If you are looking to expand an existing business or have a new business, and want it to get off the best possible start, then one of the primary considerations you will have is ensuring that your business has an online presence.
Mind you, simply being online is not enough because if you want to attract visitors to your website with the hope of them becoming customers, then they need to find it first.
In order for these potential customers to find you when searching on Google and other search engines, your website needs to rank high, and that means being on page 1 of the search results.
To achieve page 1 status takes a lot of work, and most of that activity is going to involve search engine optimisation or SEO as it is usually called. Effective SEO needs time, patience, and most of all, the skills, knowledge, and experience in order to plan, research, implement, and monitor all the elements that make up a successful SEO campaign.
If you have never employed anyone to do SEO for you before, you may be wondering what it will cost. Truth be told, what you pay for SEO services should not really be seen as a ‘cost’ as such, because costs tend to be things that diminish your profits.
An SEO campaign is something that, if done correctly, will ultimately add to and accelerate your profits, so it should really be classed as an investment.
So, if you are prepared to invest in SEO, and in doing so, invest in your business, you need to know what that investment looks like in terms of dollar amounts, and what you can expect in return. View our: SEO Case Studies
“A big congratulations to you and your team. Both our websites harrisonslandscaping.com.au and thebalconygarden.com.au now easily outrank all their respective competitors in both of their ultra competitive industry sectors. Thanks again”
Josh Harrison, Managing Director
Harrison’s Landscaping / The Balcony Garden – Sydney
Any SEO campaign that is going to produce results should contain certain key elements. These all fit together like a jigsaw, and just like a jigsaw, if any one piece is missing then the picture is not complete. In other words, if you employ an SEO agency, they should be including all of these in your SEO plan.
Optimising Website Elements: This is normally termed ‘on-site’ SEO and it involves a number of optimisations that take place in the back office of your website. These can be quite technical and if done incorrectly can severely damage not only your website’s chances of ranking, but its basic functionality.
Competitor Analysis: You need to imagine SEO as a competition for search engine rankings and as with most competitive scenarios, the more you know about your opposition the better. This not only highlights their weak points which you can exploit, but also uncovers what they are doing well so that your SEO campaign can model them for the same positive results.
Keyword Research: Keywords are an aspect of SEO that much is written about, and it is where there is also the most amount of confusion. We explain it best by getting clients to imagine every single keyword and keyword phrase, as an individual competition.
The job of SEO is to try to ‘win’ the game of getting a website ranked as highly as possible for each relevant keyword as it applies to an individual business. Some of those games or keywords will be harder to win than others, and some will be relatively easy.
Proper keyword research will identify the difficulty of each keyword and therefore enable you to rank relatively quickly for the easier ones and knowing the harder ones will pinpoint how much effort and work is required to rank for those.
Keyword research will also form part of the competitor analysis thereby identifying which keywords they are ranking for. This allows your campaign to know what it needs to beat them, and thus rank higher for each keyword.
Content Optimization: For any SEO campaign to be successful, content is going to be required. The amount will be dependent on the level of competition you have, and keyword difficulty, but what will never change is that the content needs to be high quality. Most SEO agencies will offer to create this content for you, and more than that, it will be properly optimised for the best impact.
Measurement and Reporting: As with any plan, the actions implemented need to be measured to assess how well they are working, if at all. Thereafter, certain amendments or tweaks to some aspects of the SEO campaign will be undertaken to improve the overall results. All of this should be reported to you on a regular basis, and if the agency values its clients, they will also ensure that the reporting is specific and clear.
Virtually any business, of any size, can benefit from SEO, and that means that there are actually different levels of SEO. Accordingly, the costs involved in employing an agency to implement each of them will vary greatly.
The largest SEO campaigns tend to be those where a business is trying to rank, not just in one local area, but for the entire country. Bear in mind the sizes of companies that operate on a national are level tend to be larger, and therefore the resources they have at their disposal are large too.
This means that the level of competition they have is also greater, and thus trying to rank highly for keyword nationally is going to take a lot more effort, than trying to rank within one local town or city. Consider how many businesses might be competing for the keyword, ‘software company Australia’, versus ‘software company Perth’.
The second type of SEO is that done for eCommerce companies. These are companies that only sell online, and while many might only ship within a single country, most of them have a worldwide reach and are literally competing for keyword rankings against competition from all over the globe.
The most common SEO, and possibly the type you are looking for, is local SEO. This is where local businesses seek to have their online properties, including their website, rank higher, than the local competition. This applies whether it is a service, such as accounting, or a product, like wedding dresses, that the business specialises in. Get a free website audit
Before we cover some of the specific pricing you can expect for SEO, we must warn you of the danger of trying to cut corners and costs. Yes, you will find many SEO services being sold for just a few hundred dollars, and whilst they may seem like a bargain, be aware.
This is the future of your business that we are talking about, and you do not want to put that at risk. That is what you might be doing as cheap SEO services often use so-called black hat tactics.
These are SEO tactics that Google has effectively outlawed, and if they discover your website has been optimised using them, it will be delisted. That means it no longer shows anywhere on Google, and to all intents and purposes is the end of your online business. Get a free website audit
There are number of ways in which an SEO campaign may be costed and subsequently paid for. As each client’s needs are different no two campaigns will be exactly the same price, and often it will be a matter of negotiation.
Remember, SEO is not a 5-minute exercise, and a large number of hours will be spent by the agency researching, creating, implementing, and monitoring your SEO campaign.
Fixed Priced Contracts: These tend to be used for individual services that an agency offers. Examples of this could be building a website, implementing a social media campaign, or completing a full SEO audit.
The prices of these will obviously be influenced by the amount of work required, but a fixed priced campaign, for example, is likely to range between $1,000 and $20,000.
Project Pricing: This is where an entire campaign is priced from start to finish. Here we are talking about all stages of a campaign, and all the resources, hours worked, and individual tasks are all costed to arrive at a cumulative total. For an SEO campaign that is costed in this way, you will be looking at between $2,500 and $30,000.
Hourly Rate For Consulting: Some agencies operate on a consultative basis, whereby they are paid for their time, rather than specific tasks. This can be an open-ended arrangement where the client is billed each month for the hours that the consultant or agency has worked for them. Normal hourly rates for SEO consulting can range from $100 to $350 per hour.
Monthly Retainer: Similar to hourly rates but not so much measured by how many hours worked, but instead by the fact that the agency is carrying out all the necessary SEO tasks each and every month. This is done, first to set up and implement the SEO campaign, but thereafter to ensure that the ranking levels are maintained on an ongoing basis. Retainer fees range from $950 to $5000 per month. This would be our recommendation to choose, once you were satisfied you were dealiong with experienced professionals.
How To Ensure What You Spend On SEO Is Money Well Spent
This is actually achieved before you even employ an agency and is called due diligence. It involves you ensuring that the agency you are going to employ has a track record and previous clients who will vouch for them.
Look for testimonials and reviews from satisfied customers and clients. Also seek out case studies and success stories that will verify that when you invest with them for SEO, they are certain to deliver based on their previous results. Get a free website audit