How Much Does SEO Cost in Australia?
A solid SEO strategy can deliver an incredible ROI. However, this isn’t to say SEO costs are negligible. Using a company with a poor SEO pricing model can have a negative impact on your bottom line.
Paying for SEO services can seem intimidating, because it is difficult for companies to make any guarantees. The last thing that you want to do is pay $1,000 a month to an SEO company that can’t increase your traffic — or worse, gets your site penalized. Unfortunately, companies with expensive SEO pricing packages don’t always deliver the best results.
The good news is that many SEO agencies take reasonable steps to offer fair SEO pricing. They either use ROI-based pricing or offer discounts to account for the risks involved. You will want to learn about the nature of SEO prices before choosing your SEO agency.
Here are some other factors that you should know before agreeing to an SEO package.
Make Sure You Understand the Average Prices to Use as a Baseline
SEO services are not cheap. Keep in mind that these services can be provided across the globe, so Australian SEO companies needs to compete with SEO service providers in Europe, North America and Asia. This is good for customers, because it means that SEO agencies have to price their services competitively on the global market.
Here are a few things that you need to expect with SEO pricing models:
- Over 60% of companies charge between $75 and $200 an hour.
- A quarter of companies charge between $1,000 and $2,000 a month, while a third charged less than $1,000.
- Most SEO companies have very flexible pricing models. Over 80% of companies admitted that they change their prices based on the services they are offering to each customer. This gives customers the opportunity to request customised service packages to meet their needs.
You need to understand the average cost associated with performing SEO. The services have a much higher ROI than most traditional forms of marketing. However, they are not free.
You shouldn’t necessarily be uneasy if the company wants to charge you more than their competitors. A lot of factors go into the equation, such as your marketing goals, the nature of your industry, and the difficulty they may face helping you generate links to your website. SEO companies tend to charge more for customers in the payday loan or weight loss industries, for example, because they tend to be extremely competitive and often difficult to find publishers that will collaborate with them.
What Are the Different SEO Pricing Models?
Most companies pay monthly retainers for SEO services. However, there are a number of other pricing models that may be a better fit for you.
You should find an agency that uses a pricing model you are comfortable with and will be compatible with your marketing goals.
This is probably the most common type of SEO pricing agreement. You simply pay a monthly fee to the agency. Your retainer agreement stipulates what the agency will offer in exchange for their monthly fee.
The retainer option is usually ideal for companies that need a longer-term SEO service and trust the agency to deliver results. If you are in a competitive industry and targeting competitive keywords, then it will take time to see results. You might find that hiring an agency on a monthly retainer is the best option available.
While retainer agreements establish the terms of service in advance, they can be modified later. You can upgrade to a higher-tier plan if you want to target more competitive keywords or see results faster. However, the terms of the new agreement will be shared with you.
Hourly pricing models are similar to paying monthly retainers, and the second most popular SEO pricing model. Under both SEO pricing models, you pay the company for the time they put in.
The difference is that when you hire a company by the hour, you are paying as you go. This type of pricing model might be preferable under the following conditions:
- You are working with a new company. Since they have not been around as long as some of their competitors, you can use and hourly based pricing system to see how well they perform without paying a large initial investment.
- You want to be more involved in the process. When you are paying an hourly fee, you feel compelled to monitor their work much more carefully.
You can always agree to switch to a monthly retainer option later. However, using an hourly pricing agreement is good for establishing a relationship in the beginning.
Keyword-Based Pricing Model
Some companies are willing to charge to rank for a specific number of keywords.
This type of pricing model is meant to help reduce the risk of paying for a company that doesn’t get results. In theory, it sounds like a great concept.
However, there are a couple of risks to be aware of:
- This type of SEO pricing agreement incentivizes strategies that yield short-term results that could lead to long-term problems. Since the SEO company is paid as soon as your keyword ranks on the front page, the company wants to take shortcuts to get you there. The problem is that these shortcuts often involve unnatural link building strategies (aka black hat) that could get your site penalized. You might have to pay more in the long-term to get a healthy SEO profile again.
- The company may try to dupe you into ranking for noncompetitive keywords that are not relevant or have such little volume that you won’t see any results from them.
The keyword-based pricing model is one of the oldest pricing models available, and is by and large hugely outdated. Any SEO agency that charges a keyword-based pricing package without any insight into expected organic traffic performance should be treated with extreme caution.
In this arrangement, you won’t receive ongoing services from your SEO provider. You will issue a one-time payment for them to complete a specific set of tasks.
One-off payment services are not common, but they can be perfect for some situations. E-commerce entrepreneurs, affiliate marketers and other professionals with some knowledge of SEO often use this plan. They have a clear understanding of the types of tasks that are needed to rank, but don’t want to go through the process themselves. They can delegate those tasks to another agency and will know exactly what they are getting in return.
Lead-Based Pricing Model
Most SEO services charge for the work that is performed on either a monthly retainer or an hourly rate. Although these pricing models are popular, there is a large amount of risk involved. While there are honest SEO companies that live up to the terms of their agreement, they can’t always deliver on the client expectations. Performance-based pricing models mitigate these risks.
Lead-based pricing models are an example of performance-based marketing. Under these service packages, you don’t pay for services until you start generating leads. Under this ROI-based pricing model, the SEO company normally sets up a separate website that isn’t owned by the client. They optimise the site for organic search engine traffic and sell the leads they generate at an agreed-upon rate.
This type of SEO pricing model may have a lower ROI over the long term, because you need to continually pay for leads that would eventually be generated with organic search engine traffic. However, it virtually eliminates the risk of paying for SEO services without seeing any results. It is by and large more effective and safer than keyword-based pricing. The agency has an incentive to ensure rankings for valuable keywords are stable, since they don’t get a one-time fee for helping you reach the front page.
Which SEO Pricing Model is Best?
There are a lot of different SEO pricing models. So, which one is best? There is no universal answer to that question. Your industry, the level of competition in your area, the number of keywords that you are targeting, how quickly you want to rank, your budget and your level of risk aversion all come into play. You need to choose the pricing structure that is best for your business model.