SEO Pricing

Why is SEO pricing so complicated?

With more than one type of SEO and at least three different pricing models being widely used, understanding SEO and local SEO pricing can be confusing. The following FAQ can help you make sense of SEO pricing, including local SEO costs.

It’s almost impossible to give a one-size-fits-all quote for the cost of SEO services because several factors come into play.

Here are the main ingredients of an SEO quote:

  •   The size of your website. An e-commerce store with thousands of pages will generate significantly more work than a 10-page website.
  •   Your goals. Some websites need some basic structural tasks performed on them while others have a results-driven goal that requires more resources to be poured into an SEO campaign.
  •   Your industry. Some industries are more competitive than others, which makes their keywords more competitive, too.
  •   The level of service. Some SEO pricing models are designed to work on a set-it-and-forget-it basis, where you have someone managing your campaign end-to-end for you. Other models work a la carte: you order a project that fits into your overall marketing plan.

Why are there different SEO pricing models?

If you’ve already started researching SEO packages, you might have discovered there’s more than one way to charge for SEO services. There’s no real standard for what SEO companies charge but there are four main ways to set up a pricing plan for SEO services. These are:

1. Hourly SEO rates. When you have a specific project you want completed, usually as part of an overall marketing plan you already have, contracting for services by the hour can sometimes make sense, especially if you have an in-house SEO team that can’t take on the project.

2. Project-based SEO. You pay a set fee for a specific task such as a full SEO audit, for example.

3. Monthly retainer. This is the full-service package where you are setting up an ongoing partnership with an SEO team rather than contracting for one-off projects. Very often, a Customised SEO plan will incorporate more than one SEO pricing model.

SEO Pricing FAQs

A: SEO has always been labour-intensive but as the years have ticked by, the industry has evolved. Now, it’s not only labour-intensive but also requires a monthly budget allocation as well.

A: Search engine marketing (SEM) is a broader term that includes SEO as well as other search marketing tactics such as online advertising. Both have the same goal of promoting your website by helping it become more visible in the search engine results. Think of SEO as earned and SEM as paid.

A: SEO pricing can be as complicated or as simple as you need it to be. Ideally, what you’re paying for is a highly Customised plan where you’re only paying for what you need. SEO costs vary among SEO agencies and it’s important that business owners understand exactly what they’re getting and that they trust the people they decide to partner with.

A: For the three main ways to contract for SEO services, refer to the section above on the different SEO pricing models. In general, the costs look something like this:

  • 1. Hourly SEO. £75 to £200 per hour.
  • 2. Project-based SEO. £1,000 to £7,500+ per project
  • 3. Monthly retainer. £500 per month to £5,000+ per month.

A: The best type of SEO package for you depends on your industry, your website, your goals, and your company. An SEO audit is usually the tool used to assess your unique situation and come up with relevant goals for a Customised plan.

A: Sometimes an SEO audit is offered for free. Be wary of these offers, however, since a truly effective SEO audit takes about two full days for one person to complete.

A: See above.

A: Clients who come to us for an SEO audit fall into two categories:

  • 1. Those who know very little about SEO and don’t know what they need
  • 2. Those who want validation of their current SEO

A: Also called on-page SEO, this refers to the technique of applying best practices to the code on your website. There are multiple ways that a website can be improved for search by adding to the backend code. Visitors won’t see these changes but the search engine bots will certainly take note.

A: This refers to SEO strategies that send “SEO juice” to your website to improve its ranking in the search engines. High-quality links from authoritative, reputable sites are considered an excellent form of off-site SEO.

A: Freelancers are really all over the place with SEO pricing, even more so than agencies. Keep in mind that if someone is charging too-good-to-be-true prices, they are probably using shady techniques that can ultimately do more harm than good in the long run.

A: The most effective type of SEO plan is tailored to fit your goals and includes only the services you need. Therefore, we employ a mix of techniques and pricing models to create your custom plan. To give an accurate answer here, we’d need some basic information from you. Please feel free to use our handy online contact form to get in touch.

A: No. We make it easy to partner for SEO services by not requiring you to commit to a long-term contract.

A: You can do your own SEO, but there are a number of things to consider before taking that on:

  • Time: Do you have the time to dedicate to properly doing SEO on your website? The amount of time needed to optimise a site and do all the necessary research (in addition to the other responsibilities you have within your business) needs to be considered. Also, SEO is constantly changing; Google frequent rolls out both minor and major updates, and you will have to stay on top of these to make sure they’re not affecting the work you’ve already done.
  • Technical skills: Are you comfortable with HTML to make minor edits? Can you install files and code on your site? SEO isn’t purely technical, but it does require some know-how to perform some relatively basic tasks.
  • Writing: Are you willing (and able) to create content regularly? Fresh, relevant content is becoming increasingly important to search engine rankings, so you’ll need to either invest your own time or pay someone to write content for everything from your blog to your service pages.

If you’re willing and able to learn the major aspects of SEO and commit to working on them for at least 10 hours per week, then doing your own SEO may be an option for you. For others who Realise their time is better spent on parts of their business or job they understand, paying an SEO agency or consultant is probably a better use of time and money.

A: SEO consultants first learn about your company and your goals. Then, they work with you to support your marketing objectives in all areas: website traffic and conversions, social media, and more.

A: For a brick-and-mortar business, foot traffic means a higher chance of getting customers in your door. SEO works to place your website in a position on the search engine results pages (SERPs) that will result in more traffic, too. When your website is easy for people to find, you’ll have more visitors that may become customers.

SEO also serves to assist the search engine robots, which need help understanding your website. When the right clues are embedded in the code of your pages, it’s like guiding those robots to place your site in front of the right users.

Have 30 minutes for a call? So do we!

Local SEO Pricing FAQs

A: Local SEO packages come in different flavour, too. Some companies offer a bare-bones automated plan that’s incredibly affordable, perhaps at less than £1,000 per year. There’s not really a lot of long-term value in these plans, however, because all you’re doing is paying to have your business listed in online directories. But once you stop paying, your listing fades away and they don’t help your site’s position in the local search results anyway.

You could also select a local SEO plan that’s Customised, comprehensive, and much more aggressive. In that case, you would expect to pay anywhere from £1,000 per month to £5,000 per month depending on the agency, your industry, and your goals.

A: Local SEO pricing ranges from £1,000 to £2,300 per month for one location.

A: Small businesses should figure on budgeting from at least £500 and upwards per month for the full range of services including on-site SEO and link-building. See the next question for the full list.

A: Local SEO really has two phases: the setup services and the ongoing services. For setup, local SEO entails:

  •   Research into your industry and your competition
  •   Setup of software tools
  •   Configuration of reports
  •   Setting up access to your dashboard
  •   Initial discovery session

Ongoing local SEO pricing plans include:

  •   Keyword analysis
  •   Competitor analysis
  •   On-site SEO
  •   Link-building
  •   Content strategy & development
  •   Google Analytics
  •   Monthly reporting

A: Before we can create a Customised local SEO package for you, we’ll have to know all about your industry, your company, and your website. Part of what we do is help with website maintenance so we’ll need to know about the internal, back-end components of your website as well. All of this is part of what’s called a local SEO audit.

A: This depends on the complexity of the website and industry you’re in. Some audits can cost as much as £6,000 and will include detailed line items and recommendations, while others could be free as a sales tactic but will have very little depth or few recommendations.

A: A good Local SEO campaign will have all of the following components:

  • 1. Keyword research
  • 2. Technical review of your website
  • 3. Optimisation of each page on your website using the keyword research
  • 4. Competitive analysis
  • 5. Identifying content gaps
  • 6. Creating a content strategy
  • 7. Link building outreach
  • 8. Online directory submissions (citations)
  • 9. Review acquisition strategy

A: Mobile phones dominate our lives now. That means mobile search is on the rise. As more people search while on the go, it’s clear that they’re searching for something nearby. That means they’re paying attention to the local results. It’s key to make your website easy to find for these searchers because typically, they’ve already decided to buy; now, they just need to know where!

And the stats support this: 72% of people who do a local search end up visiting a shop within five miles. If you want to reach those shoppers, it’s important to show up in the local results.

A: “Regular” SEO, which may also be referred to as global or national SEO, increases your website’s visibility in the SERPs on a national level. Local SEO is aimed at a much more targeted audience: users in close proximity to you at the moment of their search.

A: This is a dashboard where business owners can manage their company profile as it appears in certain types of Google searches. In order to appear in a map search or the local results, a business must have a Google My Business account. It shows the business location on the map, hours of operation, phone number, and reviews. It’s where you can (and should) respond to reviews of your business.

There’s a click-to-call button, which is important for mobile search. There’s also a direct link to directions in Google Maps, which is also essential for capturing people who search on their mobile phones.

A: Since local SEO (or any type of SEO, for that matter) is a long-term process, most business owners see value in getting started as soon as possible. If you are in the process of having a new website created, have SEO professionals involved from the beginning for best results.

We like happy SEO clients

Why do we bother with FAQs, when clearly the goal of most SEO companies is to get you to call them with your questions so they can make their pitch to you? Because we know that an informed business owner makes better decisions for his or her business.

We know from experience that when SEO clients understand what they’re paying for, they’re happier. They’re not happy when they’re presented with mysterious pricing schemes, inexplicably high prices, jargon-filled explanations, or other smoke-and-mirror techniques that seem to thrive in the SEO company ecosystem.

At Pickled Ginger Marketing, we’ll all about transparency and helping you understand the services you’re purchasing from us.

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