Why is SEO So Expensive?

“I completely understand the importance of SEO,” you say to the person across the reclaimed-wooden table.

It’s 2pm in the afternoon, and you’re sitting at a local coffee shop, talking to a casually dressed person.  Internet marketer, that’s what they say they are.  You’ve been corresponding a few weeks via email, expressing your curiosity in their “SEO services”.

Despite building a new website months prior, you’ve discovered no one is really coming to it.  This marketer says they can change that.  They certainly sound like they know what they’re saying, mentioning things like quality content¸ improved rankings, keyword targeting, and a number of other words you didn’t really understand, but nodded your head yes to anyway.

“Alright,” they said, “Here’s a plan we’ve put together for you.”

They slide one of those fancy tablets across the flat finished wood grains.  On it is a list of services they’ll provide.  Your eyes scan optimistically as you think of all the wonderful, paying customers that are about to find your site.

Then you reach the price at the bottom….and EVERYTHING changes.

“Wait,” you stutter, “This is per month?”

“Yeah,” the smug, scheming marketer says.

All your happiness drains from your body, absorbed by the devilish computer device in your finger tips.   In your newfound hollowness, one thought remains on your mind:

WHY IS SEO SO EXPENSIVE?

Why is SEO So Expensive?

Expensive is a relative term, but that doesn’t stop people from throwing it around regularly.  Even a cheap car is expensive compared to, say, a can of soda.  But that car is also going to do a lot more than just add some softness around your waistline.

In the same way, SEO and internet marketing services might seem like they carry a high dollar amount, but that’s because they’ll do a lot for you.

And also, doing proper SEO isn’t easy.  It takes hours of professional work, and as we all know, professional time is not free.

But SEO Used to Be Cheap

People who have been in the internet game for a while might remember a time where they could get their rankings improved in search engines for a relatively small investment.  There’s a few reasons for that….

The rules were being broken

If you were receiving SEO for prices too low to be true, there was probably a reason for that.  There was a time when it was fairly easy to cheat search engines, employing shady-black hat techniques that would trick search engines into ranking you higher.

Due to a list of changes over the past few years in how search engines operate, these techniques don’t work anymore, and most the sites still using them have been penalized and/or removed from search engines altogether.

So many people who tried to take the cheap and easy route are now paying for it.

SEO used to be easier…a little, at least

Good SEO work has always come with a price-tag.  To create proper content and find respectable places to link to your website from takes some serious effort.  But it was once simpler and results came faster.

Now though, it takes more effort and more time.

Not to mention the fact that there are probably more of your competitors applying SEO strategies than there ever has been before.  Oh, and results can take awhile to start appearing.

Like up to a year.

So is it worth it?

Is SEO [and Inbound Marketing] Worth the Price Tag?

Do you want to rank high in search engines?  Do you want your website to pull in continuous, fresh traffic?  Do you want your website to have relevant, well-written content?

Is the point of your website to better grow and establish your website?

Then yes, SEO and Inbound Marketing are worth the price.  We’ve seen time and again, website traffic increase over 100% in the first year of SEO services as fresh leads come in to our clients.

Comparatively, we’ve seen the same clients spend more money on print ads, adwords, and phone/directory listings, and receive inferior results.

Taking all that into account, is SEO really that expensive?  Personally, we don’t like to see it as an expense as much as an investment.  And when it comes to investments, what you get out depends heavily on what you put in in the first place.

What experience do you have with SEO?

Written by Timothy Snyder
on July 22, 2015