Small businesses need to be mindful of expenses. Many opt to trim marketing services to make their budgets work. While not going overboard with marketing is important, trimming marketing and SEO budgets is not a good strategy. Without a solid SEO strategy and plan, your content won’t reach its intended audience. Let’s look at some items that are typically covered in an SEO services package and what you can expect in terms of expense. This will help you better plan for this vital marketing expenditure.
Services Included In SEO Packages
Any company that offers SEO services should cover the following areas. Each one of these is a vital part of any SEO strategy.
Creating a strategy will be the first step in any SEO package. It won’t help your business for a marketer or other SEO expert to just start doing things without a plan. The solid pieces to any SEO plan are as follows:
Optimizing for mobile
Creating relevant content
If you have worked with another agency or had tried to implement your own SEO strategy, your new firm will review it to see what worked and what didn’t and how to improve on what you have been doing.
This is one of the most basic services that an SEO agency can offer you. Using the right keywords is one of the easiest ways to get noticed by search engines like Google or Bing. You want to use the proper search terms so your content is discovered. Keyword research will consist of researching what terms rank for your industry and other long-stem keywords you should use in your content. Once you know what keywords you need to include, you can then incorporate them into your content, meta descriptions, etc.
It is always important to know what your competition is up to. A solid SEO strategy is to see what they are targeting so you can determine if this would be useful for you as well. Not only is this helpful information, but this also saves you time when doing things like keyword research. You don’t need a specific tool for this analysis, but there are several on the market that can perform the research and compile the findings for you.
On-page SEO refers to everything you can control about SEO on your website. You always want to control the things that you can. Keywords will play a large role, but it isn’t the only piece of an on-page strategy. If you are conducting on-page SEO activities, these are the things you will be working on:
Utilizing relevant content
Keyword-rich meta descriptions
Page load speed
Schema markups when needed
There are many other actions one can take for on-page SEO, but these areas will drive results quickly.
Off-page SEO & link building
Not everything for SEO will have to do with the words and the content on your website. However, you will want to do as much as you can to drive traffic to your website. That’s where off-page SEO comes in. There are several actions that can occur to boost your off-page SEO. Things that can happen are as follows:
Being a guest author on another brand’s blog
Driving mentions on social media
Broken link building
Participating in online forums
However, the main action taken by SEO experts to drive off-page SEO is a technique called backlinking. The goal of backlinking is to have as many places as possible link to your site and content. Most of the methods listed above also help with backlinking. Virtually all of those above allow your brand to add a link to your site in your post or as part of your online signature. A true backlink happens when someone links to your site in their content. The more quality backlinks there are to your site, the higher Google will rank you in their algorithms.
Any business owner is going to want to know that the money they have invested in SEO is producing results. Reporting is crucial to see what works and what needs improving. Any report on SEO analytics should cover the following metrics:
Ranking of the site and any changes
Organic traffic to the site
Health of your backlinks
Time on site and bounce rate
Conversion rate & goal completion
Traffic levels per page
Page load speed
There are countless other figures you could add to your reporting, but these are helpful stats. Any reporting or analysis of SEO results needs to be meaningful and not just a report shoved full of numbers without context.
Pricing Structure For SEO Packages
Pricing for SEO packages will vary based on the needs of the business. The most likely way a business will be billed for SEO services is either hourly or on a cost per keyword-optimized basis.
Cost per keywords optimized– in a situation like this, the firm most likely would charge a flat rate per-project fee. Based on the firm you use and the years of experience that agency has, prices will have large variances. Some projects cost in the ballpark of $1000. Larger projects or those with highly seasoned firms can run as high as $7500.
Hourly– under this structure, a business is billed for each hour of work an SEO firm performs. Rates will vary widely based on the firm used and the years of experience. Price can be anywhere from $76 per hour as high as $200.
A sound SEO strategy is essential for any business. It is even more true for small businesses. They need every advantage possible to stand out from the competition, especially large corporations. SEO firms are always willing and ready to help these companies and can create a package that meets the needs of smaller brands. While any package can and will look different based on the company, the points mentioned above are must-haves for any strong SEO strategy.