How much does an SEO strategy cost? That’s a big question and if you thought SEO was free, that’s a lure! SEO encompasses all natural referencing techniques for a website. We also talk about free referencing as opposed to SEA, which corresponds to paid referencing (Google Ads campaign).
However, the expression is inaccurate, because organic referencing has a cost: SEO audit, purchase of Web articles, netlinking… The SEO investment will also depend on your marketing objectives and the complexity of your website.
So, what is the cost of an SEO strategy? Here are in detail all the SEO services necessary to increase your visibility on the Web and the different prices that make up a good SEO strategy.
How much does an SEO strategy cost: all the benefits
To fully understand SEO pricing, you must first learn about the different services related to SEO referencing.
A complete accompaniment must include 5 points:
1. The SEO audit
All SEO strategies start with an SEO audit of your site. This will highlight all the friction points that prevent you from reaching the first Google search results.
The analysis will thus allow:
- To study the competition and the most promising keywords in your sector of activity.
- To establish an inventory of the strengths and weaknesses of your actions on the three main SEO axes:
- Technical optimization (URLs, web page loading speed, UX design…).
- SEO On-Site (optimized content, markup, internal linking, etc.).
- SEO Off-Site (backlinks, e-reputation…).
- To identify the actions to be implemented so that your site is positioned correctly on its theme.
- Determine your marketing objectives: increase in sales, your online reputation, etc.
- To create a complete strategic plan to achieve your objectives and an implementation schedule.
2. Accompaniment by an SEO expert
Monthly support from an SEO consultant or an SEO project manager is essential. His role is decisive since he is the guarantor of the proper implementation of the recommendations of the audit and the monitoring of your positioning in the SERPs.
If your site requires restructuring, you will also have to call on a developer. As this external service is not included in the SEO service, always plan an additional budget to compensate for the structural failures of your website.
3. Writing and optimizing web content
The writing and SEO optimization of your content (blog articles, product sheets, web pages, etc.) can of course be carried out internally by your web editors or by calling on freelance web editors. In this case, the job of the SEO consultant will be to optimize your content and offer you a relevant editorial schedule.
As a guarantee of notoriety with search engines, the acquisition of incoming links is part of the SEO services. The work of SEO experts is therefore to obtain backlinks for your website.
Know that a good netlinking strategy is not based on quantity, but on quality. The links pointing to your site must necessarily come from trusted sites, which are authoritative in their field of activity.
Normally quality content is enough to gain incoming links, but if you are in a highly competitive sector, the use of buying links is often necessary.
But beware, buying a backlink is a practice sanctioned by Google. If you buy so-called “unnatural” backlinks, make sure that they remain as natural as possible in the eyes of the search engine.
SEO agencies know the risks of a Google penalty and the techniques to make your inbound link look natural. Hence the need to call on netlinking experts!
The SEO expert may also have to clean up the netlinking. If you have poor quality backlinks or over-optimized link anchors, you will have to disavow these toxic links before any netlinking action.
5. A monthly report
Last point of an effective SEO strategy: monthly reporting .
Each month, the SEO expert in charge of optimizing your site will provide you with a complete report on:
- The evolution of the SEO positions of your Internet pages on the targeted keywords.
- The actions implemented and the results obtained.
- Proposals for the coming month.
- Monitoring competitor sites…
This assessment is essential to identify the points to improve, define the actions to be taken and calculate your ROI (return on investment). It must be based on recognized tools such as Google Search Console, Semrush, Ahref…
How much does an SEO strategy cost: average prices
Of course, all these techniques have a cost! Optimizing an e-commerce site or a showcase site requires SEO skills and great professional expertise. However, do not judge the competence of an SEO referrer on his price base alone. High prices are not always a guarantee of quality…
In the field of referencing, several invoicing methods are possible:
SEO rates by the hour: they are perfect for one-off needs or for start-up companies or startups.
Monthly rates: they are more suitable for a long-term strategy.
SEO packages: they correspond to a specific need. If for example, you only need an SEO audit or a netlinking campaign.
Do not hesitate to ask for several quotes from SEO agencies or freelance SEOs .
To help you determine the average cost of an SEO strategy, here is a range of prices applied in 2022:
- SEO audit: between 500 and 10,000 €.
- SEO support + reporting: daily rate between 300 and 1000 €.
- Content writing: between 20 and 100 € for 1000 words.
- Netlinking: between 30 and 500 € per link.
So, on average, plan an SEO budget of 1000 to 2000 € per month, but other elements can vary the price and the bill can then be much higher!
What influences the price of SEO services?
It is difficult to say exactly how much an SEO strategy costs, because several factors will play a role in the prices offered by SEO providers.
The complexity of your site
It is obvious that the SEO support work for an e-commerce site with 2000 product pages will not be the same as for a showcase site with around thirty URLs! The choice of your CMS also impacts the time devoted to its optimization. If a WordPress site will facilitate the work of the SEO, this is not the case with all CMS software…
The quality of textual content
You will find everything in terms of web writing: from the underpaid Malagasy writer to the premium writer, the rate per word can go from 0.02 €/word to 0.1 €/word. If you plan to publish a lot of content, the bill can quickly climb and push you to invest in low-cost writing. However, don’t forget that if quality content is sometimes expensive, it is the guarantee of a good user experience and good web referencing.
Your backlink needs
Obtaining quality links also has a cost and some referring sites charge a high price for their backlinks . Count around 30 € for a directory link and more than 500 € for a premium link. If your site has a low Trust Flow score, the share of your SEO budget devoted to link buying will have to be substantial.
Optimization of a new site
Optimizing an existing site does not require as much work as creating a website. The first being already known to Google, the results will therefore be faster and therefore the bill will be lighter!
The provider’s experience
The rates offered by the service provider will of course depend on his level of competence. The fee schedule of a junior SEO will be more affordable than that of a senior consultant.
The competition and your location
The SEO budget will not be the same if you are in a sector where competition is fierce and it will also depend on your catchment area. If you want to position yourself on a highly coveted market at the national level, the investment will necessarily be more important than a local referencing on a niche market.
Your SEO goals
Finally, the more ambitious your SEO goals, the greater the work of the SEO agency will be and the bill too!
How to choose the right SEO coach?
You are starting to have a more precise vision of what SEO support represents. You now know how much an SEO strategy costs. All you have to do is choose the right freelance SEO agency or consultant. Except that today, the offers are multiplying on the web and it is increasingly difficult to sort.
Here are some tips for choosing the right SEO provider:
Check the credentials of your provider
Online notoriety is a good indicator of the expertise of SEO consultants.
- Check the providers’ online presence and whether they are active on social media. If this is not necessarily a guarantee of quality for a freelance service provider, the absence of online activity is a negative signal for an SEO agency.
- Consult the customer reviews left on their website and do not hesitate to ask for customer cases.
- Ask the consultant or agency about their methodology and the SEO tools used.
- Finally, make several SEO quotes to take the time to compare the different offers.
Choose agencies where you have a single point of contact
If you choose to delegate your SEO referencing to an agency, make sure you have only one contact. Communication must be easy and you must be able to ask at any time about the progress of your project and explanations of the actions implemented.
Prefer turnkey formulas
So, of course, you can perfectly use a different service provider for each point seen above. Especially if you have time and money to spend unnecessarily!
Turnkey formulas are the preferred solutions, for several reasons:
- You have a dedicated project manager who accompanies you from A to Z.
- There are enough web editors to find the most experienced professional (or professionals) on your topic.
- You save valuable time by consolidating all SEO services.
You benefit from a dedicated SEO expert and the expertise of professional writers. The SEO content production team searches for the most relevant content topics for you by targeting the most searched keywords.
How much does an SEO strategy cost: watch out for SEO scams!
Many SEO companies have been engulfed in the SEO bonanza. To avoid pitfalls, here are some tips:
Free SEO does not exist!
As the saying goes: “If it’s free, you’re the product”, so beware… Avoid ads that promise you a free audit. Run away as soon as you see the word “free”. SEO takes time and expertise and a real SEO professional is expensive. It is indeed an investment, but if the SEO work is done well, it is very profitable.
Low cost rates
We are all tempted by low prices, but in natural referencing as elsewhere, quality is paid for. Never lose sight of the fact that SEO is a long-term investment and not an unnecessary expense. The acquisition of inbound links and the writing of your content are two areas where you should absolutely not try to cut corners.
SEO promises you top spot in search results
Guaranteeing you to appear on the first page of Google results in record time is complete nonsense. Already because the competition for the first positions is fierce and unless you are in an uncompetitive sector, the SEO work will be long.
On the other hand, because SEO is only part of the strategy needed to reach the top of the SERP. You will also have to invest in paid advertising and optimize your Google My Business listing in particular. Not to mention that no one has 100% control over Google and its algorithm!
Of course, the number 1 position is the holy grail of any entrepreneur: it attracts many visitors and increases your click-through rate considerably. However, it takes time to gain the trust of Google and the duration for your site to be well referenced will mainly depend on its seniority, its popularity, the competition and the relevance of your publications.
There is no miracle with SEO, the results are only obtained by providing rigorous work!
The provider uses paid advertising
Does your SEO provider use Google Ads to increase your visibility? If the SEA strategy can be complementary to the SEO strategy, the approach is absolutely not the same and will even cost you much more in the long term! Especially since the solution is not sustainable, once the paid campaign is over, you disappear from the search results.
The agency automates its SEO services
Even if automation software is becoming more and more efficient thanks to Artificial Intelligence, nothing can replace the quality of human work. Remember that a low quality backlink or content will necessarily hurt your SEO. You simply risk penalizing your site and scaring away your prospects.
Final advice for a healthy collaboration with your SEO provider
You now know how much an SEO strategy costs and how to choose the right SEO consultants. Finally, here are some tips to make your collaboration go as smoothly as possible!
- Always keep in mind that natural referencing only bears fruit after 6 months or even a year depending on your needs and your objectives. Be patient and let the professionals work. Trust must be essential for a good collaboration.
- Don’t worry about possible variations in your results. A change in Google algorithms, a breakthrough by your competitors is sometimes enough to make you fall in search engine results. Your SEO expert will know how to adapt his strategy according to these completely normal variations.
- Give all the necessary information to your SEO collaborator and encourage your team to do the same to make their mission a success.
As you know, an effective and efficient natural referencing strategy will bring you qualified traffic and boost your conversion rate. However, the right question is not: “How much does an SEO strategy cost?” but “What is the profitability of my SEO investment? “.
Think about it when you hire your SEO expert, SEO takes time, but it’s never an unnecessary expense!
And if you are only looking for the Best SEO services in Lahore, your future SEO service provider is waiting for you!