Most starting online merchants have the same question - “How much to spend for optimization services?” In most cases, this question cannot be answered explicitly. I advise breaking this issue into two parts. The first part is how much does search engine optimization cost on average. The second part is how much should you spend on optimization services. To find the clear answer to the main question, we need to find good responses on both of these parts.
In this article, we will go through the different pricing policies for optimization services, and factors that affect a final sum you will need to spend. I am going to provide you with real-life examples and experiences I have gained working in Semalt digital company.
Why do you need optimization services?
Before we proceed to the discussion of pricing models, the obvious aspect we need to highlight is why you need SEO. There is no need to go into details here since there is a lot of information about SEO benefits on our blog.
What is necessary to mention is that search engine optimization and Internet marketing, in general, can help your business grows faster and stand you on the TOP of e-commerce game. It is the most powerful marketing tool that enables to improve business position in Google search.
According to the previous Google searches, more than 83% of users click on the results that are placed on the first SERP page, and less than 10% of users click on the second and third pages. It shows that the only way to make your products or services visible to your targeted audience is to invest in SEO to rank high on SERP. Optimization will help you use digital market more efficiently and achieve a higher return on your online investment.
SEO agency pricing models
There are three different pricing models when it comes to hiring SEO agency or consultant:
Hourly pricing model
Per hour SEO is one of the most popular pricing schemes provided by SEO agencies. It is popular among website owners as they can get optimization assistance at a fixed price. As a rule, both parts work under an agreement that a definite part of work should be executed in the particular period. At the end of the term, a client gets a report with the details and the actual number of hours worked. Receiving a bill, a client has to process payment according to the agreed hourly rate.
Hourly optimization services rate from $20 per hour to $200 per hour. A price can be different due to the region where you live, the size of an SEO agency you are working with, and the amount of work you want to be made per hour.
Pricing per optimization project
When you hire an SEO company to work on your project, you have to agree with a company pricing policy regardless of the hours spent. Each company provides its pricing for project optimization. There are a lot of factors are taken into account such as the complexity of the project, the time you have for its execution, the number of specialists who work under the project, and so on.
This payment model is better than hourly payments in cases where you are not sure how many hours are needed for a given task.
Monthly pricing model
The monthly payment model for optimization services is wide spreading in the US and Europe. It is popular among website owners who want to try optimization services just for the first month, not paying in advance for the extended period contract. The most common monthly range is between $500-$1500. The price can also depend on the variety of factors. As a rule, clients who purchase optimization services for 6 or 8 months receive a discount. One more thing is that the first month is usually trial and costs almost nothing. Monthly SEO is one of the most popular packages in Semalt company, especially among clients who are from the US.
How to select the best pricing model for your business?
To my mind, there is no best pricing model, and to get the more benefit you need to combine all mentioned above models in one. You should agree with SEO agency defining all tasks and a fixed charge for all of them. You need to sign a contract to eliminate any loses and protect yourself from fraudulent activities. You need to agree on an hourly rate and a monthly ceiling.
How much should you spend on optimization services?
Once you have got an idea of the hourly rates and the most common pricing models, it is time to discuss what is the reasonable price you should spend on optimization services.
Before we proceed further, I have to mention that you need to take SEO as not a cost, but as an investment in your business development that will certainly bring you a return on investment. Moreover, you should be ready to the fact that search engine optimization takes time and you the first results will be visible in the long term (approximately six months). That is why there is no need to stop optimization campaign if you see small changes within a first month.
If you run e-commerce business that directly depends on traffic, then SEO spendings should represent your biggest budget. You need to associate your spending with SEO services with monthly profits. So, the more money you raise online, the more you should invest in SEO and Internet marketing. Remember that search engine optimization is a sphere that requires constant involvement. That is why you should never stop investing in your optimization campaign. Hiring an SEO agency or consultant for 20 hours per month is sufficient to keep your presence in good shape. If you have at least $10,000 budget that you can spend on SEO this year, then it will be a smart decision to make it ten months X $1000 rather than two months X $5000.