If you run a SME you will have heard of SEO. You may also have a fair understanding of what it entails at the most basic level. What many people have no idea about is how much does SEO cost in Australia in 2020.
In fact, typical SEO prices and what should be budgeted for Search Engine Optimisation are put in the ‘too hard’ or ‘too expensive’ basket for many smaller enterprises.
Our guide to the average cost of SEO in Australia should clear a few things up for you. We will cover everything from how SEO is costed to what factors should determine your own company’s budget.
SEO Services Cost Structures
Before we look at the different pricing structures involved in SEO, it’s important to define exactly what we mean when we say the ‘cost of SEO’.
When we talk about an SEO budget or how much SEO will cost, we’re not talking about plunging money into pay per click advertising. What we’re referring to are the costs of enhancing organic traffic to a website by optimising its ranking with search engines (and particularly Google).
There are hundreds of SEO agencies and digital marketing firms in Melbourne alone. They offer varying SEO services to individuals and businesses for their websites. What we need to get to grips with before we talk about the average costs of SEO services is how those organisations charge.
Typically, there are three different pricing structures that you might encounter when purchasing SEO services.
|Hourly Pricing – Some SEO costs may be presented as an hourly rate. This is based upon the time spent by the SEO professional or agency on the project in question. This type of SEO pricing is rarely employed by SEO agencies or by digital marketing companies. It is, however, a preferred cost structure for SEO freelancers or for individuals who offer SEO or marketing services as sole traders.|
|Monthly Retainer – SEO services will often be priced up by providers as a cost per month. This is the cost structure most commonly employed by SEO agencies or digital marketing companies of any real size. For a fixed price per month, a small or medium-sized enterprise is retaining the services of the agency to perform the SEO on their site on an ongoing basis.|
|Per Project – Sometimes an SEO agency or digital marketing company will quote a firm a price for the entirety of a particular SEO project. The overall scope and extent of the project will be discussed and decided at the outset, based on a company’s SEO goals and industry positioning. The cost of carrying out the project in such a way as to meet those goals will then be agreed upon.|
Most established and reputable SEO agencies like Diamond SEO will use a monthly retainer.
Average Australian SEO Costs & What You Get
Firstly, to put things in context, we define cheap SEO as anything below $500, our pricing model can be vastly different from our competitors and in a lot of instances it is. We are not the cheapest SEO agency but we’re not the most expensive either. This guide is to give you an indication of how others are charging and what to look out for in each price point. In saying that we want to say that expensive SEO doesn’t mean better SEO, that has its risks too.
So what should you expect to pay for SEO services in Melbourne, Australia?
Below we give an overview of the different types of SEO and an indication of the costs.
|Cheap SEO – $100 – $1500 |
It should be clear by now that successful SEO is not a straightforward or easy thing to achieve. There are some individuals and companies who still claim to provide so-called ‘cheap SEO’.
The typical cost quoted for this kind of SEO in Melbourne typically comes in at between $100 and $1500 per month. This service is often aimed at small businesses with a limited marketing budget. For example gardeners, hairdressers, and café’s. That kind of price may seem too good to be true, and most of the time it’s because it basically is! Worthwhile SEO takes a lot of time and expertise.
In order to offer cheap SEO, many unscrupulous individuals and firms cut all kinds of corners in the SEO process. This makes their ultimate offering not only ineffective but potentially damaging for your website and company. That’s because their underhand methods are increasingly likely to fall foul of Google’s algorithms or to earn your site paralysing Google penalties.
The Problem With Cheap SEO You get what you pay for; this principle works the same for every business. You can’t sell a quality product or service at a cheap price because you have invested a high cost in maintaining a certain quality. All businesses work in the same way. The same logic applies to SEO agencies.
Cheap SEO agencies will cost you more in the long run and here’s why:
They don’t have the expertise to do the work required to get the results.
They don’t have the experience to offer tested strategies and systems.
They can’t afford to hire quality content writers, developers, SEO experts.
They will never share any analytics or performance reports with you because they are simply not doing the work.
They only focus on getting more sales and more customers.
They have hardly any resources to do SEO or customer service.
They have a very small SEO budget to reinvest in your growth.
They can’t afford any high-impact activities that drive organic traffic.They can’t do quality link-building outreach.
They end up using poor quality content and black hat SEO techniques that will harm your website and business.
They outsource the work and don’t have the expertise to check if the correct SEO work has been carried out.
You Risk Google Penalties
Google algorithms are at the most basic level formulas which determine a site’s ranking. They use data such as keyword density, backlinks, anchor text and plenty more besides in order to do so. These algorithms are continually getting more sophisticated. That means that sites utilising cheap, underhanded SEO techniques, like buying backlinks from spammy Private Blog Networks, are increasingly falling foul of them. When that occurs, the sites can suffer a loss of organic traffic that impact the revenue of a business. Even if a site slips past the algorithms, Google also have human reviewers keeping a close eye on websites. Those reviewers are well skilled at ferreting out SEO shortcuts, including keyword stuffing, unnatural links, cloaking and more. When discovered, those ‘black hat’ SEO techniques are liable to earn a site a Google penalty and result in a similar loss of traffic.
Takeaway – Many agencies lack the expertise and resources to provide the results they promised. Work is often outsourced, if done at all! We’re not saying that a $500 SEO package won’t yield you great results but you need to see monthly reports and you need to see movement in rankings. If you’re not then you need to leave as quickly as possible!
Mid Range SEO – $1500 – $3000
The average cost in Melbourne for mid-range SEO generally comes in at somewhere between $1500 and $3000 per month. Generally speaking, this level of SEO – especially at the lower end – is largely focused upon fixing the existing problems of a website. That means altering and optimising the architecture of a site and better tailoring the site’s content for SEO purposes.
At the upper end of this kind of mid-range SEO, the SEO agency provides a content marketing strategy for a business. This primarily involves the provision of regular, unique content for a site blog, and updating the content on existing pages to improve the search engine rankings. That content serves to help the site to rank for certain keywords and to gain valuable back-links.
|Takeaway – It’s important to spend time looking for a company that can actually deliver, do your research, do they have positive reviews? Spending more money may not necessarily mean you are actually getting your money’s worth. |
High End SEO -$3000 and above
The very best level of high-end SEO can typically cost from $3000 per month or more in Australia. These packages could be aimed at resolving the impact of Google penalties that a previously successful website has encountered. These penalties can range from things like the impacts of a Google update, through to penalties acquired through black hat SEO strategies implemented by unscrupulous SEO companies. In addition to this, high-end SEO can be focused on fixing technical SEO problems on a site.
The size, expertise, and scope of the companies and agencies which provide this level of SEO is what allows them to offer such a comprehensive service. They have the manpower and expertise, after all, to deal with every aspect of the SEO process to a high level.
When a company does procure high-end SEO services, they will typically receive a long-term plan from their SEO provider. That plan might stretch across anything up to 12 months or more. It will be tailored specifically towards meeting the firm’s individual SEO goals over that time. This kind of SEO is best-suited to large, e-commerce websites or other sites in highly competitive industries. That’s because it is only by investing such a comparatively high budget that those sites can outperform the other major players in their field.
Takeaway – Ok so you’re spending big, are you seeing the results? Are you having meetings with your SEO specialist to go over what is actually being done each month? More expensive should never mean better service/ product. Sometimes it may just mean a Collins St office costs more and overheads are bigger… Do your homework before parting with your money.
Determining What You Should Spend on SEO
We hope our guide to average SEO costs in Australia helped to give you an idea of how pricing works and what kind of costs you might expect. What you need to do now is to determine what is the right kind of SEO budget for your particular business and website.
The right amount for any firm to spend on SEO is determined by many factors. The most important of these is how your site and your company compares to your direct competitors and your actual SEO objectives.
Understanding your position in your industry is crucial. You need to acquire the traffic of your competitors if you want to grow your online business and generate additional sales. If they’re better established and larger than you, you will need to spend more on SEO to overhaul them.
It’s important to clearly set out your SEO objectives. If you’re looking to achieve a small bump in traffic, you will be able to spend less than if you wish to rank on the first page of Google searches for a wide range of keywords.
Average SEO Costs in Australia – The Bottom Line
Knowing about the average SEO costs is important so that you can assess the value of any service you may purchase. What’s more crucial, however, is to understand your own SEO needs and to assess which level of SEO your website really needs.
At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember is that there are no shortcuts in SEO. You very much get what you pay for and SEO charges which seem too good to be true are almost certainly just that.
If you need more guidance, Diamond SEO are only a phone call away on 0434 962 614.