SEO Prices - What Can You Expect To Pay For SEO In 2014

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When looking at investing in search engine marketing, there are a number of factors to consider that will determine what you price you will pay for the service.

The search engine industry has become flooded over the course of the last five years or so, so it’s important to understand the different types of search engine companies, to determine which one will be best for you and your business.

Google has Evolved, and so has SEO

In the beginning, SEO was all about creating a relevant website for Google to recognise. This was determined by how relevant your source code was in the back of your website. When you outsource SEO, you are investing in a company’s time and expertise, and back then it wasn’t really time consuming to put a few keywords into the back of your website, and services could be picked up on a monthly retainer for next to nothing.

However, as Google has evolved so much over the course of the last 5 years, SEO has become a very complex beast and it’s difficult to understand what SEO companies actually do now. The reason for this is because Google stopped placing so much importance on the source code of your website, and starting looking at other websites, to not only determine how relevant your site was, but also how authoritative it was. It placed so much more importance on the authority of the website that in order to achieve great results for SEO, this has to be looked at. The best way to do this is by building links to your website.

There are a number of different types of SEO that are available to you, all at different levels and all come with different prices.

Basic SEO

As previously discussed, basic SEO is simply called “on-site optimisation”. It is going into the back of your website to make it more relevant for the search terms you want to be found by. In a lot of cases, very little keyword research is done on this, as usually you would have to provide the company with the phrases you want to be found by, and then it would be a simple data inputting exercise for them. Basic SEO normally comes with a 12 month contract with it, even though the bulk if not all of the work is done inside the first four weeks.

Mid-Level SEO

Mid-level SEO is only slightly more effective than Basic SEO. As with Basic SEO, they will make your website a lot more relevant than it currently is by putting in keywords in relevant places, maybe even a few content tweaks here and there as well. What’s different about Mid-level SEO is that they will also start looking at developing a more authoritative website for you, by building links. What determines good SEO though now is how the company will build links for you. Mid-level SEO will mainly use directories as their primary source for link building. While there is nothing wrong with this method, it’s worth noting that directory submissions are nowhere near as powerful as articles, video submission and social media. It is not very time consuming either to subscribe you to a few directories, so these types of services are often invested in but rarely continued as the results are very limited.

Comprehensive SEO

If you are taking your digital marketing seriously, and actively want results, then this is the option for you. Don’t, however, expect it to come cheap. Great SEO is about building high quality links to your website, like writing articles about your business, writing a blog site for you, creating videos on YouTube, using Social Media, commenting on industry specific blogs and forums and many more. This is all done so the website will grow its position on Google organically. That’s why this will not happen overnight, mainly because there is nothing organic or natural about spamming Google with hundreds of links in a day!

What you are investing in is someone’s time and expertise, and to implement just a few of these activities will take a fair amount of time to do. You can of course, try and do this in house, but think about what it would cost you to employ a full time marketing manager? Although this option might seem expensive compared to other types of SEO available, it will be so much more cost effective than if you tried to do it in house.

E-Commerce SEO

This type of SEO is a little bit different, because it is all of the other types of SEO all rolled into one. A business that sells online not only has to target the type of products they sell, ie Digital Cameras, but also the specific products they sell like a Canon EOS SLR for example. Think about how many products you sell, somebody at some point will want that specific product and you have to ensure that your website is appearing on the first page when they do.

Is cheap SEO worth it in the long run?

In short, no. It can be useful if you are in an incredibly niche market, where even just a relevant website will get you onto the first page. A good example of this is your business name, most companies now will use their business name as a keyword to ensure that when someone Google’s them specifically their website is shown. One of the reasons it does is usually there won’t be anybody else that wants to come up on the first page of Google for your business name!

With most businesses however, there will always be competition, and cheap SEO is not helping you get above them, it is just keeping you within touching distance of them. You may find that after a few months you have gone from page 12 to page 9 for a particular keyword, but if your page 9 you might as well be back at page 10 for anyone that cares!

Can I save myself a lot of money and do it myself?

There is no rocket science that is involved in great SEO. You don’t need a degree, or any accreditations as such, so yes it is possible to do this yourself. All you have to ask yourself is do you have the time? And do you have the skillsets? The majority of business owners in the UK today will answer to to one of those things, and there are so many examples out there of business owners who have attempted to do this themselves, and just given up on it. Therefore if you want to take your website and your online presence as a whole seriously, you have no real option but to outsource it. The question is, who do you outsource to?


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Article by Andy Gibbins

photo credit: SEOPlanter via photopin cc