SEO options and costs for Commercial Marine Industry

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, 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.

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, 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 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).

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 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.