How Much Does SEO Cost for a Small Business in 2020?

This post was originally published on June 10, 2019, and was updated on February 28, 2020, for accuracy.

Just about every business can benefit from a quality SEO campaign. That’s because SEO could help grow a business by increasing brand awareness, improving user experience, and generating more web visits and conversions.

Did you know? 75% of people don’t look past the first page on search engines, so it’s not only important to have your website rank in Google; it’s important to rank prominently on that first page of Google search results. And when it comes to your business, high-quality SEO can make all the difference.

In order to increase your chances of ranking prominently, work with a quality SEO company. If you come across an SEO company that guarantees immediate results, don’t just walk, run! Chances are they are using unethical SEO practices known as black hat techniques, which can produce quick results the wrong way and can damage your company’s reputation long-term. Quality SEO uses white hat techniques that produce the most significant success long-term.

And remember, SEO is not a “set it and forget it” marketing strategy. It needs consistent and high-quality content creation, technical quality assurance, and link building efforts. While there are different pricing options to work from, consider working with an SEO agency more long-term in order to help achieve the goals you want to achieve.

Here are a few SEO cost options to choose from

You’ll find that there are a few popular pricing models when it comes to working with a quality SEO company, which can vary depending on the needs of your business.

  1. Performance-Based (price varies)
    Performance-based pricing is where you only pay for how your ranking does in search engines. Although it seems like a great option, it can make your SEO cost fluctuate significantly on a month-to-month basis, making budgeting hard. Great-quality SEO campaigns can often take 6-12 months to see positive results. You’re better off focusing on having a solid campaign in place.

  2. Project-based ($500 – $10,000 total)
    This popular option is where you pay per SEO project– whether that be a site migration, content writing, technical analysis, mobile optimization, or more. Typical prices range from $500 – $10,000 per project, depending on the length and scope. This can be a great option for businesses that have the resources in place, but only need to have a quick analysis of how their SEO is performing. You’ll typically know precisely the cost to expect and what your project will include.

  3. Monthly Retainers ($750 – $10,000 per month)
    Retainers are an ideal option for a more extensive SEO campaign. Retainers are ideal for giving you the client, exactly what you need. You’ll have an expert team who knows your business inside and out and can meet and exceed your goals. Prices range from $750 – $3,000 a month for smaller companies. A larger company can expect SEO cost to be about $5,000 – $10,000.

    Many companies find that having that long-term relationship with an SEO firm produces not only a high return on investment but meaningful and positive results. As with anything, a great partnership includes excellent communication and secure trust.

  4. Hourly ($75 – $250 per hour)
    Many companies that choose to pay an SEO expert at an hourly rate, do so when the level of SEO support is inconsistent. Yet, they want to have someone on hand for when they need the help. When you pay hourly, you’ll be able to see work hours logged and a detailed breakdown of work done. You’ll also know your SEO cost upfront. Hourly SEO cost can cost between $75 – $250 per hour, which varies depending on the level of experience your SEO team has and the tools they use to support your business.

Work with a quality SEO company or expert

We mentioned earlier the importance of working with a quality SEO company, here are a few tips for finding a company that will help your business long-term.

  1. Make sure the company is not working with “black-hat” techniques.
    1. You’ll often see this with companies who offer instant results or promises that seem “too good to be true.”
    2. These companies often use “shady” link-building techniques such as purchasing links, lists, or followers.
    3. This type of SEO campaign will HURT your business in the long-term, often damaging your reputation on Google.
  2. Be wary of people or companies who offer lower pricing. It can mean a lack of experience or lack of proven results.
    1. You’ll often see people with little to no training in the field offer super low pricing.
    2. Companies often waste money this way, eventually having to end up getting results from a more established and trained SEO expert.
  3. Look for the following skills in your SEO partner
    1. Proven track record of experience and results
    2. Knowledge of link-building
    3. Technical SEO understanding
    4. Content marketing skills
    5. Social media expertise
    6. Analytical mind-frame
  4. Look for a dedicated SEO firm or SEO expert freelancer
    1. They are solely focused and trained in SEO
    2. Have the most industry experience
    3. Consistently use and practice the latest SEO techniques daily with different industries
    4. Offer a variety of pricing and services for your needs
  5. Whomever you work with should explain the process—both the timeline and your goals.
    1. A quality company will take the time to learn about your company, your goals, and explain the process.

Remember, excellent quality SEO campaigns often take at least six months and usually twelve. Gaining a lifetime customer is almost always a higher value than quick results or sales.

So, when asking, “How much does SEO cost?” or “Why do I need great quality SEO?” look for experts in the field. MediaSesh has over 10 years of SEO experience and we have a proven track record of helping businesses improve performance metrics, user experience, and conversion rates. We offer a variety of SEO services to fit your needs. If you have a question on investing in your business through a high-quality SEO campaign, give us a call.

SEO campaigns are an ideal investment. Let’s find the right strategy for your business together.

About the author

Christina is the founder of MediaSesh. She has been an online marketer since 2009 and has helped companies of all sizes to improve their online presence.

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