The first thing you need to know is that SEO is both an IT and marketing services business. As such, the pricing will vary significantly from one provider to another. IT focused companies generally complete and monitor basic SEO technical tasks, where the cost may start at $99 per month.
On the other hand, if you want SEO services to grow sales as part of a digital marketing solution, then the cost of the service will be much higher. Tailored SEO services cost significantly more due to the complexity of the project and the higher levels of expertise involved.
This is no different to other services, like an accountant, for example, where a much lower rate is paid for basic book keeping services – compared to advanced business structure advice from a partner, where a much higher hourly rate would be commanded.
How much should your business pay for SEO?
Like most marketing decisions, it comes down to what is the potential return available from your SEO investment. If the search market available is lucrative this generally means competition will be higher and your level of investment would need to increase.
A good guide to work from is to invest a percentage of your Adwords budget, where your goal is to achieve the same cost per click (CPC) as your Adwords campaign within 6-9 months.
On the flip side, if Google doesn’t rate the would-be market for your services very highly then you may want to invest $250- 400 (+ GST) monthly into ensuring that you rank well in niche areas.
How to measure your returns from SEO
The price you pay for SEO should be seen as a long term investment, rather than a business expense. The minimum time period is 6 months, with a 12 month milestone for review. SEO is a process that progressively delivers value, therefore, it doesn’t have an expiry date. This means you need to measure the returns from SEO differently than Adwords.
Are there any risks in SEO with a ranking guarantee?
Most people realise there a few guarantees in life. Stress, yes. Taxes, undoubtedly. But SEO, not so much. Obviously, if an SEO company is guaranteeing you results then they must have worked out their own winning formula before they have yours. Or they’re just flat out blowing smoke. Which means you should be wary of low price SEO services promising you out-of-this-world rankings. Sadly, most of these services just lock you into a contract and rank your site for keywords no one is searching for. Some pay-for-performance services may seem cheap in the beginning, but in the long run can be very expensive.
How to invest with confidence in SEO Services:
- Have clear objectives and measures of success around leads
- Pay fair value based on the potential returns available for your business
- Have a flexible 6 month contract where you formally review performance every 6 months
The end result.
There are plenty of honest, results-oriented SEO companies out there for the choosing. It’s up to you to pick one that satisfies all your business needs, while giving your piece of mind.