What? How can You Justify $9,000 Per Month for SEO Services?

This title sounds incredulous when you first read it, and when I was recently talking with a potential prospect interested in Devenia’s SEO services, she felt the same way.  I tried to explain to her that wasn’t a flat charge – that it was the potential maximum charge, but she just didn’t want to hear it.

For many companies, this reaction is completely understandable.  Heck, anything that costs $9,000 per month or more seems difficult to comprehend.  But, did you know some companies are happy to pay SEO consultants $5,000 per hour?  If you multiply this number by the average 2,000 hour work year, that comes out to $10 million!  Sounds absurd!

How Do You Justify that Charge and Get Companies to be Happy to Pay It?

The simple answer is, “By providing results in excess of the costs.”  While Devenia does service some larger clients, many of them are smaller.  For the smaller guys, $9,000 per month is in fact ridiculous because SEO simply doesn’t work fast enough to generate the results smaller businesses need as quickly as they need them.

Like many companies, Devenia doesn’t hit you with a flat monthly fee right away – that would clearly be unworkable for most.  Instead, however, you are charged per keyword, and you aren’t charged until you hit the first page of Google, which takes somewhere between 3 to 6 months to do.  So, if all you want is link building, which is the best place to start in order to attract traffic to your site, you won’t be paying $9,000 per month.  Rather, you’ll be paying much, much less than that, with the costs slowly increasing as the months go by.

A realistic rule to keep in mind is that within 1 year, 1/4 of your keywords will rank #1, 1/4 will rank 2 to 5, 1/4 will rank 6 to 10, and 1/4 won’t rank at all.  Having all of your keywords rank where you want them would be wonderful, but given the changing and complex nature of SEO, no one can possibly do that without first investing significant time.  It is possible to push those rankings so all keywords are on page one, but the real challenge is the time frame.  Basically, the best you can do is to ensure your marketing budget can handle the most realistic costs.

Then, what happens is, as you rank higher for your keywords, you generate additional leads and sales.  Those leads and sales will outpace your costs.  The real question is, “What is your business model?”  How many sales do you need to make to break even or exceed the costs of SEO?  This is a tricky balance to play, but Devenia works in your favor by not trapping you in a contract.  If something goes wrong, you can simply stop services, and you’re done.

But, the point is that if you targeted enough keywords to cost $9,000 per month, which is a ton of keywords, you will generate enough traffic, sales, and leads to more than outpace your costs.  The question then becomes,”Do my profits exceed my SEO costs enough to justify what I’m paying?”  If you’re making $10,000 gross per month, is that enough?  If you’re making $27,000 gross per month, is that enough?  That choice is up to you!

Last Updated on June 29, 2012 by Dan Stelter

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