What Does SEO Cost
Knowing what SEO costs and what you should pay for it is a big piece of the puzzle.
Sooo ... What does it Cost?
I drive a Ford Sport Trac. When my car mechanic tells me what it would cost to repair or replace the timing belt, CV joint or the shock absorbers, I have no idea what he is talking about. I have no idea what such things should cost, but since I trust my mechanic, I trust him to treat me right.
Having a go to mechanic you can trust does provide some peace of mind. But finding a good mechanic can be troublesome. Hiring the right SEO firm is a lot like hiring the right auto mechanic. It can be confusing, but knowing a few key points of information will help.
So, what should hiring an SEO firm cost?
I could tell you it won’t really ”cost” anything, that SEO is an investment that will yield a positive return and therefore your cost is zero. I could tell you that it depends on many factors. I could string you along by giving you analogies to explain why I can’t simply throw out a price, and eventually you would pull your hair out and scream “just tell me what it costs!” But the truth is that SEO pricing does depend on many factors. Asking what SEO costs is a bit like going to a car dealership and asking the dealer “So, how much for a new car?” You see where I am going with this.
Alright, So What Does SEO Cost?
First, let’s eliminate some outliers. If you’re Ford Motor Company then you’re spending hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars per month on a broad swath of activities related to SEO. If you’re 1 of the 2 Mexican restaurants in Canandaigua, New York, then you probably need nothing more than a simple overhaul of your website. Most clients fall somewhere in between these two extremes. Below, I show pricing arranged by the different pricing models.
$250-$500 per month. If you’ve got a small business that is limited (is a local company) geographically (e.g., dental office, landscaping company, doctor office, service company, attorney, self storage facility, restaurant, auto repair garage) then you can get by with a budget in this range.
$600-$1,500 per month. If your market is limited geographically by the nature of your business, but it’s a larger population you’re targeting, then this budget should work fine for local marketing. $500 per month might work for a self storage company in a town with a population of 5,000, but will not get the same job done in a town of 50,000. You may be able to pay $1,500 per month and get a decent national campaign if your business is extremely focused without too much competition. One of our clients sells a certain type of solar power component to the companies that put complete solar power systems together. We run a global campaign for them, but it’s a pretty niche audience we’re targeting which keeps the price down.
$2,000-$6,000 per month. If your target market is regional ( West Coast, East coast, Midwest), national, or international you’re looking at a minimum of $2,000/month, and that’s if you’re selling a niche product or service without much competition. The more mainstream the product, the more you’ll have to pay to rise above your competitors.
$10,000+ per month. For a national or international campaign that isn’t focused on a niche audience, expect to pay more than $10,000 per month. You can never create too much high quality content, and for some companies a constant stream of new content is the SEO strategy for success, even if the cost of producing that content is quite high.
The Take Away
Knowing what SEO costs and what you should pay for it is a big piece of the puzzle. Hopefully the information above will help you as you make your decision. When searching for an SEO firm, in addition to cost, you’ll want to consider whether you trust and like the people you’d be working with, whether they’re local and available for face to face meetings if that’s your preference.
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