How Much Should SEO Cost?
Everyone has either gotten the phone call or e-mail from someone offering affordable SEO services starting at $99 per month! Are these real? Can they really get your website on “Page One Of Google” like they said?
What Is SEO?
#SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. #SEO is having your website rank for specific keywords that your potential customer may be putting into Google. That sounds easy right? Keep in mind, there are ONLY ten places on Page One Of Google for any particular set of keywords. The next time you go to Google and type in a search… pay attention to the number of results. Why? Well, that will show you the number of pages that are trying to rank for the term you just put in. If I put in the search term “real estate SEO” you will see that we have one million six hundred thousands results. How easy do you think it is to be the “first ten”? Well what about page two you ask…
The old joke is “where do you hide a dead body? Page two of Google”
SEO Takes Work
This article will not cover what needs to be done to rank your website on page one of Google… there are millions of search results telling you how to do that– if you don’t believe me, just Google it! To give some explanation of the work involved in ranking a website — here is a Guide to real estate SEO. Real estate SEO is generally much more challenging than most verticals because of the immense amount of competition. To get some idea of your current site’s SEO – Here is a FREE SEO Website Audit.
What we will go into is: Real SEO takes time! There is a ton of work involved including On-Page SEO, which is setting up your website properly including:
- H1, H2, H3 Headers
- Meta Title
- Meta Description
- Keyword Density (even if its simply double checking for keyword stuffing)
- URL Structure
- Internal Links
And that is just scraping the surface. Once the on-page SEO is done, then someone needs to write some high quality, original content. That’s right, every page of your site needs to be custom written and not plagiarized from any other place on the internet. Once all of that NEW copy is written, then someone is going to syndicate that content on social media. That is not just posting the new blog on your personal Facebook page, but somehow figuring out how to have it shared, liked, plus 1’d, tweeted, retweeted, upvoted and everything else that shows its a quality piece of content.
SEO Takes Time
Anyone claiming that they will have you on page one of Google instantly (or even within a month) is either lying to you…or simply running an Google Adwords campaign. It takes months, sometimes even years, to properly rank a site.
How Much Should SEO Cost?
Now that we have somewhat of an understanding of the work involved in SEOing a website. Understanding the work, time and ability that SEO takes, now we can look at the affordability of real SEO. Different SEO agencies provide different levels of SEO with different pricing models.
SEO Pricing is based on a variety of factors:
- How much work needs to be done to your existing website
- The number of monthly searches for your keywords you want to rank for
- How competitive the search is
- How strong the competition for the search results are
- Domain age and existing domain metrics for your existing website
- The going Cost Per Click paid for Adwords for those keywords
Once again, we are just scraping the surface. Needless to say, its easier to rank a website that wants to be found for “Dog Walking in Granbury Tx” than it is for “New York Real Estate”. One search term will have very few searches and very few competing websites. The other search term has thousands of monthly searches and millions of websites fighting to be on page one of Google.
NO ONE can guarantee page one placement on Google for a pre-determined price
Is SEO Affordable?
Affordable SEO is a matter of value. Any digital marketing service, such as search engine optimization, should provide a return on investment. The amount of ROI dictates its affordability. Most businesses are perfectly fine in spending any amount of money, if it provides a consistent return on investment. At the same time, it doesn’t matter how little you spend (yea, we are talking about you $199 per month SEO guru) if you don’t acquire any new business or generate any new revenue.
How Do I Know If My SEO Price Is Affordable?
There are many ways to qualify value in SEO services. Whether your long term business goals are brand recognition, product awareness or bottom line sales, there are may was to measure success. One common way is to compare your SEO Quote to what it would cost to run Google Ads (which ultimately gets you on page one of Google). This is not an direct comparison for a variety of reasons. Some basic reasons are:
- When you stop paying the ads go away instantly
- Some people skip ALL ads and go to the first “organic search result”
Comparing your SEO Spend to the Google Adwords equivalent costs is a quick way to get an idea if your SEO is Affordable.
When you get a quote for ongoing SEO services, it should include some of the main keywords the SEO company anticipates you ranking for. It should also include the average CPC or Cost Per Click needed to pay for an ad on Google. Simply multiply the number of searches by the Cost Per Click. Keep in mind when looking at comparing organic ranking to paid ads, don’t anticipate getting 100% of all of the clicks — but this process will give some relevance and assign a value for each search term.
The only way you get 100% of the clicks is if you don’t have any ads and rank for all ten positions.
The point here is that you can look at each key-phrase searched in Google and know how much it would cost to show up (in the ads) each time that keyword is searched. Your SEO for those series of keywords has a direct relationship to the amount of the equivalent Google Adwords.
Real SEO Can Be Affordable
Depending on your specific business goals, SEO can be very affordable. SEO has single handily created multi-million dollar, publicly traded companies. Let’s look at real estate SEO, Zillow for instance…They would only be a funny name if they did not beat out everyone else in the extremely competitive world of online real estate.
SEO is all about getting a return on investment. It really doesn’t matter how much it costs.
If every dollar you spend makes you a dollar fifty — spend 100 million!!