When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), most people find it difficult to set a meaningful budget. Considering that SEO plays an important role in growing a business, it can be quite easy to overspend (or underspend) in hopes of seeing great results. If you wish to maximize your marketing dollars and take full advantage of SEO, then you have to calculate your costs wisely.
The question is, how should one allocate his budget for SEO services? Is there a limit on how much you should spend on search engine optimization? In this article, we’ll be taking a look at several different factors to help determine your SEO cost.
Determining goals for your SEO campaign
Before we establish a budget for SEO, the first thing you should do is set goals for a given campaign. Ask yourself these questions:
- What’s the desired outcome of the campaign?
- How can you measure its success?
Back then, keyword rankings were the determining factor of a successful SEO campaign. While it’s true that ranking position remains a key metric, it’s not the most important metric out there. What’s even more important are metrics that directly impact your bottom line. Some examples include revenues, goal conversions, and organic sessions.
To determine goals for your SEO campaign, you should seek improvements in the following areas:
- Increase conversions by (x) per month
- Improve organic sessions by (x) percent
- Increase revenue by (x) percent
Like the saying goes, “what you measure is what you get,” and this holds true for SEO. Your goals need to be measurable so you can track your progress and know if you’re spending your marketing dollars wisely. Be realistic with your goals and see how long it will take before you achieve them. Like with most things, you need to give your campaign enough time for it to work.
Even Google themselves have said that “in most cases, SEOs need four months to a year to help your business first implement improvements and then see potential benefit.”
Developing a budget
The goals you set will ultimately be the determining factor for your success in SEO. What this does is enable you to create a sustainable action plan with the necessary budget to support it. Consider asking yourself these questions when developing a budget for SEO services:
- How does your information architecture compare to your rivals?
- How does your content stack up against the rest of the competition?
- How does your backlink profile look when compared to top-ranked websites?
By answering these questions, you’ll be able to figure out your priorities along with the volume of work needed to reach your goals. Regardless of your budget, the only difference will be the amount of work performed. For example, if you double the content and the links at budget level “B”, you’ll have more chances of succeeding earlier than if you were to add only one content at links at budget level “A”.
You need to set a budget that you can actually afford, one that you can sustain for a period of 4-12 months in order to see results. Remember, It takes time to strategize, implement, and adjust an SEO campaign before you can evaluate its success.
How much should you actually spend on SEO services?
The world of SEO is vast and complex and even the experts are still trying to figure out Google’s algorithms. If you’re looking to hire a top-tier SEO company for a local campaign, the budget would be around $500 minimum. A national or international campaign on the other hand, will cost more at around $2,500 at the very least. That’s a whole lot of marketing dollars and one would think, is spending that much on SEO really worth it?
Only you will be able to justify the costs based on what goals you’re trying to achieve. Some companies offer their clients a trial package that’s contract-free and comes with a lower price point. This enables prospective clients to evaluate their services and minimize the risk of wasting their budget. If it’s your first time working with an SEO company, it’s worth going with the trial package and see if there’s any improvement.
Even just fixing your website on your own can lead to meaningful improvements in terms of organic traffic. Things like improving the quality of your content and making your website more mobile-friendly can bring forth huge differences. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to determine the budget to spend on SEO services. There’s no limit to how much you can spend, but just keep in mind that cost-cutting won’t get you anywhere so set your budget according to your goals and targets.