Digital marketing strategies have changed the way companies and startups get exposure in the market. Whenever the topic of digital marketing comes up, SEO is one of the most prominent strategies to grow a business’ client base and provides companies with a steady stream of traffic and scaleable growth.
By surveying the landscape for most SEO packages and services, many business owners inherently believe SEO pricing is extremely high compared to what are perceived to be shaky returns; but such is not the case when you’re coupled with an agency that has a track record for success.
It’s common for SEOs and online marketers to overcharge, much of this stems from the fact that you have many freelancers and companies who are looking to pay their overheads with single jobs because they don’t have a large quantity of clients and thus try to capitalize on single accounts at large sums.
There are several factors that affect the pricing estimates and while price is never representative of quality in today’s digital service based industries, putting specific factors under a microscope will help to discern who’s SEO is worth the cost of admission.
• ROI vs service cost:
Most clients expect results from their SEO consultant in the form of increased traffic that converts into leads, high ranking on popular search engines. However, it can be time consuming and a tedious task to try and keep track of the statistics and then compare them to revenues or client conversion rates, and so, it can be hard to fully grasp how much of an impact that SEO package had on the client’s business.
Ensure during the selection process that there are forecasts available, including timeframes, and friendly promotions such as month to month services (which we offer), as well as the ability to track conversions successfully and show where your leads came from (AdWords, SEO, Direct, Referral, etc.)
• Niche businesses vs stagnant pool markets:
Creating SEO friendly content and achieving good results quickly can vary depending on the business. For example, SEO content for a company selling radar equipment for astrophysicists isn’t as difficult as creating content for an already competitive market such as eCommerce t-shirt sales.
Getting a business placed in the top ranks in highly competitive environments on Google search requires a heavy investment on the part of your SEO agency. If the company you’re hiring only provides very sub-standard SEO practices such as simply web 2.0 linking, free directory links, and bookmarking, this is a display of poor quality SEO practices that will dip your website in rankings, not improve your positioning. Companies who regularly use these practices aren’t able to acquire high quality backlinks and generate top notch content that drives further link opportunities, and thus they use automated programs that blast your website on hundreds or thousands of links instantly and ensure that not only do you never see the light of search engines, but that future companies who work with you will have to recover your website from the void of Google by eliminating bad links and creating good links instead.
This entire process will cause you to believe that all SEOs are under the same umbrella and use the same practices, but such is not the case. Quality links instead of quantity links, remember that during your selection process.
• Client demands and hidden costs:
Some clients may request one time SEO content and links, with the client satisfied and no need for any data or reports. Bigger clients can be very demanding when it comes to SEO package selecting. Some clients demand daily reports, frequent calls to check the status of the work done, even sometimes a separate project coordinator to constantly provide statistical reports. Naturally, the package for such a client will be much more expensive to cover all the hidden costs and demands, while other one-page SEO tasks can vary in pricing and delivery times. A good agency provides on-going regular support and updates on said projects without any extra fees associated with reporting. After all, you’re paying for a full comprehensive thorough campaign, not bits and pieces, and a proper SEO package should be representative of that and all-inclusive.
• Business location:
According to a survey conducted by Henry Foster from GrowthRamp, 49.6% of SEO agencies are located in the US, 19% are located in Europe and 10% are located in India. The cost of running a business varies from one location to another, as well as the quality of work provided.
Many clients prefer to hire an SEO company in the US, while several clients in Asia prefer to hire SEO companies in India due to the time difference and the ability to contact the consultants easily.
That is why SEO packages provided by some consultants in Asia are somewhat cheaper than in the US, simply because the cost of running or outsourcing the business is not the same and setting a baseline for the service delivered is important to prevent underpricing.
Be mindful of the fact that you may have to face taxation as well by going with a local company as opposed to an overseas company. With the instant communication we have nowadays, finding an SEO agency locally is not as beneficial as one thinks, and many local companies that face goods and sales taxes prefer to work with an overseas SEO agency to avoid those fees altogether.
Moreover, there isn’t as much of a gap between different countries in SEO as one thinks. Programs, tools, and SEO education are widely available to all parties worldwide, so outside of capital/financial resources, you may not find much of a difference in actual returns and quality. Instead it’s better to focus on what the actual packages entail (the quality of the links and work coming in, what the track record is of the company), as opposed to which country the company is from.
Ultimately, the proof is in the pudding, and the onus is on the company to not only ensure they address all your concerns, but also display an ability to have achieved strong results for others, it is ill-advised to go with a brand new SEO company or a freelancer whom lacks the ability to show capable results.