First, let me clarify what SEO is for those who don’t know. Search Engine Optimization is an effort to modify a website so that the search engines will display it more often or in a higher position.
Many companies go about SEO efforts themselves and as long as the have someone on board with experience or training in the field, they can do fairly well. Other companies hire an SEO expert. They pay a person (or company) to make changes and updates to their website which will make a search engine more likely to display their website in a higher search position.
How much should you spend on these efforts? That question has different answers depending on your company size and service area. If you are a fairly large company, but service the local area only, I say about $1000 a month in SEO efforts is a very good number. For this much money you should be able to have a new blog post every week, inbound linking services, and back-end optimization. This will usually get you 8-12 hours worth of SEO work in total (per month).
If you are a smaller company, but service the local area, you probably should spend between $200-$400 a month. This will get you a couple of blog articles per month, back-end optimization and inbound linking of at least 1 hour per month.
If you are a large national company looking to take over the USA for gadget xyz, well, you can be as aggressive as you like. But, don’t be shocked to learn that large companies with thousands of employees spend $35K-$50K per month on SEO. And this number does not include pay-per-click, nor does it include full-time SEO employees. These numbers are for outsourced work only.
A small company on a national level should spend at least $1200-$1500 a month on SEO. After all, the internet is probably their most valuable lead generation tool so it should be their main focus.
Check out the graph below to see how much companies paid in 2017. Data by Northstar Inbound
Lead Developer at Olympus Web. I started this company in 2002. I specialize in Search Engine Optimization and building websites for small businesses.