The number of SEOs out there that are willing to do SEO for companies out there is dirt cheap. There are companies offering SEO services for $500 a month and are guarantee-ing Google page one results. Heck, just a month ago, I met a SME owner who outsourced his SEO efforts to 200-300 dollars a month. That’s dirt cheap.
There seems to be a misconception and an ugly side to the SEO services industry in Singapore. Or in general, the internet marketing industry. The digital marketing industry many grey areas such that a lot can be promised upfront, however, not lived up to. With the popularity of the make money online promises, affiliate marketing and what have you, SEO is often coined together with the other black sheeps in the industry.
I’ve heard tons of stories from small business owners in Singapore outsourcing their SEO to Indian firms, or some unknown agency. They often come back with poor results and end up thinking that SEO is… a scam?
Here’s the thing about SEO: Price if what you pay, value is what you get. Good SEO is going to pricey. Businesses that are good don’t compete on price.
Getting ranked well in Google takes resources, time and effort.
The run of the mill SEO consultant promises a cheap price for high rankings. It’s easy to give guaranteed SEO promises upfront, and the results are going to be non-up to par later. These cheap services may resort the use black hat SEO tactics that only gives your website temporary website boosts in Google and might land yourself a Google penalty in the short run.
Why Is SEO So Expensive?
The value of what a good SEO consultant can do for a company is boundless. SEO isn’t all about getting on the first page of Google, it’s about user experience, content marketing, and conversion rate optimization.
The job scope of a good SEO isn’t really defined. There’s are a lot more that can be done behind the scenes depending on the skillset of an SEO consultant. Good SEOs are able to analyze, track and convert traffic on your site. Here: I wrote at length on the KPIs of an SEO, and how SEOs can’t guaranteed leads and sales.
However, the good SEOs can optimize their efforts by tracking and optimizing metrics such as title tags and meta descriptions.This includes techniques to increase time spent and reduce bounce rate on the post and pages through implementing a more readable copy, or longer content.
Just like any other specialized services such as accounting and etc. SEO is a form of specialized service.
Hence, good SEO is expensive. Now, let’s take a look at SEO prices from all around the world.
SEO Prices from all around the world
This is a research that MOZ, a leading SEO authority conduct on SEO prices all over the world. Here’s what they found:
- SEO agencies and consultants across countries charge 76-200 dollars per hour for SEO consulting
- The average project is 1000 – 7500 dollars
- Monthly retainer charging models are popular
- Vast majorities of companies service small medium enterprises
Well, compared this to firms that guarantee page 1 Google rankings for $200 per month. Isn’t that a little far fetched?
What Goes Behind the Scenes of an SEO campaign?
I’m going to run you through the 80-20 behind the scenes of an SEO campaign.
- Keyword research
You got to figure out the right keywords to target that will increase the likely hood of commercial traffic and sales. You also have to account for the competitiveness of that particular keyword by analysing your competitor’s pages.
- Content Creation and Research
The most time-consuming part of SEO is the content creation.
SEO is content based, and it takes both time and effort (if not money) to create quality content that Google ranks. Great content makes up a huge portion of Google’s ranking factors in the modern world of SEO.
The cost of content can go up to minimally $50 per article, up to the hundreds and thousands for infographics, video creation and more.
- On Page SEO
You can read my gigantic guide on how to do on page SEO. It’s not a simple process.
- Link Building
The second most time consuming part of an SEO is reaching out for off page links. This includes guest blogging, reaching out to PR platforms, doing content roadshows and etc. How can you manually reach out for links for $200 a month?
I’m sure these firm providing those services at $200 a month aren’t link building using these white hat link building strategies.
- Website Architecture
There’s a technical aspect of SEO as well. This includes restructuring the website, checking for errors, checking for duplicate content, submission of sitemaps, fixable crawl errors, linking errors and all the traditional SEO fixes. This too, is time consuming.
- Website Redesign
User experience signals such as dwell time, bounce rate, indirectly affects search engine rankings. Good SEOs will recommend you on how to better the user experience on your site.
Arguably, web design services isn’t part of SEO role, however, when you’re rearranging site architecture and etc, you’re bound to quite web design in some sort or form.
- Tracking and Analytics
KPIs are measured before, during and the end of campaign. This requires tracking effort and detail. This is also part of an SEO campaign.
Does SEO Rankings Stay? Is it Worth Investing into SEO?
Unless you’re using black hat SEO strategies, Google rankings don’t fluctuate overnight. It’s a bad user experience on Google’s end. Your hard earned Google rankings will remain as long as you stay withing Google guidelines.
Is SEO worth investing into? Can you have a positive return on SEO?
Let me put it back to you in a different perspective. How to measure the ROI of an employee?
The employee needs time to learn sales, to close sales, and to handle other parts of the business. There’s no such thing as confirmed ROI within a month, or two, or even a year for that matter. Just like SEO, the return of investment isn’t immediate.
The True Cost of SEO Services
There were a couple of times I rejected SEO projects because they told me someone else was doing it cheaper, and all I had to do was to match their price. It also wasn’t the first time someone suggested that I matched some other firm’s prices.
I think the Singapore SEO industry undercuts each other a lot. The barrier to entry to design a website is low, and somehow anyone who designs a website automatically becomes an SEO expert.
Cheap prices and empty promises will merely drive the industry into the ground. Think about it, if all your competitors could pay $500 a month to get ranked on page 1 of Google search results for the any keyword in their industry, they would have done so already. It isn’t that easy.
Lastly, as written in this post, the value of good SEO can be boundless, and it’s important for business owners to recognize that.