SEO isn’t easy — it often requires an entire team of people who solely focus on SEO within your marketing department to get it right. That’s why many companies choose to outsource their SEO to an SEO agency/service.
But where do you start? And how much will it cost? These are some of the first questions businesses may have when thinking about hiring externally.
In this post, we’ll explore what SEO agencies do, how they structure their prices, and how you can tell if they’re worth the cost. Let’s dive in.
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What do SEO services do?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important marketing strategy because it helps you rank higher on search engines.
By hiring an SEO service, you can partner with an agency that uses several tactics to increase your rank and traffic. These tactics include keyword targeting, keyword research, content marketing, link building (both internal and external), and more.
Since there are several different kinds of SEO (on-page, off-page, technical, and local), there are services available. Some provide an all-in-one service others focus on just one type of SEO.
Foundational services usually include the following:
- Keyword research
- Technical SEO audits
- On-page setup
- Competitor analysis
- Website blog content
- Link building
- Link auditing
- Guest blogging
- Local SEO
- Citation building
- Review management
- Google Business optimization
The Benefits of SEO Services
Many companies choose to use SEO services so experts can execute their marketing strategies.
These companies can help you improve your rank on search engines, increase conversions, and boost authority. Let’s go into more detail.
1. SEO services help improve your rank on search engines.
With an SEO service, you’ll have an expert handling your content marketing, so you can improve your rank on search engines and drive traffic to your website.
Reaching people organically in this way is important to your company as it builds brand awareness and brings visitors/leads to your site.
Organic is one of the best ways to bring in leads because you’re helping potential customers that will then turn into leads and sales. Improving your rank on search engines will bring that traffic and get your product/service in front of more people.
2. You can increase conversions with both paid and organic leads.
SEO is necessary for your site because it can help generate leads. By using an SEO service, you can increase conversions from paid and organic efforts.
When people come to your site from organic efforts, an SEO service will help turn them into leads and convert them into customers by using their expertise in content marketing, lead nurturing, and lead generation.
Additionally, SEO services often help with PPC and display ads, meaning they can help increase your paid leads as well.
3. They help boost authority and build brand awareness.
The overall goal of SEO is to help boost authority and build brand awareness among your audience, teaching your audience to trust your company.
An SEO service can help with this by implementing an involved strategy focused on consistently publishing content related to your products and services, and adjusting as necessary based on results.
Now that we know what SEO services are and why they exist, let’s discuss how much they cost.
How SEO Services Structure Their Prices
SEO services can structure their prices in several ways, whether they’re on retainer, charge hourly rates, or charge by the project.
These services also take into consideration the competitiveness of keywords, whether you’re running a local or national campaign, the type of project, and whether they’re an individual freelancer or a full-service agency.
Typically, hiring services can cost an average of $1,000 to $10,000 monthly.
SEO services also usually come in different packages, bundles, and plans. Let’s review what a basic SEO plan might cost compared to an enterprise SEO plan.
Basic SEO Plan Pricing
A basic SEO plan usually features several automated services and the bare minimum for organic reach. This often includes title tag creation, technical SEO maintenance (image sizing, page speed, etc.), citation building, and monthly reports.
Usually, an SEO service will use software and tools to automate these processes, allowing them to offer more cost-effective packages. A basic SEO plan may cost anywhere from $500 to $2,500 per month.
Enterprise SEO Plan Pricing
An enterprise SEO plan will include more specialized, customized campaign work.
You’ll most likely have a dedicated customer success manager and work with several departments on content marketing, technical SEO, PPC ads, and more.
An enterprise plan will likely include keyword research, analytics and reporting, PPC ads, title and meta tag creation, technical SEO maintenance, content creation (lead magnets, blog posts, ads, ebooks, etc.), link building, and monthly reports.
This plan will cost more, ranging from $3,000 to $15,000 monthly. Remember, costs can quickly increase depending on the service your hire, so it’s important to know which service is worth it.
How can you tell if an SEO service is worth it?
The main reason there’s such a variety in cost is that many types of SEO services exist. Whether it’s a freelancer or an agency, either will structure their pricing differently and have varying levels and areas of expertise.
For example, Scorpion is an SEO agency specializing in legal and home services marketing. Other agencies might specialize in B2B marketing. It’s important to remember that with specialized expertise comes higher pricing.
To determine whether or not an SEO service is worth the cost, consider the types of packages they offer, the per-project cost, the hourly rate, the experience and expertise, and their client testimonials.
Here are some things to consider.
1. Can they demonstrate proven results?
Make sure to look for proven results from any SEO service. What do previous clients say? What kind of results did they see? Do they have case studies to share?
Look for data, videos, reviews, social media posts, and other points that prove they know what they’re doing. Social proof will let you know how likely you are to succeed and what results you can expect.
2. Do they feature customer testimonials?
Pay particular attention to testimonials, customer videos, and case studies. These will show you how happy other clients have been with the service, and they might even explain the type of packages and projects.
The more happy customer there are, the more likely you are to have a similar experience.
3. Do they implement white-hat or black-hat SEO tactics?
Some SEO tactics are allowed, like white hat, and some are not allowed by search engines, like black hat.
Black-hat tactics include keyword stuffing, blending text into the background, and more. Look out for shady strategies that don’t sound right or try to manipulate the system. Then, run in the other direction.
4. Are they willing to explain your customized strategy?
A reputable SEO service will explain its strategy, approach, services, and the results you can expect to see.
That’s a sign that their service is worth it. If they can’t do that, they may be working off the whim without a clear direction — something you don’t want.
SEO is an important marketing tactic responsible for driving leads and revenue. These strategies aren’t going away anytime soon.
That’s why many companies look at SEO services, figure out what services they need, find a plan that fits their budget, and seek an agency to partner with.