The subject of SEO and price is a thorny issue and as a result of this, it is a good idea that you first understand the amount of time it takes to properly optimise a site and the requisite time needed to build links.

Understanding these topics will mean you arebetter equipped to answer the question.

Judging the price of SEO services presents a major problem due to one simple fact. It differs greatly from other products in that results are based on wide variety of factors. These unfortunately are not always apparent to the client.

They include:
• Work that has been done previously
• The internal resources accessible to support the campaign
• The competitiveness of the industry
• The goals of your SEO campaign

Often a large part of a local seo expert’s job is cleaning up the mistakes of the previous agency or in the few cases that work has been done to a high standard, building on strong foundations.

Some companies have a large number of resources that can be applied to the process, be it man-power, written resources or an active and engaged customer base. The larger the number of resources, the lower the cost.

Some industries are highly competitive with numerous companies fighting over a small market. Others have large incumbent giants that hoover up search traffic with multiple positions on the first page.As a result of this, it’s difficult to give an accurate answer as to how much money you should pay for SEO based on the competition. Due to each niche being different, there is no one size fits all.

So, to tackle the problem perhaps it’s best to start out by asking a few important questions to understand the pricing of optimisation campaigns and make better decisions.

The first thing to consider is at what point do you see a return on investment? How many new customers do you need to generate before web optimisation becomes worthwhile? Some high ticket items need a very small number of sales before the investment has paid off and a highly targeted campaign can bring quick profits. But for many other services,focused on broad competitive queries, it’s a much longer game with few opportunities for fast gains.

A good marketing campaign will also have clearly defined goals to aim for and cutting edge reporting tools can help you to work out the number of sales you’ll generate from each position. Using these estimates you can plan your investment and project growth targets.

It’s good to keep in mind that not all businesses need SEO, there are a lot of times when things like social or direct marketing will be a much better proposition. This will become apparent when carefully researching the ROI.

In some scenarios, you might be tempted to settle for an agency offering a cheap solution, but it might be expensive in the long run. The consequences of such a move include loss of time, marketing budget, your website becoming almost unnoticeable in the SERPs for quite some time which may spell doom for your business.

So really there is no easy answer to the question, it’s a sort of chicken and egg situation because to cost seo work effectively, you need to have a certain level of expertise. And if you had that level of expertise you wouldn’t need to hire someone to do the work. Perhaps the best advice, is to judge the agency on their past results and personal character. A terrible answer to a horrible question.