SEO Question: Why do some agencies charge £50 per month for SEO and others charge £1,000+?

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A new and interesting question has been submitted which is:

“Why do some agencies charge £50 per month for SEO and others charge £1,000+ per month - what’s the difference / actual cost?”

This is a great question and something which I felt compelled to answer.

Over the years I’ve been asked about how SEO pricing works, some do this on a time level, others on a management level and so on. Personally, I believe pricing works around all of the below areas:

  • Client management
  • Time required
  • Marketing activities and strategy
  • Business niche
  • Keywords (amount and difficulty)
  • Business objectives and goals
  • Return on investment

Whilst £50 a month may sound attractive (and cheap!), what are you really getting for this?

As I’ve demonstrated time and time again, SEO is a long term strategy (just look at the amount of link building methods there are), you can’t just turn it on like Google Adwords. Time (potential a lot of it) is required, a good strategy is required, methods and practices need to be spot on, an understanding of the business is needed – could you get all of this for £50 a month?

You may have come across agencies that charge a minimum of £1,000 a month, you’re paying for a premium service, much like you would on the high-street, but you know what to expect.

Freelancer vs. Agency…

Some of you may think a freelancer will be a cheaper option, sometimes it is, but in some cases it isn’t, the work required with SEO isn’t just a flick of a switch, its time, an understanding and everything else mentioned above.

Spinning the question around…

When talking about SEO pricing and costs, I always turn the question around and  I ask “what would I get from you for £50 a month?”, this is normally greeted with a smile or laugh along with the simple reply “I see your point”.

So how do I find the right supplier for me?

You need to shop around, talk to agencies, freelancers, the community, ask questions and look for certain signs. If you have a small budget, start small but don’t compromise when it comes to the quality of service, it could harm you in the long run and ultimately, you get what you pay for.

The point is…

I guess the point I’m getting at it is don’t be put off by the higher price for SEO, the return on investment could far exceed your expectations if done right and with the right supplier.

This post was written by , Dave is a digital marketer specialising in SEO and PPC, and can be followed on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.

3 Responses to “SEO Question: Why do some agencies charge £50 per month for SEO and others charge £1,000+?”

  1. I have seen loads of freelancers who have seemingly 100′s of clients all on $50 a month. My opinion? scam! a near perfect one too, if you charge that a month what should a client expect, nothing obviously other than a quick peek at the analytics.

    Agencies / myself charge more becasue that is what it is worth, anyone can learn the tech side of SEO but the creative strategies / insight is where the value is, fact is it’s pretty hard to put a price on that service.

  2. Dave – we meet again! I hope you’re well.

    I love the idea of turning the question around to the client asking what they could provide for £50!

    There are so many variables involved in determining how to charge someone for SEO. I know a lot of firms charge as much as they believe the client can afford, which does mean that two different businesses can receive the same service and yet one is charged £100 and the other £1000. I don’t think this is fair, however, if a business drops its usual rates to help out a small business, which let’s be honest, we’ve all done, then I suppose it is. It just depends on how you explain yourself.

    I think it’s extremely difficult to quote for SEO services: every project is different and there are so many variables: how many products or services does the client want to promote, how niche is their industry, which keyphrases are they wanting to rank highly for and how competitive they are, how quickly results want to be seen (i.e. does the client need fast results, or have their eye on long term gains)…

    I don’t like the idea of packages that offer X many links per month etc. I believe that any SEO strategy should be bespoke, adapt month on month and spend the client’s budget in the best possible way.

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