods:
- Monthly Retainer: In this model, clients pay a fixed monthly fee in exchange for an agreed set of services. Monthly retainers are the most popular payment model as they offer the largest her ROI. Monthly retainer contracts typically include regular analytics reports, onsite content improvements, press releases, link building, keyword research, and optimization.
- Contracted services at a fixed price: Almost all SEO agencies sell contract services. Clients often choose the contract services they want to complete before they are ready to hire a monthly retainer. The services offered by SEO agencies are often advertised on the site with prices. A classic example of this is an SEO website audit that helps determine existing strengths and weaknesses in a client’s online presence, competitive analysis, and keywords that are most likely to return a positive ROI.
- Project-based pricing: Project Fees are similar to Contract Services, except they are custom projects created specifically for the client. Fees vary by project. For example, a local cupcake shop may enlist her SEO agency to assist him with his marketing locally online. A client has decided that they want their agency to open a social media account. The cupcake business and her SEO agency will determine the scope and cost of the project.
- Hourly Consulting: This familiar consulting model pays for time in exchange for services and information.
Most SEO agencies use all these payment models. Similarly, clients may work with agencies that use multiple models. For example, a client can choose to pay a monthly fee, purchase contract services, or participate in special projects with an agency to fall into three payment models.
typical SEO costs
So what should you expect to pay? Here is a survey of the range of costs according to the above payment models:
- Monthly retainer: $750-5,000 per month. Within this range, the amount a client pays depends on the size of the business and the range of services provided by the agency. At the lower end of this spectrum are small his SEO agencies that offer a limited range of services. In the upper range are businesses with greater needs who work with his full-service SEO agency. Most companies pay between $2,500 and $5,000 for retainers each month.
- Contract service at a fixed price: price fluctuations. Companies testing the waters of SEO typically choose contract services as their entry point. Typical contract services include SEO Copywriting ($0.15-$0.50/word), Site Content Audit ($500-$7,500), Link Profile Audit ($500-$7,500), Social Media Site Setup ($500-$3,000) .
- Project-based pricing: price fluctuations. There is a wide range of prices due to the variety of projects. Most projects cost him $1,000 to $30,000.
- Hourly fee for consulting: $100-300/hour. SEO consultants, whether individuals or agencies, typically charge between $100 and $300 per hour.
(Some of these numbers are from an SEOmoz survey of 500 consultants and agencies in 2011.)
No discussion of SEO agencies and pricing would be complete without a few caveats. To protect yourself from promiscuous her SEO agency with unethical business practices, please read and pay attention. Doubt the following promises.
- We guarantee. SEO companies generally cannot provide guarantees due to the ever-changing nature of the industry.
- instant results. Certainly, some SEO tactics allow you to get “immediate results” by manipulating the system. Be aware that these can hurt you in the long run, instant results often include his SEO practices that go against webmaster guidelines issued by search engines. All the time, Google seeks out these techniques and penalizes them. As a result, you lose your ranking, which can take months to recover.
- #1 on Google. When an agency promises to be #1 on Google, that’s great. Hopefully you will be able to get your hands on it. However, it is not something that the company can promise to deliver to you.
- The cost is less than $750/month. When it comes to SEO, you’re not shopping for the lowest price. You want the highest level of service. Beware of the lowest prices and “incredible deals”.
- Dodgy link building service. Link building is an important part of SEO. You cannot have a highly ranked site without inbound links. But link building has a dark side. Link reliability is becoming more important to appear higher in the rankings. About link building services Before he signs a deal with an SEO agency, make sure that link building service is an ethical white label service. You may want to ask them where they can get links to businesses in your industry.
As you begin and make your decision to purchase an SEO agency, keep the following in mind:
- SEO takes time. A monthly retainer is best. Think of SEO as a long-term investment. Sometimes it takes aggressive campaigns and big pushes, but the most lasting SEO results come from long-term relationships. SEW’s Mark Jackson writes: That’s true. SEOs don’t wave a magic wand and get instant results. Instead, it performs extensive operations that produce results months later.
- As SEO changes, so do rankings. The field is teeming with competitors, and rankings go up and down as algorithms change and new competitors enter. His one-time SEO trick doesn’t work. Maintaining your website ranking and maintaining the highest level of performance requires constant monitoring.
- Not all SEO services are created equal. Again, SEO is not about hunting for the lowest price. It’s all about finding the best agency you can.Look for her SEO agency who will define the range of services and take the time to educate you.
- SEO is important. Do it. The point of your website is to grow or improve your business. If people don’t find your website, it’s not even worth having. The smart thing to do is to pay what you need to make it easier for people to find your site.
- Hiring an SEO agency is best. You may be wondering, “Why don’t I do this SEO myself?” Only a few business owners and professionals have their own SEO skills and knowledge. Still, his comprehensive SEO takes more time than most business owners can afford to do. Even employees who “know a lot about SEO” will struggle to deliver the level of service and excellence found in SEO Agencies. You can’t get his ROI at the same level as his SEO agency.
SEO is the best ROI marketing effort for most businesses today. The benefits it offers exceed the value of other marketing techniques such as direct mail, broadcast advertising, and online advertising.
Businesses no longer have to decide if they need SEO services. Instead, they decide how much to spend. As long as you choose a quality SEO agency, their decisions can lead to incredible returns.
You can decide for yourself how much it’s worth to you.
Editor’s Note: This column was originally published on May 13, 2013, and came in at #5 in our countdown of the 10 most read search engine watch columns of 2013. Enjoy 2013 by revisiting the most popular columns, as determined by readers, and keep checking back!