SEO Costs | Search Engine Optimization

Discussion 4: SEO Cost $2500 a Month for 30 Articles @2k Words Including Images

Marketing / SEO question General

I had a call with a marketing company, curious to hear your thoughts. To be clear, I'm not necessarily looking to use this to grow my business or generate leads (though that would be nice!). We're doing our own outbound sales to drive new customers & revenue. I'm mainly looking for this to legitimize my business so that when we reach out to a prospect & they check out our website / socials, we look professional and legitimate.

$2,500/month for the following:

• 30 Page WordPress Site built for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Up to 15,000 words of content and imagery included

• Monthly keyword research targeting specific keywords for Return of Investment (RoI)

• 2,000 words per month of SEO optimized content aimed at getting you to the 1st page

• 8 social media posts per month distributed on up to 4 platforms including Google My Business

The 2,000 words would be in the form of 3 blog posts/month.

So ultimately, I'm paying $30k/year for someone to build and maintain my website + handle socials/blog posts consistently. Could I potentially hire an employee to do this & get more output, of course. I don't have the time to manage an employee doing this, nor can I take this on myself. They only expect 1 hour of my time per month to go over SEO results and stuff + another hour-ish to review their content before posting.

I'm in third party logistics. Located in a lower cost of living midwest city.

I understand every business is different and the potential ROI can vary significantly, so I'm curious to hear success stories and nightmares, if possible.
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If they've got some examples of success in a similar business area, this pricing isn't bad.

Of course, the real problem is that 9/10 marketing agencies deliver no results and big bills.

So the real answer is are they able to deliver. And the only substantive way to determine that is to ask to see results for similar businesses. Also, it's an interesting insight into what "resilts" mean for them.
Pricing isn't bad, especially starting from scratch with a brand new website. I would definitely see if you can scale things back in 12-18 months once you have some action and all the ground work is laid out. I would also want the to transfer ownership of the website to you after X months, that way if you part ways with them you still keep your content and fully built website.

Yeah, you could hire someone for that money, but what are the chances of you finding a unicorn who can do everything and doesn't see the value in themself to do it as their own business? For this type of thing it will probably be a tea of folks with one person doing the website, one person writing the copy, one person doing the off site SEO work and one person focusing on keyword research.
I work in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) at a large agency. The 2,500 a month is fair, but only because they're building your site from scratch. A 30 page WordPress site could cost anywhere from $8-15k+.

As far as the SEO goes, targeting 3 blog posts a month can help you build authority, but those are really low converting, top of the funnel informational pages. You need a solid backlink campaign, useful + user centric content on those service pages, and Google Business Profile optimization.

To be honest, $2,500 Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) is not a very big contract for any agency, but it can be a lot for a small business. Get more quotes, request case studies, and understand exactly what you need/what success looks like before you sign a contract for snake oil.
I've worked some freelance marketing and web-design. I recently have taken up a full-time role in midsized company. I came here looking to see how small businesses value branding and marketing, but I'm not going to tell you the value. Instead, I'll give you some insight into the logistics of the industry.

Out-sourcing your marketing means that someone, without an insiders perspective of the identity you are trying to build for your brand will be the voice of your company. If you do hire an outside source for your marketing, you'd better have a clear definition of your brands identity as well as a pool of content prepared for them. If you do not already have clear and consistent branding guidelines, then I would focus on that first. As a small-business owner working on a tight budget, I would recommend hiring talented entry-level freelancers, who are paid well for a short period of time and have the time to work closely alongside you. They'll take the opportunity seriously because it will help them get a foot in the industry and paying them well helps ensure they feel valued and appreciated. They will want to help you, if you help them.

Once you have a proper brand style guide, you'll need content. The most valuable posts for you contain value for the reader. Since they do not offer multimedia services, such as video, photography and graphic design, etc.– they will expect you to provide it or they will use stock. Since, your company is dealing in logistics, your most valuable contributions to a platform will be insights into the industry. People who are looking for your service want to see that you are knowledgeable in it, and have real insights to provide them. Though insight will communicate the real value of the company, you still need to hook them with relevant and appealing visuals as well. Clean and well organized visual identity, just like a clean and tailored suit, gives the immediate impression you have your shit together, and insights will confirm that.

Say you hire a full-time videographer/photographer to supply content to your social managers and web-developers, then suddenly you find you need a graphic designer to create iconography for your website/social media tabs. You've run into a wall. Having branding guidelines or a style guide allows you to take on specialists for small marketing projects. You can give a general sense of the visual identity of your brand to a web designer, or graphic designer by simply providing them a .pdf and relevant files.

Keeping a organized folder and file management system for your content is extremely important. Any marketing initiatives that require an onboard will be streamlined if you can show them what you've already done/tried, beyond what lies on the surface.

Try to keep talent for related projects the same. Repetition is a key statute in layout and design, and hiring the same artist is a lot simpler than asking them to recreate someone's style. Find someone your happy with and hold onto them.

Brand Guidelines > Website > Social Media

If your not interested in it, cut the social media expense. It will need constant maintenance and a supply of content that will be a headache and ultimately work against you if your not able to maintain. Just hire some freelancers and get your branding and website done. Make sure you have them keep everything well organized and accessible incase you need something in the future. Working with freelance, you'll find they move on in their careers. Make sure your SEO is super solid, and you'll have to update it maybe once a year. Market locally with print. Always consider your target audience and come up with creative and personalized ways to reach them. Sounds Business-to-Business (B2B) so consider which platforms would be best for reaching that audience.

Aaand I'm done. Been thinking about this too much, its my weekend. Hopefully that can be helpful.

This is super helpful info. Thanks for posting.

No problem. I did it for myself as much as anyone reading it.

A friend went through a few different SEO companies and found they all wouldn't really do anything for the monthly fee. Subscription is a cash cow for them. There isn't 25 hours per month of continued work for your website, that's ridiculous. Someone isn't spending 3 days at $100 per hour.

Acrobatic_Ad ✍️
Truth be told, the SEO portion doesn't do much for me. There are so many companies like mine that I'll simply not be able to compete from an SEO perspective. It's the social media presence & blog posts that I hope legitimize things a bit.

To break things down differently, do I want to pay $10k (probably on the high side) for a solid website + free yearly maintenance & updates. Then pay $20k over the next year for 36 blog posts & 96 social media posts.

My hope in part is that if down the road I want to do some additional marketing graphics, video content, etc, it'd be a lot easier having them help with that, rather than trying to start from scratch OR find someone to offer that as a stand-alone service (with no prior social media presence or branding).

I mean if you are doing over 1m I think the cost is justified but I do nearly 1m and don't see any value in SEO for a service business. It really depends how important constant traffic to just the website is because I can rank high with SEO that I do 1 hour per month and still get word of mouth and repeat clients.


If you do not have a lot of time it will be very difficult to hire an employee who is qualified and capable enough to design, build and maintain a site for $30k/year. Like everyone else has said the pricing is pretty good.

However, I'm not in love with how the deal is structured. There are a few services here that don't need to be done on a monthly basis for example, the keyword research should not be done/charged for on a monthly basis. More like once every six months. It takes time for keyword changes to take effect on your site and changing your strategy month to month will prevent you from excelling in any one keyword strategy. I typically offer keyword strategy as a one time payment because of this. It's more fair, and there's more productive work that could be done.

For the social media posts, this type of labor CAN be purchased pretty affordably. I typically advise businesses to write their own blogs and make their own social media posts and to hire an internal employee to handle this type of work. Specifically hiring an internal employee who is capable of writing clear content about your industry, what your company does and why it's important. This employee can help with brand messaging, blog writing, press releases and even internal/external communication. You could have the company design graphics for you if your internal employee does not have graphic design skills. Otherwise, you'll find the three blog posts you're receiving each month were either

• Written by a marketing employee who reviewed other blog posts in your industry and is trying to copy this content (with mixed levels of quality)

• That the marketing company is using an Artificial Intelligence (AI) writing service to try and post low quality blogs that are optimized for keywords but diminish the perceived value of your company's expertise in your field.

In the Business-to-Business (B2B) space quality is better than quantity, so monthly payments for social posts, blog posts and other forms of content generation never work out well.

In that case, you could consider just looking for a company to develop the site, in which case $30k would be a bit high.
Marketing company here – ask them to split these two costs. Why they would merge website and retainer fees is not the norm. Your website is a one time fee and your marketing is not (aside from the host cost).

Website: "WordPress" site could mean anything. Ask for some previous examples of sites they've created and see what the quality and user experience is like. If they are pulling some basic template off the shelf and calling is good, you're getting taken from your money.

Blog posts: It depends on your business and the market segment. If people are constantly searching for data recovery and how it works and that's what you offer, it's a great buy. If people in your business never search for what type of service you offer in more detail then it'll do basically nothing for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Tech guys follow blogs for tech things, but do you know a lot of people that follow blogs for drycleaning?

Social Media: I see nothing in your post about ad spend or content? That's the only real way to break out now. If they're charging for social media management and not strategy, it's a waste of money. Do you ever find yourself randomly following a random businesses social media? Probably not. You need to find your customer base and target them, not just blindly post into the void. Also, what's your content situation like? You'll need good quality posts too with good quality content. Something that shows your business off, it's feeling, it's vibe, what it stands for. Did they also ask what platforms or tell you? Each platform has a completely different userbase. Posting means nothing without purpose.

Closing thoughts: shop around, this pricing isn't that much of a value proposition for what I'm seeing. Most marketing teams are like the ones you encountered – they simply touch and go. Good marketing teams look at your business and market and develop a strategy around that. There is no one-size fits all method and it's important to understand how your goals are translated properly.
Marketing agency owner here. 2 red flags jump out at me from reading your post:

It's not common for reputable agencies to 'build a website' as part of their retainer. Website development is a one-off project while marketing is an ongoing process. This is a red flag because I've seen agencies essentially 'hold the website hostage' if the client ever cancels their contract. Basically, you'll have to 'buy' the website from them since they technically still own it. You didn't say if the contract contains 'work for hire' ( language – but it absolute must if you're not paying for the site as a standalone project.

The other thing that jumps out at me is that social media isn't going to be a primary marketing channel for a 3PL company. It may have some marginal applicability, but SM isn't a major factor in customer acquisition for many B2B industries, especially those related to the trucking/transportation industry. We have experience in that space including a flatbed trucking company currently on retainer with us – so we've learned quite a bit about that industry. Send me a message if you'd like to see a proposal we submitted for a 3PL company last year.
I considered doing something like this. My plan was to hire a "good" agency to manage the employee with bi-monthly meetings with for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & other types of digital marketing Still would have costed £400-600 per month just for the bimonthly 1-2 hour meetings.

My plan is to still do that but I'm intending to just employ someone experience in SEO, and train them in other areas of my business that I have more control over including sales and production. That would give them more ideas to blog over also, because they have a more in-depth understanding of our services than any SEO agency could have. Plus their main function wouldn't be SEO which means they'll be making me money in other ways.

Most businesses don't need anything more than 10-20hours a month in local seo unless they're in an industry that has extreme competition in regards to SEO ratings. And if that was the case I would suggest that at least in the short term SEO probably isn't the best option for you.

But by what you are suggesting I would guess that the company would spend no more than 10 man hours if that on the blogs especially if you are giving them ideas on what to write about.

Keyword research could be anywhere between 30mins-5 hours a month depending on your industry and how much effort they put into it and how much effort they put into the keywords and communicating to you about the keywords etc because a lot of the time they'll target things you don't care about and that will be a waste of time so good communication is vital It's also likely that there would be more keyword research at the start of your contract with them.

Red-flag for me is I'm guessing the 8 social media posts would be posted via a software that just post the same thing on different platforms. Not necessarily terrible I just think content should be different on different platforms rather than just re-posted. Plus content creation will be harder for people who don't work in your business. And it's easy enough for you to take a picture of your products/ service and just post it for now.

As for the website I'd rather pay for it upfront rather than dealing with someone who could potentially charge you to keep the website if you discontinue services.
Agency Owner here. Here's a quick insight:
• $2,500/m sounds fair, BUT, the website should be a one-time cost, and SEO content should be a monthly retainer.
• After 02-03 months, once website the website is up and running, the contract should be revised and toned down to only SEO work, as there'd be NO website design & development taking place anymore.
• Three articles, for 2000 words total, for $2,500/m is bad. You need more content written.


Discussion 3: SEO Costs | Search Engine Optimization

I'm the owner of an online shop with digital goods and have no experience with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), what costs should I expect monthly to implement good SEO?
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SEO is ongoing process. First you need to set monthly budget that you capable to spend. Then let know anyone experienced in SEO, he will give you plan to do for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
The cost depends on the general marketing plan…, depends on your site's status and your SEO targets (geographical coverage, competition, keywords, content, etc…) there is not a fixed price for advance and ongoing #SEO, competitors & data analysis matters during this process.
Hello Michal, I can help you in this.
from US$ 100 SEO services starts
If your can increase your budget till US $ 200
you will get expected result
US $ 100 / for SEO services
US $ 100 / month for Paid advertisement.
you can ask me to help you if you required these services. no hidden charges
Allright, for every guy pitching him / herself here, He didn't ask you to quote him; He asked how much he should expect in cost. Well, Michal, in order to know that you indeed need to gather data first. Not every webpage is the same, and not every niche requires the same budget to rank for it. There are various ways you can cut cost though buy doing things manual, but then you'll sacrifice some scalability though. Anyway, the best thing to do is to do an in depth analysis. 👍🏽💟6

Webdevo » Brent
Poor guy is probably getting spammed to hell right now. 👍🏽🤭6
Brent » Webdevo
Man, his inbox alone has so many requests it is considered a Ddos attack. 🤭👍🏽5

Let make it easy, is you are getting someone who is learning 300 a month, middle then 500-800, top-end 1,000 – 1,500. Anything less they do not have a clue. Look at it another way if you charging out an hourly rate what would your rate be, let's guess at £30 an hour (that is low for SEO) 300 does not even give 2 days a month. 👍🏽1
10% of what you are earning (assuming margins are at least 50%). I won't take on a client if I'm not sure I can help the shop earn at least 10% of what they are paying me. Calculate the by setting up an attribution model that will establish where the money was generated from. I am looking at the organic channel to determine how much they earn as a direct result of SEO. For example, If I'm charging $1000/m then they should be making $10,000/m in sales directly related to my SEO efforts. This is not an exact science…it depends lol 🙂 👍🏽2
A real SEO expert will make sure they can help you BEFORE they name a price.
But it ranges from $500 per month for a simple Google listing management to $15,000 a month for managing the entire show.
I haven't met anyone who charges more than 15k a month, but on an hourly rate I have met a guy who charges $200/hour and within a day can give you a plan. This is for huge companies though…


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Discussion 2: SEO Costs | Search Engine Optimization

I'll provide you free technical SEO audit report of your site after that you can decide.

Lori Appleman 🎓 » Abdul_Samad
My audit takes about 20 hours to produce and comes with a ton of reports and actionable data. Which you provide for free is not gonna come close

You going to need to invest around $1500 to $2000 a month unless you know how to bootstrap some elements. We charge $2000 for the basics and one of my partners charges $1500 for a technical audit and $2500-$3000. You need lots of content, site structure updates, site speed audits and keyword research. It’s not easy and it’s not cheep 👍🏽1
Wrong-way of looking for good SEO! Advice,
contact the admin of the group. He or she might be able to guide on choosing someone from here. If you want to find it here.
Lori Appleman 🎓
There are multiple components to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and price is going to depend on what they're actually doing for you. At a minimum your site needs to be correct. You also need great content on your website. This could mean great product descriptions and good quality articles and other things depending on your market. The next step is human outreach to reputable websites to see if you can get them to connect to your site. Done incorrectly this can be devastating. Done well it's expensive. Typically most agencies will assess and fix your site 1st and then talk about building a plan to increase your back links and your social shares. Anybody who isn't talking about all of it is really an SEO person. That said not everybody does a 100% of the puzzle. YouTube optimization is also often part of the puzzle. I would say that anybody decent his going started a $1000 a month but understand some things may be project based such as fixing your site. Anybody good is going to give you a deep and comprehensive audit that includes that action plan before contracting for more work. We turn over the action plan and you can either do the work yourself, hire us to do it all, work cooperatively with us to contain costs, or hire somebody else. Either way it's all useful.
This may satisfy you: Monthly Budget for Building Backlinks and Creating Linkbait Content

Discussion 1: SEO Costs | Search Engine Optimization

Cost scales with quality of service. If paying somebody else to do it for you, expect to pay anywhere between $500-$1500 / mo depending on levels of service
my suggest learn the basic SEO first before hiring someone for SEO, so that you can accountability, see the process of SEO and goal. otherwise someone scam you and you will loss money and time, because there are lots of scammers. 👍🏽1
Spend the next 2 weeks and learn the basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It's a life long process but it helps you understand whether the SEO you hired is delivering or not
depend on the niche, keyword, website and after this set your monthly budget and then hire someone who is capable to do this 🙂
You can spend a lot, but have you at least tried using an SEO plugin? Many have free starter packs that set themselves up and bring immediate benefits on simple things like copy quality and keywords.
I'd say at least $1000/month. But in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) the more you invest the better the results are when it's in the right hands.


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