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Is SEO Traffic Free? True Cost Of SEO Explained

Many times, I read “with SEO, you get free traffic…”. This statement always annoys me because I find it misleading. I do not believe SEO traffic is free. In this post, I’ll share my idea on the actual cost of SEO.

Whether we accept it or not, SEO costs us a lot of resources (including money) either directly or indirectly to get just a single click from the Search engine.

Although we do not pay the search engines for sending us traffic as we would with paid ads, every single action taken before a post is indexed on the search engine comes at a cost that we must quantify in monetary terms in order to have a proper view of SEO.

Before going further, let’s dig deep into actions or activities that take place before a post is visited via the search engine. Also, remember that circumstances, budget, knowledge, and many other factors influence individual approaches or processes of SEO.

However, there are some basic or elementary SEO steps that must be taken in an ideal situation.

True Cost Of SEO By Actions

Let’s take a look at some basic SEO steps taken before a post or page is indexed on the search engine.

SNSEO ActionsMinimum costAdditional possible cost
1Basic on-page SEO setup for a new siteTimeMoney to pay an on-page SEO expert.
2SEO Knowledge or expertiseTime to learn; reading, watching YouTube videos, etc.Money for paid SEO courses.
3Keyword researchTimeMoney for paid tools.
4Content Writing and Keyword OptimisationTimeMoney to pay SEO content writer(s).
5SEO pluginFreeMoney for a premium subscription.
6Link-buildingTimeMoney to pay link-building experts or guest post sites.

Your own standard SEO procedure may be more or less than what is captured in the table above but I’m sure you get the idea.

Also, you’d observe that from the table above there is no action that is free. The minimum it costs you is your time.

In case you do not know, your time is valuable and it is worth money!

On the other hand, imagine you do not spend time doing these things, you either hire someone to do it for you or don’t do it at all.

In an ideal service-oriented world, you pay for time and expertise. The principle is no different even when you are working on your own project.

Final Thought

Is SEO traffic free? Absolutely no. The minimum SEO cost is time and your time is worth money. In other cases, you spend money, not time to get some things done in order to improve your SEO.

If you found this article useful, you could also learn how to run ads like a pro, what to do if your organic traffic is not improving, and the simplest aspect of SEO.

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