What You Need to Know Before you Hire a SEO Company | Part 2
How much should you pay a SEO Company?
In the first post in this series we discussed what you need to consider before shopping for an SEO company or Internet marketing Vendor. Now we will discuss the issue of how to determine what you should be paying for your SEO and internet marketing services. Many people come to our Vancouver based website marketing company because we are recommended by clients, known in the industry to do good work, and have a guarantee on our SEO services -we’re one of the few companies that do. A few stumble in not knowing much about us, but because they’ve heard that SEO is a great thing for their website they are curious to learn more. We also provide pricing on our website and offer clear and complete quotes, and yes, surprisingly many vendors do not.
Price Transparency for SEO services and Internet Marketing
Unfortunately, when we share our recommendations and estimated the real project cost with some potential customers they balk and say, “Wow, it costs that much, it’s only a website!” or “Well XYZ SEO company says that they’ll do the same thing for half that price.” There are many ways to answer such responses. First of all, yes it is a website, and as such if it is well designed and well marketed it can do SO MUCH MORE for your business than the old Yellow Pages and newspaper ads, and usually for less money and with a far superior return on investment. Secondly, yes, someone will always do it for less, but are you getting the services you really want and REALLY need? Think of your website as a rocket you want to launch into space. If you don’t buy enough fuel you will not make it into orbit! If you don’t buy the right fuel in may not launch at all, and if you do get into space, do you have the fuel to stay there or are you going to fall back? “SEO which was one a highly specialized task relegated to back rooms of a website development team is now a mainstream marketing activity.”
The Art of SEO
by Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, Jessie C. Sticchiola, Rand Fishkin
O’Reilly Media, 2009
With some SEO companies offering extremely discounted services, the most common question is, “Why pay more?” The first thing to establish is what you are getting for your money and what results you can expect. Buying SEO services can often be a “buying blind” scenario and that’s why in the first post in this series we we suggested you start any vendor evaluation prepared with knowledge of exactly what services you need and want. It’s crucial that when you’re purchasing your services that you get a complete breakdown of what you’re going to get for what you’re paying. The services may be cheap, but is what you’re getting low-quality as well as low-cost? No matter what a company says to you, simply having them submit your website to search engines is not going to get you ranked well in their results. The biggest thing to remember when looking into buying SEO services is to determine if you’re getting what you need. If a company isn’t offering what we’ve mentioned above, then you’re wasting your investment (no matter how much, or little that is). We recommend going with a company that can show you tangible results for other customers with a strong record of success. To help potential customers find good website marketing companies we suggest doing the following:
- Try Google, Bing or Yahoo. If you search for SEO services on any of these websites, a fairly safe bet is to go with the sites that appear at that top of the search engine results; after all, if they’re not ranking well for their own keywords then they’re probably not very good.
- Check out your local Better Business Bureau. Since there are so many vendors available who offer SEO services, one of the best ways you can take the risk out of buying is to find businesses listed with your locale’s Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB can tell you: which companies they suggest, which companies have the lowest complaint number, and which companies have a good reputation in your community.
- Go to the Top SEO website. While the information in the companies listed on this website can sometimes be slightly inaccurate, in general a company that appears here has a solid track record of achieving results for their clients. SEO is an industry of thousands of small players, a few medium size and very few large players, so in this industry if you are in the top 50 companies you are Magna Cum Lauda.
Bonus Tip: No matter how good they look or how well they’re written, do not trust pay-per-click advertisements to help you choose a SEO company! The people who make those ads are marketers and we all know, they can be pretty sneaky. Just because the ad ranks well, doesn’t mean the company is reputable! With pay-per-click, paying more buys rankings, it has little to do with quality and lots to do with budget.