This is one of the simplest questions to ask, and yet one of the most complex answers to give. SEO, much like TV or radio advertising, is a medium that only works if you can track results. Therefore, you are not actually paying for an SEO miracle or for an SEO “tune up.” You are paying for a specific time period in which an SEO company will optimize your site.

It is important to budget your finances so that you can know precisely how much you have to spend, and what results you hope to see with the investment. Some companies literally spend tens of thousands of dollars a month on a huge SEO and social media campaign. Other companies may only spend a few hundred dollars a month. It really depends on budgeting and upon the end goal that the company has created.

So let’s say, you can afford to pay $2,500. What exactly are you paying for in terms of items? Unlike PPC advertising, you are not paying for web space or for a line of text. You are paying for the writing, for technical adjustments, and for the management, research and tracking of an SEO campaign. Organic SEO is all about writing, and this is the main expense, whether you are paying for blogs, SEO directory articles, web content or social media pages. Next, you have technical adjustments to consider (if you want to pay for this). This might involving adjusting HTML for better META results, as well as properly formatting web pages or CMS web software (like WordPress or Joomla) to make pages search-friendly. Finally, there’s the SEO campaign itself, which can be pricey, depending on the research and tracking work you desire.

The best way to minimize expenses is to do what work you can on your own, such as writing a few features if you have the knowledge, or formatting your website for ideal optimization. Some SEO firms will charge for their services differently. Some may charge a flat rate for a specific time period of work, while others may actually charge you per article, or per word. Ultimately, you are paying for services over a period of time, because good SEO is consistent SEO, and throwing in the towel is not really an option! The best search results come from a long-term strategy.