This is perhaps the most common question business owners ask about SEO services. Most of you are not going to like it, but the answer is: It’s complicated.
The price of SEO can vary hugely from as low as $99 a month or less to as high as $5000 or more. Yes, there is this huge difference in SEO services available today. Let’s find out why there is such a huge gap.
Before we can compare the hugely varying price of SEO quoted by different companies, we ought to know what we’re buying for that price.
However, not all small business owners know much about SEO. When price is the only factor they can really appreciate and compare and they tend to go for the cheapest price, soon after they realise everything isn’t right.
We have often heard the same kind of concerns from business owners who hired cheap SEO services.
“I am paying $299 a month to my SEO agency and I have no idea what they are doing”
“I have been paying for SEO from last so many months yet my ranking has not moved an inch”
“My traffic has nose dived since I started working with this SEO agency”
“Google hit my site with a penalty and my site has disappeared from the rankings”
Clients come to us with these problems all the time. Without exception, the culprit is their dirt-cheap SEO service provider.
There are many things that can go wrong when you work with a cheap SEO service. Outsourcing your SEO services overseas is extremely risky and will cause issues with your website.
So, here’s what happens when you hire a cheap SEO agency in Australia:
After you pay the upfront fee, nothing happens. They do nothing. Period.
Your agency outsources your account overseas, where $5/hour SEO worker play havoc with your website.
Your agency builds hundreds of links overnight on irrelevant or low-quality domains; Google’s Penguin flags your site and your ranking plummets.
They seem to be taking forever.
They ask for more money.
They are not responsive and ignore your communication.
They bind you in a contract.
Here’s why: Cheap SEO agencies damage your website/ traffic/ revenue and your business. Fixing the issues caused by bad SEO takes time and money, causing losses on top of the loss already incurred by the lost traffic and revenue.
The cleaning up task turns out to be more expensive. In the end, you lose money, rankings, and most importantly time – which can’t be compensated.
Thus, cheap SEO turns out to be ridiculously expensive. It’s a big mistake to hire an SEO agency based only on price.
All businesses work in the same way. If you offer good quality products or expert services, you can’t sell them for cheap because you have invested a high cost in maintaining a certain quality. So, of course, your prices can’t be very low.
The same logic applies to the SEO agencies. In one line – cheap SEO services blatantly steal people’s money. They focus on getting more and more customers. They have more customers for less – and that’s how they survive. But if you are one of their customers your business will surely not grow as expected.
If you are wondering why the cheap SEO doesn’t work, here’s why:
They only focus on getting more and more sales or customers.
They have hardly any resources to do SEO or customer service.
They have a very small SEO budget to reinvest in your growth.
They can’t afford to hire quality content writers, developers, SEO experts.
They don’t share any analytics or performance reports with the customers.
They can’t afford any high-impact activities that drive organic traffic
They can’t do quality link-building outreach.
They don’t have the experience or the expertise to offer tested strategies and systems.
They end up using poor quality content and black hat SEO techniques that will harm your website and business.
Good SEO need professionals putting in several hours of work each day for months and years. Professional work hours don’t come cheap and neither does good SEO.
However, that’s not to say it must cost an arm and a leg. But before we discuss the price, what does quality SEO mean?
Quality SEO is an elaborate process that includes several activities.
1. Market Research
A quality SEO agency will research your company, customers, competitors, products, industry, and more.
2. SEO Audit
The SEO audit uncovers your website’s current standing (in terms of ranking and traffic) so you know where you want to go and which areas you need to work on.
3. Strategy Development
Based on the research findings and competitor analysis, your agency will formulate SEO strategies for strengthening your online presence.
4. Keyword Research
Selecting the right keywords is critical to the success of any SEO strategy. Keywords tell search engines what your site is about. They tell your customers what content is there on your pages. Your agency should target relevant keywords with high volumes and low competition, but it’s easier said than done.
5. On-page Optimisation
Your agency will use the keywords to create your site structure, page titles, and meta descriptions, apart from addressing a myriad of technical aspects that influence page speed. They should recommend strategies for reducing the bounce rate and increasing engagement on your site.
6. Off-page Optimisation
On-site SEO is only half the picture. You have to create backlinks, solicit reviews, and publish content on quality domains and social media in order to rise to the top of the search listings.
7. Content Development
The last time we checked, content was still the king of online marketing for example: explainer videos. Your content must be relevant, unique, consistent and high quality. A good SEO agency will ensure that.
8. Analytics and Reporting
Quality SEO is never a shot in the dark. Your agency should keep you informed about the results so you can measure how your investment is paying off.
Now, do you think you can buy all of these services from an overseas provider? As they say, good things are never cheap and cheap things are never good!
Do you still consider your investment in SEO an expense? The truth is good SEO pays back many times over than what it costs. But that doesn’t happen overnight. You have to wait for a few weeks or months before the results start showing up.
If you want quicker results, maybe you should go for pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.
Let’s talk business. Great SEO is a logical process that involves many different activities, as we just described above. Performed by professionals, these activities take time and cost money. Add to it the expense of customer services and overheads, and you can see why quality SEO cannot be the cheapest SEO available.
SEO agencies can charge you on an hourly basis, project basis or retainer basis. The retainer model is simplest of all and the most common as well. You are charged a fixed retainer fee each month. Agencies like it because it gives them a predictable cash flow and spares them the trouble of having to price a myriad of services individually. The client can monitor the results each month and see if your agency is really worthy of their dollars.
But you have to spend more money than you spend on dining out or buying dog food.
Here are the typical SEO price packages available in Australia:
$99 to $299 Per Month
We won’t be surprised if someone offered you SEO for less than $99. But, you should be ready for some unpleasant surprises. It’s simply not possible to deliver services AND make a profit at this price.
Most probably, you will not receive any services, which is still better than receiving bad SEO. (Overseas companies)
$500 to $2000 Per Month
You can actually get decent SEO services in this price range, but don’t expect fireworks. It’s a startup budget and works well for small or medium-sized businesses. Of course, the problem is you will find plenty of companies offering SEO in this price range.
Here are your cues: look for SEO companies that have an office in Australia and can be tracked easily.
Also, pick an SEO agency with the best Google reviews and testimonials as those reflect their work. Like us. We pack more value than $1000 to $3000 plans offered by most other agencies.
We are based in Australia and highly confident about our work.
Our clients have seen up to 3x increase in revenue, with our result-driven and quality SEO services.
$2000 to $5000 Per Month
Larger websites with a countrywide or state-wide business area might need to spend $2000 to $5000 on SEO each month. This seems fair as they have a larger audience to cater plus at this level SEO works hand in hand with brand management.
Above $5000 Per Month
The sky is the limit from there on. Global brands spend millions of dollars to stay on top of their competitors, but you’re not quite there yet. So decide what you can afford to spend, in the light of what we just discussed.
Help Your SEO Agency Help You! In order to get the best out of your agency, you should know the SEO process and goals that you want to achieve. Any good agency will give you a detailed plan with a price quote before they begin. Do not hesitate to ask them what different terms and activities would entail.
Most importantly, ask them how much more traffic and sales you can expect as a result of their efforts. Log into your Google Analytics and see where your traffic and conversions are going.
Remember, a great SEO agency doesn’t only get you better rankings and more traffic. It also gets you more conversions. The results are exponential.
Never buy cheap SEO services. They’ll either not work or will turn out to be extremely expensive in the not-so-long run.
Read a few articles about SEO on HubSpot, SEOMOZ, SEMRush and other reputable websites.
Learn about what you need from your agency. Many business owners have been burned by bad SEO from overseas companies.
Do not hire SEO services from overseas. You will work in different time zones and will not be able to track the performance.
A huge advantage of hiring an SEO agency based in Australia is that you can call them during your business hours. The turnaround time can be smaller and you can actually work very closely with their resources.
Interview your prospect agencies and discuss their offering in detail. Ask them to tell you what to expect.
Don’t trust hardcore numbers and ironclad guarantees. They never work simply because it’s impossible to predict the exact results. However, quality SEO is always good for your business.
Measure your progress at regular intervals. Monitor your rankings and traffic and see if you’ll be reaching your goals according to your plans.
Make calculated interventions where required. These can include a change in target keywords, beefing up on-page content, or adjusting your budget.
Your agency will manage it for you but you should know what’s going on. If you’re a small business with branches in several cities, good SEO can cost you $3000 and up a month.
With us, this cost is much lower. We have helped many local businesses with our quality SEO services without burning a hole in their pocket. You can talk to us and get a free no-obligation price quote.
Finally, don’t be in a rush. SEO takes time but it’s worth the wait. If you want quick results, consider paid search as an option.