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One of the most commonly asked questions that I get asked about search engine optimisation is, just how much does SEO cost?
And to be honest, it’s not the easiest questions to answer.
Why’s that you say?
Because the success of an SEO campaign is harder to measure in comparison to say a direct email marketing campaign.
The results are easier to track with email marketing tools than SEO.
But when clear goals are outlined, such as the intention to rank higher than your competition for specific keywords. And within a certain timeframe, then the results can be seen.
An SEO campaign done correctly can be worth its weight in gold in terms of ROI. You can save hugely on advertising costs by driving organic traffic to your business website.
So, when devising an SEO plan for your company, cost should not be your primary focus as far as results are concerned. But a the same time, it’s certainly a key factor to consider when allocating a budget.
When asked how much does SEO cost, the first thing a client needs to understand is the different range of pricing models available.
These can vary from hourly rates, monthly retainers or single projects costs. Depending on where it fits within your budget and the results you want to achieve.
This is the pricing model that is most common amongst SEO freelancers and small, single-owner SEO businesses. Smaller businesses that do not want to commit to a long-term retainer are more likely to avail of this model.
According to research performed by SEO giants Ahrefs, the most common hourly rate for SEO agencies is $100-$150/hour. With SEO consultants commanding $75-$ 100/hour.
For businesses using this model, it allows for greater flexibility and can provide more bang for your buck. But at the same time, you also get what you are willing to pay for.
A fixed retainer is a model where a client pays for a set amount of work. At a fixed cost per month. That is agreed over a length of time and outlined within a contract.
This type of pricing model is most commonly used by mid-sized and larger businesses. Mainly because this model can be more beneficial than paying for hourly rate services.
Monthly retainers are more results-driven compared to hourly rate contracts that can be task-driven.
And the most important aspect of a retainer agreement is the SEO agency/consultant’s commitment to achieving your overall business goals.
Relationships can be easily formed on this basis as both sides of the contract need to be working off the same hymn sheet when aiming to achieve these goals.
Also, having someone to contact on a regular basis can also be a lot more personable than hiring someone on a casual basis.
The average pricing for an SEO retainer ranges anywhere from $500 to $5000 per month, depending on both the size of the project and the level of experience of the SEO agency.
In this pricing model, the scope of works is determined by the client and a set amount is charged by the SEO company/consultant.
A company may only require SEO services for one project only. This could be to drive more traffic to build more followers on social media. Or to increase online presence just before a product launch.
Usually, this type of contract is broken down into separate costs based on individual elements of work required. Or can be charged on a total number of estimated days needed to complete the project.
It can be quite difficult to estimate the costs of a per-project contract and due to services only being required for a one-off project, a per-hour pricing model is usually preferred.
This pricing model is the least likely to be used by SEO companies and consultants. As the title states, you as a client only pay if your results are achieved.
In terms of SEO, this could be based on a particular ranking, a specific number of organic traffic driven to your site, or a definitive revenue goal.
With so many variables outside of the SEO specialist’s control, it is usually the SEO company that gets burned from these type of contracts.
And this is because there are never any guarantees of success.
Nowadays, anyone offering guaranteed first-page rankings or pay on performance contracts, are most likely to be using black hat SEO methods, or cleverly-written contracts and clauses.
Black hat methods operate outside of Google’s guidelines and can be extremely damaging to your website or business page.
We at Flare, highly recommend that you avoid them at all costs.
And What’s the allure these companies use to dupe companies into signing up with them?
They claim to guarantee huge results for a very cheap price.
But the damage they can cause to your website can be irreversible. It’s just really not worth the risk!
So, when trying to figure out how much does SEO cost, remember just how harmful cheap SEO can be for your business and why you should keep away from these scam artists.
If you have any further questions or comments about the cost of SEO, please leave them below or contact us here!