2017 In-Depth SEO Pricing Guide
Anyone who’s ventured into the world of developing an internet presence probably knows a little bit about SEO – whether its landing a coveted spot at the beginning of Google searches, or simply making it easier for potential clients and customers to locate a company website, search engine optimization is a vital for tool any serious business trying to find its footing in today’s digital marketplace.
As a small business owner, entrepreneur, or even the CEO of a larger firm, it’s only natural that pricing is one of the first things that you might need to consider while budgeting for that stellar marketing plan. So, what can someone expect to pay for top-notch search engine optimization services? As for any other coveted or in-demand service in today’s marketplace, SEO isn’t particularly cheap – although the rewards are, more often than not, completely worth the cost.
The price of a SEO plan can vary widely depending on the pricing strategy of the company or freelance worker providing the service. The scope of your project, and whether you’re commissioning a single piece of the SEO puzzle – or the whole thing – will also come into play. Due to the large variety of potential services associated with SEO writing, coupled with the broad range of prices, you may be looking at anywhere from $750 a month – up to $30,000 for a single project! Obviously, it’s important to get a good grasp of what you’re going to need done and the price you’re going to be paying for those services before you dive right into making a commitment. Investing in a cheap plan – or even the wrong type of plan – can leave you with thousands of dollars down the drain and nothing to show for it.
Chosen well, however, search engine optimization is a much-needed tool in the larger scope of online lead generation and revenue building.
Monthly SEO Payment Plans
There are a variety of larger companies that provide SEO services, sometimes on a monthly basis – these services are generally based on package deals, and usually charge in the range of $750-$5,000 per month (although you may be able to find some companies charging as low as $600). As with any other service, the price of the package becomes more expensive when more features are added to your list of services. Many companies offer custom options for this purpose, which may be more variable in price than the default plans provided.
At $600 per month, companies still generally offer a variety of services – including Google Analytics, keyword optimization and analysis, and meta tags – however, the more expensive plans offer a more in-depth coverage of marketing needs for businesses that want to expand their online reach. The more expensive the plan, the more in-depth the company’s SEO services.
$600 a month is still considered quite low for a monthly retainer cost, however – and it’s likely that you’ll be getting a more trustworthy service for around $750 per month. A SEO package that goes from $750-$1,000 a month is usually the average when provided by smaller companies with more limited services, although larger companies will often provide plans within this price range as well.
Businesses tend to opt for the more professional, in-depth SEO packages as a means to promote their companies more effectively. These plans tend to run $2,000-$5,000 per month, and sometimes provide personal assistance with creating unique content to develop and increase leads – something that may be invaluable to business owners less comfortable with becoming expert copywriters or content creators for their own websites. With so much time needed to manage other aspects of a company, it’s no wonder that it’s easier and more effective to leave this part of website optimization to those who have already proven their expertise.
Although the monthly fees associated with top notch search engine optimization can be on the pricier side, these services can also be quite useful for companies that want to keep their site optimized and up-to-date. Therefore, it is important to consider whether or not a monthly retainer is a more cost-effective approach on a long-term basis.
One-Time SEO Project and/or Contract
There may be occasions in which a website owner may want to apply SEO services only to a single website on a one-time basis – this kind of payment plan does not generally include ongoing maintenance, and charges buyers a one-time, flat fee based on the scope of the project or the company or individual’s pricing scheme.
These types of fees can be implemented by either companies or individuals, and may provide a generalized service bundle or a more customized approach to SEO based on the specific website project. The price of these services are also based on what types of SEO someone is looking to implement. The cost of setting up a social media site may be in the $500-$3,000 range, while a site content audit might be anywhere between $500-$7,500.
Content creation is another popular asset in attracting a wider variety of clients. High-quality content is vital for retaining the attention of people that visit your site, and for catching the eye of anyone browsing for similar products or services. If the individual or freelancer you hire is knowledgeable in the subject matter they’re writing about, you can expect to pay between $300 and $500 per 1,000 words of text. This price may vary based on the page that’s being written, with sales pages tending to be higher priced. Landing pages and services pages may also be slightly more expensive.
Most project-based SEO services are, overall, likely to run you between $1,000-$7,000 on average, with the assumption that cheaper services are likely to provide less results than the higher average project range.
It should also be noted that the majority of companies operate on a ranged pricing scheme that basis itself on the specific outcomes and desires of your project – this total range is likely going to be somewhere between $1,000 and $7,500, with a lot of room to maneuver should you decide there are certain services you want to leave out or opt into.
Keep in mind that individual services may also include research in topics relevant to the content of your site, as well as link outreach and prospecting – which all add up to the total cost of providing professional-grade search engine optimization services. Further personal interaction, such as phone consulting and services, may be added as well. In general, however, there are more hours dedicated to other areas of greater need.
In some instances, a SEO expert may charge an hourly fee, rather than a flat or monthly fee. As any other service charged on an hourly basis, the total price of these services is entirely based on how much time the individual or company spends working on optimizing your website’s search engine presence. As in on a flat-fee basis, you can expect to shell out different hourly rates based on the specific services that you need. For SEO training and assistance, for example, you can expect to be charged somewhere in the range of $150-$500 per hour.
In general, search engine optimization tends to run from $80-$300 per hour for consulting and other SEO-based assistance. Individuals may charge as low as $50 per hour for their services, but it’s recommended that you don’t hire anyone for less than this price–be it a company or a solo contractor. Cheaper services are more likely to be offered by less experienced SEO writers. A business or SEO company will generally charge at least $100 per hour of service. One should expect, on average, to get decent search engine optimization services for between $100-$200 per hour.
If you’re looking to hire an in-house copywriter on a salary basis, a skilled worker may cost you an average of $60,000 or more per year – which would likely end up being more per month than an agency or project-based contract. An independent contract does not cover sick leave, health insurance, or other benefits. While an employee may suit your needs for a more tailored experience, or in a case in which you need someone with personal ties to the company, contract-based monthly retainers are more likely to be cost effective.
Although the prices of search engine optimization services may seem daunting for small businesses or other companies with financial constraints, the price of good content paired with excellent, up-to-date website optimization and keyword analysis should be more than worth that $5,000 monthly bill. While looking into your first leap into attracting more leads, consider exploring various prices and values associated with different SEO companies.
Check out online reviews, testimonials, and results from other entrepreneurs or small businesses – research the most valuable services, and the services specific to your personal or financial and business needs. Marketing is the most valuable step in increasing business revenue and customer interaction. No matter how good your service or product, a clever marketing plan and a streamlined, optimized website is a vital part of business strategy – and a cost worth investing in.