Ask how much does SEO cost, and you’re likely to get a bunch of different answers. That’s because just like any service company, SEO companies charge different rates.
Generally, SEO companies charge by the hour for SEO services, but may also charge a monthly retainer, or even charge based on how your SEO performance improves. The only way to find how much SEO costs is to contact several different companies.
SEO pricing also has to consider several factors:
- Where are you currently in the search engine results pages?
- Where do you want to be? If you’re not on the first page of SERPs, a good first goal is to get on that first page. If you’re at the bottom of the first SERPs page now, moving up to the first three is a good first goal.
- How fast do you want to improve? SEO is a process that can take months to see substantial results. But if you want to speed up the process, that requires more hours, and will of course cost more.
By performing an SEO analysis of your site and checking out your competitors, we should be able to come up with an idea of how much work is needed on the SEO front and what a reasonable timeline is.
Any SEO services company should be able to give you a well-researched quote for getting your SEO program up and running. The last variable is a maintenance plan. SEO is not a one and done type of thing. You need a long term SEO strategy, where you are implementing new tools each month, adding new content, etc.
High Quality SEO vs Cheap and Dirty
Like in every other industry, SEO has a good element and bad element. There are reputable SEO companies who play by the book, using Google’s Best Practices, and then there are the companies who try and guarantee you’ll be the top result in a week if only you make a down payment now. While legitimate SEO consulting firms can improve your site’s flow and content, others employ deceptive tactics in an attempt to fool search engines. Be careful; if your domain is affiliated with one of these deceptive services, it could be banned the Google index.
The bottom line is that you are responsible for what is done in your name. If you hire an SEO company and they use shady tactics, this will be your problem when things don’t work (or your site is penalized.)
If you’re seriously looking into optimizing your business website for SEO, it pays to do your research. Get recommendations from fellow business owners. Research the SEO companies. Check out their websites, their reviews, etc. How long have they been in business? The longer, the better, because that means they have satisfied customers. Shady businesses usually don’t last long. Arrange to meet with three or more companies, and ask for a free SEO analysis of your website. Then you can compare apples to apples, and decide which company to go with.
Compare costs, but also think about how knowledgeable the person you met with was. Did they explain SEO in a way that was understandable? Did they show you screenshots or other research to back up what they were saying? Did you like the person? If you’re building an ongoing business relationship, you don’t have to be best buddies, but you should be able to communicate well and trust that they have your best interests in mind.
If you’re interested in a free SEO Analysis, call Coastal Web Services at 410-420-9390 or use our contact form and someone will get back to you shortly. We’re based in the Baltimore area, but work with clients up and down the East Coast.