It might be tempting to go with the cheapest SEO agency, however this can be a mistake. Tons of clients are left with a bitter feeling in their mouth from ‘quick and dirty’ SEO work. In SEO, perhaps more than in any other industry, you get what you pay for.
SEO is an industry where it’s easy to skip corners. Often large agencies will try to maximise profits at the expense of client results. They often get away with this because clients don’t understand the intricacies of SEO. This article aims to help SEO clients understand SEO cost breakdown, and why SEO work may seem so expensive.
How much does SEO cost in Australia?
At the lower end, SEO costs generally start around $500 per month. At this price you can’t expect much at all. You might get some basic on-page optimisation done. If you’re really lucky you might get a backlink as well, but don’t expect it to be a quality link relevant to your niche. Low end SEO packages can work for small businesses in very low competition niches, but results will be slow.
Mid-range SEO packages generally cost between $1000-1500 per month. These generally include a decent amount of work. Here you can expect comprehensive keyword research, some SEO copywriting, on page SEO, technical SEO, link building (generally around 1-3 high quality links), GMB management and more.
High end packages start at around $2000 per month. These provide everything that is included in the mid-range packages, but content and link building volume is increased. Generally where mid-end packages offer 1 article and 1-3 links, high end packages offer 2 articles and 4+ links per month.
Why Is SEO So Expensive?
SEO might seem expensive but it’s really not. In online marketing there are only 2 major strategies. Either you need to advertise, which is becoming increasingly expensive, or you need to do the work to become organically visible for users.
The first strategy will give you instant gratification. However, as soon as you stop paying you lose all of your leads.
The second strategy – SEO – is a long term strategy. It’s an investment into your domain. SEO is sustainable because once rankings are up they will stay up (given your competition doesn’t make gains). This will provide high visibility in Google, which will result in free clicks. This makes the strategy unrestricted by budget, and results can snowball exponentially without significant increases in spend like with traditional ads.
Why do I need to pay an ongoing retainer to SEO experts?
SEO isn’t quick. There’s a lot to do! Think about your website as a house. When you register your domain and do the web design, all you’ve got is a foundation – you’ve got the land. It’s the SEO’s job to build the house on the foundation. Compared to evening out the ground and making sure there is the possibility of success (the web design), SEO is a lot more work (no offense my designer friends!).
On-page and technical SEO can take some time depending on the website – and there are always new opportunities to build out new SEO pages – whether that’s alternative product and service pages, location pages or other lucrative pages discovered by keyword research. However, what it really comes down to is the content and link building strategy – which continuously adds authority and moves the website higher in search results.
SEO is also a slow process and changes can take several months to yield results. A mature SEO campaign will generally yield good results at the 9-12 month mark – where, depending on your niche, you can generally expect to be on the first page of Google if the SEO work was done diligently.
A transparent breakdown of SEO costs
Other SEO agencies might hate us for this, but here’s a breakdown of cost.
Expect well written articles to cost $300.
Expect quality links to cost $300. This is because SEO’s need to pay webmasters to host links on their website. This is generally paid in USD, and given the current conversion rate, is quite expensive. It’s also very time-consuming to find quality link opportunities.
This is probably the easiest thing to skimp out on, as links aren’t made equal. Quality links cost a lot of money, but there are plenty of cheap links around. Cheap links often won’t move the needle much or can actually result in Google penalties.
Expect on-page and technical SEO, depending on the website, to comprise about $300/month together. Although clients often expect this to decrease in the volume over time, a well planned campaigned will always try to find new opportunities in this area.
In package form, there are some discounts. The bigger the package, the bigger the discount
How does the price of SEO in Australia compare to other forms of advertising?
Let’s take a high end SEO package on a 12 month retainer – that’s 24k. Seems like a lot right? So what results can you expect after paying this much? This depends on your niche competition and your starting position.
Generally for low-medium competition niches you can expect to be on the first page, potentially even in position 1, for your primary keywords. For websites that have not done any SEO before, organic traffic can increase as much as 10x. Generally after 1 year, depending on the volume for your keywords, website traffic will typically be between 500- 5k/month.
That’s up to 60k visitors in the next year if work is stopped. Not all of this traffic will be targeted, but if the right keywords are ranked, a significant portion of this – on average around 25% – can have high intent for your services and products.
Leads will also increase exponentially. The website will be well on its way to becoming an authority in the industry and will start to attract some attention in the online space.
If you’re in a service based business, you will likely be ranking for many of the surrounding suburbs for your keywords as well. For product based businesses, alternative product names will likely be ranking as well – depending on the diversification of backlinks within the campaign.
If the same 24k was invested in Google Ads, depending on the niche, you would get about 8k clicks. On Facebook you might get as many as 24k clicks, but the targeting won’t be nearly as good.
SEO prices Melbourne
SEO prices in Melbourne fluctuate depending on the agency. Generally bigger agencies charge more than smaller ones. Larger agencies are also more selective with clients and for this reason they may not take up smaller clients.
SEO prices in Melbourne range from $500 – 2000, but can greatly exceed this depending on how much work needs to get done. It’s not uncommon for large companies to spend $20-30k per month on SEO. This spend is often not concentrated however, as these brands have tons of little projects that require optimising.