Whether you pay $1,500 – $150,000 a month for SEO, you might wonder why search engine optimization costs what it does.
Here are The Big 3 reasons:
1. Link building
Most authoritative links (the ones that actually break the Google ice and move your website up in the rankings) are not free. In fact, quite the opposite: they cost a lot of money. Even the good links that are “free” incur cost in the process of outreach: hunting them down and trying over and over until someone agrees.
Whenever a link is placed on a website for purely ranking purposes (this is not referring to links on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.), it comes at a price of another link because only so many should be placed on a blog-style site. This means that backlinks are essentially rented whether or not, as an agency, you’re paying another site to place them or you’ve got your own network of sites.
2. Skill level
Try finding someone on the streets that knows how to rank in Google – they’re not there. It’s rare to find someone who’s competent and knowledgeable so anyone who can do the work is going to command a premium on the market. This means even SEOs who need help with workload have to pay a price to hire help for their agency.
3. On-Page Optimization
While link building is the sexy component of SEO that most people dwell on, optimizing your site between thetags is just as important and it takes a lot of time and, again, skilled energy. High quality content creation is something that really helps move your site in the SERPs (search engine results pages) but takes a significant time investment from someone who is talented enough to write for real people while finessing the angles so search spiders gobble up what they see.
The more complex (and difficult) the campaign is, the more The Big 3 above are going to cost and the higher your bill will be.
For every page and keyword you’re trying to rank for, it adds to the workload and digital resources involved and thus adds to the price.
Beware of companies that don’t charge enough because it usually means they’re skimping somewhere in the process and you’ll end up paying for it with poor quality links, suboptimized on-page, and/or weak content.
SEO is an investment into your business that can yield a substantial ROI both in the short and long term. To decide whether it’s worth it to hire an agency, get a quote from 3-5 different online marketing agencies, average the estimates, and then pit that average against how much money you expect to make from increased sales.