Many business owners know that they need SEO services to help them generate more traffic to their websites and grow their business online. However, the same business owners that need SEO services often try to secure the lowest pricing. They tend to go with an SEO service provider that offers the same promises other providers do but command a lower fee. This approach may work when dealing with everyday services like printing, bookkeeping, and graphic design, but not so much for SEO.
Client Satisfaction is Tied to Higher Service Fees
A study from Backlinko found that client that spent more were more likely to be satisfied with the service they received. Business owners that spent over $500 a month on SEO services were far more satisfied than business owners that spent less than $500 a month. This sounds counter-intuitive since business owners see it as a win when they’re able to secure the products and services they need at the lowest rates.
However, it makes a lot of sense since search engine optimization is a service. SEO service providers vary in terms of knowledge, skills, and experience. Providers that aren’t as confident in their abilities will charge lower rates to land clients. Many of these providers also try to appeal to businesses that see SEO as a commodity or an expense rather than a digital marketing strategy they should seriously invest in.
There are Lots of Costs Associated with SEO
SEO is often referred to as a free digital marketing channel but building a search engine optimization campaign isn’t as free as many business owners may think. While there aren’t any advertising costs associated with the strategy, there is still a lot goes into building and managing a campaign. Since SEO service providers manage multiple clients and have limited time, they often utilize other service providers to help them.
First, there’s the content creation. You need writers to research topics and create content for your SEO optimized pages. You also need writers to create content for distribution if content marketing is going to be used to help generate links. Then there’s the social media marketing that needs to integrate to help distribute the content. And there are the outreach campaigns they need help with to help your website build relationships with related websites for links.
Successful SEO Campaigns Have a Team Behind Them
What business owners realize is that there’s usually a team behind a successful SEO campaign. There are so many components of SEO from the web design, content creation, content distribution, on-page optimization, outreach for link building, speed optimization, analytics, campaign management, and more. One person cannot build and manage the campaign of multiple clients alone.
Successful SEO companies understand this and charge more for their services. The factors in all the associated costs of building a winning SEO campaign into the pricing. They also do charge higher pricing to generate higher profit margins for their businesses. But the final cost is ultimately worth it if the SEO company can deliver excellent results for their clients.
When Does It Make Sense to Go with a Low-Cost Service Provider
Does this mean that there is no value in working with a low-cost SEO service provider? Not necessarily. Businesses that are not too serious about SEO but want to get their campaign going may benefit from working with these service providers. While the results from working with lower-cost service providers may come slow and may not be significant, it is not a big deal since SEO was never the main focus.
If you fall into this category, it may be better to go with a service provider that offers SEO services on a non-contract basis. For example, you may opt to pay for services that help you target the right keywords, build content for these keywords, and optimizes them properly for a flat rate. You can pay for what you need right now and avoid getting locked in a contract for multiple months.
When to Go with Services at a Higher Price Point
On the other hand, if you are serious about using search engine optimization to grow your business, it will be better off going with a service provider that charges higher rates. In most cases, the SEO service provider is factoring in all the costs to build an effective SEO campaign. You may even want to ask about how the provider builds your campaign from a collective standpoint.
If you are paying a higher price point, get a good sense of what you’re getting from the service. For example, the service provider may choose five keywords to target every one to two months, build 10 pieces of content for SEO and distribution purposes, build links to these five keywords, and even use paid advertising to support content marketing efforts. This shows that the provider knows how to deliver value and generate results.
Does a Higher Price Point Always Indicate Better Services?
While the statistics show that clients that pay more for SEO services are more satisfied, a high price point alone does not indicate that you’ll see great results. You should still ask for references, go through the company’s portfolio, see what kind of experience the company has in your market/industry, and get an idea of how the company will work with you. You still need to do your due diligence before agreeing to work with the company.
The only thing that a high price point may indicate is that the SEO company will have more financial resources to use for your campaign. After all, it doesn’t make sense how a service provider whom you’re paying $300 a month can manage to rank your site for competitive keywords in your market. You need a team working on your campaign to compete in these kinds of environments.
In conclusion, you need to look at SEO as an investment rather than a commodity. A starting price point of $1,000 to $2,000 a month for SEO services is quite common in the industry. The rate understandably climbs based on the scale of your campaign. Price is something that you need to factor in when making a decision. Usually, a very low price point is something to be cautious rather than be excited about.