Understanding The Costs of Professional SEO Services

seo concept design

Search engine optimization strategies are marketing strategies to improve a business’ online presence, promote products and services, and convert visitors into potential clients.

SEO Techniques may include optimizing keywords and content, altering HTML and structure coding, and increasing backlinks.
The main goal of search engine optimization services is to identify how Google, Yahoo, and other search engines function in relation to ranking websites and to understand what people are looking for. It uses tactics to recognize specific keywords or terms that are usually keyed in and preferred by target markets in search engines.

Since SEO techniques are proven to increase traffic to websites and conversion for businesses, it is no wonder that many companies use professional SEO services as one of their marketing strategies.

Online marketing is crucial in this internet-driven world. But a company must understand how much it should actually spend on this kind of marketing tool. You can get an affordable SEO service, but you have to be sure that the services being offered will bring success.

The same is true if you want to opt for higher-priced services. Higher costs do not necessarily guarantee the realization of your online business goals.


SEO Payment Models

Before you partner with professional SEO services, you must first understand SEO payment models and how they work.


Most Companies That Offer SEO Services Use One of These Three Payment Models:


1. Monthly Retainer Fee

This means that you will pay a certain monthly fee for the SEO services provided. The contract usually includes the following services: keyword research and analysis, press releases, on-page improvements on content, off-page improvements such as link building, and site optimization.

This is the most commonly used payment scheme and also provides the best return on investment for the client. You will get regular reports on analysis and feedback for the SEO service performed.


2. Per Contract and/or Project-Based Fees


Most SEO professionals offer contract services which means that they have fixed prices. As a client, you will choose the kind of service that you need which may include website audit, keyword analysis, link building, and content improvement, and include it in the contract.

The SEO professional is expected to deliver quality work as stated in the project contract, including a comprehensive report on progress.


3. Hourly Consultation Fee

The consultation and work regarding SEO services can be logged and charged on an hourly basis. As a client, you can work with SEO professionals on any kind of payment model that are in line with your business goals. You can use more than one – for example, you have a monthly retainer for one service and a special contract for another.


Usual SEO Costs

SEO Cost

A monthly retainer fee ranges from $750.00 to $5,000.00 per month depending on a number of factors: your business size, the kind of SEO service you require, the number of SEO professionals working on your project.

You may get affordable SEO service packages from small SEO agencies but their services may be limited. If you have more extensive needs, you may want to work with full-service SEO professionals. The usual contract services vary depending on the services required.

For example, copywriting may cost a client about $0.15 to $0.50 per word. Content audit for the website can amount to $500.00 to $7,500.00 depending on length.

Other contract services include audits of link profiles and social media marketing set-up. The audit costs $500.00 to $7,500.00 while the set-up  may cost $500.00 to $3,000.00. A variety of other projects can range from $1,000.00 to $30,000.00. For hourly consultations, rates range from $100 to $300 per hour, for individual SEO professionals or agencies.


Fair Warnings on SEO Agencies

It cannot be avoided that some SEO professionals or agencies have unethical business practices. You should be careful and watch out for suspicious signs before contracting with any SEO service.


Those That Offer Guarantees

You need to understand that no SEO specialist or agency can offer guarantees because the internet is an ever-changing technology. Search engines continually change and update their set-ups. One good technique today may not necessarily work next week.


Those That Offer Instant Results

Offer Instant Results

While some SEO strategies can game the system and obtain immediate results, these practices may be against search engine guidelines. You may be penalized and lose your ranking. Instant results will hurt your business sooner or later – you should avoid this practice.


Those That Offer Lower Than $750.00 as a Monthly Retainer

Search engine optimization is not about getting the lowest contract price but getting the best service out of your marketing investment. If you find an agency that offers a very low retainer fee, check out the services being offered and the company portfolio – they could be a scam.


Those That Offer or Use Unethical Link-Building Tactics

There are many techniques for building links and some of them are shady. Be sure to go for ethical, best practice techniques because building links is about building trust.


Reminders on SEO as Marketing Strategy

SEO as Marketing Strategy

Search engine optimization techniques will take time. It is highly improbable that you will get to Google’s number one spot in a week. Investing in an SEO agency is long-term because you will have to utilize aggressive campaigns, content improvement, keyword optimization, restructuring HTML, etc.

It will take a lot of work and time and the rewards of your efforts will not be realized in a short span of time. If you are just starting to use SEO, the best kind of model to use is the monthly retainer especially since you are really not after getting instant results. Your goal is to utilize extensive measures that will give you long-lasting results.

SEO is also not a one-time strategy. Rankings change as search engine algorithms are modified. It requires constant monitoring and updating to ensure that your website stays on top.

SEO is not a magic wand that you wave and you find yourself on number 1. You should take everything into careful consideration before you get an agency: services, cost, reporting, and training.


Keep in mind that SEO truly works. If you don’t personally have the skills to do it, get the best professional services to help improve your business and get a good return on your investment.