The cost of launching an SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) campaign for your business depends on several factors. Services that affect SEO pricing include:
As of the beginning of 2020, the cost of hiring an SEO agency was $100-$250 per hour or $2,500-$10,000 per month. A one-off project generally will start around $5,000, going as high as $30,000. Local SEO requires less reach and resources than an enterprise campaign.
For a quick guide to how we at Colorado SEO Pros price our SEO services check out our SEO pricing below.
|Overall Site Optimization||included||included|
|Voice Search Optimization||advanced||advanced|
|Semantic Match SEO (TM)||included||included|
|Advanced SEO Content Optimization||30-70 pages||custom|
|Technical SEO||report + recommendations + in-depth consulting||custom|
|Campaign Management||weekly meetings||custom|
|Overall Site Optimization||included||included|
|Voice Search Optimization||basic||basic|
|Semantic Match SEO (TM)||included||included|
|Advanced SEO Content Optimization||10-20 pages||20-40 pages|
|Technical SEO||report + recommendations + basic consulting||report + recommendations + in-depth consulting|
|Campaign Management||monthly meetings||bi-monthly meetings|
Below you can find a full explanation of SEO pricing as well as the ins and outs of this dynamic instrument of digital marketing.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the strategy of optimizing your website and building your online presence in order to increase the organic traffic that you earn from search engines like Google.
When someone searches for a query in Google (for instance, “new shoes”), Google will display thousands or tens of thousands of results. SEO is the strategy of helping your website to rank highly in search engines (generally above the fold on page 1) for the search queries that your customers are searching.
SEO campaigns are generally built on a few key strategies:
The strategies employed to achieve this goal range in effectiveness and importance. The most effective, and therefore most important, lies in keywords and content marketing. A variety of programs and software can identify the keywords people are using to search for what your business sells or the services offered. Putting these keywords into page titles, meta descriptions, URLs, and headings and site content allows Google’s search bots to more accurately identify what your site is about and encourages the search bots to rank your web pages more highly when someone searches for what you sell or offer.
A key component of on-page SEO is content creation. In the past, to optimize a piece of content you would simply fill the page with the keywords you wished to rank for. This became known as keyword stuffing and it wasn’t long before search engines like Google and others started penalizing websites for doing this. Today content that is well-written, relevant, fresh and includes keywords embedded naturally into the writing ranks much better in a search engines’ eyes. Blogs, landing pages and visual content that engages the user will also build your reputation as an industry leader to search engines and readers.
Off-page SEO aims to generate relevant, high-quality links to your website. For example, if you run a medical practice, a link from webmd.com can show Google that your site is valuable. When relevant, high-quality websites link to you, Google sees those links as “votes” vouching for your site’s credibility. Sites with more votes tend to rank higher in Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs).
It’s important to note that not all link-building is helpful to your site. Link building needs to be done with care and integrity, because bad links or toxic links can sink your SEO campaign through penalties. It’s about quality and relevance of links, not quantity. However, when done right, link building can help your site to rank higher for the searches that matter.
While on-page SEO and off-page SEO are extremely important, you shouldn’t overlook the technical aspects of your site. Elements such as how clean/bloated your site’s code is, page speed, and responsiveness are core pieces of technical SEO. Google can also have trouble understanding which pages of a site to index, which is an issue that technical SEO can help address. Addressing issues on the technical side improves user experience as well as Google’s ability to crawl and index your site.
Design is key to making your website user friendly. A responsive website makes your site simple, sleek and easy to navigate on any device. Search engines recognize immaculately designed sites as higher quality because they deliver a pleasant experience for those visiting the site. Going along with design and user experience, an optimized website will give value to visitors by providing information, seizing on trends or changes in the industry and answering questions.
Although no two SEO campaigns are the same, SEO strategies always include these elements in some capacity. If your goal is to be on the first page, as is often the case, you’ll want to spend considerable time researching, analyzing and addressing these factors. But remember, SEO never ends. It is a constantly evolving process that requires frequent maintenance and care. Also, keep in mind that Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your successful SEO campaign.
Although there are other strategies you can employ in terms of marketing on the web, such as social media, the largest share of online traffic comes from search engines. Done effectively, SEO means more visibility and rankings for your website. The higher your business appears on the search engine results page (or SERP) the more likely users will be to click on the link to your website. One study found that 75% of search engine users never click past page 1 of Google.
Website authority, or the level of trust users have in your site’s content, has become increasingly important to visitors and search engines have taken notice. What you offer in terms of content should offer some sort of tangible value, be relevant and be well-written. The more authority your site has, the higher it will rank.
Another way SEO contributes critical value is in the experience for those who visit the site. This means:
Making your site responsive will enable your site to be equally accessible across all devices and will encourage visitors to spend more time on your site. Page speed also makes a difference because half of internet users expect a page to load in two seconds or less and the longer it takes, the more likely people will leave.
SEO can offer tremendous value to many local, small to medium-sized, and enterprise businesses, but it isn’t the answer to every market challenge. It may not be the right fit for your business. Here are two cases where SEO wouldn’t be right for your business.
In SEO, it’s vital to understand that you get what you pay for. If you only have a few hundred dollars per month, then you’re probably better off investing that money in another channel like social media or email marketing.
Some SEO agencies will give you a low rate, but this isn’t sustainable. If an SEO agency offers services for a few hundred dollars per month, then one of two things is likely happening. First, they may be offering you a cookie-cutter campaign managed by interns or junior SEOs with no senior oversight. These campaigns are generally ineffective.
Second, they may be resorting to lazy, black-hat tactics like cutting corners on Google’s rules and guidelines. This can lead to some short-term gains, but it won’t be long before your website is penalized (plummeting rankings or deindexing) for abusing the rules and that fly-by-night SEO agency won’t return your calls.
That said, if you have a substantial budget (our programs start at $2,000/month), then SEO can drive substantial business success.
If you want to rank on the first page in a relatively short time, it will take considerable labor and financial resources to do so. It’s important to be realistic about the investment of time and money it will take to do SEO correctly. If you have a small, fixed budget, and need something to reverse a downward trend in sales immediately, SEO isn’t going to help you.
New businesses often fall victim to the ‘time and money’ problem. Organic search takes patience and effort. Companies entering highly competitive spaces in need of quick return on investment often find themselves frustrated with SEO. If you need results within a month or two, you’re better off exploring paid advertising as opposed to pouring valuable time and cash into an SEO campaign.
An SEO campaign typically takes around 4-6 months to start showing a real ROI.
That said, if you have an established business and have the cash-flow to think medium-term and long-term, then SEO can drive substantial business success.
There is no definitive answer to this common question because the cost of SEO hinges on several variables and your SEO campaign should be tailored for your business. A large-scale campaign targeting several locations will not be ideal for a local business just trying to keep up with competitors in the area. The size of your business, goals and expectations all come into play here when discussing SEO pricing.
You can choose to pay an hourly rate for SEO services. Around 25% of SEOs charge $100-$150 per hour for SEO services. There is also project-based SEO work if you decide to go with a freelancer. Most SEO agencies are hired on monthly retainers as SEO projects require ongoing optimization.
A typical local SEO campaign costs anywhere from $300-$2,000 per month. Small to medium-sized businesses SEO costs range from $1,000 to $10,000 per month. For an enterprise campaign SEO pricing ranges from $11,500 to $21,500 per month.
SEO campaigns can also cost more or less than these ranges suggest, based on different factors. The skill and experience of the freelancer or agency can affect these prices. You can expect to pay more for an SEO practitioner with a proven track record and advanced capabilities. Also, if the SEO agency or freelancer has considerable experience in your industry or creating SEO around your niche, it will be worth paying a little extra for that kind of experience.
Some SEO companies in other countries charge much less than U.S. companies do, but if English isn’t their first language, your content will suffer greatly. It’s important to hire those fluent in your target language to ensure premium written content. It’s important to remember that in SEO pricing, you get what you pay for when it comes to cheap SEO.
Although the services that come with your SEO campaign will vary as stated above, content production is the backbone of most SEO operations. Using keywords to create quality content should be in almost every SEO strategy.
Link building is another critical strategy that creates backlinks to your website through guest blog writing, guest posting and other ways of building awareness. The more high-quality, relevant websites that link to your site, the more ‘link juice’ is passed to your site. Building quality links though link building is a vital part of off-page SEO.
The third leg of most SEO operations is technical SEO, which includes optimizing your site to provide a better user experience and enable Google to better crawl and understand the site.
Supplemental services can be added to any SEO campaign if the agency has the capacity. At Colorado SEO Pros, we offer:
Not all of these services will be right for every company. One of our senior strategists will review your site and goals and recommend the service offering that can best help you.
Choosing an SEO company is a big decision with a lot riding on it. If you decide wisely, you will have a talented, resourceful and professional company in your corner that succeeds when you do. If you choose poorly, you will have nothing but headaches, a drained marketing budget and almost nothing to show for it.
How do you separate the wheat from the chaff and pick the perfect SEO agency to help you succeed?
Let’s say upon initial research, you find an SEO company that sounds appealing. Maybe you heard about them through a friend, business associate, or maybe their office is in your building too. Take a peek at their website and see if there’s a particular industry, location, or type of marketing they specialize in. They might give specifics about their approaches to certain markets. They might also list awards and recognitions they’ve earned.
It’s never a bad idea to read the blogs, landing pages and ‘About’ content on their website while you’re there either. You can get a better understanding of the type of work they do, what their focus is and how they determine success. Following them on social media is also a fantastic way to get to know them on another level.
While on their website, see if they have some of their past campaigns displayed. While these case studies may have been cherry-picked (most companies won’t highlight failed campaigns) they can give you a glimpse of previous work and how the company operates. You can supplement your research with reading Google and Facebook reviews and see if a portfolio review is on digital marketing review websites like Design Rush, Clutch and UpCity. If they list companies they’ve done work for in the past, you can even contact them to see what kind of reference they’d give. You can ask the company you’re scouting to send over their portfolio or a case study to get a sense of their style and the results they’ve delivered.
In SEO professionalism and ethics are critical to success. Some SEO agencies rely on unethical tactics, known throughout the SEO industry as ‘black hat.’ Black hat strategies can get you in a lot of trouble as search engines like Google have strict codes of conduct that result in plummeting rankings if violated. Invariably, like every get-rich-quick scheme, the drop will be twice as fast as the climb. These black hat agencies are always the ones that promise overnight rankings, guaranteed first page rankings and more. Understand that SEO is a marathon, not a sprint and any agency that tells you otherwise or promises the moon, isn’t worth dealing with.
LinkedIn is a good resource to check out the leadership team’s backgrounds and learn more about the SEO team too.
If you’re happy with what you’ve seen so far from a few SEO companies, now is when the rubber meets the road. See how each company compares in terms of price for the services you need. Don’t forget, you get what you pay for. The cheapest may not be the best match for your goals. Ask about adding on or taking away services as the campaign evolves and find out what will be done for you on a daily and weekly basis for the money you’re spending.
You should watch out for agencies that try to lock you into long-term contracts. Some agencies will ask you to sign a 6-month or even 12-month contract, which is a red flag.
Go for an on-site visit to see how the SEO company works on any given day. You can ask about who will oversee your account, meet them and question them on their approach to customer service, how they will tailor the campaign to achieve your goals and how they help businesses like yours succeed.
Some companies offer to do a website audit or perform keyword research in addition to a free consultation to share some initial insights into how they’d start your campaign.
Most experts agree that four to six months is a good measuring stick for how an SEO campaign is doing in terms of if the strategies put in place are working. That’s not to say results aren’t visible in increments. There can be a boost in keyword rankings in just a few weeks in some cases. But within 4-6 months, you should be seeing a substantial increase in organic traffic and leads.
The success of your SEO campaign depends on many factors, such as how long your website has been around; how much SEO was done, if any, before, the condition of your website; quality of content and a lot more. You may see a robust rise in rankings in the first four months only to see them level off in month five. This is no cause for alarm. Your SEO provider will know when it’s time to change the strategy from focusing on growing keywords to maintaining them.
What happens too often is a business owner or marketing director becomes impatient and scuttles the campaign before it can fully develop. If you’re looking for results in three months, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. While it’s understandable that you want to see an immediate return on your good money spent, it’s simply not the nature of the beast when it comes to SEO. Keep your expectations tempered and trust in the process. If you’ve done your due diligence picking a great SEO agency, your money and their strategies are hard at work. In SEO, you play the long game. If you can’t afford the time or money to give it at least six months, choose another marketing strategy. If you can afford six months to a year or longer, SEO is one of the most profitable digital marketing strategies around.
At Colorado SEO Pros, we pride ourselves on embodying an SEO agency at its finest. We wear our values on our sleeve, going above and beyond the call to do what’s best for all of our clients. We strictly adhere to SEO best practices and ethics, never outsource our work overseas and never use boilerplate strategies for any client. We firmly believe that if we operate the right way, our clients will reap the benefits and that positivity will be passed on to us.
We craft every campaign from the ground up based on your strengths, needs and goals. Our approach to your campaign will be completely bespoke to your business. Our track record of helping local, small to medium-size businesses and national enterprises speaks for itself. Our strategies have garnered millions of dollars in revenue for our clients.
If you’re looking for a boutique SEO agency with a service-minded and best practice approach to helping businesses like yours succeed, contact Colorado SEO Pros today!