Planning on Hiring Someone For SEO? Set a REALISTIC Budget!

Those of us who have been in the SEO/web marketing industry have seen these types of sentences in Craigslist "Job posts" plenty of times: "We need you to help get us to page one of Google, but our budget is limited." "We are willing to become partners with you if you can get us to page one of Google in two months." "We are looking for an SEO intern who can get us to page one of Google and get some real-life experience in the process." "I'm looking for someone to help us get more links back to our website. We will pay you per link Here's my favorite: if you obtain 100 or more PR4 links within 30 days."

If you can find someone willing to work for $9/hour who has some sort of experience and is worth anything, more power to you. But, a lot of times, website owners and web design/web marketing companies looking for SEO help don't have realistic expectations of what an SEO consultant is worth or what QUALITY SEO work actually costs. Here is what the average SEO-related salaries currently are according to

SEMPO (Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization) published a report last January based on a survey that asked a number of in-house SEM professionals what they make per year. A few things are true when it comes to hiring someone to perform SEO on your or your clients' site(s);

  1. Yes, the economy is currently struggling. People are looking for work and you could probably find someone for cheap.
  2. Yes, you could hire someone to do freelance work at a lower hourly rate.
  3. Yes, you could always outsource your project to someone overseas for a lot cheaper.

However, while all of these statements are true, is SEO REALLY something that you want to pinch pennies over? Because most of the time, you get what you pay for. Do you really think that paying someone $9/hour is going to keep them motivated and dedicated to making your project a success? I always like to think of this statement when looking at SEO as a whole: "If it was easy, everyone would be doing it." If it was as easy as paying someone $200 bucks a month to get your website to number one for "personal injury attorney" or "Los Angeles accident lawyer", don't you think someone would have thought of that by now?? Legal SEO is a very competitive market. Lawyers are never scared to spend money on marketing, especially after they have realized the ROI that is involved. If you think that you're the only lawyer in your city that has thought about having someone help with your online marketing, think again. The reality is that you're probably already a few years behind your competition, and trying to find some college kid or inexperienced SEO'er on Craigslist who doesn't have a job for a reason is not going to make up for that. Finding someone to perform SEO on your website is very similar to finding a lawyer. If you can't afford it, can you go with a public defender or represent yourself? Sure! But what are the realistic chances that you're going to succeed? Spend the money and hire a professional!

Tom Foster
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