I’m frequently asked how much SEO costs. It is the most important question clients and people in the executive team ask when you began working on search engine optimization. The SEO cost calculator that we have developed does preciously that, but before we deep dive into how SEO cost is calculated, let’s start with the fundamentals.
Digital advertising spending in 2020 crossed $378.16 billion, which is a 12% increased compared to 2019. The pandemic has merely accelerated the adoption of digital advertising.
With every advertiser on the planet considering digital advertising as a channel, more organizations are realizing the value of SEO. For many businesses, SEO brings in most of the organic traffic with social platforms creating walled gardens; it is increasingly difficult to drive traffic from social.
The rationale is straightforward if you need to reach more people – advertise on the platform. This is very evident with the revenue figures that major social platforms have released. Facebook made nearly a billion dollars from advertising in India last year.
Google is not the company that it used to be some years back, but it is the only platform on the planet that still delivers on its promise of connecting users to valuable content. Businesses of all sizes are hence dependent on the platform to deliver on this promise.
There is no upper limit to how much money you should spend on search engine optimization. Most businesses hence struggle to understand the SEO pricing model.
What should be your SEO budget?
Say you are a small business that is just getting started with SEO. Someone introduces you to Fiverr, a freelancing marketplace. However, once on the platform, you are unable to choose a seller.
The price varies from as low as $10 to $1,000, making it difficult for the buyer to decide which seller they should work with. Also, many sellers pitch SEO snake oil which includes everything from private blog networks to automated backlink generation.
If you happen to fall for this trap, then the chances are that you will lose whatever little progress you have made with your SEO efforts. So having said that, how do you decide which agency or freelancer to work with? We have listed down some factors you should consider while working with agencies and freelancers on SEO projects.
1. Scope of Work
The scope of work establishes the extent of the project’s effort, including the number of hours spent on completing the project. Let’s say you have a brand new website that needs to be SEO optimized, then the scope of work will include both on-page SEO and off-page activities.
The scope of work also gets impacted by several other factors like the number of pages on site, content niche, technical issues, etc.
The content on your website has to meet Google’s search quality rating guidelines; the agency or freelancer that you hire will make sure that the content on your site meets these standards. The guideline laid out by Google focuses on the following aspects:
- Information has to deliver value
- Match the search query
- Satisfy the user intent
- Must be of high quality
- Should adhere to the fresh content algorithm
The most critical factor in deciding the cost is aligning with the agency or freelancer on measuring the project’s performance. Search engine optimization programs take time to deliver; hence as a business, you have to be patient with results.
Most businesses usually lose patience in the first three or six months of commencing the project.
SEO Cost Calculator: How to Measure the Organic Search (ROI)
The first step to calculate the SEO cost is to define the goal. If your objective is to equal the number of Linking Root Domains (LRDs) that your closest rival has, your objective should be to produce a certain number of LRDs each month.
When calculating the goal, ensure you factor in the average number of LRDs that each piece of content on your site generates. This will help you estimate the number of pieces of content you will need to hit your monthly target. You will also have to factor in the link attrition rate to arrive at the LRDs that can be generated every month.
Once you have calculated the LRDs needed every month, including the cost incurred for content creation and SEO every month to arrive at the cost per LRD (Linking Root Domain).
When you have the adjusted LRDs that need to be generated every month and the cost per each LRD, it is time to calculate the revenue generated.
To arrive at this number, you will have to gather the target traffic value from SEMRush, Ahref’s, or other relevant tools and divide this figure by the number of months it will take to reach this figure.
This will effectively provide you the average traffic value increase that you can experience every month due to SEO-focused content marketing efforts.
You can use the SEO cost calculator to measure the SEO ROI for your business. If you like the SEO calculator, we would like to give credit where it is due; check out the agency that developed it, Siege Media.
Generating a return on investment from search traffic is a time-consuming procedure. Spammy link-building techniques are no longer acceptable; instead, content marketing is the only viable, long-term option for increasing return on investment (ROI) from search traffic.
In contrast to pay-per-click advertising, an organic search strategy will not provide quick results. A well-rounded SEO strategy will include technical SEO, content marketing, and link development.
Even when done flawlessly, Google may take time to notice and reward these efforts. Having said that, the traffic generated by these efforts is often the most consistent and highest converting traffic generated by any channel.