What should good SEO cost?

Frequently I’m asked the question… “How much does it cost for you to perform quality SEO on my website?”  My answer… Good SEO should never “cost” you anything!  It should make you money.

Trying to think like a customer is the biggest obstacle that most business people have to overcome and get it right.  You have to know the value of a customer in terms of revenue and long term profit.  It doesn’t make sense to spend $10,000 to drive your site to the top for a certain keyword if the number of customers times net profit does not equal at least double that amount.

For instance… If  your company sells hand made wooden Adirondack Chairs, and your net profit on each chair sold is $30.  Your market is the United States.  The “exact” search volume for the term “Adirondack Chairs” is 22,200 per month.  The competition for this search term is “High” so it would take a minimum of 24 months of continuous blogging, linking, and analytics to drive your site to the 1st of 2nd organic position for that search term.  Say the cost for such an endeavor would be $24,000.  Now let’s say that your site achieves PR1 ranking and holds the 2nd position.  According to statistics, you will receive roughly 25% of those searching so approximately 5000 potential customers would click on your site each month.  Also, let’s assume that your Adirondack chairs are high quality at a value price so your sales “closing” ratio from the site is roughly 3%.  That means that you could expect to sell approximately 150 chairs per month from your site.  If my math is correct, total net profit would be $4,500.  How long would it take to recoup the 24k invested in SEO?  Less than 6 months!  By anyone’s standards, that’s a good investment!

Do the math.  Determine the value of traffic and customers.  Then make your decisions as to whether SEO for those keywords are worth the effort.

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