DIY SEO: How Much Should an SEO Program Cost?
In fact there are many items to deal with to try to understand the “why” of an SEO Program cost for a new client to the world of search engine marketing, so I thought today I’d try to put together a short post explaining what any prospective client should consider before going ahead with any SEO practitioner or firm…so here goes!
Any SEO Program must be of course a real live one – and the only way to perhaps tell that it even stands a chance of being something you may want to consider investing in, would be the track record of the firm you’re vetting…..and yes, the costs and promises made.
What I mean by that is really basic when it comes to understanding that like your Dad always told you, there really is NO FREE LUNCH in the world.
That is, if you go to fiverr.com and ask, yes you’d find lotsa “consultants” there who’d promise to do SEO work on your site…for $5.00 ! Or eLance or guru or freelancers… they all have tons of requests for CHEAP and HONEST and RELIABLE SEO programs but as you’d realize, you can’t have all of those items at the same time. The companies that hire those kind of CHEAP deals are really just burning their cash….as the SEO is non-existant and the money’s already been PayPal’d….so you lose. And the numbers that we see in online SEO help forums is HUGE! Which begs the question, why would anyone expect to receive a quality SEO Program from the type of SEO Practitioner who charges only peanuts? That is a hard lesson for many to learn….but as our experience has shown…every single client we’ve worked with who has tried that CHEAP SEO Program model…has been disappointed. No ROI….just burned cash.
So…why then would you even consider paying more….much more in some cases….than any of those CHEAP deals?
Because there is an ROI that you can measure and validate….and the investment then is worth these higher costs…so look at validating the ROI of your own SEO Program by thinking on these items…
SEO takes time…it requires a skillSet that understands exactly how the big search engines work….what needs to be done…how to NOT trigger any kind of a Panda or Penguin or RQF (really quick frequency) threshholds…yet still work as quickly as possible. This process…as we well know takes months and months…which is why our own minimum SEO Program is set for a full 12 month period. Any shorter and you may get only partial serps and rankings that are not going to last and that’s not something that you should ever consider.
Content is King…f you’ve ever heard the line “content is King!” then make the realization too, that “building links” is not what we do as much anymore as creating content that makes your site rise and rise in the various search engine “trust & authority” rankings….to make other sites WANT to link to you…unasked….and therefore of MUCH more value…. We know that. We understand that. And we insist that all of our SEO clients know that too…and are willing to invest their own time needed to help create and publish that superlative content…
SEO rankings change almost every day…so do NOT get hung up on the serp numbers over a short period of time. It takes months to build even a start of the rise in rankings…and yes, they will often vary and tumble and jump around. That’s a good thing, as it shows your SEO practioner where the last efforts have made changes and how to move up even higher as we learn and react to what the search engines are algo’ing… Rankings are important. And a ‘snapshot’ of rankings on any given day are also important…but they only are “after” the indexing and the algo measurement….so remember that there would be a ‘trend’ over months and months…ever upward yes but not a continuous upwards swoop.
SEO does not ever include these scams…and they’re pretty well known by us SEO types, but I’m always so surprised at prospective clients who quote some of these terms as needing to be included to be real.
First is the GUARANTEE…if you can’t guarantee your work, then why would I hire you, is what they say. And the simple answer is – and has been for at least the 17 years I’ve been doing SEO – that no one can GUARANTEE any placements. Not using “white hat” tactics that last….using “black hat BAD” tactics you sure can….and they then self destruct and take your site down with you….obviously not a good thing.
Next are the INSTANT RESULTS that some firms promise…and what a pile of crap that one is too! This is one reason we never offer an SEO Program less than a full year because we know it takes months and months to develop and build a great set of rankings. The folks who make that promise again are using “black hat BAD” tactics to get you a quick jump…followed by a quick fall from grace…and your site is never heard from again. Again, not a real tactic that any firm would want used….google for same to see what I mean!
Any monthly costs below $1000….and yes that’s an arbitrary threshold…but one we had to set.We’ve found many SEO firms who are brand new to the channel, often start at like $250 a month…and advertise (and contract too!) to do “all things SEO” to your site for that kind of cost. At even $100 an hour…you’re getting 2.5 hours per month for that rate…and we just don’t know what that little amount of time could provide to get any kind of first-page rankings on your behalf. SEO work like all work requires time…and we just know after having done work that you can’t get any type of SEO Campaign up and running and ranking for less than $1,000 a month….you can find cheaper…but not from folks who provide real live SEO programs who already KNOW what to do…and how to do it.
And more of these kind of claims too….say they promise a #1 on Google (they can’t!) or adding your site to thousands of online directories (they shouldn’t re:Panda & Penguin) or the claim that they have an “in” with Google and can do what others can’t or all they need to do is to stuff your META KEYWORD tags to rank your site. All of these are not true…..and will work against your site immediately….so NEVER EVER fall for anyone who promises these scams either!
So…what would you expect to pay? Often it will be more than the basic SEO Program of $1,000 per month up we hear to $10,000 a month and yes even higher too. If you’re a personal injury lawyer in Chicago, it can be $50,000 a month or a Dentist in Dallas even higher. A large part of the amount of work that needs to be done is yes, the competition in the site channel you’re going to try to get on the first page for….but there are even higher costs we’ve heard.
Is such a real live SEO Program then cost effective for a brand new site with little or no income? That only you can answer…but the ROI must be there. Any SEO Program is an investment in brand new incremental web traffic….all prospective new clients or customers for your own site that will come and look around…and then hopefully buy from you. That’s the only way to look at an SEO Program….is the investment worth the costs? And hopefully, they will be if you find and contract with an SEO Practitioner who has experience and satisfied clients!Google