How Much Does SEO Cost?

Let me guess, you’re looking for a straight answer as to how much search engine optimization (SEO) work, coaching, consulting, strategizing and planning costs, right?

Low Cost Marketing

You want a set dollar amount listed on the website so that you can choose what works best for you and your company. I mean, if those SEO websites from the guys in India list their prices, why shouldn’t everyone?

I’m sorry to have to burst your bubble but quality, ethical and long-term SEO costs money.

Most of the SEO agencies and companies that post their prices and packages online are either 1) someone who was told they know a thing or two about SEO or Bad SEO Advice2) someone that is outsourcing their SEO services to a company outside the USA and marking it up to make a profit.

Sure, you may get an ethical SEO consultant that posts their prices online but, you have to ask yourself, what are their qualifications and how long have they been doing SEO for businesses?

Why am I telling you all this? I truly do care about your blog or business. No, that’s not some line to get your business. In all honesty, I tell everyone I meet with how to spot a bad SEO consultant or company so that they are more informed with making a decision on their SEO – even if they don’t go with the SEO services I provide.

SEO matters – even today. Although there are SEO best practices that still hold true today, SEO has now combined with social media engagement to bring the most relevant and up-to-date information to search engine users. You need someone who understand this and is going to work with you as a partner. Alas, partners cost more than $10/hr.

SEO PricingSo, how much does quality SEO cost for your business? It depends on the consultant and the need. For example, all of my clients have different packages that were created just for their specific needs.

Some clients have me coach their marketing agency twice a month to become knowledgeable about SEO to better help their clients in other areas of marketing while others have me create a complete long-term SEO strategy that they can give to their in-house web developer to implement.

My clients range from a woman that just started her dog training business to Fortune 50 companies. There is no way that I could charge the same for the dog trainer as I would a mega-corporation.

The dog trainer is the only person in her business with a single static 4-page website. The Fortune 50 company has over 9000 products in their dynamic e-commerce store that are updated every day through a .NET Framework. They have over 10 sub-domains with different branding strategies and television commercials that need to be consistent with their online branding strategies.

A single pricing structure leaves it impossible to meet the needs of different types of businesses. Also, with all the social media and search engines changes happening every month, a single pricing model would need to be restructured every month. This adds to client confusion and frustration – as well as my own given that I would have to spend more time figuring out the pricing structure than serving my clients.

Mini CooperThink of hiring a SEO like buying a new car. Until you know the wants, needs and desires of the people buying the car, you don’t know what the final price will be upon purchase.

Do you need air a convertible? Will the car be off-roading? Will you be using it to impress potential clients? The car needs to meet all their needs and be able to meet those needs up to 10 years down the road. Purchasing a car is buying into a long-term strategy that is going to help you get where you need to go.

A family of 9 cannot fit into a mini cooper just as a business cannot be held back by constraints placed by a single package pricing structure.

When you hire a SEO consultant, you need one that is willing to build your package according to your own needs and give you a set list of deliverables you can expect. Find a SEO company that is willing to tailor a package to suit your needs and you will find a quality SEO consultant that values your business success.


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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Beatty Owen

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this post. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing abilities have inspired me to start my own blog now. Really blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your write up is a fine example of it.

    • Shannon Steffen

      Wow, thank you Beatty! I am so happy to be of service to others and help in any way I can.

  • Lu Mueller-Kaul

    You know what would help, Shannon? If you told us what the Fortune 50 company pays, and what the dog trainer pays. Or some other example. Because most of us idiots have NO CLUE, we get a few quotes, we still have no clue, and then we just stick our head in the sand.

    The material you provide on this blog is great, and it gives us trust in what you say. So if you say XYZ a good price for a site like ABC (link to ABC with their permission) for these services (list of what you’d do) then we’d feel like we FINALLY have an idea. Because we trust you. Also… if somebody like me who is in need of help with SEO would see an example, it would be much more likely that I’d hire you.

  • SEO

    We all know that an seo marketing will surely involved a lot of money when running for a campaign using this method but if it is just properly manage with the used of good techniques then it will only take few time to have an effective result of our business.

  • John Blackwell

    See to it to ask pertinent concerns with your decided Search Engine Optimization companies. Offer choice to the companies supplying tailored SEO services. It will certainly help you to obtain affordable Search Engine Optimization services within your budget.