There are many ways to determine pricing for seo services, especially for small businesses.
All sites require custom analysis and SEO work. Every website is unique because they have different levels of online competition, different geographical areas and all industries work differently. These factors all come into play when determining SEO work.
Each site should have a custom SEO audit to determine what is NEEDED for that site to dominate their competition.
Typically, small business owners are extremely short-sighted when it comes to marketing. Small business owners are hypnotized by deals and advertisements claiming they can pay $195.00 - $295.00 per month for a year. At first glance, this seems affordable. However, $195/ month is about 3 hours of work per month. That is only 36 hours of work in a year?!
I ask a simple question: If 36 hours of work is good enough to dominate your competition, then what is stopping your competition from working 40 hours? 40 hours of work is only 1 week per year. This is not effective for over 90% of businesses.
To expect results, especially immediate results from 1 week of SEO work is living in fantasy land.
It is no surprise that small business owners are dissatisfied with the results of their SEO contracts.
A small business should be prepared to pay for the audit.
This type of work requires 4-12 hours of real work by a person or company and they should be compensated for that time. Most SEO companies DO NOT want to commit to 4-12 hours of work when there is a very good chance that a small business will then take their recommendations (for free) and conduct the work in-house or submit this to a different company. Now you can see why SEO Specialists keep their strategies guarded. This happens ALL THE TIME even though it is unethical.
Once a proposal is submitted, negotiations can then take place regarding payment and payment arrangements.
Real SEO Services are like every other service. It takes time and energy to determine what work should be done and it takes an expert to execute that work.In many cases SEO's have 5-10 years of experience in website development, website programming, information architecture, content development and writing, website usability, outreach (including email marketing) and more! A qualified SEO should be on top of Google algorithmic changes and what those epic changes have been over time and how they have affected sites like yours. We are professionals.
I had a client in 2009 that was in desperate need of marketing. This gentleman invented Automobile Window Tinting, but with the economic downturn at the end of 2008, cars were not selling. He had no advertising whatsoever; no website and his business was not submitted to any online directories. This gentleman had no social media presence at all, but his business was soon going to go into bankruptcy.
The package I put together was the following:
The Total Amount of Hours: 125 hours @ $60/hour.
Completely changed his business: Increased gross revenue by 400% within 2 months (I was able to conduct 50 hours of work up front), received the highest scores on YELP and Google+ than all other competition combined and customers shared their newly tinted cars on Facebook mentioning his business to all other their friends.
1. Every sales person on the planet will tell you that you can't get the sale if you don't ask for it. The client asked all customers at the time of pickup if they would like a picture with them in front of their car. Using their camera, we took a photo and asked them to send us their review on social media if they posted one. We provided the URL to YELP and Google+ so they could easily find the company's social media page. We also asked them to mention us if they posted their photo on Facebook. We Asked When They Were Happy! At the time of pickup is when most people are super excited. It made the effectiveness rating sore to 60% of all customers posted some sort of review.
2. We posted a new page for each customer that left a review. This helped gain new customers because when potential customers were searching for a window tinting company, they often would search for their car's make and model. We eventually had a page for many cars, along with the customer's testimonial and picture of them with their car (with permission). The competition stayed with their traditional 5 page site.
My client dominated for many years because of this comprehensive strategy.
All this work was completed within 3 months becuase the client invested in a large downpayment that allowed me to work on his site exclusively for an entire month. The results are still paying dividends.
These results are indicative of a small business that invests NOW in SEO so that those results can be gained as soon as possible instead of a year down the road. Other SEO companies can't come close to reporting success stories like this.