If you’re a business that’s trying to grow and expand and get more visitors and traffic to your website, then you’ve probably already looked into other forms of digital marketing including social media advertising, Google Ads, etc.
One digital marketing method that a lot more people are looking into now is Search Engine Optimization or SEO. But how much does SEO cost in Ghana? What price ranges can you expect?
Typical ongoing SEO costs in Ghana range quite widely between GHc500 and GHc6,000 per month for small to medium-sized businesses. Initial setup costs (when required) can range from GHc1,000 to GHc5,000+.
Our SEO Pricing and Packages
You’ll find below the various packages we currently offer for SEO services.
NB: All packages recur monthly with a minimum 4-month commitment. You can find a breakdown of the features below.
Factors that influence the cost of SEO
Whilst there might be a bit of variance, it’s because SEO costs in general aren’t the easiest thing to determine. And that’s for a variety of reasons.
First off, whilst a lot of companies and digital agencies state that they provide search engine optimization services, very few of them give any hint at their pricing or packages. Over 90% of the SEO firms in Ghana we looked at did not mention anything regarding the price of their SEO services.
But a second, more valid reason has to do with the fact that SEO is a very, very broad field with so many variables. It’s almost like asking “how much does it cost to paint a building?”
Well, is it a big building or a small one? Are you painting it both inside and out? What type of paint are you using? How many coats of paint are needed? How many different colours will be used?
How quickly is the job to be done? Are there going to be any artistic touches included? Is the paint job to last just a year, or a decade? Have any parts of the building already been painted? Has the building even been completed?
And on and on. Any of the answers to those questions will significantly alter the final cost of the project.
Similarly, SEO pricing anywhere in the world is impacted by a myriad of variables.
You’ll find below an explanation of 15 factors that influence the cost of SEO services in Ghana the most.
Existence of a website
Do you have a website? Great, you’ve automatically increased your chances of ranking well in Google by many orders of magnitude.
Google as a search engine, is in the business of finding answers to people’s questions. So the more questions your website answers, the more chances you have of ranking well in Google.
Not only that, but when other people find what they want and think your website is awesome, they’re going to link to and endorse your website. And this will make you rank even more.
But without a website, you’ve just made your efforts to rank in Google a whole lot harder.
It would be very, very difficult and even impossible with certain keywords and queries. You would have to depend on other people’s platforms that you have little control over.
Instead of your website benefiting from links from your GMB (Google My Business) profile, Facebook page, directory listings, YouTube channels, etc, you would now be dependent on these to rank instead.
And instead of being able to rank for keywords and topics related to your business, you’ll largely only rank for your business name.
Find Your Perfect Domain
So the presence or absence of a website significantly impacts the cost of your SEO campaign as you are likely going to have to factor in the cost of creating a great website before you can reap the benefits SEO.
Technical state/architecture of your website
So now that you do have a website, the next factor has to do with how good it is.
When a website is developed, it can lay the foundation for a strong SEO future, or it can do the very opposite and cripple your efforts even before you start.
We’re talking about a lot of technical things here, like having:
- No SSL
- No sitemap
- Slow loading pages
- Missing meta tags, title tags, etc
- Incorrectly configured Robots.txt file
- Noindex pages
- Non-canonical versions of pages
- Unfriendly URLs
- 404 broken links
- 500 server errors
- 302 redirects
- Duplicate content
- No structured data
and on and on and on.
Every website needs a technical audit just to establish accurately what is going on with the site. If your site is technically sound, that gives your SEO team less work to do initially and can lead to lower SEO costs.
But if there are technical problems all over the place, it’s going to cost more for your expert to resolve all those various issues.
Aside just the technical state of your website, the entire architecture of your website also plays a big deal.
The way your website is laid out, how pages link and connect to each other, the various taxonomies for pages, posts, articles, galleries, images, etc all play a big part in helping you rank well in Google.
For example, if your website is built with a CMS (Content Management System) that doesn’t lend itself to having the needed tags and structured data added, your SEO person is going to have to also do website development work to make it feasible.
Other sites built with proprietary services or builders may provide absolutely no flexibility there at all.
We talk a lot more about all this in our article on the cost of websites in Ghana and the factors that influence those costs.
Industry of your business
There are some industries that could hardly “care less” about SEO and ranking in Google. On the flip side, there are other industries where just being in them automatically creates competition.
Take the website industry for example, just to participate immediately puts you on the map fighting against every other website designer out there to pop up high in Google.
On the other hand, you can run a search for watch repairers Ghana and you won’t find a single website of a watch repairer in the top 10. (Surprising!)
So the industry you’re in can have an impact on how much SEO effort you need to put in.
Besides that, Google is particularly cautious of two industries, finance and health. They refer to sites in these industries as YMYL (Your Money, Your Life).
Before you’re able to rank well in either the finance or health industries, Google scrutinizes your content, site, authorship and everything about you more carefully because allowing a charlatan to rank can very well lead to catastrophic financial disasters and even to death in worst case scenarios.
Competitors in your industry
Even if your business is in an industry that isn’t generally difficult to rank in with respect to SEO, it is still possible that you might be up against fierce competition.
If there are 5 strong businesses that are also fighting for the top spot in Google search, you are likely going to have to dedicate more resources in unseating them than if you didn’t have any major competition.
SEO is generally a winner-takes-all business. Those who rank in the first 3 spots take roughly 75% of all the traffic.
At the early stages of working on your site’s SEO, an analysis of the competition has to be done in order to form a strategy of how to come out on top. And if the analysis shows that the competition is strong, it’s likely to have an impact on your expenditure.
Speed at which results are required
SEO is an industry where results take time to manifest. No matter how great the SEO expert, significant results usually still take months.
For example, a study done by Ahrefs shows that pages on the first page of Google usually took about over a year to reach there.
That being said, if a normal time frame for getting a specific set of results would be 1 year, getting those same results within 6 months (if possible) might increase the cost of your SEO project.
That’s because it means the person working on your SEO must do a lot more in a lot less time. More on-page optimizations, more backlink acquisitions, more quality content additions and so forth.
Existence of penalties from Google
If your website has received a penalty from Google, it means that you might have previously engaged in some SEO tactics that Google deems illegal or black hat.
A black hat SEO technique is one that attempts to ‘game the system’ and trick Google into ranking your website higher than it should. When Google comes across that, they do not take it lightly and punish your site by significantly demoting it in their results.
Clearing your website of that penalty requires significant expertise and knowledge and that can have an impact on the cost of your SEO campaign.
Alternatively, if your website has been hacked and is spreading malware, this can also lead to you being heavily penalized by Google. They can de-index your entire website.
Preventing your website from being hacked and making sure it’s secure and malware-free goes a long way to reduce the overall cost of ownership of your site in general.
Amount of existing content
Every website in the world houses content. Whether that content is to entertain, to educate or to sell, it’s content nonetheless.
And all other things being equal, a site that has more content is likely to rank better and for more keywords than a site that has less content.
Ranking a simple 5-page website is significantly more difficult than ranking an equivalent 25 page website. And that’s for multiple reasons.
One is the fact that Google has largely been shifting away from a strictly keyword-based approach to a broader topic-based approach. They want to rank sites that are experts in their industry.
5 pages is very little space to show the world you know what you’re talking about.
Internal links are another factor that can help a site rank higher in Google. And the number of quality internal links that can be generated on a 25 page website would surely exceed that on a 5 page website.
So if you’re engaging the services of an SEO company and you have very limited content, you are most likely going to have to either spend more to have content written for you, or you’d have to invest more time in generating content for your website.
Quality of content
So in the previous point, we discussed how generally speaking, having more content is better than having less content. But it doesn’t end there.
Not only do you ideally have to have more content, but you also need better content! At least better than your competitors.
If your competitors are ranking on the first page of Google with 2,000-word in-depth articles, it’s going to be close to impossible to beat them with a simple and short 500-word article.
If you’ve got hundreds and hundreds of pages on your site but it’s all just duplicate content, or plagiarised content, or thin content (content that has under 300 words), Google won’t look upon that favourably.
There are many times when performing SEO for a large site, you have to delete non-performing pages and merge others to focus the site on the core topics. A website’s topical relevance is important in its ability to rank.
And if the content just isn’t good enough, creating new content of high quality is going to be one of the issues to be addressed.
Keywords to rank for
Right at the onset of an SEO project or campaign, it’s important to begin with the end in mind. And whilst there can be different success factors, one of the easiest to measure is how well a website ranks for certain keywords.
The reason why the keywords you choose to rank for can have an impact on the cost involved in your SEO efforts is because some keywords or phrases are more competitive or valuable than others.
If you want to rank for black leather crocodile skin handbags made in Konongo, because it’s a long phrase and has little competition, it would be relatively easy.
But if you are rather trying to rank for just the keyword handbags, you are in for a huge fight. You’ll be going up against Amazon, Nordstrom, Asos, Next, Myntra and many other multi-nationals with billion dollar budgets.
The authority your website has built up and the budget you’re working with have a significant impact on the kind of keywords you can realistically aim to rank for. And even then, it doesn’t mean it won’t take time.
Option of DIY or hiring an expert
When trying to solve a problem in life, you usually have the option to take a stab at it yourself, or hire an expert to do it for you. Neither option is better than the other without having a bit more context.
With regards to SEO, it’s a field that requires a lot of time and patience to master. And one of the painful things about it is that a change you make today won’t show any results for probably up to 3 months.
It can be a lot like repairing a car in pitch blackness. Whilst the vast majority of people can’t do that (even with the lights on), there are some people who are so skilled that they can do it easily.
So when planning on working on you website’s SEO, if you’ve got time to wait for results, time to rectify mistakes, time to do a lot of learning and a bit of extra time to pull your hair out, then it could be a bit of fun for you.
On the flip side, if you don’t plan on doing a lot more SEO or going into it as a career, it’s probably a better use of your time to consider having someone skilled do it for you.
And not just anyone though, someone who has the results to back their talk.
It is actually very dangerous to have an amateur or an unqualified ‘expert’ work on your website’s SEO. That’s because instead of making you rise in Google, they can get you booted out COMPLETELY!
Google has a history of punishing websites all because some overly ambitious person or an unscrupulous SEO firm used black hat techniques to try and get your site to rank very quickly.
Considering the type of rewards available if you get SEO right, it’s understandable that some companies are more than happy to hire an SEO expert at GHc500/hour even.
Just like a doctor needs special equipment to diagnose certain conditions in your body, the same way special tools are important in diagnosing and resolving SEO issues.
For example, to know the technical state of your website and how well search engines can crawl it, you’re going to need a tool or crawler to audit your site.
To measure your progress and success, you’d need a rank tracking tool. That way, you’d know whether your efforts are paying off or not across multiple keywords, devices and even countries.
In order to know the state of your backlink profile and whether you’ve got enough good and relevant websites linking to you, you’re going to need a tool to crawl your backlinks.
Although there are many different tools necessary to gain a proper understanding of your website’s position, its weaknesses and opportunities, you will find toolsets that have many tools under their belt.
Some of the most popular ones include Moz Pro, Semrush, Ahrefs, Serpstat, Powersuite and our own. But these tools aren’t cheap! The average price for a subscription to any of these tools is GHc600/month.
As you can see, just the SEO tools needed to do the job alone can significantly impact the cost of your SEO campaign.
When it comes to pricing for SEO, there are different pricing models a consultant or firm might decide to employ. The pricing model may affect the final cost of your project.
For example, if the requirements and deliverables for a project are well defined, you might get a flat or one-time project-based cost.
If your project is less defined, or there are a lot more variables, it might be a per-hour project or on a monthly retainer.
There are a few firms who choose a different path though. They rather charge you close to nothing, or very little upfront but work on a revenue-sharing basis.
With firms like these, their reward is a percentage of the revenue that they are able to generate for your business via SEO and/or digital marketing.
Each of the pricing models have their upsides and downsides so it’s useful to look into what your firm offers you. In all cases though, clarity will surely be a money saver.
Quality of backlink profile
Does your website have a solid backlink profile with lots of relevant websites linking to it? Great, you may have a lower cost to your SEO project.
On the other hand, if you have a basically non-existent backlink profile, then a link building campaign will most likely also be necessary to get you relevant links, increasing the authority of your website.
But beyond having a non-existent backlink profile, you can have a bad one. A bad or toxic link profile is when you’ve got dangerous links to your website, whether from shady websites, or from links that were paid for.
To avoid a penalty from Google, if you haven’t already received one would require working through your entire link profile to keep the good links and disavow the bad ones.
Most times, the way to get a bad or toxic link profile is to either not know what you’re doing regarding SEO, or hire a firm who end up performing black hat SEO techniques to try and get your site to rank.
Website’s user experience
Google has so many factors it uses to rank websites in their index. If you haven’t already, we would recommend checking out this list of 200+ factors that Google likely uses.
A very important set of factors have to do with user experience. Some websites are designed very well. Others are designed poorly. Some websites load fast whilst others are shockingly slow.
Some websites are hardly usable because everything keeps moving around or there are ads on top of ads on top of ads.
Google measures all these signals when ranking a website, with their Page Experience and Core Web Vitals metrics. They’re ranking how quickly your website is ready to be viewed by a visitor. They’re ranking whether your pages bounce around before settling.
They’re measuring how long people stay on your website when they visit, whether they come back, what they do when they’re on your website, etc.
So if your website has a poor user experience, depending on the type of SEO firm you hire, they might have to also work on improving your website’s user experience and even speed performance.
In some cases, redesigning the entire website would immediately improve your SEO rankings.
Size and complexity of website
Performing Search Engine Optimization for a 10-page website is usually much easier than performing it for a 1,000-page behemoth of a site.
All other things being equal, you’re talking about increasing the probability of something going wrong by 100 fold.
Large websites require deeper and more complex technical SEO solutions, more pages to perform on-page optimizations on, more pages to monitor for keyword rankings and drops and so much more.
It gets worse if the site is also built with a non-friendly SEO architecture.
So a major factor in determine how much SEO for your project is going to cost is the size of the website in question.
Whilst definitely not cheap, having a fair idea regarding the the various factors that influence the SEO costs of your project can be very useful to you.
If you need help with your website’s SEO, don’t hestitate to reach out to us.