How Much Does SEO Cost For A Small Business

How Much Does SEO Cost For A Small Business

small business team discussing SEO budgets

We recommend that a small business in Singapore have a SEO budget of $500 upwards to $3000 a month. This range caters for a variety of different SEO goals as well as the type of resources the company is prepared to devote to SEO. Afterall, each small business is unique, with individual business and marketing models. With this in mind, we have included more details in this article to help you determine a suitable amount to devote to your SEO efforts.


Setting outcomes for your SEO efforts

Goal setting in SEO is important due to the complex nature of the effort. Commonly used metrics include that of increase in:

  • Search engine page impressions
  • Organic traffic entering your website
  • SERP rankings for keywords
  • Brand engagement or user funnel entry for organic traffic
  • Lead generation or transactions from organic traffic


Consider the timeframe

In addition to setting goals, a realistic timeframe would need to be accorded. If you are hoping to have a sizable presence of SERPs (search engine results pages) within 6 months or even a year, then more budget will need to be allocated. As such, you should consider the urgency and role of SEO within your company’s larger marketing plans.


Playing the long game

We recommend having lengthier timelines as the lack of data, content and website authority could severely hamper your early SEO efforts. Additionally, SEO is more akin to a marathon than a sprint. The rewards from your presence on SERPs often come after you have solidified your website’s position. In other words, return on investment during the initial period can be little to non-existent. However, if you stick with it, SEO has the potential to snowball and deliver ever increasing returns in the long run.


Taking stock of your current website

When it comes to SEO, every business has a different starting point. As such, an SEO audit will need to be performed, covering these areas:

  • Volume of monthly organic traffic
  • Current onsite structure and implementations
  • Volume and quality of content rich pages
  • Type of user engagement inbuilt on the website
  • Presence on social media
  • Existing website authority and backlink profile


Past SEO efforts can help

If your website has had past SEO campaigns and efforts done, then it is potentially in a much better position. Alternatively, perhaps due to strong and unique content created, your website might already attract a huge following. In either case, then slight tweaks and a more targeted approach to SEO might be sufficient for your small business to achieve its marketing targets.


Check for the trend of your organic rankings

Comparing your current SEO rankings or organic traffic against past periods can give you a good idea of the state of your website. If your website is on a downtrend, then a more intensive SEO audit will be required in order to stop the fall. Additionally, you should use Google Search Console to detect issues on your website and Google Analytics for actionable website insights. In the worst case scenario, your website might even have a manual penalty placed on it by Google.


Competitiveness of the industry

When it comes to SERPs, it’s a zero sum game. Rather than requiring to have the perfect website, your small business merely needs to better than the competition. As such, depending on the industry and keywords targeted, your SEO strategy could require a varying amount of resources. It is essential to carry out a competitor analysis before delving into an SEO campaign proper.


Heavy dependency on digital channels

Generally, industries that heavily depend on their digital channels to deliver new customers will feature strong competition for SEO. Common local examples include that of the floral, plumbing and SAAS industries.


User journeys that start with online searches for information

Products or services that are more complex in nature typically involve a user journey that starts with a hunt for information. Given the higher number of interactions the average customer needs in order to decide to make a purchase, the importance of organic presence is heighten. As such, businesses offering these products or services typically invest more into SEO.


Substitute website competition

Oftentimes, a single keyword or search term is contested by websites of varying nature. For instance, ecommerce, branded websites, content platforms and informational websites may all compete for a single topic. In which case, your competition is no longer limited to other businesses competing for a lead or transaction. Instead, it is broaden to all websites competing for the attention of the searcher.


What resources are planned?

Are you planning to perform SEO on your website on your own? Or do your require others to do the work? Naturally, this decision will have a huge impact on the required budgets. Here are common arrangements along with the applicable costs.

  • Performing SEO on your own
  • Asking existing marketing staff to take on SEO tasks
  • Hiring a freelancer to work on your website (from $300)
  • Hiring a less experienced agency (from $500)
  • Hiring an agency of medium experience (from $1000)
  • Hiring an experienced agency (from $2000)
  • Hiring a full time junior SEO specialist (from $2500)
  • Hiring a full time senior SEO specialist (from $3500)
  • Hiring a full time SEO manager (from $4000)


The above positions and rates are estimates and should be contrasted against the magnitude of the scope of work, goals, industry competitiveness and the state of the current website. If you are having difficulty gauging a suitable budget or determining the best approach, then consider asking for advice from fellow small businesses. Alternatively, you might wish to sanction a one off expense to hire a digital consultant to determine a suitable path for your small business.


Consider a budget for PR

Public relations can be a powerful tool for your SEO efforts. Outputting and pitching interesting content to authority platforms in order to get quality backlinks is a highly reliable strategy. Yet, PR is a skill that should not undervalued and thus will cost you. Unless you park PR under existing resources, you should expect to double the current budget in order to receive PR expertise. While this can be alarming financially, it should be noted that PR goes way beyond backlinks, being a powerful way of boosting branding and getting qualified traffic to your website.


Consider a link outreach budget

As alluded to multiple times in this article, backlinks play a crucial role in determining your website’s competitiveness for SEO. As such, you may require the help of a link outreach specialist, either from a local agency or housed under your internal headcount.


Interested to learn more?

Understanding the resources and budget required to have a strong organic search engine presence is a first step but a crucial one. This is why having small business tailored advice can be critical in order to get strong returns on the investment. And as of May 2022, MediaPlus Digital is a pre-approved PSG vendor for Digital Marketing, so check out our PSG Digital Marketing Packages today and get up to 70% funding support!

Here at MediaPlus Digital, our team of SEO specialists provide personalized SEO strategies and roadmaps to help your website climb Google’s pages. As a leading SEO agency in Singapore, we have run 100s of SEO campaigns for SME clients. Each campaign has been crafted to best benefit the client while staying within their budget.

At all times, we help brands to achieve their marketing goals while also delivering transparent data metrics for them. This allows us and our clients to make informed decisions with positive marketing impact. Feel free to contact us with any enquiries and we would be happy to assist!

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