Are you interested in hiring someone to manage your SEO, but hesitant because you are concerned about the cost? Maybe you have already started checking proposals or maybe you are just starting to look, but the answer you are receiving is not what you expected. That’s because what you are finding is that SEO prices vary widely.
This is actually normal, and probably a good thing; if you find someone that gives a one-price-fits-all quote, then you might want to look elsewhere. Why? Because there are many factors involved in determining the cost. If a home contractor offered everything at a single cost, regardless of whether you were remodeling the entire kitchen or simply changing countertops, that should ring some warning bells. It’s the same with SEO.
While virtually every business can offer products or at least advertise online, not all of them will have the same needs or require a comparable amount of work to be done. Determining the cost of SEO in Canada, therefore, is dependant on the needs of the individual business.
Some questions to consider are what your goal is for your SEO and whether you need to hire someone for a single project or for the long term. Additionally, there is the matter of to whom you are marketing. Are you hoping to connect with a niche audience or are you trying to reach a broad, even global audience? Is your product or service somewhat generic or in a highly competitive industry?
How Much Does SEO Cost in Canada?
SEO is not a single strategy applied in the same way to every situation. If it were, then there might be a case for one-size-fits-all pricing. In reality, SEO is an ongoing process that requires adapting and evolving with the growth of your business and the mercurial nature of search engine algorithms. Good SEO involves and investment of time and effort.
There are a variety of components to SEO, including an analysis of your market and your competitors, on-page and off-page optimization, keyword research, link building, account management, and overall strategy.
Does this mean that there are no real guidelines for SEO prices? Not really. Even though the cost of SEO can vary widely, quotes usually fall under one of two categories:
- Hourly SEO is often appropriate for those times that you want only a specific task to be accomplished. If your business is a startup with little content on your site, hourly SEO is probably a good option. It may also be useful if you have a specific deadline to launch a product or website and it can make it easier for you to predict costs when you are working with a tight budget. Work with your consultant to reach an agreement about the estimated number of hours required to complete the job.
- Monthly SEO might involve services that are part of an on-going campaign or more complex projects. It offers the advantage of letting you know exactly what will be done, at what cost, and within what period of time, and is the manner in which most agencies will operate. Given that SEO is often conducted on an ongoing basis, clients will often pay an agreed-upon amount each month. This is the most popular and successful way to run SEO campaigns.
- On-Time SEO Audit this is a great option to “get started” a one time fee for an agency or SEO consultant to create a detailed audit about your website so you can see what needs to be fixed and optimized. There are some free tools for SEO audits that give you about 10% of the data or you can pay an agency or SEO consultant to manually create a SEO audit. The cost for a manually created audit varies from $1,500 to $10,000, with the average cost in Canada being $2,500.
Both models have their advantages, so your actual cost will be determined by your particular needs, but to give you at least a baseline to judge by, the average hourly rate in Canada is $150 per hour, with individual services ranging from $100 to $300+. Monthly SEO typically costs between $650 (low end), $2000 (average) to $5000+ (high end) again depending on a number of factors;
- Competitiveness of keywords
- Locations that you wish to target
- Number of pages on the website
- Strength of competitor website’s and their SEO
SEO should not be considered an expense, but rather an investment; good SEO will provide you with an excellent ROI and should definitely be part of your business plans. A well-optimized, lead generating website is a business asset that can be sold with the business.
Avoid Cheap SEO
Like anything in life, you pay for what you get. There is no such thing as “cheap SEO” due to the nature of what has to happen to optimize a website. There is a level of skill, time, and customization that is unique for every single website. Cheap SEO simple doesn’t provide any of the three. Cheap SEO in Canada is considered to be anything less than $650 per month, with some companies advertising $200 or even $150 per month.
Sadly there is very little any SEO consultant can do in this time to optimize a website. So you typically don’t get anything more than a couple of tasks completed per month, which is not enough to compete online. That’s the best scenario, at worst your SEO tasks are either outsourced overseas (level of quality is now lost, and security is an issue) or it’s automated SEO (now a cookie-cutter process, lacking real impact or results).
At Marwick Marketing our SEO is not cheap, we know that but it works. Our clients see a big shift (view case studies) in website traffic that outweighs any SEO cost.