How Much Does SEO Cost?

video-43MARK: Hi, I’m Mark Steinbrueck, and this is Kurt Steinbrueck. We’re with our OurChurch.Com, and on this video we’re going to answer the question, what determines the price of SEO?

There’s many things that go into it, so let’s go ahead and jump right in and talk about that:

“SEO can mean many different things.” What exactly do you mean by that?

KURT: There’s just not a real definition for SEO. It’s generally what helps you in the search engines, but what is involved with doing an SEO service? There’s a lot of ambiguity there. That’s why when you look around and you’re doing a search for SEO services, you may find services that are as low as $50, $100, something like that, a month. Then you’ll find other services that are thousands of dollars a month. So why is that? What causes that?

Well, one of the reasons is because what do the people really mean when they say SEO? It may be that they’re saying they’re going to make sure your site is readable by the search engines, they’re going to do some work maybe on some meta tags, and maybe that’s about it. That would be your $50 a month service.

On the other side of the spectrum, they may be offering link building and content creation and keyword research, even doing social marketing and things like that, all of which when you start adding that all together, it starts to become more and more expensive for the service that you’re getting. But you’re also getting a lot more for what you’re spending.

So what are some of the things that are involved with SEO that can determine that price? The first thing that you really need to have:

  • Your SEO should determine that your site is readable and
  • Make sure that you are going to be found in the search engines.
  • From there, you need to have some keyword research. That’s very important. And it’s not a given that every services is going to have real keyword research. Even the term “keyword research,” a lot of times companies just go onto Google Adwords and just say “How many searches is this keyword going to get?” and they count that as keyword research. They don’t do any looking into the competition or really how competitive is that keyword, how much traffic is it really going to bring you? So keyword research.
  • Then doing on-page optimization. This is really anything that you do to your own site that helps the search engines to not only read the site but be able to understand what the site is about. That’s going to involve dealing with the text, dealing with meta tags, alt tags, various things like that.
  • Moving beyond your own site, then, you can do link building, which is where you’re getting other people to link to you. That’s primarily done by creating content that can then be either used by other people or shared by other people, linked to. By doing that link building, you’re able to build authority to your site and things like that.
  • You can do some content creation, that’s another thing.
  • And then social. Social has become every important in SEO now. Social itself has been around, social networks, Facebook, Twitter, things like that, have been around for awhile – but their influence on the search engines and the search rankings is relatively new. That’s becoming more and more important. So making sure that people are sharing content and finding ways to do that in Facebook, Twitter, and especially Google+ now is becoming very important.

MARK: Yeah. One of the other questions that I get asked often is about an ongoing cost to an SEO program, and people oftentimes have I guess the mindset that SEO is a one-time thing and as a result of that, there should only be a one-time cost; “why are you charging me X number of dollars and why do you want it charged a certain number of dollars every single month?” Why don’t you talk a little bit about that as well?

KURT: Sure. There’s really two aspects to that. The first is that the search engines are not just a finite, fixed thing. They’re changing things all the time. They’re rewriting their algorithm and changing things. In the past two years, it’s been really crazy how much has changed and how that’s affected websites. There were websites that were doing very, very well in the search engines who after these updates are nowhere. That you can’t even find them anymore.

So that’s one aspect, is you want to be able to stay up-to-date on what’s going on in the search engines, how your site needs to be optimized, and what kind of strategies you’re doing to grow your site.

The other aspect is that SEO is a race. It’s a competition. You’re not trying to reach a certain standard with the search engines; you’re trying to beat out everyone else. So if you’re not continuing to do things like the link building, the content creation, getting the shares, all that kind of stuff, and your competition is, you’re going to lose. They’re going to eventually take over, they’re going to beat you out for those spots, even if you already have them. And then you’ll start losing rankings, losing traffic, all that kind of stuff. So it’s important to stay on top of that.

MARK: One of the other things that goes into determining the price of SEO is whether it’s a customized service or it’s something that is like a predetermined package kind of thing. Why don’t you talk a little bit about the advantages or disadvantages to that and why that’s a factor in what the cost of the SEO service would be?

KURT: Sure. Generally, if you have a cookie cutter package, it can usually be cheaper because the processes are already in place. There’s no real original thinking, if you will. That can just plug you in and put you through the process.

When you customize something, it’s going to take a little more work, a little more effort. But it tends to be a little better. The reason with SEO that it tends to be better is that no two websites are the same. How old is your website? Is it a new site, old site? How many links do you have coming in? How competitive is the niche that you’re in, and what kind of a niche is it? Certain niches do better with social sharing than others. So there’s just a lot of different aspects where a good SEO is going to look at it and say, “Here are some of the things that we can do to fit your site.”

And sometimes it’s done within a framework, because the general principles aren’t going to change. I’m not going to optimize your site so differently from one site to the next. The principles are still the same, but maybe some of the strategies that you employ get shifted around.

MARK: Gotcha. Lastly,

“SEO is a valuable long-lasting investment.” What do you mean by that, and how does that really affect the price?

KURT: It’s really the framework, the mindset that you approach it with. Understanding that SEO is not just this finite marketing system, or this marketing strategy. With an ad, you put the ad out there; when it’s done, it’s gone and that’s it. With SEO, you get to retain the benefits of the SEO services that you’re getting. So as your site gets listed and starts growing in the search engines and becoming more authoritative, you retain that. You get to keep that, and that’s going to keep bringing you benefits.

It also is going to grow you. Especially if you’re doing the link building and the content creation, the sharing, those things are going to increase your value in the search engines, so over time you’re going to get more and more benefit, more and more reward, from the work that’s being done. Even if you’re doing the same amount of work, you may be getting two, three, four times as much traffic off of that work, because you’ve grown your website.

MARK: Yeah, and then as a result of that, the cost per visitor, the cost per sale, the cost per conversion just continues to go down.

KURT: That’s right.

MARK: Thank you, Kurt, for your expertise there. And we thank you for taking the time to watch this video. We hope that it has been informative. If there’s anything that we can do here at OurChurch.Com to help you accomplish your goals or mission online, please fill out the form below to request a free, no-obligation consultation.

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Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as .

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