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Has a web marketing company called you to offer their SEO? Have you ever wondered why there were only two options available – a dirt cheap once off payment or seemingly expensive monthly instalments?

You’re probably au fait with the concept of SEO and it’s importance and if you have come to this platform in search of an reliable web marketing company or some SEO advice then I can guess you are looking for answers and want to avoid overseas-based scams that fill your inbox with junk.

I have gotten so many questions on why running an effective SEO campaign is so expensive so I had to write an article to cover the main reasons.

These are some common reasons why it is expensive:

  1. Constant work on the page and external marketing
  2. Constant research on Google algorithms
  3. Constant vigilance on competitors keyword campaigns
  4. Constant research on/with new SEO techniques
  5. Constant tracking effectiveness of keywords
  6. Constant tracking of website to maintain effectiveness
  7. Constant changing SEO to adapt to all these circumstances

The Cost is Relative

Depending on the scope and competition of the client some would recognise that $20,000 a month as a bargain- as these same businesses spend more than that on debatably effective advertising over the same period. Other businesses do not need that sort of overhead as their competition isn’t as fierce and so a SEO campaign requires substantially less time and money (possibly only $1,000 a month) to embark on. Every market is different and the cost of rising to the top of that market is directly related to the business you are fighting against. For example if you were to start a website advertising online tax returns you would be fighting against large companies with large budgets (like H & R Block) who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars across multiple advertising arenas (not just web marketing companies) to ensure their dominance. You’d also be fighting an established authority in the field (The Australian Taxation Office) with decades of experience AND it has a GOV domain listing – a one/two punch that pretty much guarantees it’ll stay king of the hill for the foreseeable future. To say nothing of the various websites that are at least partially sponsored by the ATO that fill up the first page. That isn’t to say it can’t be done by either consistent and well planned/executed SEO or by the use of adwords but such an effort takes time and that time directly translates into dollars. There is such a high competition for these keywords “Online Tax Return” that even the mighty Wikipedia has been rudely wiped off the first page of SERP’s (Search Engine Results Page) when you can normally rely on that website showing up nearly with every other search you can think of. An example where SEO costs have nothing to do with potential size of the market would be if I were trying to SEO a website devoted to selling an ebook about pharmacological drugs and the dangers or benefits of them. The ebook itself may only be $15 or $50 but the cost in time and manpower would be well-out-of-proportionlly large. Large drug companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in making sure their chemical cocktails are seen as more effective than their competitors, to say nothing of the thousands and thousands of articles already written on the subjects. In order to rise above the noise the ebook would have to be a better seller than the bible and/or add a few more zeros to the end of it’s asking price in order to remain viable. In the case of an ebook it would be more viable for the author to learn some of the on-site SEO techniques and start writing a daily blog and hopefully, through reaching out to other websites for recognition and reciprocal links and hard work on their own site, they may start to see traction after half a year or so.

SEO Takes Time

As we all know “good things never come quickly or easy.” Same applies to getting a good SEO service and you should never expect to get outstanding results within a week. If a web marketing company advertises “instant first page” steer well clear as their “quick fixes” are likely exploiting a current “weakness” in the Google algorithm. Google updates their algorithms (irregularly, though once a month is a reasonable descriptor based on past history) in order to find these very weaknesses and then to punish the websites that employ such tricks. There are a lot of basic things that most websites (who don’t have a dedicated SEO team) haven’t utilised which can show a short-term immediate jump (like optimising a websites robots.txt file) when first addressed at the start of the campaign. These are short term gains and don’t last for long enough if not used as a base for further SEO work – they’re are quickly buried under other companies with active SEO campaigns, any new business that uses the same/similar keywords, or any existing business who updates their relative page no matter how minutely.

A more reasonable assessment is 3 months to see significant change. There is a few exceptions to the rule, like if the market the website exists in isn’t very competitive, doesn’t have any new businesses starting up, or if it’s existing businesses aren’t very active with their advertising or updating their information, then results may be seen quicker.

We run to a 12 month timetable, with a large focus on the right keywords, with guarantees (or yard-sticks) along the way so you can see and track the progress.

A lot of dedication and planning goes into outstanding SEO campaign involving off-site marketing and on-site improvements. Not only is your satisfaction guaranteed but so will be your clients.

SEO requires a lot of research

Before any money is exchanged a considerable amount of time is spent researching and reporting on your website and the market it exists (or wants to exist) in. Competitors need to be identified, keywords need to be identified, investigated, and evaluated, and a comprehensive plan, with periodic guarantees, needs to be assembled.

Once the keywords have been agreed upon and the deposit is paid than the actual work begins.

SEO Takes Expertise

Any SEO guru that is worth his salt knows any number of SEO techniques that, although “white hat” (approved of by Google), they never pass on to others. These skills and time-saving techniques have been found or created after hundreds of thousands of hours of work at their trade. The internet, being the informational sharing monster that it is, would make short work of these “secrets” in a matter of minutes if given the opportunity and so are jealously guarded. Most of these techniques are also highly specialised and so would be in-effective outside the market or area they were created (or discovered) to work within. SEO is like any trade in that it can be learnt in time, however as it’s also Informational Technology based it also requires its trades people to be highly trained and always studying.

SEO Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive

When it comes to hiring an web marketing company never be scared of spreading your wings. Most of my clients find my services to be cheap compared to others who are equally effective. A lot of so-called web marketing companies with their scams, billing strategies and contracts have given a lot of genuine SEO professionals a bad name

This service is relatively inexpensive if seen from a marketing point of view and also as an investment. The cost of marketing in a year through magazines, signs, newspaper ads, billboards, trade shows, is more circumspect and less trackable and less reliable then a professional, targeted, SEO campaign over the same period.

SEO is not just a one-time shot in the dark marketing strategy, it’s a long term investment for businesses and websites which needs to be taken extremely seriously in order to maintain business and professionality. Anyone who believes their SEO service is too expensive is probably more concerned by about the lack of results rather than the price and so should consider focussing on a more effective package rather than a cheaper deal.