How Much Does Search Engine Optimisation Cost?

I had an interesting phone call last week from an accountancy firm making enquiries on behalf of one of their clients. They wanted to know “how much does search engine optimisation cost?”

It’s the proverbial “how long is a piece of string?” question

Sometimes I sigh when I’m asked this question as it tells me that the questioner has no idea about the topic and a lot of education will be required. Usually this type of enquiry ends up paying through the nose for something that isn’t really quantifiable, but hey, slick sales techniques work.

Other times, if the vibe is right, I know i can really help someone who would otherwise flounder around for months or years trying to find someone who can actually walk the walk.

Search engine optimisation isn’t difficult, it’s mundane, boring and time consuming, which is why most people don’t do it well.

In case you’re baffled by the term – Search Engine Optimisation or SEO for short refers to the art and science of manipulating on-page and off page factors to give web pages the best chance of being ranked highly in the search engines and therefore attracting free organic search engine traffic.

So how much does Search Engine Optimisation cost?

Well, if you want to rank at number one on Google for the term “orange elephant feeding studies” – almost nothing because no one else is trying to rank for that term and no one is searching for it either.

If, on the otherhand you want to rank at number one on Google for “mortgages” – prepare to take out a very large one to underwrite the cost.


Lots of companies want to rank for that term because there is lots of traffic for it, practically all of whom are looking to spend money. I’d be very surprised if the current holder of the number one position for “mortgages” wasn’t pulling in a million a year plus from the traffic generated.

Simple Facts

The reason for getting ranked highly is the (free) traffic it brings to your products or services = money in the bank.

Competition for top rankings intensifies every day.

If you want to get to page one of Google, you have to knock someone else’s website off the front page.

Some top ranking websites have been doing this for 10 years, if they have spent £5,000 per year getting their site ranked highly, you are looking at a minimum £50,000 initial spend to compete.

Yeah, but how much does search engine optimisation cost?

It depends entirely on the keyword that you want to rank for, the strength of the existing competition, and how quickly you want to get there.

In general terms, the more money that there is to be made by holding a Google first page ranking, the more it will cost to acheive.

Contact me for an informal discussion about how search engine optimisation could help your business generate more leads and more business for your company.