This is a pretty commonly searched phrase in the world of SEO as it is not a common subject that people seek to learn. There’s a wide range of opinion on what SEO is or is not. What I find is that people will often over pay for work that simply does not yield results or under pay thinking a tiny amount can somehow get them massive results.
Over Pay for SEO
There’s a lot of companies that claim that somehow their secret formula has “figured it out” or that they can write content that Google “just can’t ignore.” Often times, it’s niche SEO companies that make these claims and then over charge for writing and nice looking websites. They are selling to their shear value and expertise.
I’m not saying that there aren’t some incredibly skilled SEO professionals. Just make sure that such an “expert” gives you ample proof of ranking. Also keep in mind that you need to get an ROI on their work. If it’s going to take years to rank and stretch your budgets to use this person, you may need to consider that it is too risky.
That also brings up the performance-based SEO consultants. They only have you pay if you start to rank. Make sure of two things- that you are clear on the words you want to rank for and that the keyword tracking is done by a third party.
Under Pay for SEO
Sometimes, you’ll see people say that their system is somehow super cheap and will rank you very fast. Keep in mind this logic, if their system provides such great results, why is it so cheap? Simple economics would tell you that this is a churn and burn operation. They only expect you to keep it for 3 to 6 months and then drop.
If it seems to cheap, it probably is.
What to Pay for SEO
The goldilocks region is a hard thing to describe. First, you will pay more to someone who has years of experience and dozens of sites to prove ranking. A newer person will cost less but that might be risky to go with the less-proven experience.
I like to have people think of it this way. Would you pay a great graphic artist or web designer around $50 per hour? If so, think of what this SEO person’s skill is worth. If they are trying to build links to your site and improve your page content, could that reasonably take 5 to 10 hours per month? If that sounds right to you then paying an SEO at $500 to get some initial traction sounds appropriate. What if your competitors are aggressive and plenty of other sites have a much higher rank than you. Would double that person’s time seem sufficient to do that work at $1000 per month or like 20 hours?
A good SEO person can definitely deliver $50 an hour of value, if not $100. Because in the long run, an organic click from Google that you didn’t pay for is almost priceless nowadays as Google ads cost jump 10 to 20 percent per year.