We get this question from our prospects all the time: “How much does SEO cost?” Honestly, we would often pause and smile, without a ready answer.
This makes some of them somewhat baffled. “You’re selling SEO but you don’t know the price for your service?”
Well, we don’t say we don’t know; what’ we’re saying is it depends.
Truth is, it’s not easy (if at all possible) to fix a price on good SEO service — the kind that will generate the results you want to see. The price is always dependent on what goals you want to achieve!
We are even surprised –and lost—at SEO packages with pre-determined rates. Gold, Silver, Bronze packages make it too easy for clients to choose – but you don’t want to choose blindly, do you?
To better explain the real cost of SEO, we suggest three analogies. First, SEO is like buying a car, like a graceful swan, and like a bridge to let your customers cross a chasm.
Match The Cost of SEO To Your Needs
Face it, your reason for buying your car when you were single and a sporting debonair was far different from your reason for buying a car now that you are a family man. A family van would not have impressed your lady back then as much as it gets the thumbs up from your wife now.
The same idea can be applied with SEO.
Why do you need SEO? Is it to bring your website to the first page of Google to establish your brand? Is it to increase your leads? Is it to spend your marketing budget? Is it to increase ROI by a targeted percentage?
Knowing your need will allow you to decide on your SEO investment accordingly.
In fact, the more important consideration you need to make is that SEO is an on-going marketing activity with various phases. You might want to engage an SEO consultant if you are at phase 1, which is when you’re new to SEO and need to install a great SEO engine onto your website, then later on when the foundation has been laid, you may want to continue on maintaining the work on your site on your own.
Because of this gamut of SEO application there cannot be a fixed rate for an SEO consultant or agency – it depends on what you need to achieve given a period of time.
SEO Management Is Comparable To A Swan
Have you ever seen a swan gracefully swimming across a lake? It’s one of the most serene things to observe. With its seemly neck and graceful poise, the swan makes swimming across the lake seemingly effortless.
What you don’t know is that, beneath the water are the swan’s webbed feet – busy and frantically waddling and paddling to deliver the graceful act which you so appreciate happening on the surface.
SEO delivery and management is much like the graceful swan.
On the surface what you only see are results –being on the first page for numerous keyword variations.
You probably are thinking that writing and sharing authoritative content is all there is to securing the top rank.
SEO work involves the busy feet paddling to get across the lake.
It also means working on a “lake of keywords” so you can rank not just for one but for many keyword variations and this way, dominate the search results and firmly establish your brand.
Release The Dam Of Massive Traffic
When you do SEO, you link your prospects to your website using a reliable steel bridge.
Remember, in marketing there is always that chasm, that gap, which you need to help your prospects cross in order to become your customer.
That chasm can be lack of information, or fear of being the first to purchase (in case you are selling technology-driven products or services or anything that is new), or a previous bad experience resulting in lack of trust, or lack of need for the product or service you are offering.
In the first place, your prospects probably don’t even know your company existed!
Without laying down the SEO bridge your website will never be a reachable destination. Your prospective buyers won’t ever find you or get to you.
You must help them cross and land on your website or landing page. You do this by being visible and accessible and by being stably positioned at the top.
Once the bridge has been built, you better prepare yourself for a mad rush of traffic to your website! The beauty of this is that this traffic is not just from people wanting to shop around. They came to your site, and crossed the bridge, precisely on their own will – which means they need you and went out of their way to come see you. They want you to sell to them!
When Does SEO Stop?
With all these considered, you can then decide to invest heavily now and then let your costs taper off as you see the result, or, continue doing SEO for your numerous keyword variations especially when you start seeing results. Continuing will allow you to build a brand presence for not one, two, but almost all keywords most relevant to you. You would want to continue because when results do show, then you know that the methodology applied indeed works.
Back to the question on the cost, we hope you now see why the answer is it depends. It depends on what you need, what your goals are, and what stage you’re at.
Do also remember that algorithms for search change almost twice every day, all 365 days a year. This makes SEO a game needing constant refining and re-aligning. Again, this presents a situation for you to decide whether or not to continue doing SEO or stop the spending altogether.
Again, it’s your choice. The cost depends on you.
At the end of the day, SEO is vital armour in your arsenal of online marketing strategies and as such, you have direct management over it cost-wise and results-wise.