As the New Year has rolled around, it’ seems like our phone calls have increased with business owners wanting to add SEO to their marketing plan or at least analyze changing SEO companies because of poor results from someone else.
Obviously, optimizing your website for search is no longer an option component of your marketing plan…..the question really becomes not when to budget for SEO, but how much to budget. Here are a few general guidelines to ensure you are getting the best value for your SEO dollar.
True SEO Components:
Depending on who you speak with, many SEO firms have varying formulas in order to help you achieve 1st page rankings on the major search engines. However, if the SEO company you are speaking with does not have the following tasks in your monthly activities you may not be buying TRUE SEO.
- Unique and Quality Written Articles
- Unique and Quality Written Blogs posted on your website
- Press Releases that add value or changes in your business. (i.e..events, awards, new products, new hires, etc…)
- Creating Videos that tell a compelling story, client testimonials, product demonstrations, or “How-To”
- Info-graphics that create a buzz or data driven information that is relevant to your industry.
The days of anchor text links or just building directory citations is over. Now don’t get me wrong, we still believe in directory citations, we are just saying that it may not get you to where you want to go any longer based on all the changes from Google’s Hummingbird & Penguin Algorithms.
What Are Typical SEO Rates?
SEO firms have varying pay schedules for varying services, but for a very high-level overview of typical costs, you can reasonably expect the following:
- $300 to $500: This range is usually based on just directory citation building and/or possibly writing 1-2 articles each month that are syndicated on relevant sites within your industry. However, buyer should beware here…..this typically will cover 3-5 keyword phrases and If you are in a highly competitive industry or a metropolitan market this just won’t get you the results you are expecting.
- $750 – $1200: This range is where TRUE SEO starts….Yes that’s right..STARTS! Depending on the reputation of the firm this is usually where a local business can start competing in their primary industry. SEO costs in this range usually will have a variety of different techniques like press releases, articles, on-site blogging services, product reviews and possibly some social media activities. This range is usually a good start for service based businesses or semi competitive industries trying to attract in a 10-15 mile radius of their corporate office.
- $1500 and Up: This is where TRUE SEO really happens and the RESULTS you were expecting occurs. When you invest in SEO in this price range you can expect a nice mix of branding, advertising and marketing for your business. TRUE SEO in this range should or may include things like infographics, video marketing, ebooks, whitepapers, guest blogging services, business interviews, brand interviews, press release quotes and more. Typically when investing in SEO in this price range you may be able to target multiple markets at once and pull from a 20 mile radius or larger.
A Few Points To Remember About SEO:
- SEO is an ongoing process by its very nature, requiring a dedicated team to stay on top of the latest trends and algorithm updates to ensure your content is up to date and relevant. For that reason many marketing experts recommend retaining an SEO firm for the long haul, building a relationship and sticking with it over time.
- Although SEO is governed by some fairly simple principles (high quality, dynamic content, first and foremost), the reality takes much more time, effort and energy than the typical business owner can afford to devote. For that reason outsourcing to a professional SEO firm makes the most business sense.
- Avoid cheap SEO services. If your speaking to someone that says things like “we have tricks”, “we use software to rank” or does not discuss TRUE SEO tasks like unique articles, unique blogs, press releases, videos, infographics, business profiling and more, you may actually do more damage to your business than good. Your online reputation and overall web presence is the key to long lasting revenue stream. If Google flags your site for poor SEO techniques, it can take a long time to recover and build back the lost trust. Be very wary of any SEO firms promising instant results or the ability to spring you to the #1 spot. Like most marketing and advertising investments, good SEO is a slow, steady and strategic process that will generate long lasting rankings.
Lets Hear Your Thoughts……..