Digital marketing has two classifications. It is either organic or paid.
Over the years, search engine optimization (SEO) has been a favorite among the veterans in the internet marketing industry. It is popular because the results it brings are organic—the ranking you get from SEO campaigns and strategies is a product of great marketing plans.
Meanwhile, paid advertising or search engine marketing (SEM), while still having its own loyal following, has been popular for the startups wanting to have a surge in making themselves known in the business. There are even businesses that choose to apply both, combining SEO and SEM to get the best of both worlds.
For most companies, choosing SEO over SEM is simply skimping on advertising and marketing budget. Or, if they are not skimping, they might just have chosen to spend more on other things that are deemed to be more important for the business. Either way, it is always true that SEO does not have to be expensive. It has long been known as the more affordable counterpart of SEM.
That being said, one question always rose to the occasion when talking about SEO and its costs.
“How much should you really spend on SEO?” What is an acceptable pricing and what should be included in an SEO package?
- For starters, an average of $750 a month is acceptable for SEO. Most SEO companies offer this pricing as their cheapest package, usually just including very basic SEO campaigns. This pricing usually applies to what is called a monthly retainer. For smaller SEO companies with limited services, $750 is offered. For the bigger ones, however, it can go as high as $2,500, or even more. The inclusions are so much more, and the value for money is never lost in the costing. Then again, it has to be noted that it is just an average, and should not in any way determine if you are currently spending too little or too much on your campaigns. At the end of the day, it all depends on the package inclusions. Monthly retainers are popular because they are said to offer the greatest and fastest ROI. All services and inclusions have been agreed upon by both parties, which pretty much sets a common expectation among them.
- For project-based SEO campaigns, it usually costs around $1,000-$2,500. Project-based campaigns have variable prices, basically because the inclusions vary according to a company’s need. The package you will pay for will greatly depend on your preference, most likely customized based on what you think your company needs for its brand awareness and search engine ranking. There are instances when you think there are adjustments that have to be made in order to hit a particular target. When that happens, the pricing can change as well. It is highly variable and customizable, and is a popular choice among the bigger business names. Most companies choose project based contracts because they have a goal they set their eyes on, which makes everything point at a certain direction.
- There are also fixed price contracts, which have even more variable costs as compared to project-based campaigns.This mode of SEO campaign is a great choice for startups, as well as for businesses that are still testing the waters if SEO is the right fit for them. SEO is a big player in the internet marketing industry, but it still does not make it the right fit for everyone. Fixed price contracts include SEO writing, content marketing, social media setup, etc. The list can be endless, as more and more SEO strategies get developed every day. The costing for each contract is very much different, as each of them has a different degree of difficulty. For example, social media setup costs at around $500-$3,000, varying according to how many sites you want your business to have a page on, and also depending on how you want to market in them.
- You can also try hourly consulting, which goes from $100 to $500. The costs usually depends on the SEO company you’re looking to work with. The older a company is and the more clients they have, the higher their consultation costs can be. Hourly consulting typically includes giving you an overview of what they can offer, as well as them reviewing your website and evaluating what it needs to improve and reach its maximum potential. For SEO first timers, this one is a favorite, as it allows them to explore their options. Any company planning to optimize their online business should include consulting in their to-do list. It is imperative and necessary to schedule for consulting so you know what you’re getting yourself, plus your business, into.
The costing of every SEO campaign is different. You can check and monitor what your competitors are currently using, and see how different their SEO expenditures are from yours. While it is something you have to know, it has to be noted that it is better not to keep on comparing how they spend to how your business does. It could be because of the fact that your needs are far from theirs.
Just because you run the same line of business does not necessarily mean that the SEO needs they have are exactly the same as your business’. It is natural to spend less or more than they do, as long as you are sure that your business is absolutely getting what you pay for.
What is important when it comes to your SEO expenses is closely monitoring and reviewing your business website after SEO campaigns have been applied. Always make it a point to check your site’s analytics and see if the platform you chose indeed increases your business’ value. Ask for professional opinion from SEO experts to see if you are getting the value you have spent so much on.
More expensive does not always mean more effective. The pricing hardly ever assures you of the quality. In the end, it is still the results in ranking, traffic, and sales that can determine if you have chosen the perfect SEO strategy and platform for your business. If not, you can always try other SEO options. It could be quite a trial and error journey of finding the perfect fit, but at least you are watching where your money goes.