SEO as a term is thrown around like it’s a generic service.
Even the most generic of service businesses has layers. If you were to pay for a haircut you’d expect a certain quality and you understand there is a certain price point. Let’s say between £6-£600. We know that if you just want a quick job and your not that bothered you can go in the lower range. If your hair defines you then your going to go to a more expensive/higher quality place to get it done.
At the end of the day this is just a haircut, we aren’t talking about wealth, we aren’t talking about business progression, just hair.
But many people treat SEO as if it were a very generic service business.
How much does SEO Cost?
That’s a question I get asked on a weekly basis. How much does this cost or can you give me a ballpark figure?
And here is why we never give outlined prices (or try not to anyway) when dealing with clients.
Everything is based on competition.
Although nowadays we rarely take on clients under £1000/month, a year ago pricing was solely based on competition.
This means that if you come to us saying I want to rank for “the greatest barber in Llandaff Cardiff” – Then you’d probably get a tiny quote.
If you came to us saying you want to rank for “credit cards” – Then of course its going to be just a bit higher.
The reason is 2 fold – 1.) Competition and 2.) ROI for client.
I like to aim for AT LEAST a 10X ROI for clients.
This means if they pay us £1000/month, that means that after 6 months I want to be generating them £10,000/month from organic traffic. As a bare minimum!
And of course if ranking for a keyword can generate a business £10,000 a month in revenue, then there are going to be others trying to rank for it, hence increased competition.
That’s why SEO isn’t a fixed priced based business.
Going a step further.
When you see fixed prices for “SEO” Something like £250/month is a common one you have to remember why someone is offering the price this low.
If they truly believed in their ability and services saying they can rank you for ANYTHING for £250/month…. Why would they not have built the business themselves?
I’ve always said there were 2 businesses I would start and earn £100k+/year from within 6 months if I wanted to stay in a set location (physical premise business etc)
Those would be skip hire and opening a gym.
But that’s a discussion for another day.
All prices for any type of marketing whether that be facebook ads, SEO, link building, PR even web design should come down to ROI for the client.
Let’s say we charge £1,000/month for a year = £12,000.
If the client gets £120,000 in organic sales through Google as a result of this, has this campaign been a success?
I would personally say yes.
So How Much Should YOU Expect To Pay?
Here’s where it gets a bit complicated, because if we Google “how much is SEO” we get a rich snippet from searchenginewatch that gives us a decent idea and pricing bracket but doesn’t really explain the WHY behind a campaign.
It all comes back to SEO NOT BEING A GENERIC SERVICE.
If we had product or service A and product or service B that are the exact same, and A cost £100/month and B cost £5000/month….. What would you choose?
Now of course based on the information I’ve given you it isn’t really a decision, it’s product B.
But what happens when these products aren’t really the same. Just because they look the same and might be CALLED THE SAME THING. Does not mean they provide the same value or function.
I’ll give you an example.
Product/service A costs: £1,000.
Product/service B costs: £50,000.
The product is: A car.
See where I’m going with this?
Can you see how you cannot value “a car” without knowing what car it is.
I could be talking about a brand new Lamborghini for only £50,000 or a 3 wheeled 30 year old banger that for £1,000 is actually a terrible price.
But if we just say “car” we aren’t really actually helping anyone, especially not ourselves.
I see this with so many good companies – Web design, seo, marketing in general etc.
So back to SEO.
If you get a quote for £1,000 and £50,000 how can you choose which one is best?
Because realistically £1,000 might provide more value.
Just because something is expensive doesn’t mean it is valuable and just because something is cheap doesn’t mean its not valuable.
As a rule, if someone is quoting you below £1000/month and your niche is of reasonable competition, then they probably do not know what they are doing.
It’s all about how much value a particular service/product provides.
I don’t understand why people buy Ferrari’s they drive twice a week and go really cheap on mattress they lie on 7-8 hours a night.
It all comes down to how much value the service provides.
A website that costs £50,000 but converts 1% more visitors than a site that costs £5,000 might seem like a bad deal…..
Until you do the numbers and realise that for your particular business converting 2% more visitors will equal an extra £10,000 a month in revenue. Then this additional £45,000 becomes a great investment, paying for itself by month 5.
So how much should you expect to pay for SEO?
My answer would be at MOST 1/10th of what you would potentially receive if you ranked top 3 for all your primary keywords. Let’s say we could earn £100,000 a month from organic traffic once ranked, that means that at most you’d be looking at £10,000 a month.
The lower range is more difficult as I’ve seen agencies charge clients £5000+ a month and do LITERALLY F*CK ALL. And I’ve seen consultants charge £500 a month and essentially hand a client millions in revenue. So it honestly depends on who you want to work with.
Follow people who have a proven system, proven case studies and more importantly only do ONE thing.
For example don’t go with a PR agency that “also does SEO” or with a PPC agency that “does organic search” and PLEASE do not go with web design agencies that offer “seo” as an addon.
Go with people you get a good feeling from and who have shown clear results in the past. If there fees are a bit higher it probably means they have had success in the past and do not need to charge lower fees anymore to get all leads into clients!
Also remember the age old adage that goes something like – “Being cheap can be the most expensive decision you ever make.”
Thanks for reading.