SEO plays a very important role in marketing your business, it increases the quality & quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of the website on search engines. In hearing that, the most logical follow up question would be “how much does SEO cost?”, however, there is no exact response to that question as SEO prices vary depending on several factors. Based on research done, you can pay less than R360 an hour to R300 000 a month!
Let’s point out some of the prices, pros & cons of each SEO pricing model to help you gain a better understanding.
Top 4 SEO Pricing Models
1. Performance-Based SEO Cost?
The Performance-based model is fairly new. This model is based on the principle of “If you don’t rank, you don’t pay guarantee”. It’s removed minority of the risk from clients but places a heavy burden on agencies to produce measurable results.
- Pros – If you don’t rank, you don’t pay: With the Performance-based SEO pricing, a client only pays if they rank. This reduces risk exposure for clients.
- Cons – Not all keywords are accepted: Some keywords are too competitive for a performance SEO company to accept and invest in.
- Best for – Small/Local business owners: This model is best for small/ local business owners that lack the resources or potential upside to invest in a retainer.
2. Monthly SEO Retainers Cost?
Monthly SEO partnerships favor long-term dealings rather than one-time project. For most businesses, this is the most promising way to build meaningful results through search engine optimization.
- Pros – Sell it & forget it: Having a monthly retainer means you would have an agency managing your retainer from end-to-end.
- Cons – Possible feature bloat: Some agencies add features or services that your business doesn’t need. If they are included this could mean your stuck paying for them every month, unless an agreement has been made between you and the agency for flexible services only suited for your company.
- Best for – Complete Outsourcing: This SEO model is ideal if you are looking for long-term SEO and want to completely outsource all aspects of your search engines.
3. SEO Project-based Cost?
According prevalent studies, Project based SEO is the most common pricing model. The reason for this is the wide range of potential prices this model offers, allowing you to choose prices based off of the scope of your business’s needs.
- Pros – One Lump sum: With the project-based SEO you don’t have to worry about ranking or hourly costs going up or ending up having to pay for more than you have budgeted.
- Cons – Poor Flexibility: Due to the fact that this SEO pricing model is based on your needs and specific deadlines, it could limit you, should you need to add items. You would be charged additionally for items added.
- Best for – Websites with specific needs: If you have specific SEO needs for your website & need temporary help, the project-based SEO model is best for you.
4. Hourly SEO Cost?
The number of hours you negotiated for the project before work commenced is exactly what you will pay for. However, the catch is that some SEO projects can take longer than expected. You can expect to pay something between R1000 – R2100 per hour if you are planning on getting work quickly done. Avoid anyone cheap as they could try black-hat techniques that could get you Google penalty.
- Pros – Accountability & Transparency: The time & tasks worked on will always be tracked, meaning you can always keep track on what the agency is spending most of their time on.
- Cons – Slower Progress: SEO usually takes 6months to see results & improvement in rankings, paying an expert instead of a team may save money, but it will increase the time to see results.
- Best for – Very small websites: If you own a very small website with little content hiring an hourly SEO consultant can be a strong asset.