Choosing to invest in search engine optimization (SEO) services is a significant decision. Do you try to manage SEO in-house with existing staff or decide to contract with a digital marketing agency specializing in SEO? If you’ve started making inquiries with outside vendors, chances are you’re now looking at some SEO price quotation proposals. Learning how to compare quotes can be a challenge for any business owner, regardless of your experience. Depending on the geographic location of your business, proposals can have a wide range of prices, and you’ll want to avoid falling into the trap of “comparing apples to oranges.”
How To Compare Quotes From SEO Agencies: Get a Scorecard Ready
One of the best things you can do when reviewing SEO price quotations is to set up a rubric or scoring chart for each proposal. In addition to the SEO services that each agency will offer, you’ll also have your personal preferences. Do you want an agency with a physical location in your region? Are you interested in an agency with specialization in your business sector? Prefer to support a woman- or BIPOC-focused agency? Figuring out how to compare quotes gets easier when you have a mechanism for evaluating each proposal critically.
SEO Price Quotations: Understanding the Nitty-Gritty of SEO
After you’ve established your personal preferences, it’s time to look at the individual services that each SEO agency will offer. Remember that each agency is different and will emphasize various aspects depending on their SEO philosophy, background, and experience. Some agencies may focus more on public relations (PR) and prioritize their efforts on link building, thought leadership opportunities, and product placements and reviews. Other agencies may have technical strength in improving your business’s website so it’s search engine- and mobile-friendly. Look over each proposal and keep these components in mind as you figure out how to compare quotes from each one.
- Improving website speed and mobile responsiveness — Is your website outdated? Is navigating it on a smartphone or tablet almost impossible? Having a website that is search engine friendly is an absolute necessity. This is job #1!
- Crafting search-friendly metadata — This is a component that every SEO price quotation should have. Search engines rely on the keywords in metadata to index your site, and well-written titles and descriptions will inform the human searcher what they will find when they click on your link.
- Creating effective landing pages — When your business is advertising its products and services, you want to make sure potential customers are taken to a webpage designed to hold their interest, excite them about your offerings, and CONVERT! This is an essential practice and should be an item on your SEO price quotation.
- Targeted PR — Not only will having your content featured in relevant industry publications help establish your business as a thought leader, but it will also help create valuable back-links to your website and boost your authority ranking. According to Hubspot, 51% of marketers notice positive effects of link building within three months of launching a targeted PR program. The quality and quantity of links to your business’ website is a top criterion in Google’s algorithm for page ranking.
- User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) — Your website’s design needs to appeal to your audience and accurately represent your brand. Additionally, customers need to easily and quickly navigate through it to find what they are looking for. Including UX and UI services in your SEO price quotation is especially important if your website hasn’t been updated in a long time.
- Content marketing and syndication —Businesses that publish high-quality content regularly to a blog get 55% more website visitors than businesses that don’t, so it’s no surprise that 90% of companies currently use content marketing tactics (like blogging) as part of their SEO improvement strategy. Maintaining regular communication with current and future customers via social media, email newsletters, and blogging requires great content focused on your SEO strategy. The two work hand-in-hand to produce excellent results!
As you review the various SEO price quotations in front of you and determine how to compare quotes, remember that each SEO agency will emphasize slightly different combinations of the strategies listed above. The agency will evaluate your business’s current website, marketing, and SEO efforts, consider the sector you operate in, and then make recommendations based on their experience and expertise.
SEO Pricing: How To Compare Quotes
How an agency prices their services will vary based on factors including the scope and duration of the project, your geographic market, and any niche-market factors that may require the work of specialized experts (for example, content writers with expertise in technology, the sciences, engineering). Some SEO firms will offer flat monthly fees without long-term contracts. Other agencies go the route of annual or semi-annual contracts. The one you choose will depend on your budget and business needs.
SEO Price Quotations for Small, One-Time Projects
Much like joining a health club, SEO works best when you prioritize it regularly over an extended period of time. However, if you’re working with a limited marketing budget and need to make significant improvements to your website, contracting for a one-time “fixer-upper” may help. But remember, it’s a short-term fix and may not put you ahead of the competition permanently.
SEO Price Quotations for Comprehensive, On-Going Projects
SEO results don’t occur overnight, and while you can expect to see some improvement within three months, six months is typically when the best results begin to happen. Once your business has an established online presence, performance will steadily progress. This is why many of the best SEO agencies want to form a long-term relationship — it’s necessary for achieving the highest levels of success.
Ultimately, How You Compare Quotes Is Up to YOU
Investing in SEO will take time and money, but it’s one marketing channel that offers targeted business analytics and reporting highlighting your reach and return. Entering into a partnership with an SEO agency is a decision that needs to be seriously considered, and you need to feel comfortable with the company you ultimately select. But once your decision is made and the work begins, you’ll be amazed how it can improve your website! To continue learning about SEO and other aspects of digital marketing, follow the Best SEO Service Companies blog.