The cost of small business SEO services varies greatly because every small / local business has a different starting point and therefore its monthly scope-of-work to improve rankings will be different.
That said, it’s hard for generic SEO pricing to take all these nuances into account.
As a result, there’s a lot of companies paying $5,000 a month that could be paying less and others paying $500 a month that should be paying much more to get quality leads and generate real sales.
Either way, most fixed SEO pricing fees will work against you (unless you truly understand how it works) because what you really need is someone to do their homework, understand what you need, and then quote pricing that fits your needs exactly.
Now if you want to know how fixed SEO pricing works at your local internet marketing company, here goes:
1. Your digital marketing company will analyze your site and hypothesize on what’s needed to rank your site on page 1 of Google for the keywords you’ve given them (ideally they’ve done their own research and found additional keywords you didn’t know of as well)
2. The internet marketing service will determine the hard costs of the work and resources needed (i.e., hours, outside party costs, etc.)
3. The internet marketing service company figures in their markup
4. Based on your budget (or the fixed monthly SEO fee), the internet marketing service divides the total cost to SEO your site by the fixed monthly SEO fee
5. Using the formula above, we know how many months it’ll take to complete your SEO
For example, if the total cost of SEO’ing your website is $12,000 and they’re charging you $500 a month, that means it’ll take 24 months to complete your work.
If you’re in a low-competition industry or don’t have strong local competition, this type of deal would probably work well for you since even the smallest optimizations will generate results.
If you’re in a more competitive industry however or if your competition is relatively savvy, this wouldn’t work for you because your SEO is working too slow to keep pace with the competition.
Most people have a good idea of how strong their competition is but in case you don’t, it’s important you talk to an honest SEO consultant that’ll take the time to carefully analyze your needs and your competition and then tell you straight what it’s going to take to get you where you want to be.
So how much do SEO services cost?!
What you’re going to pay for your SEO depends on a number of things … here are the main ones.
- Is your website already [relatively] optimized?
- Is your website optimized to work perfectly on all desktop and mobile screens (i.e., is the design responsive)?
- Does your website load lightning fast?
- Do you have already have keyword-optimized product and service pages?
- Do you have supporting content with highly searched (and related) keywords?
- Does your website already have optimized title and description meta tags?
- Do you have the rest of your copy tagged with proper alt tags, heading tags, etc.?
- How many “questionable” sites do you have linking to you?
- Do you have enough good / authority sites linking to you?
- Is your internal linking structured correctly?
- Are you now, or have you ever been penalized by Google?
- Does your site have (or has it ever had) black hat tactics implemented either with or without your knowledge?
- How authoritative are the sites already ranking on page 1 of Google for your keywords?
- Has there been any significant ranking change on the 1st page of Google for your keywords?
Reviewing all these factors (and more) tells an search engine marketing professional how much work is needed to make your website SEO-ready, how much content creation is needed, and how much link building will be needed given your competitive position.
With an understanding of how much work you need, a digital marketing company can then be in a position to tell you what it’ll actually cost to SEO your website.
Some SEO pricing guidelines
Most monthly SEO pricing falls into one of the following categories depending on strategy and scope (and of course, you can always find cheaper more affordable SEO services but then again, you get what you pay for).
Here’s what quality SEO done by in-demand (that’s important) internet marketing services companies will typically charge:
Local SEO pricing typically ranges between $1,000 to $2,000 per month for single-location campaigns targeting small to medium-sized cities (pricing increases for multi-location campaigns or single-location businesses in larger or higher populated cities)
National SEO campaigns generally cost more than local campaigns and usually start around $3,000 per month
Niche products / services businesses with lower search volume and competition carry a smaller monthly SEO fee (could be as low as $500 a month for the least competitive businesses; as competition increases, so does SEO pricing)
E-commerce sites with hundreds to thousands of products almost always carry a higher cost ($4,000 a month and up) due to the number of pages requiring optimization, platform complexities, and higher levels of competition.