There is nothing like trying something for the first time that you either don’t understand, appreciate it’s value, or that you know others have had a negative experience with. When it comes to search engine optimization… these are some of the concerns people have when deciding to invest in this type of digital marketing. With that said, it’s important to get a clear understanding of not just the strategies that will be used, but also what type of vendor you should be working with and if you should be looking for the cheapest most affordable search engine optimization services available.
Before we get into answering that question, let me remind you that investing in digital marketing is similar to investing in or spending money on anything… you get what you pay for. As you may know, SEO is not typically “cheap”… but there is a reason for that. There is a lot of time, research, and expertise needed to create a strategy that will enable you to get an acceptable ROI from your marketing budget. As with most services and products, there is always a solution out there that can match any budget, no matter how small it is… but that does not mean that it will be worth it in the long run.
So now let’s take a look at a few things to get a sense of whether or not affordable search engine optimization services are a realistic goal:
1) Cheaper SEO Services Almost Always Lack A Real Strategy
If you haven’t noticed already, some of the most successful digital marketing firms typically have monthly retainers or hourly rates that they charge new and existing clients. The average price that many of these agencies charge on a monthly basis is usually around $4,000 – $10,000 per month for most competitive markets; while others can range from $12,000 – $20,000. When looking at the hourly rate that these companies and experts charge, it’s typically around $250 – $500 per hour.
I’m not saying that every company that has their search engine optimization solutions priced this way will always provide you the best service, but among the most successful companies with happy customers… these are the ranges of the cost for services. With that said, when choosing to work with a company that provides digital marketing services like these at a rate of $99 or even $750 per month, unless you’re competing to rank on page 1 of a search engine like Google for a keyword like “alameda ca barber shop”… that won’t allow for a strategy to be created and implemented that will create an ROI.
The reason I say that is because there is a good amount of research that needs to be done to set up and succeed with an SEO strategy in an industry where the top ranking sites are spending $1,000s per month on SEO specifically; and some of them may even have an in-house team working on it from day to day. The problem with most SEO companies is that they do not offer this type of service, but instead they focus on trying to price their services in a way that is affordable to their target audience while making sure they’re profitable as a company. There is no issue with this unless their clients are the ones that end up being disappointed in the long run due to their target budget of $100 or even $750 a month not producing an acceptable ROI.
2) Many Digital Marketing Vendors That Offer Prices Drastically Below Industry Averages Typically Provide No Real Value
Now that you have a sense of what industry standards are for SEO services costs, and why… now it’s important to get a sense of why other companies offer their services so cheap. The short answer is that they implement SEO strategies that use software and other automation tools to perform SEO tasks just to be able to tell you a particular type of work was done. Unless you have a sense of SEO best practices, you may not know the difference between what’s valuable or not.
Additionally, it could be that the vendor you’ve decided to purchase an affordable search engine optimization package from is using and/or hiring people that have no experience with SEO but have been trained to implement tasks they hope will help improve your organic rankings in whatever search engine you’re targeting. On the surface, this might not seem like that bad of an idea, but the danger with it is that when individuals ignore search engine terms of service or best practices, or that don’t know they exist… it can result in your website being penalized or not ranking at all.
3) The Affordability Of Search Engine Optimization Should Be Based On The ROI, Not Your Current Budget
When it comes to what’s affordable or not as it relates to working with an SEO company, it’s important to keep in mind that this type of marketing is an investment. If you’re not in a position invest in your organic search engine visibility based on the averages above, it’s probably a better idea to focus on other forms of digital marketing like paid or social media advertising. Those paid platforms can help you quickly get a sense of how much it will cost you per lead, as well as provide you with a strategy that can suit most budgets.
Again, if you’re in an industry where the keywords you want to rank on page 1 of Google for has competitors that are multi-million dollar companies, it would be foolish to think that a budget of a few hundred dollars each month is going to make a difference. At the end of the day, in it’s simplest form… SEO is about trying to get your website to take the place of another site ranking on page 1 of your target search engine. So do an honest assessment of the companies ranking on page 1 for the keywords you would like to target, and if they’re not a local mom and pop shop that operates in a moderate size location down the street from where you live focusing only on people in your area… using a cheap SEO strategy to take their place or that of any of your other competitors in the search engine rankings is probably not going to cost a few $100.
On the other hand, search engine optimization can be very affordable. In fact, countless reports have shown that SEO produces a much higher ROI than literally every other form of digital marketing. If you’re in an industry where each customer can potentially bring in $1,000, $5,000 or even $20,000 in revenue for your business each year, then imagine being able to pay an SEO expert $5,000 per month in return for getting 20-30 new customers each month. Even if you only made $1,000 annually from each new customer… 20 new clients per month for a year would be 240 new customers that bring in $240,000 in revenue you didn’t have before investing in SEO. At a rate of $5,000 per month, it would cost you $60,000 per year to bring in an added $240,000.
If you don’t like that ratio, then you can go ahead and try to find a cheaper solution… but:
A) You probably won’t get nearly as many new business opportunities using SEO than if you found a real industry expert; although they might cost more.
B) It’s possible that a vendor offering cheaper services will implement a “strategy” that either doesn’t work or could be harmful to your website/brand.
C) You can save yourself a lot of time by learning SEO yourself, but very few business owners that are great at running their business end up having the time and interest in becoming great at SEO to the point of being able to compete on page 1 of their target search engine.
Hopefully, some of this was helpful in providing you with the information you might consider before choosing to go with a vendor offering affordable SEO solutions. If you have questions or disagreements with anything mentioned above, feel free to leave a comment below or let us know via our contact us page. Nomvo!