How Much Does Small Business SEO Cost? It largely depends on if it’s associated with a website, a business blog, or both. The payoff is with Content Marketing.
How Much Does Small Business SEO Cost?
SEO pricing is quite literally all over the map.
In a nutshell, SEO is not as easy to nail down a price as say, a direct mail campaign to 1000 nearby homes. Additionally, organic SEO is harder to measure.
Case and point, here at Web It 101, we have a wide variety of business clients. One day I was speaking to the CEO of a mid-sized security guard company. During the conversation, he asked me “We need to promote employee termination security. We get 2-3 calls a week for that service.”
At this point I asked that he Google “employment termination security in his city”
He was the #1 listing as I had already done that months ago.
“I guess that explains the calls then right?”
Organic SEO is just as hard to measure as yellow page leads back in the day when we all used shoe sized mobile phones.
And with organic SEO, the cost is more directly associated with the potential reward. Ranking nationally for a prized keyword might cost $20 or more a click for paid search engine keywords like AdWords and will have a much higher cost.
The same is true with Organic SEO.
Additionally, on a local level there can be a large variability. So you want to rank on a state level? County? City? Suburb? Township? Village? This determines how difficult it may be to rank, as well as the number of competitors with an established online footprint.
How Much Does Small Business SEO Cost? What Influences Cost
There are 3 questions that typically can help narrow down a cost for small business SEO.
- Where are you online currently?
- Where do you want to be online?
- How fast does it need to improve?
Before going any further, we realize you probably get calls and emails about SEO on a fairly regular basis.
Which brings us to the other key variable here: quality.
On any given day, we get a call from a client or they forward an email they received.
Many “SEO firms” (and I use that term loosely) employ a shady practice utilizing backlinks. Generally, this process attempts to find relevant websites that have expired, then buy those sites, and then place content on them that links back to the your site.
Call it what you will. Private blog network, link farm, link network, virtual links, etc., these are all the link schemes that Google has been aggressively perusing with manual penalties and algorithmic adjustments since 2014 (about the time they caught JC Penny doing it).
At best, it’s largely ineffective. At worst, you end up with Google penalties that essentially de-list you.
Besides, the Google algorithm uses approximately 200 variables when determining the order of search returns on a query. And links are just one factor.
The bottom line is when you are marketing on the biggest advertising platform available, you may just want to play by the rules.
How Much Does Small Business SEO Cost? What Else Influences Cost
There are approximately 30 million small businesses in the U.S.
The reality is most all of them have poor SEO, and a minimal footprint on Google and Bing (which represent over 98% of the search market).
So how much does small business SEO cost? Real Google Best Practices SEO?
In 2016 MOZ did a large study on this very subject. That’s the Good News.
The Bad News is SEO pricing is all over the map.
Survey Question: For those clients you service with ongoing/multi-month contracts, what is the average client’s monthly billing?
- 10% — less than $500
- 27% — $500-1,000
- 29% — $1,000-2,500
- 20% — $2,500-5,000
- 15% — $5,000-10,000
So the answer is….
Somewhere between under $500 to $10k a month.
And if you read the entire report, it makes sense.
Nearly 40% of small businesses are spending less than $1,000 a month, which is where the truly small businesses and startups often fall because today, your online presence represents the most important dollars you can be spending. And you need to remember, these prices likely map to the level of difficulty and scope of the SEO.
Lastly, spending any money on SEO efforts without a well-optimized mobile-friendly website is throwing money out the car window on the freeway. So in many SEO plans, a user friendly website is included in the pricing (as it is in our plans at Web It 101).
Asking “How much does small business SEO cost? Isn’t really the right question to be asking.
Because at the end of the day, it’s Return on Investment.
If it costs $22 for an AdWords Click. Or it costs $15 for a social media post on Facebook. Or $5 for an organic listing click, it’s all about the ROI and an organic listing is a highly valuable channel which offers the best overall return on investment.
Even Better News
With a Facebook Feed, or AdWords pay per click, when the budget is used up, they are gone. They are history.
With organic SEO, while it’s always “in flux” in part due to your competitors efforts, the search engine listing stays “listed” forever (or at least as long as your website is up).
And that is why Organic SEO is your best investment.
It creates brand awareness, increases engagements, leads and sales.
Web It 101
- Custom Responsive Website Design (RWD)
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Optimized Content Marketing (OCM)
- Social Media Management (SMM)