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At what budget is seo worthwhile and when is it a waste of money?

Every day, promotional e-mails flutter into my spam folder, where supposed SEO professionals sell their services and promise to provide a virtually zero-fee for the SEO success of my website. Should one ignore these e-mails or is there something in it?

Since I was active in the SEO scene for years, such promotional mail seems ridiculous to me. If anything, only one question comes up: how long will these " omaha seo service providers" survive? 

Spend $ 100 on "SEO optimization," then sit back and enjoy the success - this idea is grotesque. But how much time and budget should you invest in SEO to effectively support your website?

Those who are not continually researching the art of search engine optimization may come up with fundamental questions about such emails: Can I buy SEO success for $ 100? 

At what budget is seo worthwhile and when is it a waste of money?


Why does my agency ask so much more? And anyway: how expensive may SEO be? In this post, I'll explore these questions in more detail. At what budget is SEO worthwhile and when is it a waste of money?

Cheap SEO offers create a distorted image and ruin the market

That the e-mail spammers and other 100-euro service providers have earned no order already shows her dubious and aimless business practices. 

Nevertheless, something is hanging from their statement: Once 100 euros, or pay from me 10 euros per month and then enjoy the full SEO success with number 1 rankings, exploding traffic and massive new customers? That sounds perfect.

Anyone who asks as a customer with this request in mind at a reputable agency hits the beat: Suddenly, namely quite different prices are in the room, 1,000 euros up and that even monthly.

Apart from the question of whether the e-mail spammers are the culprits, here is a misjudgment clear. Search engine optimization would have to be particularly favourable. Not only those who do not have the budget anyway, see that.

Companies that still advertise in printed booklets or advertising leaflets and have four- or five-figure annual budgets for all sorts of forms of analogue advertising win over the 500 euros monthly fee of an SEO agency. The agencies, conversely, lose interest in many potential customers. Both are regrettable.

What can a good SEO agency do?

With a myth that is cultivated on both sides of the "shop counter," tidy: One of the SEO wizard who knows the Google algorithm and thus knows what lever must be pressed to promote each site to rank # 1.

The fact is that every search engine optimizer, no matter if freelancer or agency with good wire "to the very top," handles a different case. 

Google regularly adjusts its algorithm and does not look at it. An expert in search engine optimization must therefore always be up to date. 

Which a positive ranking factor today can be a negative tomorrow and vice versa?

The power of an SEO service provider is then to transfer the knowledge that he gains through studies and tests to the websites of customers. This can lead to better rankings and more visitors, and potentially more conversions.

Important: Clients and service providers should record such goals as detailed as possible in writing during their term contracts. 

Both sides then have the best prerequisites for success control and proof of performance. Also, the question "what it has gebacht" can be quickly answered.

At what budget is seo worthwhile and when is it a waste of money?

How do SEO agencies get their prices?

In summer 2015 iBusiness published a study on the average fees for SEO services. The study was overwritten with the polemical title: " So much may demand your SEO agency maximum." 

What followed were lively discussions with some criticism from the SEO scene. In essence, this criticism was also understandable, because: How do price specifications fit into a deregulated market in which different providers compete for a limited number of customers?

As I highlighted in the previous paragraph, SEO agencies sell their customers better rankings and more visitors. 

To stay competitive, they have to check again and again, with which techniques and above all with which effort they can guarantee that.

These estimated expenses multiplied by the hourly rates of the respective providers then result in (usually monthly) flat rates. 

Incidentally, according to the iBusiness study, the average hourly rate of an SEO agency is around 90 euros.

The fact that service for one-off 100 euros under these conditions is not possible, should be clear by now. 

However, it is questionable whether it is always the 12-month contracts must that bring a customer quickly times five-digit spending a year. 

After all, testing is also necessary for SEO, and it is difficult to map this flatly in a rigid package with consistent performance.

What should search engine optimization cost?

For companies with SEO needs, it is important to realize that SEO agencies are specialized service providers. 

They do not hire a full-service provider who is responsible for the entire online success of a business. Therefore, the following questions should be clarified before the service provider search:
  1. How important are better rankings and more visitors? Are there any other adjusting screws?
  2. What weight should SEO take in competition with other marketing measures of the company?
  3. What can I depict in-house (myself), what do I need a service provider for?
  4. Should the search engine optimization be interlocked with other measures?
A large online store will probably answer these questions as follows:
  1. "SEO is my lifeblood."
  2. "In addition to Google Adwords, SEO is the most promising way to reach new customers."
  3. "An in-house SEO team is either too expensive or the place in the company that coordinates with the SEO agency."
  4. "Yes, that's why we hire several specialized service providers."
Online shops and other e-commerce companies are therefore the core target group for SEO agencies. They always need to optimize, rely on more and more visitors from Google and are in a fierce competition. 

The prices for such SEO services logically start at four-digit monthly contributions and are open at the top.

At what budget is seo worthwhile and when is it a waste of money?

If SEO is too expensive

Regardless of the available budget, companies should ask themselves if SEO is economically viable on bending and breaking in their case. 

It may well be that SEO can increase sales with good work and long breath. But depending on how high the competition is, this can cost more than rankings and Google traffic at the end of the box.

If, for example, a medium-sized textile cleaning company faces annual SEO costs of around 40,000 euros, decision-makers should consider whether the money is better spent on other channels or at least in a marketing mix.

For example, the return on investment can often be better controlled through advertisements such as AdWords or Facebook ads, because results are much more visible than in SEO.  If, on the other hand, the order value is correct and is likely to justify the investment; go ahead!

The most important learning here is: "To be found at Google" is not the magic recipe for any business. 

SEO has to fit in with the overall strategy, and a lot of work should take a close look at companies. If the investment is correct compared to the sales potential, SEO cannot be too expensive.

For small budgets: build in-house SEO and refine with experts

Those who respond more hesitantly to the four questions should consider the following: Does not it perhaps make more sense to define a position in the company that selectively coordinates with an SEO specialist and otherwise takes care of the optimization itself?

This reduces the risk of unnecessary expenses. You can react faster, and you do not have to pay flat-rate costs, which may turn out to be a bad investment after three to four months.

Who only saves, pays for it

Many agencies also offer one-time benefits, workshops or hourly counselling. Who wants to have SEO, without turning to the very big cost screw, drives with this variant usually better. Instead, selecting a service provider only on the criterion of cost savings is not an alternative.

Cheap offers that promise quick success may seem appealing. Anyone who falls for it, but pays the bill afterwards - because the performance is not right or even harmful. 

At what budget is seo worthwhile and when is it a waste of money?


If you want to buy SEO as cheaply as possible, either the success remains the same, or you get to dubious providers. They often use techniques that are more business-threatening rather than sustainable.

Anyone who lives from SEO success and cannot solve everything in-house is in good hands with a specialist service provider. 

Monthly contributions of € 1,000 are in most cases the lower limit. If you have a little less budget or do not care so much about top rankings and huge jumps in traffic, you will be well advised to work on an hourly or one-off basis. Calculated over a whole year, the costs are fast but also four digits.

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