SEO options and costs in Ireland ?
SEO or Search Engine Optimisation entails a lot of different tasks and skills. So it needs a specialist or a specialist team of SEOs and developers to apply any technical or code changes, plus perhaps a graphic designer. Usually an agency will bill an hourly rate to include the use of the team members, whichever are required at any given time. An average rate is about €100 an hour, but many do charge twice that figure. A freelancer may charge less, but therefore does not have the full team with all the skills required.
In the USA the average spend in 2021 on SEO services by a small company was about $500 a month, as referenced by Brian Dean at Backlinko. (Recently sold to Semrush – Ref Search Engine Land ). They surveyed 1200 small businesses or companies who identified as investing in monthly SEO services. Many invest thousands a month and most are happy with their returns. These businesses plan to invest more in 2022. Most who spend under $500 a month are generally not happy with the results. These respondents do not plan to stick with their current agency or freelancer. These businesses usually still SEO as a spend or expense, rather than an investment, in order to get a return.
What are the options when getting someone to do your SEO?
Employ an SEO.
You could employ someone inhouse to do your SEO and the going rate is between €30,000 for a start and about €70,000 for the more experienced SEO, so the average salary is about €50,000 in Ireland. This is about €30 per hour plus tax and benefits.
Pros – include having the person in your physical office to do as instructed by you, when instructed.
Cons – You have to find someone suitable to recruit, manage them, look after them with benefits such as sick pay and holidays etc.
Employ a Freelancer.
There is a plethora of Freelancers offering SEO services and they can seem like the cheap or low cost option. The good ones are freelancing because an agency will pay them between €30 and €60 an hour, whereas they can get €100+ if they work directly with the client. The better ones can code as well as do SEO. And the unicorns can do both, plus be qualified graphic designers too!
Pros – They are self employed. You simply pay an agreed hourly rate. And there are no extra benefits. You can sack them at any time.
Cons – You still have to find one that you think is good and then gamble on them for a while to see if they are any good. And if they leave you can be left in a situation where you do not know where you stand, so you have to start all over again.
Employ an SEO Agency.
Pros – They have to find their own staff, train them and make sure they are good at their job, then manage them and provide relief staff for holidays and sickness. They have to do any recruiting and replace people who leave. They have to deliver results for you or you can just leave to go to their competitor.
Cons – It costs you more (or it can appear to cost you more). Again, it is really about the returns on your investment.
SEO Services rates or costs.
Some SEO services are more expensive to buy and deliver than others. You can expect to pay more for Link Building or website management , eCommerce or Enterprise SEO, creating Infographics and videography. More that is, than paying for Social Media marketing or management, keyword research or writing simple blog articles, on page or off page seo, audits and guest posting.
A good agency can be tasked with doing everything, whereas employees or Freelancers tend to focus on one or two core competencies or services.
Marketing Budget versus SEO Budget.
If you have a budget of say 10% of overall sales and you sell €1m a year, take that €100k as the Marketing budget, then allocate say 20% to 25% to SEO services. This is about industry standard. If you are applying metrics to all your marketing spend, you should be able to determine which tactics work best. It could be as simple as asking new customers, where did they get your contact details or why did they call you.
How much does SEO cost – Bottom Line
If you really do understand SEO Search Engine Optimisation, you could employ someone to do the work you give them through a comprehensive SEO Plan. If you do not want to employ someone, you could try some freelancers and hope to get a good one, even if it is short lived. However, if you want to have a team of specialists do the work and get the results, hire an agency. Give them 6 months to get some results, to show a good return on your investment. What is the average LTV Life Time Value of a new client for you? If the first Agency does not work out, find another one, until you get it right. Then build a mutually beneficial long term relationship, so that you can work and grow together.
Any good agency will not want short term clients, so they will run you through as much of a filter as you apply to selecting them. Check out our Monthly SEO options.
Why should Business owners invest in Search Engine Optimisation
How to convince the CEO to invest in SEO.
The CEO needs to know what they will get from any investment in SEO. And why not invest in some other Marketing tactic, such as an advert in a Trade Publication or attend a trade show.
Can you prove that this will work, what will the benefit be? How many new leads or sales will we get? Do your competitors do this?
Business CEOs can be followers as well as leaders. They may find it hard to understand the whole idea of SEO, even though they all use Google search when they want something.
So start by explaining how people search for your products or services, the likely keywords used, then show the current search engine results pages SERPs. (ALWAYS use an Incognito window.)
The results should speak for themselves. Who is ranking on the top of Page 1? Then you can drill down to find out why they rank there.
After that you can reverse engineer what they are doing in terms of SEO. Without getting in to any technical explanation, simply point out the competitors who do optimise well.
Explain which competitor is creating good content and optimising it in a content marketing strategy.
You may want to explain that you can do all this in-house or outsource it, but either way you need a budget.
Audit – You can show where you currently stand, by providing a website audit initially and show a plan for improving your SEO and achieving certain goals, add the timescales and the desired results.
Arrange a meeting to look at results in 3 or 6 months. You may not need to explain in much detail, but do have your facts ready. Be prepared to explain what an SEO Audit is for and why you want it done. It will highlight current flaws as well as future opportunities.
Perhaps suggest sending an update with the recommendations after the Audit has been done.
Recommendations – When you have them do ensure they clearly explain why they need to be done and what they will achieve. You can focus on conversions, if you currently get 100 calls or enquiries a month, what would happen if you doubled that. Or if your activities were to reduce the number by 50% but ‘pre-qualify’ them thereby saving a lot of time, how beneficial is this result.
Implementation – What are the timescales, what is required such as written content or photography.
Do you need a new website, help from your web design agency or input from a specialist SEO.
Goals, metrics, results – How will you show that your activities have added value. Make sure you can record data such as number of visitors to the website, number of enquiries, improved bounce rate, number of pages visited, time on page and increase in sales etc.
Once you prove this investment worked, the CEO will want to ramp up the investment in SEO activities. It will become a no-brainer for the CEO to invest in SEO.
Tip: Ensure you ask for 6 months or more to deliver results. SEO takes time, unlike Google Ads which are much more expensive, but can deliver results immediately. You may want to do both initially. Record the results from both and work out what you need to do to get the right leads at the lowest cost. This SEO is an ongoing strategy.
Once the CEO is convinced and sees the results, you will find it a lot easier to get budget allocated going forward.
What is the cost difference between hiring an inhouse SEO team and hiring an SEO agency?
Thank you for your question. It is not very specific, as in not enough information to give any useful answer. For example do you need a one person team or a 10 person team and what are you trying to achieve in the first place to make this happen. Do you really have a budget to invest in building out an inhouse team of your own or even testing out some agencies. You may choose to use an agency in the short term in order to determine if effective SEO is a good long-term investment to achieve your ambitions or targets.
You could use the agency to test your theory or business viability. And then build out your own team with the resulting profits, if you want to employ people inhouse in the long-term. The salary of an in-house person might seem to be less than an Agency, but the saving may not lead to better results unless you have the right person for you project in the first place. You may have to make multiple hires in order to get the right people.
Either way it is an investment or a risk to determine which is the best option for you or for your client, in the long run. Short term the SEO agency could be the right answer whilst you build out your inhouse team.
This is just scratching the surface because as I said your question does not have enough detail in order to determine any useful suggestion for you. That’s not meant as a criticism, it is just an observation. Be more specific, what do you want to achieve and by what date, with what budget and what are your long term goals. This is where you could do with investing some time with an SEO professional to do an assessment and write up a plan for you. A Pro will know which questions to ask and then create a step by step plan for your project. Well worth the few hundred or thousand to help ensure you get on the right track.
What is SEO?
Thank you for your question. It is a simple one to ask and a long one to answer. So here is a link to our guide on What is SEO? It is between 5000 and 10000 words and covers many aspects of SEO, so you can learn to do SEO yourself, especially in Ireland. This guide is dynamic, in so much as we do edit it regularly.