What is the cost of SEO? Before we look at prices, consider what SEO is worth: 33 million Canadians use the internet. Most people use Google Search over 3 times a day, but 75% of search users only click on the first or second result. Clearly, the cost of ignoring SEO is high!
In this post, we’ll look at the cost of SEO in Calgary, including:
- How much SEO costs in Calgary in 2021;
- What SEO services you are paying for; and
- Why you need to pay for SEO services.
How much does SEO cost within Calgary?
Most SEO services in Calgary cost between $400-$4,000 per month, but there is no industry standard for SEO pricing. The cost varies depending on the services you want, the payment model you choose, and your goals.
There are 3 main payment models for SEO services in Calgary:
- SEO Packages – a monthly fee for a selection of specific SEO services. SEO package prices range from $400 to well over $4,000 per month.
- Hourly Rates – consulting services and hourly work are charged at a fixed price per hour. In Canada, hourly SEO services range from $75 to $200 per hour.
- Fixed Price or Project-Based Services – a set price for a specific service, such as a comprehensive SEO audit on a single website. Specific SEO service prices vary depending on the service.
Average SEO Pricing in Calgary
“Basic” SEO packages range from about $400-$1,500 per month. These packages are best for small businesses with low competition.
“Moderate” SEO packages range from about $1,500-$2,500 per month. These packages work well for small to medium service, retail, and e-commerce businesses with moderate competition.
“Premium” SEO packages range from about $2,500-$4,000 per month. These packages are a good fit for larger service, retail, and e-commerce businesses with moderate to high competition with multiple locations—for example, a business wanting to target Calgary, Edmonton, and Red Deer.
“Enterprise” SEO packages start around $4,000 per month, and the sky’s the limit! These packages are for large businesses and organizations with high competition and/or multiple locations across Canada and beyond.
Effective SEO is an ongoing process that requires a tremendous amount of active human labour. It’s not a one-time project. There is no magic bullet SEO solution that allows you to “set it and forget it.” It cannot be automated. That’s why monthly packages are the most common payment option for SEO in Calgary.
What do SEO services include?
Because the cost of SEO varies so much, you need to understand exactly what you’re getting for your money. SEO services involve multiple components that work together to help you accomplish your online marketing goals. So what does an SEO company actually do?
The key components of an SEO strategy include:
- Keyword research;
- On-page and off-page website optimization;
- Monitoring, analysis & reports; and
- Overall strategy.
Any SEO service package you purchase should include all of the above. Some SEO companies include additional services to enhance your online marketing strategy, such as:
- Google AdWords campaigns;
- Social media marketing, management, & advertising;
- Blog and content writing; and
- Website hosting, updates, technical support & design.
All SEO companies offer SEO audits, an important first step when embarking on your digital marketing strategy. This is one of those fixed prices or project-based services that can be a one-time thing. It will give you a comprehensive analysis of your website’s SEO health and show you where to focus your optimization efforts.
Do we need to pay for SEO?
A lot of SEO involves elements that many business owners are already working on. If you’re producing content like blog posts, videos, or images and adding them to your website or social media accounts, you might think you’re well on your way to search engine optimization.
But a successful SEO strategy is more involved than that. Creating content is essential, but that content must be optimized – not just with the keywords you use, but all kinds of technical details your audience doesn’t see. User experience and engagement play significant roles in your Google rankings.
Better rankings on Google depend on hundreds of factors, many of which are highly technical. If you’re not “techy,” you might not know about image alt-attributes, canonical tags, schema markup, redirects, 404 webpages, cannibalization, URL structures, and XML sitemaps. But all of these things are vital for a firm behind-the-scenes foundation for an optimized website.
The evolution of SEO is ongoing. The strategies that worked last year might not be as effective this year. Search engine algorithms change constantly. This is actually a good thing because it results in better user experiences. Businesses can no longer rely on sneaky tactics to game the system. A holistic approach leads to greater marketing success all around.
Do you need to pay for SEO? Here’s a quick test to help you decide:
- Do you have time to continually create fresh content for your website and other marketing channels?
- Do you understand keywords – how to research them and incorporate them in your content effectively?
- Do you know how to build legitimate inbound links to your website?
- Do you have the technical expertise required to optimize your website’s user experience (i.e. site speed and image alt-attributes)?
- Do you have the technical expertise to optimize other aspects of your website, including sitemaps and URL structures?
- Do you have the time to stay up-to-date on the freshest search engine algorithms?
If your answer to any of these questions is “no,” you need to pay for SEO services. Search engine optimization is an enormous job. Please leave it to the experts and spend your own time doing what you do best.
How much should you spend on SEO services?
It’s difficult to predict the cost of SEO services for your business. With the cost of SEO in Calgary ranging from $400 to more than $4,000 per month, how can you know what to budget for SEO services?
Before determining your SEO budget, shift your perspective from seeing SEO as an expense to considering it an investment. Because SEO is a long-term ongoing, ever-evolving process, it can take some time to achieve your goals, and you’ll continually be adding new goals to maintain an active digital marketing strategy.
Those goals are a factor in the amount you should expect to pay for SEO. The size of your website and the extent of your marketing campaigns will affect the cost. Naturally, bigger websites and bigger goals require bigger budgets.
As with many other things you spend money on, you get what you pay for with SEO services. Be wary of “cheap” SEO. Over-promising is common in the SEO industry. Some SEO companies will charge highly competitive prices while guaranteeing #1 Google rankings within a concise time frame. This demands some skepticism.
Again, effective SEO takes a significant amount of time and is an ongoing process. It’s not automated, and there is no perfect formula that can guarantee specific results. Instead of choosing your SEO agency on price alone, choose a company you trust.
The Cost of SEO in Calgary
The question of what to spend on SEO isn’t a matter of expense but of investment. The cost of SEO in Calgary varies, so talk to an SEO expert to help you determine your goals and give you an idea of what digital marketing procedures will help you accomplish them.
Code Web Design can help you develop a strong digital presence and improve your Google search rankings. Contact us today to understand our Search Engine Optimization methodologies and find out what a realistic SEO budget might be for your business.
I’m a prairie-born, mountain-matured, former-islander, and current Calgary resident. I’ve been writing content for nearly 20 years and specialize in SEO blog writing. Matcha lattes, jazz, books, autumn walks, and time with family are my fuel. Find me at Jana Writes.