Why Is SEO So Expensive

SEO is be best long term marketing strategy for a business that wants to gain inbound customers specifically looking for their products and services.

As a small business owner you’ve probably experienced many eager companies approaching you about SEO making promises about quick and lasting page 1 Google results, however when you have look legitimately at what’s involved in an SEO campaign you have been deterred by the cost. So why is SEO so expensive?


As a marketer for the last 20 years, I have seen marketing channels change significantly from radio and press advertising to mailbox drops and bus stop signage, following the mass media craze came online advertising and SEO…in my opinion, SEO is be best long term marketing strategy for a business that wants to gain inbound customers specifically looking for their products and services. Holding a page 1 ranking WILL get you more website traffic…because who’s ever looked ta page 2?


Whenever I am asked why SEO is so expensive I try to educate people about what SEO is and what is involved so I will start with this. When you say expensive what are you comparing it to?  Have you considered the cost of SEO vs the Return On Investment it will bring to your business? And lastly what do you charge as an hourly rate for your time in your business or service?


I believe that SEO is often misconstrued as expensive because it is largely misunderstood (literally people have no idea how it works – if you’d like to get the basics, check out my blog What is SEO? Why do I need it?) , has a bad rep because of shonky operators who offer unrealsitec results which do not last and have the potential to damage your website’s reputation with Google. Finally SEO provide instant results like Google or Facebook ads, therefore not providing the business owner with the same high they get when they see people clicking on their ads. However those that do stick with SEO for a few months are always very excited to see their business rise in the google page rankings until it reigns supreme on page 1!


Let’s start with the comparison of SEO to other forms of effective marketing such as Google Ads.

Google Ads are great and they can work really well for you. What you need to understand is that Google Ads will potentially put you at the tops of the ads listing on page 1 (if you have enough ad spend budget) but your listing and information about your business will not remain once you have completed the campaign. SEO on the other hand, while it may take longer to show your results on page 1, has a lasting effect, so once you’re on the page and on the Map Pack, you are likely to stay thee with ongoing maintenance SEO activity. In terms of cost, a monthly Google Ads campaign will cost approx. >$50 a day in ad spend (>$1500 a month) and between $350 and $650 on monthly management. That’s a start point of $2000 a month budget. On average we charge between $1000 and $3000 for SEO campaigns monthly with the whole budget going towards work on your business. Comparatively SEO is actually very competitive AND has longer last results.


SEO and Return on Investment

SEO takes approximately 3-6 months to get you on page one for 10-20 specific keywords. There are many factors involved such as: website effectiveness, content quality, competitive nature of keywords, your desired geographic targeting, and many more, however once you are on page 1 of Google, you will start to build momentum and the higher you rise the more website visits you will get. If your website is set up properly, you will convert and that’s when SEO becomes well worth the initial investment.


SEO costs breakdown

An SEO campaign takes so long and costs what it costs because it is a complex series of ongoing activities that need to ALL be performed in order to get your site recognized.


Some of the activities include:


On page SEO: content audit and development, title tagging, meta descriptions, image compression and optimisation, page structure optimisation, page indexation, broken link fixes and more.


Off page SEO: blog and article development and dissemination, ongoing link building, guest blogger and influencer outreach, commenting, broken link fixes, social booking marking and much more.


These activities all take expertise and time. SEO cannot be done effectively overnight as Google needs time to index the site and all its content and links to determine where it should fall in order of all the other comparative sites.


Lastly the time, cost and effort it takes to become and effective SEO expert is another factor in the cost. Like in any profession, using a skilled expert gives you the advantage if getting excellent lasting results. Sure you can do a service on your car yourself…but do you know how? Same goes for your business - As an authority in your field you charge what your products and services are worth based on skill level and experience right? Same goes here. We charge our worth and that which also covers the expense of running a business.


So when choosing an SEO company look to work with tried and tested experts with a proven track record of success. Use someone local as local SEO people understand local business and won’t link your site to thousands of dodgy link building sites. Lastly work with someone you enjoy working with, that will take time to explain things for you and help you feel empowered by your marketing decisions knowing that you will reap the rewards of the efforts.


Looking forward to seeing you on page 1 of Google.

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