How Much Should You Pay for SEO?

By | August 10, 2019


Hello this is John Locke, and today, I
want to talk with you for just a few minutes about what is the right amount
of money to spend on SEO per month? Everybody that has a website or runs a
business through their website and tries to make money off of it will at some point
be interested in SEO. You’re either going to want to do it
yourself, or you’re going to have somebody internally doing it, or you’re going to be
looking at an outside SEO consultant or agency to be helping you with that. The
big question is how much money should you be spending on SEO? What kind of
things should you expect? The reason why I’m making this video: it’s a common
question that comes up. I did happen to see a colleague on Twitter lamenting
this fact. They had a prospect reach out to them, they [the prospect] had got one of these spam
emails from an offshore company saying they could do SEO for $300 a month.
Basically, what I want to address is the reality of hiring a professional SEO
consultant or agency. Some of these SEO agencies are specialized. They have a
full team, they might handle other aspects of it such as web design and
development, maybe even social media. For example the super agency out of
Philadelphia, From The Future, does this. They consolidated three agencies into
one. For smaller businesses, if you’ve formed your business in the last few
years, and you’re still trying to rise up and compete against the big dogs in
your industry, hiring an agency on that level is probably not going to be your
best bet. Those types of agencies are best for enterprise companies —
companies that are doing millions or maybe even billions of dollars per
year. [SEO agencies for] some of those companies might be 30 grand or 50 grand a month. Let’s address
more of the middle to low ground, because I think that’s where most of you
that are watching this video are probably going to be at. When I say that,
that could be anybody doing from six figures of revenue a year all the way up
to 50 or even a hundred million per year in revenue. One thing I
would advise: don’t hire anybody that is selling SEO for $300 a month, because
you’re probably not going to get a whole lot [for your money]. The offshore companies, or even if
they’re here in the US, you’re not going to get a ton for $300 a month. Here’s the reason
why I say that. All the things that go into SEO, all the levers that we can
turn, all the dials that we can twist, have to do with analysis of where
you’re at now, creating or re-purposing content to make it better. Now, those are
fairly standard. But, it’s also going to involve things like changing the user
experience or the design or the functionality of your site to make it
better for your customers, and also building out a robust link profile that
has a bunch of high quality links in it. If you’re looking for a number, I would
say do not hire anyone that’s charging less than $1,000 a month for SEO. Most
people arre going to charge somewhere in the neighborhood of one to three
thousand dollars per month. Most of our clientele fall in between the fifteen-hundred to twenty-five hundred dollar range per month. Most of them are
at the 2k a month level. The reason for this is, there’s a lot of things that go
into SEO. it’s not just manipulating the words on the page. That’s only one aspect
of it. You still have to create content, in most cases. Most websites are very
thin on content, and they don’t have anything that people would want to link
to. I hate to break this to you, but most people are not going to build a link to
your sales and services page. That’s just not how it’s going to happen. You need to
build content that people are actually interested in linking to, in order to get those
links. Building out content, building out links, in most cases improving on the
website. I’ve seen a lot of web sites out there, they are ancient-looking. They’re
not mobile-friendly, they’re not fast, they’re not on good hosting or anything
like that. Some of you don’t even have Google Analytics installed on your site.
And that only takes a second, but the point that I’m trying to get to is — if you’re hiring somebody that’s only doing it for three to five
hundred dollars a month, they’re not going to get very far with all those
things [on the SEO list]. I’ve even had to tell colleagues that don’t do SEO, and don’t quite
understand how it works, that you can’t do this stuff for free. It’s really
not possible to do it for low to no money. Building content takes time and
takes talent. Offshore companies, no knock on them, some
of them are very good, but building out content that sounds right in native
English is something that takes a little bit of skill. It’s something not
everybody can do. A good copywriter can cost a lot on their own. It can be as
much as some of these SEOs are charging you just for a single piece of content.
Doing design and development to improve your site, that is also a part of SEO. We’re going to
cover that in another video later. But design absolutely is a factor in SEO.
Speaking bluntly, if your site’s a piece of crap, and it doesn’t work on a
mobile phone, people aren’t really going to be on your site very long, and Google is
not going to want to reward it, because your customers don’t like it. And then
building links. Some of these links you can go out and get for free [if you work for it]. But a lot of
these links that I found in the manufacturing space, yeah some of them are for
free, but first you have to go out and identify where they’re at. Then you have to go find
them. [When it comes to getting links] some of them involve outreach. Let’s say you’ve built out a big informational
piece of content. You still have to go and do outreach to a bunch of people, and
try and get them to link to it. Some of these things are associations, or they
have annual dues, but you still want to be there, because you want to drive
traffic to your site. So this is why I’m saying we charge somewhere in the
neighborhood of two grand a month for ongoing SEO services. Some people a
little bit less, some people a little bit more, but that’s about the neighborhood
of it. And I would say, do not hire anybody under a thousand dollars a month,
because they are probably underestimating the amount of work that it
takes to get you to ranked. And in the end, they’re not going to be able to do Great
Work, because they don’t have the resources to get it done. And I get it,
you see AdWords all the time with people saying that they can do it for 250 a
month. Here’s what you’re going to get for that. if they produce content it’s either
going to be, maybe an infographic, which very few people are going to want to link to, or
you’re going to get some highly spun content,which doesn’t read naturally. And
then you’re going to get some links, which are not valuable links. These are
going to be links on random blogs that are literally Fake Blogs that drive no
traffic. And these fake blogs are basically set up for the sole purpose and
intent of being link farms, which Google does not like. Again, they’re not going to
drive any real traffic to your site, which is something that you want, and is very
important to SEO — driving real traffic [to your site]. You can hire anybody [for SEO] from a person just
starting out to a full-fledged, hundred-person agency to do your SEO. And the
prices will range probably anywhere from 500 a month to
50,000 a month or maybe even more. But, you get what you pay for. If you’re doing
anywhere from 500 grand to fifty million a year, you really should consider hiring
a professional SEO. Don’t hire someone on the cheap from a Google ad that says
they can do it for 200 bucks a month, because you’re going to get what you
pay for, and it might actually end up hurting your rankings in the end. My name is John
Locke, my business is Lockedown Design and SEO. We help manufacturing and
industrial firms with their SEO. If you have an SEO question that you’d like to
see us answer, put it in the comments below, and we will answer it out for you
in a video. Don’t forget to subscribe. Thanks.

One thought on “How Much Should You Pay for SEO?

  1. John Locke Post author

    We charge about $1500-2000 per month for SEO, if you are starting from scratch. Maintenance contracts are usually lower. If you get cold emails from an offshore company saying they can do SEO for $300-900 per month, run away. It is likely you will get a ton of spam links that will destroy your SEO over the long term. Most agencies I know charge about $1500-3000 per month, depending on the complexity of the client (aka small business, mid-size, enterprise). On that, enterprise SEO usually starts at the near 5 figures a month mark, if you're hiring a good company.

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