What Does SEO Cost: The Real Cost of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

For business owners to survive and grow in today’s competitive markets, having an online presence is inevitable. The virtual world of the internet is full of new opportunities and growth prospects that were hardly believable a couple of decades ago. With the boom of the digital era, business marketing is no longer restricted to physical media. It has given the corporate world the chance to grow by leaps and bounds using technology as their magic wand.

But for any business to succeed in this lucrative virtual world, you need to be visible to your audience. The essential need to be found can only be fulfilled if your website is search engine optimized (SEO). Without appropriate SEO, even the most amazing websites in the world are doomed to remain hidden. If no one can find you, prospects for more business are very dim. Forbes wrote a great article on the cost of SEO which you can find here, and the purpose of this article is to bring that information up to date.

The Modern-Day Marvel of Search Engine Optimization

One of the biggest revolutions in the field of digital marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) is the best way to get your website seen. In 2021 alone, google had an average of over 8.5 billion searches per day. These are the statistics of only one search engine. Millions of people across the globe rely on these search engines to provide suggestions and solutions to their problems. You type a question and get relevant answers in just a few seconds.

Why is SEO so Important?

Ranking high on the first page of these revolutionary search widgets is the key to getting your website ahead of the competition. It is the best way to be found and get seen by your audience. Potential customers searching for your niche on the search engines can be categorized as actively engaged leads. They are actively searching for products and services related to your niche. If you are on top of the search engine result page or SERP you are likely to capture more traffic.

Twenty-five percent (25%) of people click on the first organic listing on a SERP. This means that if you are on top and a keyword is searched 10,000 times in a month, you are likely to get at least 2500 visitors in that month. Therefore, ranking high organically is very vital for online business growth and success.

How Much Does SEO Cost?

Well now that we know how important SEO is for a business, coming up with a cost is the next step forward. Keeping in view the importance of this service for a business, it should be considered more of an investment that is bound to yield many returns. There are different types of SEO options available in the market. You can get SEO services from individuals, business firms, and agencies. It depends upon your requirements and budget, which service provider is the best fit for you.

Not every business has the financial muscle to afford an aggressive big SEO firm nor are aggressive SEO services fully appropriate for a small-sized start-up. So, the pricing of this essential piece of online business function is a bit complicated and depends on a number of factors.

Factors Affecting SEO Costs

  • Nature of Business: The industry your business belongs to is an important factor in considering the right SEO service for your company. A small local retailer will have different SEO needs as compared to a global automotive spare part producer. The nature of the business of your company will determine the type and scale of SEO service you will opt for.
  • The scale of the Website: Websites of different companies vary drastically. Some businesses have small websites with limited e-commerce capabilities while others need a comprehensive multi-paged online presence that provides users state-of-the-art technological services. SEO for different websites has different levels and magnitudes.
  • Business Goals: The kind of SEO you select for your website is also dependent on the business goals you are aspiring to achieve from it. Some companies require basic website structural changes while others require a full transformation, still others may opt for constant optimization maintenance.
  • Competitive Environment: The competitive environment and market trends of the industry your company is part of also play a role in selecting the right keywords in SEO. Your industry, location, and target market will assess the actions needed to rank you above your competitors.
  • Service Model: The SEO services vary from company to company and client to client. The service you opt for can be a one-time SEO project or an ongoing relationship. Depending upon the agency you choose, you can be asked for per-hour billing or per project costs.
  • Company Size: Larger SEO firms may charge you more as compared to individuals or smaller firms. Depending upon your own business requirements, company size, and SEO goals you will select the company that matches your needs. Large SEO providers mostly offer standardized packages at higher prices. Small firms are ready to provide customized SEO solutions at lesser rates.
  • Target Market: The larger and more diverse your target market, the greater the SEO cost. Smaller companies with limited local outreach require less effort for search engine optimization. But when we talk about big global companies, they need to attract different segments of their target market. This means that more in-depth SEO structuring is needed on their website. Small town retailers and service providers will need less complicated SEO and will get such services at lower costs.

What Does SEO Cost?

Now that you have a fair idea of the different factors that influence the pricing structures and models of SEO, let us look at the actual SEO costs prevalent in the design and remodeling market in 2022.

  • DIY SEO – Free: Mostly appropriate for solo entrepreneurs or new business owners, you can manage the basic SEO yourself or ask a friend to do it for you. It won’t cost you a dime and you will learn a new skill on your own. However, the process might be very time-consuming and may cost you valuable opportunity cost of losing clientele.
  • Low Range SEO – $500 – $3,000 per Month: Ideally suited for small business set-ups, this cheap version of the monthly SEO service will enable you to get started with content marketing and basic SEO recommendations. Suitable for small local retailers and small-scale service providers, it is an affordable way to attract more local traffic to your page. The drawback of this cheap option is that you may find agencies that lack experience and expertise and risk your business profile.
  • Mid-Range SEO – $3,000 – $15,000 per Month: This standard of SEO service is suitable for well-established and large size business entities looking to grow their existing clientele further. It is mostly provided by well-organized, reputable, and market-leading SEO agencies that provide a wide range of SEO features in their packages. The key is to ensure that the agency can provide true value for your investment.
  • High-End SEO – $15,000 – $30,000 per Month: This type of SEO package is good for companies that already have websites getting lots of traffic. These companies not just provide basic and advanced SEO services but also help resolve different types of tech issues with your business website. Specialized in niche marketing, they are overall digital marketing partners for the companies.
  • Enterprise Level SEO – $30,000 – $1 Million Per Month: This type of service is suitable for big conglomerate companies that have huge amounts of content on their pages with unlimited traffic daily. These expert level companies can handle large volumes of web content and make your websites technically optimized for the best outcomes. Such service standards require a dedicated team of SEO specialists that look after your website and its SEO performance exclusively.
  • Hourly SEO Rates – $100- $250: For companies that want to hire freelancers or solo SEO consultants to do the job, the cost is mostly based on hourly rates. Suitable for small-sized projects, this type of SEO service can cost you differently depending upon the exact SEO services you are opting for. The cost varies with services included like keyword research, website SEO, content SEO, SEO audits, and new content creation. The more experienced and expert a freelancer the more you can expect to pay.
  • Project-based SEO Rates – $500 – Several Thousand: When your website does not require recurring SEO expertise, you can opt for project-based or one-time services. These services are based on the type and component of SEO you want to be addressed. Ranging from one-time SEO audits to on-page technical fixes and one-time revamping of the website, you can opt for the SEO service that best suits your company’s requirements.

The cost varies according to the service structure, timeline, and deliverables, which are all pre-decided before making the commitment. The more complex the project, the more cost of the SEO service. Agencies that have more practical experience and a better reputation often charge more than new entries in the industry. The key is not to select a company based on price alone. You should always evaluate expertise and experience.

Tips For Selecting the Right SEO Firm for Your Business

Once you have decided to rank better on Google and other search engines and want to make an investment in SEO, you need to find out which is the best company for the job?

Would you like to do it yourself or hire a specialist company? The key is to focus on your goals and how you can achieve results that make a difference in your company’s bottom line profits.

With so many choices and options available in the market, selecting the right SEO agency can be a challenge. Offering a diverse range of services and varying prices, how do you select the right one for your company?

Here are some great tips for selecting the right SEO agency.

  • Identify Your SEO Goals and ROI Outcomes: Before getting into the search and selection process, you need to do your homework. List down the exact goals you are trying to achieve by getting your website optimized for search. This also entails calculating the investment you are willing to make and the return you aspire to achieve from this investment.
  • Choose the Right Sized Agency: There are different sized SEO service agencies in the market. Small companies offer personalized services suitable for low-budget and small startup clients. Such companies are always willing to do extra with little cost. However, their only drawback is a lack of experience. On the other hand, there are large, specialized SEO companies with more than 100 employees and SEO experts. They have the capacity and expertise needed to handle big clients with multiple digital needs.
  • Collaborative Relationship: Although the SEO expertise lies with the service provider, the website is yours. You need to be well educated and informed about what is going on and how the company plans to optimize your online presence for maximum viewership. For this reason, the relationship between the two parties should be very transparent and always open for communication.
  • Research Beforehand: Like making any other business commitment, always do your research about the SEO service providers in the industry. Look out for references, testimonials, and client feedback to get an idea about the expertise, reputation, and service standards of a particular company.
  • Understand the Pricing: Ask intelligent and smart questions and thoroughly understand the cost structure of these service providers. Before making the final selection, you should be very clear about what they are charging for the exact services they are offering. Do not just select a company that offers lower prices. Always weigh the pros and cons and evaluate the return you will get for the amount spent.

Final Thoughts

Selecting an SEO agency for making your website optimized for the search engines is a big decision. The cost of the service is an essential determinant but not the only one. The price should be considered vital, keeping in view other parameters of this service as well. Always select a company that passes through careful scrutiny and informative evaluation.

We have given a brief overview of the cost of SEO for different types of experts and firms. Now it is up to you to select the best one for your business while keeping in mind all the factors including price. For additional information take a look at our Complete SEO Checklist for Design and Remodel Companies and look at our SEO section or resource library for additional marketing tips. If you want to speak with one of our professionals, contact us or schedule a strategy session so we can help you grow your business. 

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