Who can tell me how much for SEO?
The conversation that follows this question often begins to sound like the Abbott and Costello “Who’s on First?” baseball routine.
The problem arises because many site owners think of SEO (search engine optimization) as a turn-key solution that you simply plug and play into your site. After all, SEO increases your SEV in SERP, so you want to have one/it/them… but, like everyone, you want to save money on it.
Unfortunately, it’s not just one thing, but several things, done in concert, that all combine to increase your search ranking. Some are on-site things and some are off-site things. Some can be done simultaneously and others should be be done first, second and third.
If an ‘expert’ takes a look at your site and quotes you a ‘complete price’ for SEO, run – don’t walk – for the hills. They might fix a couple obvious errors or weaknesses to get you a feel-good hit. A cheap service might save you a few bucks on SEO, but your traffic results often won’t translate into increased revenue. You could save yourself right into the poor-farm! Worse, they might deploy tactics that could actually harm your site rankings in the long run.
SEO isn’t simple, easy or something you can buy, install and sit back. Google, for example, ranks sites against, at last count, over 250 criteria which they tweak, several hundred times times a year. SEO depends on your goals, nature of your business, targets, audience, etc. Ideally, SEO begins and should inform your website design process.
Not considering your SEO strategy early on is why a template web site; a DIY build it yourself web site; or a site built by the kid down the street for a skateboard and a case of Red Bull don’t perform well or produce a ROI. After-the-fact SEO on an existing site often means a re-design/re-build.
So what’s SEO cost?
A resounding… it depends! What’s a rope cost? You need to know the rope’s size, strength and purpose to answer that. Spend too little and it might just be enough to hang yourself (or wish that you had because your SEO isn’t working). But what you pay is not what it costs. If SEO delivers a 2x, 5x, 20x boost in sales (and profit), it didn’t cost you anything, did it?