In life, we all like to think we're getting our money's worth. The same goes for your business, as constantly paying out fees and not receiving much in return could land you in a tight financial spot pretty fast. Be that as it may, in terms of hiring a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Company, things also can expensive and confusing fast. Here's how to avoid getting taken for a ride.
A five minute Google search will give you a boatload of SEO Companies with services being offered from a mere $25 to over $11,250 a month. It goes without saying, the better SEO Companies that have a high monthly fee can be somewhat off-putting, making the less expensive companies appear look like a super duper good deal. In any case, SEO Optimization is like anything else in life, you get what you pay for.
Keeping this in mind, be careful in selecting a low cost SEO company. As a rule, their efforts most likely are NOT going to result in an increase in your sites rankings or traffic. San Francisco Bay Area SEO experts agree the going rate of quality SEO work in 2015 is about $525 a month. Broken down at an hourly rate, that comes out to be about $75/hr for professional SEO Services. In any case, the actual cost of a SEO campaign can fluctuate based on your particular companies needs and the amount competition that you face in your field of business.
So what's the best way to figure out if a SEO Company will work hard for your business or if they are going to scam you? My recommendation is not to concentrate soley on the monthly cost, but instead consider the results the company is going to deliver. Visit a few SEO company websites and note the SPECIFICS of what their service are and what they will do for your company.
If you find a company that claims they can increase your search engine traffic by 650% in 30 days, be cautious. It's most likely a pipe dream designed to sucker you in and fleece you of your money. On the other hand, If the company can demonstrate the value that their services can provide and disclose specifically how they're going to reach help you reach your SEO AND Business goals, you might have a winner.
Keep in mind, getting to the #1 spot on the first page of Google isn't necessarily the best SEO result. Nor will it guarantee USEFUL traffic being delivered to your site. What you really need to know is specifically how much more business and leads the SEO company will generate for you in a 8 – 14 month period. You can't reasonably expect an absolute guarantee, but the company should be able to provide measurable goals and milestones to effectively gauge your progress.
If you find an SEO company that you like, do a little poking around in the company's history. Check online reviews for past client comments and use web based audit services to check if reported traffic numbers for clients sites are truly accurate. Don't just read the glowing client testimonials posted on their site; get hold of these current and past clients and ask them if goals were met and if promises were kept. Be wary of companies showcasing overly enthusiastic reviews with obvious stock photographs of phantom clients.
Next, schedule a face to face meeting with the company. By asking the right questions and comparing the answers to your research, a picture should start to form if the company is reliable or not. It's essential to note here that SEO alone won't generate sufficient traffic – it needs to be a component of a overall marketing strategy. Things like email marketing, Social Media and others noted in the graphic above are important too. Remember if a SEO company can't articulate what they will deliver when it comes to business leads and sales transactions, don't do business with them.
The SEO universe is growing more complicated by the day, with fee structures running from as little as $25 to as much as $11,000 a month for a wide variety of SEO services. In Oakland,CA you can expect to pay about $525 a month for effective SEO work, contingent upon what type of business you are in and how much competition is in your industry.
As a reminder, do your homework regarding SEO services before you choose a company to plunk down your hard earned dollars. Look at the company's previous history, study independent traffic surveys and interview past and present clients of your prospective SEO company before you buy.
My Two Cents: If an SEO Company is guaranteeing to get you #1 on Google in 30 Days or Less, don't walk, RUN the other way.
Cover photo courtesy of University of Tulane