Having worked on SEO campaigns since 2011, things always get interesting when prospective clients ask about what SEO should cost. They want significant results fast and they only want to spend a few hundred dollars a month to get it. If you’re considering investing in SEO in 2019, then please don’t miss this post, because there is a reason why good SEO is not cheap.

Search engine optimization is challenging. Each website is different and what worked for one client isn’t necessarily going to produce results for another. It’s an industry that is constantly evolving and those who aren’t staying on top of their game will be left behind. What I’m saying is that it requires a lot of skill in order to produce results on a consistent basis.

Real Results Don’t Come Cheap

Think about other trades that require a lot of skill and experience. Say you’re looking for a good contractor in Tampa to remodel your kitchen. Are you simply looking to hire the cheapest contractor around? If that is the basis on which you are going to make this decision, don’t be surprised if your kitchen remodel doesn’t go smoothly and the results leave a lot to be desired.

People tend to view a project like that as a serious investment which can significantly increase the resale value of their home. I always encourage people who are interested in SEO to think of it this way. It’s a long-term investment for your business that can pay significant dividends when done right!

Good SEO Provides the Best ROI

In my experience, SEO is the marketing strategy that has always provided the best return on investment (ROI) over the long run for our clients.


The goal of an SEO is to get website ranking for targeted, high value keywords. To do this effectively in 2019, it requires a deep understanding of the target audience. From there, an SEO will conduct keyword research in order to identify the questions that this target audience is asking. What are they searching for that the client’s business can realistically help them with. Next, an SEO will go about ensuring that the website is optimized and that the content answers all of these questions.

Nowadays, studies show that people (consumers) are increasingly more likely to research and source prospective goods or businesses before choosing to buy or hire. By investing in SEO and increasing your online presence, you are putting your business in an ideal position to educate your target audience, build brand awareness and compete for new business.

Why You Should Pass on Cheap SEO Packages

The proliferation of cheap SEO providers has made things difficult for not only business owners, but also for SEO experts like myself when it comes to landing new clients. The issue is that not all SEOs are created equal. It’s not a career path that many people are going to college to major in (yet). Most of us (including myself) are self taught. The low barrier to entry means that there are a lot of crap SEOs out there.

They offer cheap SEO packages because they don’t know what it will really take in order to get great results and they don’t care. It’s all a strategy designed to get you on the hook for as long as possible. The result is that you’ve still spent a significant amount of money with nothing to show for it.

Bad SEO will end up harming your website in the long run.

The tactics that cheap SEOs rely on (especially if they are promising fast results – more on that later) can result in getting your website blacklisted by Google. Could you imagine if the most trafficked search engine in the world was off limits to your business? You could end up spending way more money correcting the actions taken by cheap SEOs than if you had hired a reputable SEO company in the first place.

For agencies like ours, this makes the process of working with a new client that much more challenging. Many business owners have been burned in the past and it (rightfully) makes them wary of the SEO value proposition.

Cheap SEO Packages Won’t Deliver Results

To truly excel with modern SEO, you’re going to need to have high quality content, a well established brand and relevant backlinks pointing to your website. Creating great content, maintaining and building a brand and link building are challenging and time consuming. That’s why tasking an intern with handling your SEO (or social media for that matter) isn’t a great idea.

The same is true for a cheap SEO package. For most reputable providers, the price you see on the proposal is mainly going to cover working time. If you’re paying an SEO $300 per month, that isn’t going to cover a lot of time – note that most experienced SEOs charge an hourly rate ranging from $50 to $150. They aren’t going to be creating the types of posts that are actually going to rank well and they don’t really care to.

In my experience, a lot of cheap SEO providers will leverage spun content or content libraries. Essentially what you are going to end up with is a bunch of unoriginal and poorly worded content that is never going to rank. If anything, that low quality content will end up getting your website flagged by Google.

Remember that your website is also a strong representation of your brand. It’s your 24 hour salesman. If you have a bunch of poorly worded, low-quality content on your website, it can damage your reputation amongst your customers.

Additionally, a cheap SEO package will not account for the time required to ethically build up a reputable backlink profile. If they are offering link building at such a cheap price, than it could cost you dearly. Link building is really about quality, not quantity. You could have a million backlinks pointing to your website, but Google won’t give them any real weight if they are from spammy websites.

Evaluate SEO Based On ROI Instead of Monthly Spend

Here’s another thing that I’m sure other SEOs have experienced; you achieve some great results for a client and they ask to reduce their budget.

What I’m referring to here is a business that has experienced growth (traffic and revenue) from an SEO’s efforts that feels like they can take the foot of the gas now or hand things over to an internal employee.

Unfortunately, there’s an all too common misconception that once you’ve climbed up the rankings, things will be easy to maintain and you don’t need to keep paying the fee for the outside SEO expert. This is a big mistake, because things only get more challenging once you have started to get those page one rankings.

SEO is a constant effort.

There is no point when you can stop unless you are okay with your competition overtaking you eventually. Yes, the longer an SEO campaign has been run, the longer we tend to see those rankings be maintained if ongong work has halted. However, things will start to fall eventually.

For your competitors, your success online is going to be a signal for them to invest more in their online presence.

If you’ve gotten a great return on your investment, I urge you to evaluate the situation differently. Don’t take your foot of the gas, if anything you should be considering increasing your SEO’s monthly budget. If your SEO’s strategy has been working, then a bigger budget will give them more time and the confidence to continue to optimize, improve and test out new tactics for your business. Essentially a move like this can result in an exponential increase in your ROI that way outstrips the amount of money you’re paying for SEO.


As you can see, this is a topic that I am quite passionate about and I have a lot more to say about it. So, I have decided to split this up into two posts. Keep an eye out for number two coming next week!

If you own a business in Tampa and would like to speak with me about your SEO, then please use our form to schedule a consultation. I’d be happy to talk with you about your SEO.