SEO costs vary from the dirt cheap so called “SEO Expertise” offered by freelancers and small time SEO agencies on the one hand, and tens of thousands in fees per month charged by the premier SEO agencies and SEO consultants.
And then there are SEO consultants and agencies alike, who promise rankings or performance based pricing in a desperate attempt to get clients.
With so much disparity in cost and offerings, how do you determine what is fair SEO services pricing? How do you know if a service is too good to be true or real value for money? How to find SEO service that offers the right balance of quality and affordable SEO consulting fees? Find out answers to these questions in this article.
No standards or benchmarks for SEO costing
Think of a doctor, lawyer or any other specialist service provider — there are cheap and expensive fees charged in just about every service. SEO is no different. However, with SEO, there really are no benchmarks or qualifications that can help you determine the knowledge level and competence of the SEO service provider. This makes it all the more difficult to determine whether the fee charged by an SEO consultant or agency is a fair price or not.
Like all services, SEO fees are also determined by what the service provider deems to be profitable and worth offering. It also depends on how the consultant or agency operates. If they use tools for most of their SEO efforts, the human effort reduces allowing them to offer low costs. But search engines do not like automated or “spammy” activity that isn’t human and natural. Also, the experience, track record and capability of a consultant or agency determine what price they can command. Then there are standard packages that disregard what the site’s need might be. Depending on the service provider, these can either be a good or bad option. However, the facts that they are standardized offerings make it easier for service providers to cut costs. Other agencies invest the time effort and human talent needed to offer customized SEO services to clients based on the need of the client’s site. These tend to be significantly costlier because of the time and effort that goes into the project. But if the agency understands its SEO and practices white hat SEO, the extra cost is often well worth it.
Your business can impact the SEO costs
Assuming the agency is ethical, does human SEO and has competent professionals working on your project, what would be a fair hourly price for quality human time? How many hours should your site’s SEO get each month? These would determine the lowest cost you should consider paying. Some of the other business factors that can impact the SEO costs include:
Market competitiveness impacts SEO cost:
If you are in a niche market where there isn’t much competition, it may be relatively easier and faster to get your website to rank for the most relevant keywords. However, if you are in an extremely competitive market with a number of well ranking competitors, it may require a lot more competitive analysis and effort to get your website to rank for competitive keywords — thereby increasing the cost of your SEO efforts.
Age of the site can impact SEO cost:
Most search engines like an aged domain with authority containing fresh content. If your website is old and established, it may have naturally acquired some incoming links and earned a certain level of authority status. If yours is a relatively new domain as compared to your competitors, the effort required may be significantly more, impacting the SEO costs.
Size and nature of your website can impact SEO costs:
An information website may find it easier to rank than an ecommerce website. A site with a lot of original, unique and high quality content would likely rank better than a small brochure website. A website with frequently updated user generated content suggests a high level of engagement with visitors and may rank better than a site without much user interaction. Depending on how large and complex your website is, and the type of content your website has — the SEO effort and cost can either be relatively lesser or more.
Deciding what is right for you
There isn’t one metric to decide what’s right for you. Your business, the competitiveness and the needs of your website should ideally determine the effort needed. You can decide how aggressive you want the effort to be and that should decide the cost of SEO.
Likewise, the SEO consultant or agency you choose to partner with would impact the SEO costs. While there is no guarantee that the costliest agency is necessarily the best, there is no guarantee that the cheapest solution is the best fit for your needs either. What’s more important is to assess the competence levels of your SEO partner, see their track record of achieving success and make sure the SEO you get is not just content or link building focused — but more of a holistic effort that addresses all aspects of your website’s SEO needs.
Online Marketing Services from Flying Cow Design
Flying Cow Design is not just a leading web design firm. With a focus on building a strong web presence for our clients, we have been working with many clients to build a sustainable and well optimized website. We have built a reputation for being a high quality solution provider for companies looking to build their online brand ethically and sustainably through white hat SEO. While not cheap, we offer excellent value for money by providing quality on par with the best SEO agencies in the world at a fraction of the costs. When you need a website that will improve your online presence through white hat SEO, talk to us about our internet marketing services.
CEO, Flying Cow Design
Attended University of Auckland
Lives in San Francisco Bay Area