A client recently asked about a cold call he received from an SEO company. He was concerned about its legitimacy. They told him they would analyze and correct his website’s SEO for $100 flat, and that seemed low. The price was certainly a good flag for him to catch – the other being the nature of the call. In my experience, sales calls offering cheap services fall into the “you get what you pay for” category.
SEO Costs Vary Greatly
Unfortunately, there isn’t a solid market price range for SEO. There is no “avoid anything at this price or lower”. The best you can do is use context clues to make an educated decision.
Firm or Freelance?
Should you receive a quote from a freelancer, the price point is likely to be sub-$500. A freelancer has no overhead except his / her internet connection. With coffee shop wifi being so prevalent, s/he may not even have internet. Something to watch for with freelancers is experience. It’s possible that they are priced low due to experience. On the opposite end, however, are freelancers who have been in the business so long, their expertise brings in enough work to operate outside a firm. His / her prices will reflect this.
A quote from an SEO firm is going to have a higher baseline simply due to overhead. Firms are likely to have a physical space, several employees, and equipment to pay for. The likelihood that they know what they’re talking about goes up, but isn’t guaranteed. The call my client received was from a firm.
What Kind of Project?
SEO also varies based on the project. When we receive a new SEO client, they typically haven’t had an SEO analysis done in the past, so we’re starting from scratch. A detailed baseline is required before a judgement specific to the client can be made. The first analysis results in industry generalities. A client without Google Analytics or Facebook Pixel initialized requires even more.
Our clients that have been with us for some time receive detailed reports at a lower cost. There is less effort that is required, as most of the analysis is in comparison of current metrics to the previous iteration. Some research is done to stay up on market trends, and that is that.
Making Sure They’re Worth Your Money
Do your homework. Ask how long the company / freelancer has been in business, and where they’re located. Even more specifically, how long have they been handling SEO? And for which demographics? Competition in the hospitality industry is very different from manufacturing. Request the number of campaigns they have handled, their metrics, and a website to look over. Ask about their process, and feel free to ask for references. Each answer will make your decision easier.