What are Search Engine Costs these days?

SEO Tip: After your web site has gone ‘Live’ IS NOT, I REPEAT IS NOT the time to start your search engine marketing campaign. Plan your SEO before you start your web site development. It will save you a ton of money not having to re-write your content. Perform a quality keyword analysis and use those results to build the content of your site. And always use good On-Page techniques.

If there is one area many companies fail to plan for properly prior to having a web site designed, it is Search Engine Optimization ( SEO ).

There is so much involved in getting your site listed on search engines, reference books the size of Tolstoy’s, ‘War and Peace,’ have been written on the subject. We will keep this shorter but want to stress: Research, Planning and Budgeting.

Depending on the competitive nature of your industry and the targeted keyword phrases for your business, SEO costs will vary greatly. SEO companies can dedicate multiple employees up to and over 40hrs a week to a marketing campaign. SEO Campaigns MUST BE ADDRESSED BEFORE YOU START THE DESIGN PROCESS, NOT AFTER!

The single most common issue we see from existing sites that do not rank well on search-engines is the technical manner in which the web site was coded and developed. Web Designers without fundamental search engine knowledge rarely code a site that can get listed well in search-engines. This is called ‘On-Page’ SEO and is the first phase of SEO. Without proper On-Page techniques, nothing else matters.

Below are areas you should address with your Web Site Development / SEO Team.

  • Keyword analysis (prior to copy writing!)
  • Technically sound SEO structure of the web site code (on-page SEO)
  • Site Maps for each Search Engine
  • ‘Mobile-Ready’ version of your web site
  • Directory Listing Submission (paid & free Directories – Authoritative Directories!)
  • Develop a ‘Back-link’ strategy
  • Develop a Search Engine ‘Local Search’ strategy
  • Develop a Social Networking strategy for Facebook, LinkedIN, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube
  • Create a Blog & update it weekly at a minimum. New, interesting Content is King!

If we look at Google, there are 3 areas your site can be listed. The Organic, Local and Google Ads (Pay-Per-Click). Each of these areas require individual tasks to be completed by your SEO team. Also your Social Networking standing influences your Google ranking these days. So you could include Social as a 4th area of your SEO. And why would you not use Social Networking for your business, it is the only thing that just cost your time?

Below are general cost associated with Search Engine Optimization. These are monthly averages. A business that is starting with a brand new domain, wishing to rank on the 1st page in a competitive category on Google should realistically expect over a year’s worth of SEO costs and more than likely it will take 2 years of SEO work to compete in a highly competitive keyword category. Less competitive  keyword phrases require much less SEO work. But the key to good rankings is continual work, SEO never stops nor do the algorithm changes on the search engines.

OK, so lets get to the pricing:

  • Organic SEO: $1500.-$5000.00/month
  • Local SEO: $800.00-$1500.00/month
  • Social SEO: $600.00- $1200.00/month
  • Google Ads (Pay-per-click) cost depend on the competitive nature of the keywords phrases you are targeting.

We have seen long stem keyword phrases as low as a few cents per-click while competitive two-word keyword phrases go for as high as $75.00 per click. Ouch!

The days of an annual Yellow Pages ad are gone. Business owners need to plan and prepare a strategy for any SEO campaign. Good SEO companies are not cheap but good ones are worth their weight in gold.

About Glenn Brooks

Glenn Brooks is the founder of WebWize, Inc. WebWize has provided web design, development, hosting, SEO and email services since 1994. Glenn graduated from SWTSU with a degree in Commercial Art and worked in the advertising, marketing, and printing industries for 18 years before starting WebWize.