Naturally the cost of SEO (search engine optimization) in 2020 depends on what exactly you are getting. Asking this question is much the same as asking “what does a car cost in 2020” without specifying what kind of car you are looking for, or what kind of options you want. SEO is a service that is provided by specialized companies like this one, and is designed for the sole purpose of advancing a website to the first page of search engines when specific searches (or variations of those searches) are performed by potential customers. An example of this is that a dentist in Las Vegas would benefit from being on the first page of Google when a potential client searches for “who is the best dentist in Las Vegas,” or “affordable Las Vegas dentist.” These searchers will generally choose between the first few results that the search engine presents them, visit their websites to gather more information on the practice, and make their decision to patronize them or not. All of the dentist websites that are beyond the sixth position will usually get almost none of that traffic clicking through to their websites, as people have grown used to the fact that the best results are presented first. Since there are so many results presented on every search, customers will almost never consider results past the first few, as they are not necessary to make an informed decision. For a dentist in Las Vegas this means one thing, either you are in those first few results or you are getting almost no benefit from your website beyond your existing customers using it to find out your address and phone number. Paid search is another way to get your website presented in those top results, but these clicks generally cost too much for a business to sustain. The reason for this is that most niches of business will have profit margins and prices that are almost the same, and this gives aggressive marketers only so much room to bid for clicks before they lose money. If you pay 10 dollars per click and it takes 100 clicks to get a single phone call, that means the call costs 1,000 dollars. If one out of every 2 calls results in an appointment, you are paying 2,000 for a single new patient. If the lifetime value of that patient is more than 2,000 dollars for your business then you can afford to pay per click. If you do not expect to make more than 2,000 dollars from that patient then pay per click is a losing strategy. As businesses just like yours bid up the click prices to the absolute limit that they can pay before they lose money, you find that entering that competition for the top positions can lose more money than it makes. This is where SEO comes into play.
What Is SEO?
Search engine optimization is a process used by specialized companies to move a website up in rankings organically, not using the pay per click model. Google positions the best websites at the top of the organic results, which means that these websites get the lion’s share of the traffic that is searching. The same words and phrases that you would bid on through paid search can produce traffic to your website organically if you are the best website for that topic. SEO companies work to allow your site to be recognized as the best. This is why it is difficult to say exactly how much SEO costs in 2020, because every industry is different and has a different level of competition. Dentists in Las Vegas face significant amounts of competition for those top spots because there are a good deal of them competing for patients, and the lifetime value of a new patient is high enough to allocate large amounts of funds toward getting into top positions. Other types of businesses may be more or less competitive based on their own markets. To understand how much SEO costs in 2020, you must understand what you are paying for.
Most SEO companies offer two types of pricing, packages and custom retainers. Both of these models are based on the amount of hours that will be worked by the company each month, and the amount of money that will be paid per hour of work. This means that if you are a dentist and are paying for a package that costs 1,000 per month, you are probably getting somewhere between 5 and 10 hours of work. SEO companies will usually set their pricing per hour between 90 and 150 dollars per hour of work, and the types of work that will be able to be done during those time frames is going to vary. If you are doing photo resizing in order to decrease the load times of a website, you may be able to do 20 photos in an hour. If you are writing content, it may take an hour to do a single, 500 word article. You must consider how competitive your nice is to realize if the SEO program will work for your business and gain those top positions. If the company is not working enough, you will probably move up but will never get into the positions that get customers. If the company is reducing the amount of target phrases in order to fit your budget, you cannot expect to rank for things they are not targeting. This is the way that SEO companies charge clients, and it is not always going to produce the top results you need for it to give you a return on your investment.
How Much Is SEO In 2020?
So how much does SEO cost in 2020? The answer is that most SEO programs for businesses of average competition are going to range between $500 and $1,000 depending on how many phrases are being targeted. The more hours that you pay for, the more phrases can be targeted. If you are in a high competition industry, you can expect to pay more than these prices, sometimes upwards of $2,500 to $5,000 per month. If the SEO company is good at what they do and is using a viable strategy, you will probably see some rankings that earn you new customers. If they are not able to provide enough SEO work to compete with other websites, then you will probably not see top results. Beware of SEO companies promising top results for very low prices, because they rarely can produce results when competing with more professional companies. They will take your payments for a few months and if you never see results then you have wasted your money. Expect to continue to pay for SEO services indefinitely, as competition rarely subsides once you are on top. The difference between a number one and number two position can be worth thousands of dollars, so you can assume that the competing businesses are working hard to surpass you once you are there. Most top results can be gained within 12 months of an adequate SEO program, but may take even longer if you are working with a smaller budget. Most of all, trust your instincts and ask for references.