Before launching an SEO campaign on your website, you will obviously want to know how much it will cost to do so and how long it will take to implement. While the costs for this service will never be the same for any two businesses, below are a few indicative costs as well as approximate timeframes.
How much will SEO Cost?
If SEO is correctly implemented, it will generally not be cheap to do. However, it can be quite cost effective over time because the results can have a significantly positive impact and last a long time.
The end cost to your business will depend on various factors such as the current level of SEO on your website (if applicable), the overall quality of your site, the industry you are in, current competition and what your end goals are.
A reputable SEO service provider will only provide you with a price for performing this service after all of these factors have been taken into consideration. At this time, they will also provide you with a basic outline of the strategy they intend using to get your site ranked in search results and the plan they are going to put in place to implement it on your behalf.
Below is a basic guide with regards to SEO costs:
Entry Level SEO
Performing local SEO or SEO with search terms where there isn’t a significant amount of competition, you could be looking at rates of between $300 and $400 per month. This budget should provide you with good local search results or good results in minimally competitive industries. It is important to keep in mind though, that anything worthwhile with regards to SEO cannot be done free of charge or inexpensively. The less you pay now, the more you could end up paying later.
Mid Level SEO
When more competitive search terms are used, where the industry being worked with is more competitive, when a business serves a larger local area or you have more intense goals regarding business growth, you will need to be willing to spend upward of $750 per month on SEO, and this pricing will rise exponentially depending on all of the above mentioned factors. However, when allocating a budget this size you should soon see a significant increase in business and a good return on the amount spent on SEO.
High Level SEO
At the end of the day, there is virtually no limit with regards to just how much SEO can cost. Where high competition industries are concerned, the cost can easily end up being thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars per month. However, again, you should be seeing a tremendous increase in sales to make up for this as well.
You may be fortunate enough to find an independent freelancer who will be able to provide you with an excellent SEO service at more affordable rates because their overheads are lower. If you are considering using this option to reduce your costs, ensure that you obtain referrals and don’t be afraid to ask what tactics they will be using to obtain results.
Why does SEO Cost so Much?
When performed and implemented correctly, SEO will take a considerable amount of time and resources. Things such as doing the necessary research, plan an SEO strategy and implement it; creating appropriate content and distributing it all take a lot of time and effort. Take into consideration the amount you want to spend and think realistically at the amount of hours that figure would cover at professional hourly rates.
One Size Does Not Fit All
Always be wary of fixed price SEO packages, as they may not take things into account such as your business situation, existing online presence, the industry you are in and the level of competition there is in your industry. For example, a local bakery will have significantly different online needs to a multinational attorney firm.
It is also recommended that you exercise caution with regards to SEO packages that seem to be ‘bargain prices.’ In most cases, whoever is marketing these cheap packages will be making use of black hat SEO tactics to get your website ranked.
While this may get your site ranked in the short term, the ranking will also be short lived – when Google discovers which methods have been used to get your site ranked, you site will be demoted to the last page of search results in no time. The phrase, ‘you will get what you pay for’ is definitely one that applies when searching for a reputable SEO provider.
How Long Does SEO Take?
Any worthwhile SEO plan will take anywhere from 1 month for short-term goals to more than 6 months to reap results if your goals are more intense.
Always be wary of anyone that offers to provide instant results because there is no way that this can happen. It will take time for search engines to discover the changes on your website, meaning that it will take a while for your rankings to increase, Thanks to the new Google SandboX implementation, some changes can be delayed for up to 30 days as well, meaning that any form of instant results will be highly unlikely.
There are several factors that will have an effect on how long it will take for you to see SEO-related results, meaning that it is difficult to provide an exact timeline in this regard.
In most cases, you should start seeing some form of tangible results within the first month or so after SEO has been implemented. For instance, you may see some sort of increase in your ranking of selected keywords, a mild increase in traffic levels or even a few more queries than usual pertaining to your business. It is important to remember though, that the first month’s results will usually be minimal. Thereafter, you should start noticing better results.
A Little Later into the Campaign
Within 2 to 4 months, you should start seeing more reasonable results. At this time, you should be seeing decent increases in rankings with regards to the keywords you chose to have used on your site. If your SEO service provider has been targeting the appropriate audience, you will also start seeing an increase in sales or at least sales-related enquiries during this time.
Keep in mind though that many factors can delay things, so it is essential to keep in contact with your SEO provider. Having SEO performed is not a ‘pay once and forget about it’ service.
Once the SEO Campaign Gains Ground
After about 4 months, you should start seeing vastly improved results. This means that any major goals you had in mind for your business should start coming to fruition from around this time.
This will also be the time that you will see relevant keywords ranking higher than before, along with significant increases in website traffic, sales and enquiries. At a later stage, it may be worthwhile to expand the scope of your existing campaign so that you can obtain even better results over the long term.
It is important to remember that the above-mentioned timeframes should be taken as a general guideline only. However, your SEO consultant should be able to give you timeframes that they can stick to and they should also be able to provide you with an explanation regarding why some aspects will take longer than others to implement.
If you aren’t seeing any results within the first few months, you may need to sit down with your SEO provider and reevaluate your goals as well as the existing strategies being used to achieve them. If you would like to find out more about implementing an excellent SEO strategy on your website, contact us today.