Pay Per Click or PPC is a service that works on a bid system. Ads are placed in strategic places around the web based on a specific search term and through the ads business owners will increase the visibility of their products and services. Any traffic from PPC is considered as paid traffic and even though the cost per click can be really small the total campaign can cost thousands of dollars.
SEO or search engine optimization involves on-site and offsite elements used to get a website to rank well in the search engine result pages, SERPs. While SEO can cost some money upfront if you outsource it, any money spent will pay off when the site receives lots of free organic traffic from the search engines.
Now that we’ve covered the two primary means for website traffic the question now is how much should you pay for SEO and PPC?
When compared to other traditional marketing methods PPC is quite cost effective. Even when a business has a fairly small budget for marketing the return on investment for with PPC is significantly high provided that the campaign targets the right keywords. Another benefit with PPC is the fact that the results are measurable in that the campaign manager will have a clear picture of the number of visits and rate of conversion.
If you’re outsourcing your campaign management the setup costs could be between $350 and $500. Some firms do not charge a flat fee but rather charge a percentage of the total amount to be spent on displaying the ads. Setup costs will include keyword research, ad creation, campaign monitoring, landing page selection and determination of CPC.
Once you setup a campaign you won’t need to worry about paying again in the succeeding months unless you need a new campaign. The CPC will vary based on the niche. Niches like insurance, hotel accommodation, dental services, cosmetic surgeries and travel command higher CPC rates than obscure niches.
The greatest advantage of PPC is that with a highly targeted campaign and tested landing pages you will see a return on our investment almost immediately. Monitor and tweak your ads and landing pages for the best results.
The amount that you pay for SEO will vary based on the level of competition in your niche, the size of your business and whether local optimization is required. These are the main factors but there are other things that are factored in as well including whether or not the site is new.
Small businesses can expect to pay between $500 and $5000 as a monthly retainer for SEO services. Any cost lower than $500 should be considered as a red flag.
The SEO marketing budget for medium sized businesses typically will need to be in the region of $5000 and over. Services in this bracket should include the appropriate marketing of the business’ videos, infographics and other media.
Larger businesses like Fortune 1000 companies have budgets of $25,000 and over allocated for a monthly SEO retainer. In some cases these companies use in-house consultants so it is very rare that costs exceed $25,000 per month.
When you’re just starting a business where then budget is limited every dollar that you spend matters but keep in mind that the quality of service and the results that you get matters a lot more than price.