How Much Does SEO Cost?By Shannon Steffen on July 9, 2012
Let me guess, you’re looking for a straight answer as to how much search engine optimization (SEO) work, coaching, consulting, strategizing and planning costs, right? You want a set dollar amount listed on the website so that you can choose what works best for you and your company. I mean, if those SEO websites from the guys in India list their prices, why shouldn’t everyone?
I’m sorry to have to burst your bubble but quality, ethical and long-term SEO costs money. Most of the SEO agencies and companies that post their prices and packages online are either 1) someone who was told they know a thing or two about SEO or 2) someone that is outsourcing their SEO services to a company outside the USA and marking it up to make a profit. Sure, you may get an ethical SEO consultant that posts their prices online but, you have to ask yourself, what are their qualifications and how long have they been doing SEO for businesses?
Why am I telling you all this? I truly do care about your blog or business. No, that’s not some line to get your business. In all honesty, I tell everyone I meet with how to spot a bad SEO consultant or company so that they are more informed with making a decision on their SEO – even if they don’t go with the SEO services I provide.
SEO matters – even today. Although there are SEO best practices that still hold true today, SEO has now combined with social media engagement to bring the most relevant and up-to-date information to search engine users. You need someone who understand this and is going to work with you as a partner. Alas, partners cost more than $10/hr.
So, how much does quality SEO cost for your business? It depends on the consultant and the need. For example, all of my clients have different packages that were created just for their specific needs. Some clients have me coach their marketing agency twice a month to become knowledgeable about SEO to better help their clients in other areas of marketing while others have me create a complete long-term SEO strategy that they can give to their in-house web developer to implement.
My clients range from a woman that just started her dog training business to Fortune 50 companies. There is no way that I could charge the same for the dog trainer as I would a mega-corporation. The dog trainer is the only person in her business with a single static 4-page website. The Fortune 50 company has over 9000 products in their dynamic e-commerce store that are updated every day through a .NET Framework. They have over 10 sub-domains with different branding strategies and television commercials that need to be consistent with their online branding strategies.
A single pricing structure leaves it impossible to meet the needs of different types of businesses. Also, with all the social media and search engines changes happening every month, a single pricing model would need to be restructured every month. This adds to client confusion and frustration – as well as my own given that I would have to spend more time figuring out the pricing structure than serving my clients.
Think of hiring a SEO like buying a new car. Until you know the wants, needs and desires of the people buying the car, you don’t know what the final price will be upon purchase. Do you need air a convertible? Will the car be off-roading? Will you be using it to impress potential clients? The car needs to meet all their needs and be able to meet those needs up to 10 years down the road. Purchasing a car is buying into a long-term strategy that is going to help you get where you need to go.
A family of 9 cannot fit into a mini cooper just as a business cannot be held back by constraints placed by a single package pricing structure.
When you hire a SEO consultant, you need one that is willing to build your package according to your own needs and give you a set list of deliverables you can expect. Find a SEO company that is willing to tailor a package to suit your needs and you will find a quality SEO consultant that values your business success.
Latest posts by Shannon Steffen (see all)
- Why Google+ Is Not The Holy Grail Of SEO - June 19, 2013
- 3 Link Building Steps to Increase Your Blog Rankings - June 17, 2013
- Maximizing Your Twitter Tweets for Higher Engagement [Infographic] - June 14, 2013