How is SEO pricing set up? What do you pay for contracting an SEO agency?

How is SEO pricing set up? What do you pay for contracting an SEO agency?

If you are requesting SEO services from an Internet agency, it said that businesses can save up to 30% of the marketing budget. But we're still communicating with some of the companies who consider that cooperating with outsourced teams is much more expensive and risky, and it is a cheaper and safer approach to engage the resources of in-house specialists or freelancers. Some of them are managed by stereotypes, while others are based on negative experiences of interaction with agencies.

We'll tell you about how SEO prices are estimated and set and how the modern agency works.

How the pricing for SEO Services is set by the Agency

seo_agency How is SEO pricing set up? What do you pay for contracting an SEO agency?

Why does the bill for promoting the same project differ among the contractors? And why could the budget be revised every month? To anticipate these questions monthly budget breakdowns shall be considered. We refer to the estimated approach of our SEO agency. We’d like to mention that many other companies in the industry around the world are following the same approach.

So, for each future client SEO team compiles a commercial offer on the negotiations stage, showing budget estimates needed to implement your objectives, taking into account the current position of the resource and competition in the market.

The budget can be divided into two types of expenses:

The first ones - are service costs related to SEO-optimizer and Technical Leader;

The second ones - are additional works, i.e. copywriting, crowd-marketing, links, and software work (optional).

Business owner is taking the decision on the duration time to implement the proposed promotion strategy. Roughly speaking, for 3 months or within 3 years, and so, based on the listed scope of work and supplies (links, copywriting, etc.) he allocates the job per each month of promotion.

Note, that the lion's share of the activities, and therefore the budget, falls on the first month of promotion. This is when the SEO audit is to be going on and such works as system analytics, semantic collection, and many others are to be carried out.

This can be clearly seen from the screenshot of our offer below.

We are drawing up a detailed plan with a monthly breakdown and cost per item. We also detail each of the items, specifying the type of service and cost allocated. If you scroll down the page below, you can see an example of this detail.

For sure a plan can be revised and adjusted at the request of the customer or due to significant changes in search engine algorithms. The latter may lead to a shift in the actual positions in the search engine and adjust the strategy in view of updated requirements and items. But that is another story.

So, we are galloping through the scenario of pricing for SEO services and extra costs. Now, let us run a bit slower. Let's break down what was said item by item and look at each part of the puzzle separately.

The components of the budget for promotion

There are two as was mentioned above - professional services and extra costs.

Specialist services

Experienced SEO specialists and link builders are combined functions as one specialist who works on the search engine promotion of sites in the agency. They do the bulk of the work on internal and external optimization of sites. A frequent question that we are asked about the promotion of the site: what is included in the list of SEO services?

Here is the brief:

  • Tech audit and optimization. The resource is checked for software bugs that slow down the promotion.
  • Promotion strategy and analytics. A strategy for promoting the resource is developed and adjusted.
  • Selection of semantics. A list of keywords and phrases for the pages to be promoted is collected and expanded.
  • Drawing up a requirement specification for a copywriter. This is done by analyzing the requests: the volume, relevant words, and phrases.
  • Development of unique metadata. A specialist generates a requirement specification for the implementation of unique metadata.
  • Analysis of competitor sites. An analysis of the link base of competitors from the top search queries. Your own link strategy is planned coming from the analysed data.
  • Link building. Optimizer is looking for donors, sends requests to buy links, and checks them out after placing.
  • Transparent reporting. Each month, the SEO specialists of the company prepare detailed reports on the work done and the results obtained.
  • The technical leader of SEO is also engaged in the optimization and promotion of all projects. He coordinates the work on each project, keeps under personal control the process of promotion, gives tasks to technical guys and so.

In addition, he is researching and following cutting-edge developments in SEO services forecasting proceeding features in search engine algorithms. Based on this knowledge, he generates and adjusts individual strategies for business owners, giving them space to go ahead of their competitors in the search engine segment and niche in general.

Thus, his area of responsibility is to promote the site to the top, to make it easy to use and to deliver it to the high quality as well as to manage the work and success of the SEO team he engaged.

The budget calculates the average number of man-hours of an SEO specialist and a tech lead required to implement the promotion strategy.

Below is an example of a commercial offer for the first month of optimization. We detail what work is needed and how much it will cost the customer.

In addition, this screenshot will allow you to view the list of works during the first, most expensive promotion month.

This is our budgeting model. Some agencies, for instance, are making the promotion of the site by breaking down payments for traffic or item by item.

However, to achieve the best success, the agencies offer the services of a ready-made Google promotion team. The optimizers will draw up a full SEO strategy to set the goals to be achieved.

Support and transparent reporting are guaranteed. Following this model it is possible to execute works effectively and achieve a positive interaction between the client and the SEO team.

What are extras?

Additional tools within the SEO service - what does it mean? These are the tools and work necessary to implement the actual tasks of promotion.

What is included?

  1. SEO copywriting. The presence of optimized, high-quality and useful text content is considered one of the most important ranking factors. The cost is calculated by the number of written characters without spaces.
  2. Crowd-marketing. Specialists manually place links on the web to get referral traffic and link promotion. It is calculated by the cost of the link.
  3. Backlinks. The cost of buying links from reputable resources. This is one of the key ranking factors.
  4. Content work. The introduction of a new structure of the site.

Works on software could be included in the scope provided by the SEO agencies. It could be prompt at optimization stage to fix the bugs in the site code that prevent promotion to the top. You can involve your own specialist if you like, but 90% of our clients prefer to have it outsourced and trust the communication with the IT contractor to the agency.

Factors that influence the final price tag

seo_factors How is SEO pricing set up? What do you pay for contracting an SEO agency?

Let us look at the factors that could affect the value of SEO services, or, I would say, the final budget.

The number of pages. The more pages on the site, the more working hours of specialists will be spent on your project. In general, agencies use different pricing models. This can be a long-term contract, an hourly rate, payment for positions at the top, etc. The most acceptable option for many customers is considered a monthly subscription fee for SEO. In this case, the team will work on the project, but the monthly budget can be continuously optimized.

Technical condition of the resource. This is not about seo optimization services, but about developer services. More bugs you have at the site, the more fixing of the code it will require. And, eventually, it will be more expensive for software work. By the way, for this reason we always say in our blog that seo services are something that should be considered at the resource development stage.

Actual organic rating. Specialists analyze your resource (positions, reference profile, content, etc.) and the resource of leading competitors. Then calculate the number of tools - links, copyright, etc., needed to be ahead of the competitor and take the desired positions. The more tools you need, the bigger the budget.

And on top of that, you have to work with all the tools: starting from Requirements Spec and content plans and ongoing with finding the donors to place links, check them out, and much more. Of course, it takes time. The more backlinks and other tools, the more time the seo-agency will need to work with them. Money depends on the amount of time spent.

Estimated timeframe for implementation. As we have already mentioned, the implementation of the overall strategy can be faster or longer, depending on the client's capacity. Depending on the latter the monthly scope of works on optimization and promotion, the quantities of purchased materials, refinements, etc. could be broken down. And, eventually, the monthly price tag.

Isn't it more profitable to entrust SEO to freelance contractors or an in-house team?

Some business guys are thinking about the benefits of working with freelance experts. Especially enticing are offers in seo "pay per result" and similar. Others are thinking about hiring a SEO specialist on the staff.

We will not "bash" any of the options. We describe only one hundred percent of the benefits of working with the agency:

  1. SEO copywriting. The presence of optimized, high-quality and useful text content is considered one of the most important ranking factors. The cost is calculated by the number of written characters without spaces.
  2. More opportunities
    One of the key perks of choosing an outsourced marketing service provider is having access to more technical expertise. If you hire your own specialist or freelancer, we're only talking about a couple of employees, or even one.
    At the same time, agency teams often have a much larger staff of experts, where expertise is constantly being shared, working on different projects, which makes any task much easier.
    Greater efficiency means greater return on investment.
  3. Established processes and reliability
    Cooperation with an agency means uninterrupted work on a project, which is not affected by sick leave, vacations or layoffs. The results are checked and improved by the technical leader of SEO, an expert with high qualifications. When the agency's reputational risks are a guarantee of its reliability.
  4. Optimizing the cost of services
    In the Case of an inhouse team, you have to provide a decent salary, software, workspace, training, etc. Engaging an outside team solves this problem.

In the case of free-lance, note that the digital sphere is very diverse: there are both freelancers with high price tags and agencies with affordable ones. In any case, when you choose an agency, you get a check not only for the service, but also for the support, the guarantee of getting the result, and the no need for personal control of the performer.

The agency is not only a service, but also an accompanying service.

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