Pay for SEO or Do It Yourself? (3 Major Perks Of Both Methods)

May 17, 2024

Deciding between paying for SEO services or doing it yourself depends on your budget, time, and goals. According to Backlinko, 24% of small businesses working with agencies spend between $10,000 to $25,000 per year on SEO, while only 2% work with freelance SEO professionals. Ahrefs Blog reports that most businesses paying a monthly retainer for SEO spend between $500 to $1,500 per month, with hourly rates typically ranging from $75 to $100. For one-off projects, costs usually fall between $2,501 to $5,000. These costs reflect the expertise and resources that professionals bring, making paid SEO ideal for businesses with sufficient budgets seeking fast and sustainable growth.

DIY SEO is better suited for those with limited budgets who can dedicate the time to learn and implement strategies. This approach allows for complete control over your SEO efforts and helps develop valuable skills over time. While cost-effective, it requires a significant time investment in three to 12 months and can be challenging. It also carries potential for costly mistakes. Starting with free or affordable tools can help build your SEO knowledge gradually before considering more advanced or paid options.

Why Pay for SEO? 

1. Paid SEO bypasses the learning curve.

Paying for SEO grants immediate access to this expertise, bypassing the lengthy learning curve. According to BKA Content, mastering SEO takes at least six to twelve months. You will usually see results around six months. Achieving expertise involves learning through trial and error, underscoring the time investment required. An experienced SEO professional knows a lot about Google algorithms. They also have a proven track record, learn, adhere to ethics, excel in communication, and possess skills in technical SEO and analysis. These qualities are vital for effective SEO. They drive long-term, sustainable business growth.

2. Paid SEO gives you a rapid implementation.

Paying for SEO services ensures fast implementation. Experts already have the necessary SEO knowledge and skills. They can use effective techniques right away. This will deliver faster results and speed up your business growth. According to Noble Desktop, mastering SEO tools and techniques can take one to three months, and perfecting them may require six months to a year. This learning curve can delay the implementation of effective strategies. 

3. Paid SEO allows you to access up-to-date SEO strategies.

Paying for SEO services gives you access to the latest SEO trends, best practices, and algorithm updates. This ensures that your website stays optimized for search engines. SEO agencies or experts tailor custom SEO strategies to your business needs, industry, and target audience. They address your unique challenges and opportunities. Experts watch algorithm updates from search engines, such as Google. They adjust their strategies to keep your website visible and competitive.

SEO is increasingly competitive. Access to the latest strategies and techniques helps you stay ahead of your rivals. Paid SEO has an initial cost. But, modern SEO brings long-term benefits, such as better rankings, more traffic, and more conversions. These benefits make for a better ROI.

Why Do SEO Yourself?

1. DIY SEO is cost-saving.

You can save a significant amount of money by doing your SEO yourself. WebFX says SEO services typically cost $2,500 to $7,500 per month. Some businesses spend as little as $500 or as much as $10,000 per month. These costs depend on factors such as company size, SEO pricing plans, and service providers. By doing your SEO, you can avoid these expenses. You can then spend your budget on other business needs. This makes DIY SEO a low-cost choice.

2. DIY SEO offers a learning opportunity.

DIY SEO gives you valuable chances to improve your SEO skills. You can access many resources. It includes online courses, tutorials, and live training sessions. Those resources cover topics from basic to advanced levels. You can use them to progress at your own pace. DIY SEO involves practical tasks and strategy testing. It offers hands-on learning. This is ideal for those who learn best through participation and experimentation. Additionally, DIY SEO includes many learning methods. You can learn by attending talks, watching seminars, and joining communities.

3. DIY SEO gives you full control of your strategy

When you do your SEO yourself, you have complete control over your strategy. You can tailor it to fit your specific business goals and target audience without relying on an agency or consultant. Handling SEO in-house means you understand your website, content, and target keywords better than anyone else. This deep knowledge allows you to adapt your strategy as your business changes, keeping you agile/

DIY SEO also gives you first hand experience. It helps you understand how search engines work. This understanding is useful for making informed decisions. However, it requires a significant time investment to learn best practices and keep up with algorithm changes. Hiring an expert can save time and bring specialized skills and tools, but you will have less direct control over the process. 

3 Major Considerations Before Choosing if Pay for SEO or Do It Yourself

1. Time Investment vs. Expertise

When deciding between paying for SEO or handling it yourself, assess your available time and current expertise. DIY SEO requires three to 12 months to learn and implement best SEO practices, especially with frequent algorithm changes. In contrast, professionals bring specialized knowledge that can streamline the process. They stay up-to-date on the latest strategies and trends. This lets them run campaigns more efficiently than an SEO newbie.

Doing SEO on your own is hard. The level of difficulty depends on factors. These include website size, existing SEO, experience, budget, and time. If you have the time and skills, DIY SEO can be manageable, especially for small websites. However, for larger websites or those with limited time and expertise, but have resources, hiring an SEO agency might be more helpful. Forbes Advisor statistics show that small businesses spend around $500 per month on SEO. SEO agencies charge over $3,200 per month on average.

2. Cost and ROI Analysis

When choosing between paying for SEO services or doing it yourself, consider the costs and potential return on investment. Hiring an SEO agency or freelancer typically costs $1,500 to $5,000 per month for small to midsize companies. While this investment may seem high, the expertise and faster results often justify the expense.

DIY SEO may seem cheap at first. However, it can get costly if errors or slow progress cause missed revenue or penalties. Professional SEO services can lead to a higher ROI than other digital marketing channels. This is due to benefits like increased visibility and sustainable traffic growth. DIY SEO might suit businesses with limited resources. But, it takes significant time to learn and do well.

3. Tools and Resources

When deciding whether to pay for SEO or to do it yourself, consider the tools and resources required. Professional SEO services give access to premium tools. These tools help with keyword research, analytics, and competitor analysis. They offer valuable insights but can be costly. If you opt for DIY SEO, check which tools are essential and whether your budget can accommodate them. Popular tools include Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and Ahrefs. Free tools, such as Google Search Console and Google Analytics, offer basic insights. Paid tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Moz have advanced features and start at $99 per month. Also, consider whether your internal resources and expertise are enough to handle SEO, or if you need extra training. Starting with free tools and investing in paid ones as your skills and budget grow can be a practical approach.

Pay for SEO or Do It Yourself? - Who Won on Reddit?

Reddit users favor DIY SEO overpaying for SEO services. Many users highlight the long-term benefits of learning SEO, such as gaining valuable knowledge and skills. They suggest start by hiring an SEO professional to learn the basics before taking over the process themselves. However, some users prefer paying for SEO, citing the significant time investment required for DIY SEO as a major drawback. Overall, people see DIY SEO as good for personal growth and long-term understanding. But, they value paying for SEO for its speed and instant results.

Pay for SEO or Do It Yourself? - Who Won on Quora?

Quora users do not provide a definitive stance on whether to hire an SEO specialist or proceed with DIY SEO. Instead, they offer various considerations for both methods. According to Saidul Islam, the decision hinges on your budget, confidence, and willingness to invest time. Hiring an SEO professional can be costly but helpful for complex needs. DIY SEO requires time and resources but can be cheaper.

Some users recommend learning SEO yourself through YouTube videos and blogs. It includes Search Engine Land, Ahrefs' Blog, and Moz's Blog to save money. Others argue that paying for SEO services saves time. They suggest using platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer to find quality services. Ultimately, the choice depends on your budget, goals, and willingness to invest in learning or outsourcing SEO tasks.

Conclusion: Learn SEO and Create Passive Income by Selling Leads

Making money by selling leads is a lucrative opportunity because small businesses always need leads to thrive. The high demand for leads solves a major problem for small businesses: a lack of customers. To succeed in this field, you must master the skills needed to generate leads effectively. While generating leads without high-level skills in SEO, paid advertising, or content marketing is challenging, it is possible with the right knowledge and training.

A local lead generation business works by creating websites that rank highly on search engines for specific local services, like plumbing or tree removal. When potential customers search for these services, they find your site, fill out a contact form, or call a tracked phone number. You then sell these leads to local businesses in need of new customers. You can rent out your lead gen website for a monthly passive income of $500 to $3,000.


SEO is the most challenging skill to master, but also the most rewarding. SEO involves ranking websites organically in Google search to attract free traffic from people already looking for a service. This ensures you place your client's business in front of potential buyers. Our local lead generation coaching program teaches you how to master SEO. We will help you get attention on the internet and generate high-quality leads for small businesses to create a steady stream of passive income for yourself.

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

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