The cost of SEO (website positioning), should be included in the marketing budget of any company that expects to get traffic from a search engine. SEO is one of the pillars of online marketing today and a very effective way to be visible in SERPs. Good visibility in Google, in turn, means valuable customers and profits. So what a sack of money should you prepare?
How much do you have to spend on SEO?
At the outset, it should be mentioned that website positioning needs to be treated as an investment, not a mere cost. The return on this investment will be a high rank in the search engine results (in the Top 10 or even Top 3), which will bring you traffic to your website. As a result, you should benefit from quality leads – although it won’t happen right away.
The price of website positioning depends on many factors. The most important are:
- quantity and quality of competitions content,
- past actions of your competitors,
- the industry in which you operate and its popularity,
- previous activities of your company in the field of SEO,
- the size and recognition of your company,
- the kind of business you run,
- your company’s goal (not every company has the same sales goal),
- the scope of planned SEO activities.
And these are only some of the factors; in addition, for different industries and websites, each of these factors may have a different value.
The price of SEO also depends on whether you outsource it to a freelancer or an SEO agency. In the former, prices start from about 1000 USD, in agencies – once again as much. These costs are approximate – each project is priced individually.
The situation gets more complicated when we want to value an e-commerce website SEO – then the amounts should be multiplied by two. This is because shop pages or shopping portals are usually much more complicated.
Let’s emphasize it again – the costs listed above are the lower limits, i. e. the most optimistic variants, which, of course, do happen. Usually, for a medium-sized website, you pay a few thousand a months. For the larger or more complicated ones – it can be a couple of thousands of dollars. At a valuation of this kind, it’s worth considering setting up an in-house SEO department or hiring a full-time employee to focus solely on our site.
On the Internet, you will probably find offers ranging from 2000-5000 dollars per month for positioning. Looking at the costs mentioned above, it is worth wondering whether it is possible to work with the website for so many hours for such an amount? There are, of course, some situations where the website doesn’t require a lot of work or the goal isn’t difficult to achieve – but these are more like exceptions that prove the rule. Investing a few hundreds of dollars in positioning is burdened with a high risk that such amounts will be simply too small to achieve the goal.
Methods of billing for SEO
There are several ways of billing for positioning on the market:
- subscription model – consists of a monthly fee, under which agreed actions are done. This model is transparent, flexible, and assumes systematic work spread over time, which has the greatest potential in SEO. It also does not put pressure on the performer so that he does not make reckless and risky moves;
- paying for the effect – this model appears less and less often, although you can still see it in some SEO offers. After all, it carries quite a risk due to the contractor’s desire to get big results as quickly as possible. Nevertheless, good results in SEO rarely come quickly. The effects of such quick and radical actions may be visible in the short term but in the long run, such a way of positioning may occur to be very harmful. The fee is also less transparent because the contractor can charge more than initially agreed if the effect is bigger;
- hybrid model (subscription + subsidy for the effect) – such a system looks safe for the client. However, in practice, it may (although not necessarily) have disadvantages of the effect-based fee. However, this is not a rule – usually, the contracts in such a case are tailored to the specific situation and the client.
What I pay for – what is included in the SEO process?
Of course, the scope of work can vary significantly because each site will need something different. A lot depends on how much work has already been done to it. However, it all can be put into a template of actions in this order:
SEO audit and keyword analysis
At the very beginning, a hired SEO professional or SEO agency performs an SEO audit of your site and past activities. Keywords specific to your industry and products are also determined at this stage. You also choose the phrases for which your website will be ranked.
An SEO strategy is also known as a detailed plan of action. The strategy describes what kind of content for your website should be written, in what amount, frequency, on what topics, and using what keywords. After that, we go on to further actions like getting links from other domains, making changes to the website (e. g. in its structure), optimization of the already existing content and the entire website, and – if necessary – other actions.
Content creation and optimization
In order to reach higher and higher in search engine rankings, you need to create relevant content for your website. It should be interesting for your audience and help in building trust in your brand. This involves creating site bookmark texts, product descriptions, blog articles, etc.
Link building – getting external links
Link building is a no less important part of SEO than keywords or content creation. If your page is tagged by other sites that already high rank in Google and are trusted by the search engine, some of that credit will automatically go to you. One of the more common ways to earn such links is to publish articles on sites common in your industry or those that are generally well-known.
Analysis, reporting, optimization
You should also know that the price of SEO also includes monitoring the visibility of your website in the SERPs. The SEO professional or SEO agency you hire should send you a report every month showing what is happening with your website. On this basis, decisions are made about future actions. Of course, you can also supervise the work of an SEO agency yourself. In fact, it is really a great way to learn the mechanics of Google and SEO.
SEO is too expensive for me. What should I do then?
You may find out that the price of SEO services and the necessary budget for SEO activities (it’s important to distinguish these two things) will be too high for you. If this is the case, will all be lost and your business is sentenced to online non-existence?
Of course not.
In such a situation, a good solution would be to take a one-time audit of your website and develop a strategy that you will later implement on your own. In spite of appearances, it is not so difficult – but it does require a lot of patience. Of course, it will take you more time and effort. You’ll probably also make most of the beginner SEO specialist mistakes, and the results will come later than if it was done by an agency. But doing it yourself is possible. In addition, you can learn a lot in the process.
Summary. So how much do I really have to pay?
SEO positioning efforts are extensive and time-consuming, and therefore expensive. However, a well-conducted positioning strategy can work wonders, and the costs will surely pay off. Therefore, if you have sufficient resources, you should better not regret it for SEO.