75% of the people never visit the second page of the search results.
Yes, that’s true. That is why ranking on search results is so important, and that is why SEO holds a crucial position in the world of digital marketing. Businesses today know it very well and hence are willing to invest in good SEO.
However, what most business owners are not aware of are the SEO prices. It is a rarely talked about thing. Hence, we see a lot of variation in the rates. So, today let’s talk all about SEO Prices, what they mean, the tasks for which you will be paying the hard-earned money of yours, the red-flags and finally, as a business owner, what are the things you should look at in an SEO price quote made for your website.
Let’s dive in-
What do SEO prices mean?
SEO services fall under a broad umbrella and so do SEO prices. SEO pricing is done as per the business’s budget, goals and requirements, timeframe, and level of direct attention a company is seeking. Therefore, to understand what SEO prices mean, we should first understand the different SEO service models that govern SEO costs.
Here are the three most common SEO models with an estimation of the cost involved for each model:
Many businesses hire SEO service providers on a month-to-month basis to get the best results for their business. This model allows the business owners to be in a dynamic state and set goals as per the changing landscape of the market or their field. The flexible nature of this model makes it the best model with a good ROI for clients. Plus, a proper SEO strategy at least needs 6-12 months-time to show quality results.
For monthly retainers, the SEO prices may start from $1,000 and go up to $5000+ per month. The factors contributing to such a wide price range include the size of the business, the nature of SEO campaigns, level of experience, and expertise needed.
This model serves best for small businesses looking for affordable SEO services. Plus, if business nature does not require all-inclusive SEO campaigns, then going for the fixed-price contract is a wise decision. The rates for the fixed-price model can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. For instance, SEO copywriting rates may range from $0.15 to $0.50 per word. For site content audits, the price range could be $500 to $7,500 per audit. Similarly, link profile audits may cost up to $7,500 per audit.
Hourly consulting is for those who own SEO knowledge and thus need only consultation services regarding SEO campaigns. An experienced SEO consultant may charge $100-$300 per hour.
These prices may vary from region-to-region or industry-to-industry. If you are looking for something worth your time and money, make sure to follow a specific model and make investments accordingly. However, before that, make sure to have a basic idea of the tasks involved in SEO.
The Tasks Performed in an SEO Campaign
SEO is not a quick fix or a one-and-done task but rather a routine that is to be followed consistently if you want to see some real results. This routine can be divided into one-time tasks, monthly SEO tasks, and daily/weekly SEO tasks for easy understanding.
One-Time SEO tasks:
- Preparing a keyword strategy by conducting keyword research and defining achievable keyword targets.
- Next is creating a topic strategy. Come up with topics and subtopics. This will help in producing more relevant and helpful content in the long run.
- Documenting organic traffic goals that are realistic and achievable.
Set-up and Tracking
- Installing Google Analytics and Search Consoles on the website to track and evaluate organic traffic.
- Tracking keywords and monitoring competitors.
- Creating and submitting an XML sitemap (a directory for your website making crawling your website easy for search engines).
- Ensuring that website is indexable.
- Installing an SSL certificate that adds a layer of security to your website.
- Ensuring your homepage, services pages, and other essential pages include their target keyword.
Monthly SEO Task List
- Updating Topic Strategy
- Monitoring existing keyword rankings
- Routinely reviewing organic traffic trends and highest-trafficked pages
- Sorting content by behavioral metrics
- Conducting a competitor analysis
- Building quality link network and monitoring linking domains
Daily/Weekly SEO tasks:
- Creating context-rich content and optimizing the existing one.
- Evaluating content quality and deleting/revising low-quality content pages.
- Monitor weekly and monthly ranking and traffic trends
- Setting up weekly crawl reports and fixing the issues.
The tasks mentioned above form a basic SEO routine for which you will be paying the digital marketing agencies.
However, the whole list may look overwhelming to those who wish to hire SEO service providers but are new to the digital marketing world. Especially, some companies make a hole in the pocket of business owners and fail to deliver the desired results.
This brings us to the next important question- How to identify Scammers?
How to Identify Scammers?
There following red flags may help you identify the scammers right away:
- Making ranking guarantees: The industry is highly volatile, with algorithms continuously evolving. With such a dynamic landscape, if an agency is offering you ranking guarantees, there is a high chance that the agency is making a false claim.
- Delivering Instant Results: As stated earlier, SEO is a routine to be followed to yield long-term results. Nothing can deliver you instant results. Even a good SEO campaign takes a minimum of 3-4 months to display some noticeable results.
- Guaranteed Page One Placements: Getting page one placements is not impossible. However, this again takes time. If an agency promises to place you on the first page of Google, they may do it for an obscure keyword, which may harm your reputation in the long-run or, more likely, are giving you a hollow word.
Apart from watching out the red flags, you can always be sure of the marketing agency through the proposal they have made to you. A genuine agency will always be proper to its client and avoid making the claims they know can’t be fulfilled anyhow.
How does an Ethical Quote look Like?
Some digital agencies are quite good at creating mirage-quotes. That is, they will make the proposal so attractive by including offers that you would not want to miss instead of the necessary details. Beware of such quotations. Here are the points that an ethical quote from a genuine SEO agency will carry:
- Introduction and Summary: If a company is trustworthy and offers value, it will indeed highlight its experience and expertise in the introduction. Make sure to check out the portfolio of the company.
- Personalized Solutions: A right SEO agency always does its homework. They would offer their services based on the insights gathered from your current SEO performance. Even if you are the one to approach them, they might ask for some time to review your current status and give you the best solutions.
- Defined deliverables: What tasks and campaigns they would be running is a must checkpoint in a quotation. Along with the specific and quantifiable deliverables, the quote should carry an SEO reporting structure and model.
- Goals and Timeline: An ethical SEO quote will always have defined goals and the timeline in which they would be achieved.
- Investment: Finally, the proposal will have a detailed breakdown of the SEO pricing according to the goals, time duration, and services offered.
As stated earlier, SEO is not a one-size-fits-all strategy. Hence the price quotes will also differ for each proposal. However, knowing what works best for your business makes the real difference.