Can you afford to hire an SEO firm? What does SEO cost? Can you afford not to?

Answers to the your SEO cost questions will come soon, but first, we want you to think about something. You may often hear older people complain about the rise in the cost of living. You’ve heard things like: “When I was young, a stamp cost 6 cents and a gallon of gas was .33”. The world of business has also changed significantly. For example, a few decades ago, you could purchase a Super Bowl ad for about $30,000 and the average corporate CEO earned approximately $400,000.

Today, the cost of Super Bowl ads are a whopping $2 million and CEO salaries have now reached eight figures. These numbers would have been unimaginable in the 1950s and 60s. The business people back then could also probably never conceive of the costs you have to contend with today to run your company, such as cloud computing services, app developers, and SEO firms.

SEO Cost

How much does SEO cost?

When you purchase a home or join a gym, most of us only look at the sticker price, and don’t calculate all that we are getting in return. That’s a little like having a baby and not taking into consideration all the love you will give and receive for the rest of your lives.

Therefore, if you are questioning whether or not your company can afford SEO services, perhaps a better question is how many customers and prospects are you losing every day by not hiring an SEO firm?

To determine the true cost of SEO research, you must first realize why you need it and how it will help you. Then, you can answer how much that’s worth for the success of your business.

Of course, with all this, you are still just waiting to find out how much the SEO cost is. It might sound like a cop out to answer with “It depends” but it really does.

Just imagine that you hire someone to paint your house. They will invariably ask many questions, such as the size of your home, how long it’s been since your last paint job and whether there are any special circumstances like covering stripes. Your answers will be used to establish how much they will charge.

What factors govern SEO cost?

The scope of your SEO needs

Overall, SEO should be seen as an investment in the future of your company. That said, there are still varying degrees of SEO work. For example, are you looking for help with a one-occasion, specific project? Do you need a more long-term, comprehensive SEO strategy? Even if you have more than one venture, such as wanting to increase impressions ahead of a major product launch AND discovering why your pages per session rates are decreasing, you would likely be charged on a per project basis. In this case, your SEO firm will figure out how long it will take them to meet your goals and how much that time and effort is worth to come up with a price quote.

If you have all-inclusive objectives with an indeterminate time frame, you would be charged by the hour. For example, the purpose of hiring an SEO firm could be to bring more traffic to your website or to increase conversions.

Some firms use a straightforward, hourly billing process for all jobs, whether temporary or continuing although project based pricing is more common. Other SEO firms employ a monthly retainer system, where they basically handle all aspects of your website. It’s vital to find a firm that fits in with your operating style and vendor policies.

The size of the SEO firm

In business, bigger is not always better. For example, does Dunkin Donuts have a product that is superior to the local bakery around the corner? Sure, Dunkin might have more locations, but you may receive exceptional customer service and know the baker by name at your neighborhood shop.

You could say the same for SEO firms. You will find that you get personalized service at a smaller firm.

The size of your firm is also a factor.

Large SEO companies might not have the time (and you may not have the budget) to give you customized service. If you are a small business working with a huge SEO firm, often you will get a cookie-cutter SEO solution. This is fine if your projects are minimal. The idea of a big name attached to your SEO work is enticing. However, for most small and medium sized companies, it’s best to choose a smaller SEO firm. You can obtain SEO services tailored specifically to you and that will become an intricate part of your overall marketing initiatives.

Who you are trying to reach

Think of it this way: if you have a message to share with just the people in your office, you could simply stand on a desk and shout. On the other hand, if you need to reach every business on the block, that’s different. To shout across your office, the most you might require is a bullhorn. Engaging a larger target audience takes a tactical, broad-based plan. In short, the more people you are trying to reach, the more you will pay for the services of an SEO firm.

Companies and projects that require a global, limitless outreach will take a lot of work for you to see results. It’s easy to get 10 people in the same location to pay attention to you. It’s a lot harder to make your voice heard worldwide and to measure that reach.

Okay, so now you are ready to learn what the SEO cost is/can be

What you get for:

Less than $500 a month – this is alright if you are a small business trying to reach a geographically small audience. It’s vital to remember that you get what you pay for. Some of the firms operating at the $500 level will just take your money. They will leave you with nothing but empty promises and vague results.

Up to $1,500 a month – if you are in an industry with only a few major competitors, you should be able to run a national campaign or project for this amount.

$3,000 – $5,000 a month – this sum is ideal for regional reach in a small field of competitors. It’s best for companies with a product or service desired by a smaller segment of people. You will still need to find ways to stand out above the others offering the same product.

More than $10,000 a month – this is what you should expect to pay for the-sky’s-the-limit SEO services. For consistent, top-of-the-line content distribution and measurement, make sure your budget can meet your goals.

Price per project – while largely determined by what you want, per project pricing can run anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000 for projects such as an SEO audit or website redesign.

Paying by the hour – most firms charge $100-$500 an hour for SEO services.

Now that you are armed with information, give 9Sail a call.

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