When business owners begin to consider the options they have with regard to SEO companies, they will probably be presented with a wide range of potential monthly costs for the service. Different companies have different pricing models, but you must remember when you are choosing the company that will provide you service that they are also a business and must make a profit in order to survive. Understanding what goes into SEO programs is important so that you can make a good choice of the company you hire, because a lack of understanding of this process can lead you down a path towards completely wasting your money. Ineffective SEO will have no return on your investment, simply because the only return happens once you have begun to have your website presented on the first page of search results (for the products and services you provide.) Until that point, SEO provides you no value at all because customers do not go past the first page in order to make the choice of who to patronize. While progression up in the rankings from page 10 to page 3 may show progress, until you are on page 1 you will not gain new customers from it. There is literally no difference between page 3 and page 10 with regards to gaining new customers, neither one will do you any good.
There are two kinds of SEO companies out there, the ones that are interested in helping your business to get new customers and the ones that are interested in getting you as a client for a few months. Since SEO takes time to develop, there are a lot of “SEO companies” out there who understand that you cannot judge them effectively for at least a few months, if not 6 months or more. These types of company specialize in getting new clients, and not so much in the services they provide. This translates to large teams of salespeople concentrating on signing new businesses to 3 month contracts (using the excuse that it takes at least 3 months to see results) then passing those accounts off to SEO teams who automate the process in order to save money. By providing work that satisfies the minimums of the contract the company secures clients for at least 3 months and cannot be sued for not providing results, because the contract does not stipulate that you are paying for results. They do the work they promise, but without an understanding that substandard and ineffective work cannot provide rankings in a competitive space, the business owners end up paying for a service that provides them with little return. By the time the contract is expired and the business owner cancels, the sales team is on to the next client. The second type of SEO company is in the business of actually providing the types of work and strategy that can gain top results for their clients. These processes are time consuming and must be executed by trained professionals who understand what is necessary. SEO is a competition between your website and other websites, so only the companies who are providing the best work get the top results. SEO is essentially a multi-discipline service that involves a large amount of content being developed on the subjects that make sense for your business. This content is posted onto your website and onto other websites that link back to yours. The content that is developed must be viewed by Google as being the best information on this topic, better than all the competitor’s content. You are essentially paying for writers to create strategic content for your website and position it in a way that attracts Google, and providing this service costs SEO companies money that you must cover along with a profit margin. A typical piece of content generally needs to be at least 500 words long and be well developed, while also presenting valuable ideas for those who would read it. Any good content writer who is not a recent graduate from high school will charge anywhere between 10 cents and 25 cents per word to write an article of any kind. This means that the SEO company is paying out anywhere between 50 dollars and 125 dollars just to get an article written, and that article is taking a writer anywhere between 1 and 3 hours to produce. By the time strategic placement and interlinking is completed, along with social seeding and any other ancillary services surrounding distribution are done, the SEO company is generally covering around 75 to 100 dollars in cost. Even a 25 percent profit margin puts the price that must be charged to a client at a minimum of 125 per hour for adequate service, and even more for the top quality writers. If a client is hiring a company to produce at least 5 pieces of content monthly, a bill for at least 600 dollars can be expected. While this may seem like it is expensive, you must realize that you are getting what you pay for, and low quality writing will conserve money while also providing inadequate results.
If you are searching for “cheap SEO” it is better to simply save your money and put it into a more effective medium of marketing.