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How Much Should I Pay For SEO?

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Article Overview

Credible and professional SEO comes at a cost. And, if you are wondering how much you should be paying for SEO then you need to look at a whole bunch of variables such as the competition, the age of the website and if there has been any past SEO work carried out. There are lots of SEO agencies that will charge next to nothing for their service and others that charge a fortune. The challenge is to find the right SE agency that can produce the required results without breaking the budget.

Wow, what a great question and this can be difficult to answer, but overall you really pay for what you get.

If you want to go down the path of a cheap SEO agency then the results you are going to get will be terrible. Conversely, if you are prepared to pay a decent price for your SEO then the rewards will be huge.

Now, paying for something like SEO, where you might not see results for 3 to 6 months and in some cases a year may be hard to swallow but businesses need to know that SEO is here to stay and must now be considered as part of your marketing mix.

Also read: How much should you be paying for your SEO service in 2022?

There are many variables that you need to take into account when it comes to determining how much you should spend on your SEO. One of the key factors is the competitive nature of your industry and how many businesses are already sitting on page 1? The more competitive the industry the more it is going to cost you. It is as simple as that and there is no way around this. If you are going to try to rank in an area that is saturated online with other established businesses then you have to be very aggressive with your SEO and guess what? All this costs money. Yep, that’s right! If you want to be a player and get to page 1 you have to pay the price. Of course, there are SEO agencies out there who will deny this and say they can get you to page 1 for a small price, but this is a scam and will never happen. This I can promise you! Let’s look at an example if you wanted to rank for the keywords ‘travel insurance’ or ‘car loans’ where the online space on Google is flooded you are going to have to spend far more than say ranking keywords like:’ surfboard hire’ or ‘chimney cleaning’. For really competitive areas you can pay up to $10 000 per month on your SEO and for easier to rank keywords the costs come way down to less than $1000 per month.

If you decide that you need to rank in a competitive highly sort aftermarket that has really established businesses who have been doing SEO for many years then taking any cheap SEO option, will cost you much more money in the long term. Why? Cause these cheap n nasty SEO companies who charge you nothing will get your site penalised.

SEO is a long process and takes time.

As a business owner looking to start an SEO campaign, you really need to have an understanding of what is involved and how long it takes to rank a website. It is not as easy as it looks and can take many man-hours and a huge investment in intellectual property to get it right.

Compliant and effective SEO campaigns will take time. This is emphasised even more if you have a new URL. Rankings and building a website’s authority is a slow and methodical task and if you try to rush or speed up the process the results will be dire. Any SEO company promising quick fixes with speedy SEO results need to be given a wide berth and avoided at all costs. It’s tough out there in the online world and it is very easy to fall victim to these scammers. SEO BE VERY WARNED.

Following are some tips you can use in determining the right SEO company to choose and the appropriate costs:

  • Adwords will allow you to see the highest traffic keywords and from there you can determine the rough cost to rank each of them.
  • SEO is not just plain old backlinking – there is so much more involved in the SEO process such as content writing, web design, site architecture, site speeds, bounce rates URL structures, titles, descriptions etc – the list goes on. So be aware that a lot of your SEO budget will go into making sure your website is at all times compliant.
  • Have a realistic budget when it comes to SEO. Thinking you can get away with paying less than the market rate is NOT a good move. Saving a few dollars here is a sure way to get your website in deep trouble with Google.

What is a Fair Price for SEO?

The cost is all about the intellectual property and experience and MOST OF ALL STRATEGY that goes into an SEO campaign. Think about it, if you want a top lawyer representing you with a great track record then you are going to have to pay for his time, service and experience. The same goes for SEO.

If you would, for example, choose a company like SEO Sydney Experts you are not only paying for our time spent on your campaign BUT you are also paying for the strategies that we will implement to get you over your competition. It is our ability to do what we are paying for.

I know you probably are reading this and want a package breakdown for your SEO. Similar to what many companies offer; we can work on 10 keywords for $1500 per month or we can up the keywords that we will work on to $2000 a month. This is NOT how SEO works and it is these types of SEO companies that you MUST AVOID.

I am going to repeat myself here so the message gets drummed into you. Packaged SEO prices are NOT effective and it is these types of bundled packages that are a real issue for many businesses. SEO SIMPLY DOES NOT AND CAN NOT BE COSTED LIKE THIS.

You need to look at each individual keyword, and the competitive nature of the industry and in turn, work out an appropriate and fair price to pay. This is how proper and ethical SEO should be priced. Anything else is just a scam designed to take your money.

Make Sure you Ask a lot of Questions

Before parting with your marketing dollars have a chat with your SEO company and make sure you ask them a lot of questions relating to their campaign. Do not take things at face value.

  • What exactly are you going to do with the ‘on page’ of my website – what are you going to change and what are you going to leave. Also, are they going to write a new copy or is it up to us to write it?
  • Can you provide some samples of rankings you have been able to achieve for clients in really competitive niches – also how long did it take to rank them and how consistent are these rankings. Do they fluctuate or are they fairly stable?
  • Where do you get your backlinks from, how many of these should I expect and what type of reporting will you be providing us. Also, how contactable are you? Can we call you anytime for advice or on any technical issues we may have with our SEO? This is really important as SEO is a complicated area. It is not black and white and in many cases, clients need constant communication about their rankings and what’s going on. Neil Patel has a decent article that further explains the importance of backlinks How Backlinks from Different Page Locations Are Worth More (Or Less): Not All Backlinks Are Created Equal which will go into more detail about the importance of backlink strategies.
  • How long have they been doing SEO? Are they a recent entry into the market?
  • Do they have a physical office address or is everything going to be done over the phone and via email. If all is via the virtual world be warned as these guys may be middlemen and outsourcing all their SEO! Many SEO agencies (especially those in Australia) are simply middlemen who outsource all their SEO and link building offshore. This can and in most cases be super dangerous as Pixelrush explains in their article Offshore SEO Services: The Risks Of Outsourcing Your Online Business.

Related article: Small Business SEO: All your questions answered

You Get the SEO That You Pay For

Find the agency that you are comfortable with. If it feels right then go for it. BUT in the fast-paced landscape known as SEO make sure you choose wisely. Monkeys work for peanuts and SEO scammers work for little or no money. It’s a good analogy to keep in mind when deciding who you are going to partner with.

steven waldberg - ceo seo sydney experts

About the author

Steven Waldberg

Steven is the director of SEO Sydney Experts and is one of the founding members ( that’s over 18 years ago). He has one of the longest careers in the SEO and content marketing industry and has written for many prestigious websites, including B & T and AdNews. If you’re serious about working with someone who will dedicate 100% of himself to your business; Steven is your SEO Expert.

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