Published on by: James H. Hobson
Every potential client calling a SEO company quickly gets to asking about search engine optimization pricing. This question is presented as if SEO was some type of commodity with no variables, like an antibiotic to cure a ranking infection. While it's relatively easy to quote a price range, to just throw out numbers in pointless. This article will discuss SEO pricing and inform potential clients on ways to assess value.
Why SEO Pricing Should Be a Low Priority
Only uninformed consumers use price as the top determining factor when making a buying decision. This is because they lack understanding of what they are buying and rely on price as some sort of benchmark for quality or "great savings". Certainly price matters but buying the cheapest or paying too much means you are wasting capital. Business owners need to be able to understand what is included for the price, how it is to be provided and know the things that matter the most.
SEO Package Pricing
The yellow page style "package deals" are presented for two reasons:
1) To have several price points to push on a buyer. This takes advantage of the price minded buyer and keeps the buyer distracted from what is, and is not, going to be done. The dream match up here is an uninformed buyer and an uninformed salesperson. Neither understand what is being sold or bought, just how much money is involved.
2) To make it easy for sales people to pitch SEO services. Sales people rarely know the ins and outs of SEO or internet marketing therefore they want to avoid deep conversations about services and focus on fees. It's much easier for them to have set price points (see point 1 above) for their canned sales pitch.
The SEO pricing strategy for pushing packages is to have an Extra Large, Large, Medium and Small. Start with a hard sell of the Extra Large and then slide down only when you can't force the buyer to submit.
Package pricing is the one-size-fits-all approach. I think most people know how well they look in one-size-fits-all clothing. Be skeptical of SEO package deals.
Limited SEO Services Pricing
When approached by a SEO company that tries to push you into a static and limited set of services you should beware. Unless they can make an incredibly compelling justification for their recommendation you are about to get burned. First, this company has a "process" through which you are going to be run (the one-size-fits-all program). Second, they lack flexibility to add or modify services according to your specific needs. This approach is exactly what yellow pages reps and advertising companies sell. It is also what is sold by SEO hacks that are using foreign outsourcing to do the work. In the SEO world you need a company that is flexible and can adapt their tactics to meet your specific needs and stay in step with search engines.
SEO prices for the limited services are often quoted like a package deal but typically are positioned at low price levels like $200, $350 and $500 per month. The SEO company probably buys a package deal from a company in India for about 15% of what you paid and enjoys dropping 85% in their pocket.
Custom SEO Service Pricing
This is almost always your best option. If you engage a truly professional SEO company they will serve first as an SEO expert consultant. They will ask questions about your current position, goals and objectives, and make an honest effort to understand your business. With this knowledge in-hand they can then make specific recommendations on the types of SEO methods you need. Deeper conversation centered upon budgeting and milestone dates will help to prioritize tasks and determine how many hours can be provided each month.
Pricing for cutomized SEO programs vary depending upon the situation of the client organization. Obviously a small florist shop needs a smaller program than an industrial company attacking a global market. The pricing for customized SEO programs may normally range from $750 to $5000 per month. Major corporations may spend six or seven figures a month but they are definitely not the average SEO client.
What Determines SEO Pricing?
The greatest determining factor for the true SEO companies in Atlanta is simply the number of hours that need to be covered each month. Sometimes third party services such as call tracking or video hosting may need to be included in the pricing.
Why are some SEO people so much cheaper? Good question, and we have the answer. They probably are freelancers that work from their kitchen table with pirated software and no staff other than the people they use in India, Romania or South America. They don't have subscriptions to paid services that provide SEO information, competitor data, keyword research, etc.
Every industry has "those guys" that low-ball pricing and live on the churn-and-burn sales model. It takes money to have a well run business and to provide quality services. For this reason, it is important to understand that although you want the best deal, hiring an SEO provider based on price is a mistake.
Ask about the company and its people. Take a few minutes to verify things like office location, staffing, live examples of well ranked sites they manage, and search for online customer reviews. And our top suggestion, see how ell their site is ranked for SEO terms. If they can't get their own site ranked well then you cannot trust them to get your site ranked well on Search engines.
E-Platform Marketing is an SEO company that is always seeking new SEO clients however we can also serve as your advocate. We will gladly help you to compare and evaluate SEO bids from companies you are considering as your next SEO provider.