How much does SEO cost?
Marketing managers in charge of a company’s online presence may wonder how much SEO will cost them.
Well, the answer to that question is not an easy one because it depends on a few factors.
Let’s explore this topic in more detail below and see what we can find out about SEO pricing for small businesses.
Further questions can be anything but the most common are below:
Where should I start with SEO?
What budget should I be looking to spend?
How do I know if I find the right SEO provider?
How do I know what a good deal is?
There is a good chance you will have heard the term SEO, Search Engine Optimisation, Search Engine Marketing or just Digital Marketing.
Either way, most businesses today will have some element of digital strategy in place to gain leads or sales online.
If they don’t, then they certainly need to get one and quick!
What should SEO services cost?
This is a really tough question, and we’ll revert to a favourite SEO saying “it depends”!
The cost of organic search depends on a number of factors, competition level in your industry, level of searches completed in your industry, your sites existing situation etc.
If your site is in a relatively non competitive niche, already has a good base of links pointing to the site and the search volumes are good you could see great returns from a relatively entry level SEO retainer.
If on the other hand you are working in a very competitive environment, say Financial Services. There’s a number of things you will need to overcome and have specialists to help.
Here the level of competition is very high, then factor in the fact it’s a regulated service and you need real specialists to work on a winning campaign. It can also take a lot of investment and a good length of time to gain the results you will want to see.
SEO is very much an investment in the future prosperity of your businessDoes Tao have experience in using another SEO agency?
Back in the day, when our MD Matt Tomkin had his first business, online marketing wasn’t such a must as it is today.
However, his sportswear company was his first foray into using an SEO agency to gain better visibility and rankings within the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
The first thing he questioned was the level of investment required to gain the results of page one of Google.
It actually turned out to be a great investment as the business gained top spot for keyword after keyword from about month 12 onwards. Great terms such as “custom football kits” were amongst the most lucrative.
This was also a number of years ago when the SERP’s were slightly easier to rank in.
How much does SEO cost per month?
Our work is predominantly in the UK, although we do have clients in Australia now, and so the average will vary depending on the part of the world you are in.
Bearing in mind that the UK is a very competitive landscape for a lot of industries due to the open nature of the market.
Our SEO services begin at £1,500 per month but we have clients paying £10,000 per month. A lot will depend on the initial research, how fast the company wants results and the competition already on page one.
We do know of SEO agencies with retainers in place of £30k per month upwards. We’re not there yet as a business but we’ll keep reaching!
How much does Google charge for SEO?
When we talk about SEO and the SERP, Google is usually the search engine that is being referred to.
Of course, there are other search engines available, but with Google having over 3.5 billion searches per day (statistics here), it is obvious why we use Google as our main tool when considering SEO.
As it stands, Google does not charge for SEO. To rank within Google, agencies are set up to help website owners and businesses to gain better results in search engines.
This is where your money will be spent, rather than going to Google itself.
It is getting increasingly harder to rank highly within Google and on other SE’s, but the need for high rankings is now more crucial than ever due to industry competitiveness increasing.
Agency SEO services are now vital for business and website owners who want to succeed.
Google does have some free services of its own that are key in helping to improve your websites rankings. Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Google Ads Keyword Planner and Google Trends are all brilliant tools that can help you to track your business’s online presence and site performance and see what you could be ranking for. This is all of course, better off being used by a professional in SEO who can utilise this data to perform best for you and your business.
Looking for help with generating more sales leads?
Speak to one of our team today about our SEO services
The cost of SEO can be affected by the Adwords cost
When looking at the cost of SEO it would be daft not to think about the cost you would pay per click when using Google Ads or Microsoft Ads.
If you are trying to rank your website for a national search term it will take a much larger amount of work, therefore cost to achieve than if you were looking at ranking for a local search term.
Having said that there is now a lot more competition in the local search results as Google gets smarter with the intent behind every search.
A good analysis of the existing situation is key
It can be very difficult to determine what work needs to be done to help improve a website’s rankings without first looking at the current situation.
Questions that should be asked are:
Where does the site currently rank for the desired keyword/phrase?
What are the objectives of the business? What position is the dream?
How fast are the results wanted?
Quality has to be the first thought with any SEO agency
Some companies will suggest they can do a website’s SEO for as little as £35 per month.
How much time could actually be spent working on a website for £35 per month? What type of marketing could be done for that little?
This type of service is either not actually doing anything for that money every month or they are using some form of marketing which has to be against the Google Guidelines.
What’s the worst that could happen? Well, Google could give you a manual penalty. Trust me, you don’t want one of these on your site.
The main thing to do is use your common sense when looking at SEO services. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is!
So how much does SEO cost then?
You should be looking at between £50 and £200 per hour for SEO services within the UK. As SEO is an ongoing process of continual improvement you should be looking at a monthly retainer that includes all elements of SEO. Onsite Optimisation, SEO content and Link Acquisition.
Moz carried out a survey back in 2015 based on US agencies and the results for the main ‘What do you charge for SEO?’ are below-
Survey Question: For those clients you service with ongoing/multi-month contracts, what is the average client’s monthly billing?
- 10% — less than $500
- 27% — $500-1,000
- 29% — $1,000-2,500
- 20% — $2,500-5,000
- 15% — $5,000-10,000
To see the study for yourself, here it is.
How much does SEO cost in the UK?
Sadly the information above does not cover the UK, which is of course where we mainly work, but knowing the industry and understanding the environment the below is my insights into the UK costs.
£50 – £150 per month: Low value SEO (Or very low competition)
£150 – £500 per month: Small-sized business SEO
£500 – £1000 per month: National Small business with higher level of competition
£1000 – £2000 per month: High Quality SEO for competitive industries
£2000 – £10000 per month: This all depends on the value level of the business. A High end value led client with multiple locations or multi-national SEO requirements. This becomes a high quality content marketing led approach.
Upwards of £10k per month is not uncommon these days with the level of competition increasing for the top spots.
What are your goals from an SEO campaign?
The first thing to ask yourself when thinking about an SEO campaign would be to think about what the end goals are.
Many a time we speak to prospective clients who are not happy with their existing agency and want to look at moving. The main thing I find here is that it might not be that the agency isn’t producing the results they are aiming for, but more that the agency and the client goals are not directly aligned to each other.
Before you start any marketing campaign, you need to make sure you have the goals in mind and keep these at the forefront of anything you do, including SEO.
What is your target market/industry sector and how competitive is the SERP?
The competitiveness of your industry or market sector is one of the main areas to focus on when doing initial research into an SEO campaign. This will have a major bearing on the costs to gain the results you’re looking for.
Largely due to the fact the customer lifetime value is so high for a photocopier lease. Not only do you get the client to buy a photocopier but the supplier would normally be able to sign the client into a managed print service which would bring further revenues.
Contrast that to a local cafe that is looking to get customers to visit from the surrounding areas. The competitiveness in the local area may be a bit easier. This is not that it is easy to rank but that normally the owners of local cafes might not be in a position to pay an SEO agency and also not have the time to research the techniques they need to implement.
Are SEO services worth it?
Will I get a good ROI on an investment in SEO?
If done right there should be no reason why you won’t see a highly positive return. The main thing is to find the right partner for your search engine optimisation requirements.
Research suggests that 81% of shopper conduct research online first. Obviously, this means that if you are not one of the sites found in the search results, you’re missing out on forming part of that buyer’s journey and becoming one of the trusted sources of information before purchase.
To help gain more buyers a good SEO campaign would not only look at the ‘Intent credit card in hand’ phase of the sales funnel but need to be there when the buyer is in the ‘awareness phase’ or top of the sales funnel and then produce the relevant content right through the traditional sales funnel. This way the buyer will build an affinity with your product and brand as you have helped them find the solution to the problem they have.
Cheap or guaranteed SEO is never a good idea!
With SEO so vital to companies now and the search engines being such a huge driver behind a large number of businesses, it surely makes no sense at all to use these cheap £35 per month SEO services. I mean, it begs the question, how much work can they actually do for that each month?
Guaranteed SEO services are not real either, how can anyone guarantee something on a platform that is continually changing the goal posts?
Done right, SEO can be a huge driver towards your business goals and your future business success. Done wrong and it could end up costing your business dearly.
SEO can help you generate more leads for your business. But it must be done right and you must make sure you’re getting the value for the money you are spending.
When building your company’s marketing plan, SEO must be a part of it. The estimates are that 61% of all organic clicks are on the Top 3 search engine result positions there is a vast amount of business to be had by getting your Search marketing right.
The key is finding the right company who you trust and know has the relevant skills to realise your organic search goals.
Looking for help with generating more sales leads?
Speak to one of our team today about our SEO services