SEO is all about return on investmentSEO is a service, not a product. Because of this, it's based on hours worked. Any SEO consultant or agency works out your SEO costs based on how much time is required to do the job.

Rates for SEO services can differ greatly. How much you pay for hour is not necessarily correlated with how experienced or how good a job the SEO provider will do. (Going for the lowest-cost option  – scam artists and bad SEOS –  is what gives good SEOs a bad name.) Some top SEO consultants charge as much as $1000 an hour. They go outside the norm simply to limit their clients.

Is $1000 per hour worth it? Sure, it can be. Many of their clients who pay this kind of money for SEO services keep on coming back to them because of the return they’re getting on that investment.

The real cost of SEO services…

As with any other marketing costs, SEO is all about return on investment. The real price of SEO services can only be determined by the return – not by what you are being charged. If you pay $2000 and get a return of $1000, then you are obviously losing money.

The goal with any SEO or web marketing campaign is to boost website exposure and bring in more business. A good SEO consultant will take the time to learn your business, your online marketplace and discover what is needed to bring in traffic and get your website ranking well for relevant keyword terms. A good SEO consultant will provide high-quality advice and services for on-page optimization, off-page optimization and content creation.

So, don’t just look at what you are paying for SEO. Marketing services which do not bring a sufficient return to cover the cost and make a profit, are not helpful to your business. How much you are paying for SEO services isn’t what determines how much SEO will cost you – it’s the return on that investment which determines how much it is really costing you.

That's why, in the end, SEO shouldn’t cost you anything. If your web marketing and SEO program are effective and your website can convert the traffic (that's a separate issue), then you should experience a positive return on your SEO investment.