Avoid cheap bulk link packages
If your SEO service uses shady practices it can result in you being penalised later, so to determine if this is good value or not can be tricky.
If you do SEO internally, it is possible to lower the cost of SEO for your small business.
If you are targeting averagely competitive keywords then the cost of SEO is around £1,000-£3,000 a year.
With a year on year spend of about half this amount for the cost of SEO in the future, your SEO costs will go down after the initial work.
An additional cost of doing SEO internally is the amount of time required to perform SEO strategy that can be time consuming and comes at a price.
The amount of time you will have to invest on doing SEO internally is dependent on the staff you can dedicate to the task and their skill set.
It would be a reasonable estimate to say that you would need to spend between 10-20 hours a month on doing SEO after you have trained your staff.
Below is a description of the potential SEO costs for a small business that does internal SEO.
This is the time and cost breakdown of SEO for a small business that is targeting around five phrases that are moderately competitive keywords.
I have worked this out by assuming the total search volume of the averagely competitive keywords is assumed around 2000 searches a month (UK) without many large brands competing for them.
Learning = Free / Time = 20-50 hours
There is so much free information online, SEO blogs and forums can provide a wealth of information so it is not necessary to spend any money on SEO courses or books.
You can use my website to get some great tips and advice about how to beat other small businesses you are competing with.
So just learning the basics of SEO and familiarising yourself with the key concepts should be sufficient it is not necessary to have a deep knowledge of SEO if you need an SEO expert you will need to spend more money.
Competitive research = £300-£500 / Time 10-30 hours
The first steps are to analyse and reverse engineer your competitors SEO strategies and conduct keyword research.
You can get free tools provided by Google; their keyword tool is a great way to understand the market you are competing in.
Use tools provided by majestic SEO or MOZ to determine how trustworthy and authoritative their websites are, you can find out who is linking to them and the strength of those links.
On-Site Optimisation - £300-£1000 / 10-30 hours
Teaching yourself on-site optimisation and managing your website will take you some time, but there is no financial cost involved, however the level of technical understanding required can vary depending on what you are trying to achieve.
Making simple mistakes can result in your site failing to rank highly.
This is where the advice and help of an experienced SEO consultant will be of benefit to you, helping you work out where you are going wrong.
Backlinks - £150-£2000 / 20-50 hours
It is not best practice to buy backlinks and it is something that Google frowns upon, that being said many small businesses will have to spend some money if they want to rank highly for their target keywords quickly.
Links can cost between £5-£100 and an average site will require about 30-100 backlinks, so you will have to expect to purchase around a quarter of these to get results faster.
Analysis = Free / 10-20 hours
Google provides a free service that will give you information about your visitors, keywords that they use to find your site and where they came from.
Google webmaster tools is another free service that can provide you with data highlights and is a great free resource for small businesses to help understand what areas of your site need to be worked on.