How Much Does SEO Cost Per Month? The Real Cost of SEO

Do you know how much to spend on SEO per month in 2017? Use this guide as a starting point before planning your spend for this year.

Any company that hopes to stay ahead of their competition nowadays simply has to allocate at least a portion of their marketing and advertising budget to search engine optimization. After all, around eighty percent, if not more, of your potential customers are looking for services or products like yours online and a strong, positive online presence is more likely to bring you business than any single other advertising method.

That said, there’s the ever-present question of money on everyone’s mind. Traditional advertising had somewhat predictable budgets, considering the amount of time the industry had to settle into a groove, but with new requirements, a lot of marketing departments want to know, how much does SEO cost per month? Realistically, is there an SEO price list of some kind? Does anybody publish an SEO pricing guide? Like with most things, the answer is slightly more complex than that, so let’s break down what you should expect to get, compared to what you should expect to pay.

When it Comes to “SEO Packages,” Get Only What You Need

The first real question to ask is, what level of SEO do you need? As we’ve mentioned before, there are various aspects to SEO packages and, as a result, various aspects to SEO packages prices. For example, your company may already employ a team of content writers who will produce the optimized content you need. In that case, your SEO service provider will be more focused on analyzing trends, providing you recommendations for content to boost engagement, working on building backlinks, and so on. On the other hand – especially for smaller companies – you may need your SEO package to include everything from analysis to content generation and constant monitoring. Obviously, these packages are going to have different costs associated with them.

Are Cheaper or Premium SEO Packages Better?

That said, of course, you still want to know what you should pay your SEO services company. Do you go for the cheapest SEO packages available, or the most expensive? There is always the perception that the more expensive, the better, but bear in mind the most expensive packages often come from traditional advertising firms who have commanded the market for decades and have now branched out into SEO, where an SEO specialist firm focuses on SEO services, but may be cheaper.

The Numbers Game: Affordable Monthly SEO Plans

On average, monthly SEO packages can cost you anywhere between $500 for basic services and around $5,000 for full-scale services. Anything in this range falls into the category of affordable SEO plans.

If you’re getting quoted less than $500, either the services you’re going to get will be minimal and not really worthwhile, or the person or company offering them has no idea what to charge for monthly SEO services and prices may suddenly increase after they do some research of their own.

More than $5,000 – well, if you are a massive multinational corporation that has intense SEO needs, including daily content generation on multiple platforms, continual monitoring, possibly even social media services included, then, yes, your SEO retainer package is going to cost more. If, however, you have considerable but not constant SEO needs, then up to $5,000 is reasonable to expect.

Ask the Hard Questions

If you want to get a clearer picture of the going rate for SEO services in your area, ask a number of agencies in your area to provide you with their own proposals and a breakdown of the services they will provide you with.  Be sure to get as much detail as possible from each company, as your mileage may vary even from similarly priced offerings.  Some companies may provide fixed price SEO packages that specify a list of services, each for a specified price, which can be tailored to fit into your budget or requirements. Others work on an hourly rate, and predict the average number of hours they will spend on various search engine optimization services each month, to work out the retainer. Both methods are not only acceptable, but viable industry standards. Plus, chances are the costs will work out to be quite similar.

Once you have your price comparisons, sit the service providers down and get them to go through the details of their service with you. Go ahead and ask for references, or search them online. Find out everything you can about what you will be getting for your money.  In the next few articles, we will be detailing how to interview prospective SEO agencies to make sure you are selecting the right SEO agency.  To get access to these articles as they come out, enter your information in the form below.

What are you really willing to pay for excellent, effective SEO services? Leave a comment, I read every one.   

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