What Should Your SEO Marketing Cost? A S.F. SEO Specialist Explains

I’ve been a S.F. SEO consultant for 7 years, and even I can’t tell you what the average price for SEO is each month. Depending on the size of your business it can be $500 to $10,000 a month.

Obviously the agencies charge the most, but the price of your SEO should really be dependent on the work you need done and your goals.

If you’re trying to dominate for a 100 keyword phrases, that is going to cost more and take far more effort than if you just need to rank for 4-5 phrases.

SEO marketing might not be the primary source of lead generation in your niche, in which case why spend thousands of dollars every month?

Below I’ll break down 3 ways to execute your SEO marketing and provide a range for what you should spend and what you should avoid.

Avoiding the $500 a month retainer

The reason this SEO package doesn’t work is because you can’t realistically have a content budget on $500 per month. Professional blogging and copywriting can be expensive, especially if its for a specialized service or product (think legal or tech).

Content is the most important part of good SEO. Without it, you can’t expand the number of phrases you rank for. You’ll also have a harder time improving your existing rankings.

Since you can make good blogs and articles a part of your email strategy, social media posts and white papers, content is a great investment. But it can’t be done on $500 a month.

The $1500-$3500 SEO budget range

These contracts make more sense. You have plenty for content but you also have enough to pay web developers to make updates to your site.

What does the web developer task list look like? It can be any of the following:

  • Monitoring your Google search console for crawl errors and 404 errors
  • Adding structured data and structured snippets to your web pages
  • Improving mobile usability – a key SEO ranking factor
  • Improving website speed – also a key SEO ranking factor
  • Rearranging your site architecture i.e. updating or improving your top level navigation
  • Adding subdomains, although I don’t encourage this for SEO

Lastly, with this amount you should be able to get detailed strategy from a SEO specialist and very concrete reporting. Measuring SEO and how many leads you generate each month is easy with Google Analytics.

The $5000-$10,000 enterprise SEO package

Ok, so not every business that pays this amount is an enterprise company. But at this price range you’re most likely working with an agency that allocates time each week for their web developers, writers and SEO strategists to work on your website.

It’s like hiring 4 people part-time, and possibly more. The key here isn’t just having 4+ SEO helpers for the sake of having 4+ SEO helpers. The key is the results they get.

I’m not one to say you’re spending too much in this range if the agency is kicking ass and taking leads.

I will say that at this level, they should have all the financial resources to be successful optimizing your rankings, generating you business, and alleviating any SEO stress you’ve been having.

Thanks for reading. If you’d like a Bay Area SEO expert to review your current SEO contract, email me at corttafoya@gmail.com.

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