When most SEO newbies ask, “How much does it cost to optimize a website?” they expect a straight answer, like “$100.99 including tax.” However, the answer to that 9-word question may be 1 or 10,000 words long. First off, how much it costs to optimize a website depends on who you ask.
We’re here to provide you with a quick and honest answer. We’ll not only change your perspective about SEO, but we’ll also help you understand how affordable or really expensive optimizing a website can get. Let’s start with the one-word answer to the question:
If you do it yourself, optimizing your website shouldn’t cost you a penny. Learning how to properly optimize your website will, however, cost you a lot in terms of time and occasional mistakes. Unless you already have a knack for tech stuff and are willing to put in the work, you may end up getting stuck on page 50 of Google searches for your desired niche or keywords. If this amount of time and effort spent learning SEO isn’t what you had in mind, then the options below may be better for you.
Freelancers — $500 to $2,000
A more effective approach to the free website optimization route is to outsource some of the more challenging tasks to freelancers. This is assuming that you’re running a website for a small business in a not-too-big city. Unsurprisingly, freelancers are far more candid about their costs, preferring to speak in dollar signs and not the monthly packages that agencies prefer. It’s worth noting, however, that if you’re going to use freelancers for your SEO, you need to stay in the driver’s seat. Only field specific tasks to people who have proven results for a particular skill—it’s highly unlikely that one freelancer is proficient in everything that’s required to optimize your website.
Mid-Level Agencies — $2,000 to $5,000
If you’re looking to optimize a 100-page website and upwards, then a mid-level agency may be your best bet. Although it may be tempting to think that way, the more expensive agencies in this tier aren’t necessarily the best ones. Instead, go with agencies that have a proven record with websites that are similar to yours. The lower-end agencies will expect you to provide a list of keywords for which you’d like to rank. The best agencies in this tier will ask for your suggestions, then provide you with data on the keyword search volume for your target niche. They’ll then come back with low-hanging fruit for which you can rank quicker as well as a strategy on how to optimize your website content and architecture.
High-End Agencies — $5,000 to Whoever-Knows
High-end SEO agencies provide a holistic website optimization plan that transforms your website into a unique platform that’s easy for your prospective clients to find and get answers. They won’t only work on your SEO, but they’ll also improve your website’s user experience, public relations, marketing automation, social media presence, and more. High-end website optimization is less about simply adding the right keywords in the right places and more about attracting strangers. An agency that charges over $5,000 should start by understanding prospective customers and figuring out how to prompt them to move from finding your website to taking a particular action that solves their pain point.
Successfully optimizing your website shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. If you think a particular price point is too expensive, your website probably doesn’t require that level of optimization yet. With the right strategy, you can make progress, whatever your budget may be.