Business is about money. And services for business are about money counting. No one wants to overpay, especially for a service without immediate and apparent result. But how do you understand what to expect and what money needs to be paid? What form of payment to choose? How to choose a contractor who can offer a specific service for your website and business? How much does SEO optimization cost?
Let me guide you through the answers to these questions in this article.
What I'll talk about:
- SEO Payment Options
- What does the price depend on?
- What is included in the price?
- Why can't SEO be free?
- Price level for SEO in Ukraine
What payment options for SEO promotion do optimizers offer?
If you are seriously interested in promotion, then I think you have already had negotiations with several agencies and freelancers. This means that some of the payment options mentioned below will already be familiar to you.
So, what to pay for in SEO?
Payment for positions
Let's be honest – no one cares about positions. After all, the top is neither site visits nor the traffic growth. Top does not mean "sales" or "applications". And so this payment model does not help the main task of any business – to earn.
Yes, you can get a good top when paying for positions, but there's a great matter of which queries you choose (how relevant they are for the business, how targeted they are, and also whether there is a frequency for these queries).
I'll show you two examples:
1. An example of a site with high positions and low traffic:
Topic – cleaning services in the regional center of Ukraine, 100% of requests are in the TOP-10, moreover, 85% of them are TOP-3.
This is what the organic traffic of the same site looks like:
- 34 users per day is the maximum.
For the optimizer, this is a good option, payment is made at the maximum rate (or close to it), but at the same time, the business here may not receive enough.
What is the growth option for this project? There are two ways of development:
- Understand how to get the most out of your current position and audience. In other words, increase the conversion of current traffic. Also check if the site receives the maximum possible traffic from the current positions (look at the type of site in the SERP – how attractive and clickable the snippet is).
- Find additional entry points, project and traffic growth points.
Do you recognize yourself in this scenario? Let's analyze your site:
And this means additional work and an additional budget. It is not unknown whether the project contractor is interested and motivated for the project to grow as a business, have more profit and reach a different level of service.
If your promotion goal is to increase traffic, leads, sales, profits, this SEO services pricing model is not suitable for you.
Payment for traffic
Another popular SEO payment model is pay-per-traffic. In this case, the more traffic, the more payment.
There are two main business risks:
- The traffic will be untargeted. The situation you will get is next: positions and traffic present, sales absent (Alya Gorelikova, the specialist of our company, analyzed in detail what to do in such case);
Organic traffic to the security company website.
Example: Website for a security firm. There is not much organic traffic – an average of 10 users per day. The problem is 60% of traffic is inappropriate.
- The traffic will be artificially inflated. Such methods belong to gray methods of promotion. Very small percentage of the targeted traffic or none of it might not be the biggest problem here – the main risk is getting the website banned for the artificial traffic inflation. And this means that the site drops out of the search completely for at least 1 year.
And even if the traffic is targeted, it must turn into applications. And for this, the site should be as focused on sales as possible. But this is no longer entirely beneficial for the contractor, as it requires additional expenses that do not help to achieve the desired result on traffic “here and now”; such expenses will help only in the future, improving behavioral factors and leading to an increase in the site positions.
This payment scheme will be beneficial for those sites which want to make money on advertising on the site, since traffic directly affects the cost of advertising.
The main goal that SPRAVA sets when working with your site is that the site should make a profit:
Pay per lead
The goal of SEO is profit. Based on this, the pay-per-lead system seems ideal at first glance.
In such a system, it is important:
- determine what you will call a lead (an application from the site or a closed sale) – all this should be clearly and unambiguously spelled out in the contract;
- define and configure all the ways to control and track conversion actions and their processing – when choosing such a system, you should be prepared for the fact that the contractor will ask for maximum openness and transparency. In other words, the contractor must be integrated into your business.
It is also important for you to set up and bring all the processes in your company to a system. Why? For example, you have signed a contract for SEO promotion using the pay-per-lead system. You and the contractor have determined that a lead is a contact from the site in any of the ways: a form, a call, instant messengers, online chat, etc. The control for counting is set up. The end of the month comes and brings you the results. And you get:
- hits from the site (according to the contractor) — 250;
- real sales — 3.
Both you and the contractor should have a completely logical question: what happened?
work of salespeople engaged in receiving and processing applications from the site. In this case, are you ready to pay for 250 leads when you have only 3 sales? The answer is obvious to everyone.
Given: A taxi site in a resort town.
Main service: transfer to hotels from the airport.
Data on applications from the site and real orders as a result for July 2021:
|Application source||Number of applications for the reporting period, pieces for July||Number of orders (placed and completed), pieces for July|
|Clicking on the phone in the header||305||51|
|Clicking on Viber||44||7|
|Clicking on Whatsapp||180||34|
|Clicking on "Call a Taxi" from Mobile||188||35|
|Applications from the "Order online" form||48||8|
|Application form "Order now"||69||13|
|Application from the form "Ordering a specific transfer"||223||43|
Bottom line: 18.07% of referrals were converted into specific sales. High or low performance? Draw your own conclusion.
There are also a few questions to think about:
- Are you ready to pay for 100% of applications, and receive only 18%?
- What percentage of payment for "sales" is the agency willing to offer if the application conversion percentage from sales is less than 20?
Fixed per month: SEO services pricing
If we open even the first 10 sites that Google offers to those who want to know SEO services pricing, we will see that 99% of them (I just don’t want to use the word “all” :-) ) offer services at a fixed price.
Why is this payment system so popular?
- Both you and the contractor know exactly what you can expect in terms of money.
- A certain insurance on the contractor part in case of an “algorithm update”, when the site may fail in terms of positions and traffic and the reasons were clear long before, but for some reason you were against the work implementation or the commercial information addition.
- The contractor (as a rule) describes in detail what you get for the amount you pay. And no one has to wear rose-colored glasses either expecting results or waiting for super profits after a month of promotion.
But you should pay attention when:
- The contractor tells you the cost of your project promotion without seeing it first.
- The agency or freelancer does not point out the main problems of your site (usability, page volumes, commercial factors, or others) after analyzing it.
- The promotion plan is shown before they see the site.
My recommendation is to at least be wary of such contractors. Website promotion cost is influenced by a number of factors, which I will talk about later. And if you are told the cost without taking into account these factors, then most likely the promotion will not give the results that it could have.
A fixed cost is a system by which SPRAVA works as well. But we name the price of promoting a particular project only after:
- seeing the site;
- finding out the goals of the project (at least preliminary);
- making a brief analysis of the niche (in order to understand the competitiveness and to find out which site indicators are necessary to enter the market);
- conducting basic site analysis (to understand the state of the site, its age, as well as the amount of effort required in order to get the first results).
Do you have a website that is still not selling? We are ready to analyze and provide our CO for bringing it to a new level of promotion:
What determines the SEO company prices?
I would like to divide this question into two parts:
- The site itself.
- The team that will work with it.
The site itself affects the cost due to the following factors (list of the main ones):
- The technical condition of the site. In other words, how much work needs to be done, and how quickly a programmer can implement this work. For example, if you have a Bitrix or Ruby site, forget about the minimum promotion budgets.
- Niche competitiveness. The more competitive the niche, the more effort and effort you need to put in to get the result. This is about the site volume, its link profile, and the state of the site.
- Site age. If the site has a history, there is already some traffic and you just want more – this requires some effort. If the site is freshly baked and enters the most competitive niche, you need to be prepared for the fact that more effort is needed, and the time to achieve results is also higher.
- usability state. The less attention was paid to this issue before (if it was), the more funds will be needed to, as they say, bring the project to perfection. Let me give you two examples.
Example 2. A site with an age of 3 months. The development was made with a focus on further promotion. Same view:
The view of the site main page first screen after development with a focus on SEO.
Even if you are not an expert in SEO and Internet marketing, purely visually, it is quite clear to you that the second site will require less work on its appearance.
SEO company prices depends on:
- Optimization state. There are two aspects here – the presence of optimization, and its quality and relevance. Not once have we worked with sites which came to us already optimized, but the optimization was dated approximately 2013-2014 – everything was so spammy that I didn't want to read information on this site, not to mention buying anything. Such an optimization requires a complete overhaul. Such sites are equated with “promotion from scratch”, but with a caveat: you must not drop what you have (just like the doctors' “do no harm”).
- Link profile. Two indicators influence SEO marketing prices: how many links are already on the site and how many (based on the analysis of competitors in the niche) still need to be increased. Someone needs 50 donors and the support of a referral. Someone needs 250 and active growth. These are different budgets.
The professional level of the team is also a factor, it also affects promotion, you also have to pay for it. And choosing the “lowest price” you should understand that you pay for entry-level specialists who are not ready (at least now) to work effectively in a competitive market. And it would be okay but the field of Internet marketing develops too fast. Choosing the one who is at the beginning of the path, you should understand: you stand with them at the beginning of the path. If you came to SEO to grow and develop, you need to choose contractors that suit you.
At the start of promotion work, we at SPRAVA analyze the main indicators of the site and develop an individual work plan, taking into account the strengths and weaknesses of the project. We try to spend the promotion budget as efficiently as possible, always focusing on the main tasks of the business – to sell.
What is included in the cost of SEO-optimization of the site?
Before starting work with an SEO promotion contractor, I recommend you to find out what is included in the cost of SEO.
The basic list of SEO jobs includes:
- semantic core collection (SC);
- meta tags compiling,according to SC;
- site texts optimization, according to SC;
- compiling a task for writing texts;
- search and elimination of duplicates on the site;
- search and elimination of errors on the site 3XX, 4XX, 5XX;
- site non-landing pages optimization;
- promoted and competitor sites link profile analysis;
- drawing up a plan for building a link profile;
- performing work on building up a link profile;
- making site improvements recommendations – for convenience, for sales, for SEO.
What may be included in the price or carried out for additional money:
- installation and configuration of analytics systems (Google Analytics, Microsoft Clarity);
- writing new texts;
- translations of existing texts;
- links expenses;
- implementation of basic optimization work on the site (meta tags, text optimization).
Works almost always performed for additional payment:
- implementation of technical specifications from SEO to eliminate duplicates, eliminate errors of a different nature that require the help of programmers;
- performing technical improvements to the site (installing and configuring modules, adding forms to the site, improving existing functionality, etc.);
- designer's work;
When choosing an SEO contractor, you need to get a clear list of works that the contractor undertakes within the cost for promotion, and what work he is ready to perform for additional payments.
All the details of the SEO promotion service from SPRAVA can be found by the link.
Or leave us your contacts, and our manager will tell you everything personally:
Why can't SEO services be free?
SEO is about a range of services, it's about the team that works on the project. Therefore, by default, high-quality SEO cannot be free or low-cost.
Why is that? Remember the goal of SEO promotion – to earn. After that you should understand immediately that SEO is not only about collecting keywords and writing meta tags. As already described above, the promotion provides for a large list of works of various directions.
The list of specialists who work on a project may vary in different agencies. Today I want you to meet the team that is constantly working on your project in SPRAVA:
- project manager responsible for all work and communications on the project, an employee who is the link between SPRAVA team and you, our Customer;
- responsible SEO specialist assigned to your project;
- link manager;
- programmer and technical specialist department that directly perform work on the site – from simple to complex, from the recommendations of the project manager to your wishes and needs;
- content manager, who helps writing texts for your site;
- a designer, who can draw what is sometimes difficult to imagine, a specialist who visually shows what the project manager wants to do and what programmers need to do. This helps us all avoid misunderstandings in expectation-reality.
And there are also “gray cardinals” – people who develop a strategic plan to promote your project. These are professionals who are always ready to help responsible specialists if the project has difficulties or you set us new tasks that need to be solved quickly and with maximum financial efficiency.
In SPRAVA such people are:
- company market expert;
- project curator;
- curator of the SEO department;
- curator of the technical department;
- System Administrator.
The SPRAVA team for project maintenance looks something like this:
If you have ambitious and far-reaching plans for your own website and business, then you definitely need a multidisciplinary team, and not a lone freelancer, since the tasks are different, and one person simply cannot grasp the immensity.
SEO agency cost in 2023
If we make a cut by the cost of SEO-promotion services in the market, then it looks something like this (sites from the contextual advertising block and organic search for the queries “low cost SEO packages; seo-promotion price”):
|Agency||Price for services website/business card, per month||Price for an online store, per month|
|Idea Digital Agency||from 9 000 UAH||from 10 000 UAH|
|Elit-Web||from 15 000 UAH||from 25 000 UAH|
|Site-ok.ua||from $399||from $599|
|СПРАВА||from 6 000 UAH||from 10 000 UAH|
|Wezom||from $400||from $550|
|Медіасет||from 5 000 UAH||-|
|SEO2™||from 5 000 UAH||from 10 000 UAH|
|СтарМаркетинг||from 9 900 UAH||from 14 500 UAH|
|Seo-Design||from 14 000 UAH||from 16 000 UAH|
|Fenix Industry||from 8 000 UAH||-|
|iProspect||from 20 000 UAH||from 30 000 UAH|
|LuxSite||from 14 000 UAH||from 20 900 UAH|
As you can see, the prices differ, some by 4 times. Before making a conclusion about "expensive-cheap", you should study:
- agency experience;
- the presence of cases in your niche;
- list of works included in the price.
Often the quoted price (which is lower) is just a way to lure into negotiations, and the real cost is higher. But here you need to understand what the payment will be for.
SEO is as much a service on the market as installing windows or making a custom kitchen, and it costs money. How much? Depends on:
- the state of your site;
- SEO payment systems;
- the professional level of the team;
- services included in this price.
Advice that I would like to sincerely give to business owners: do not look for something cheaper, look for the SEO promotion option that will solve the tasks of your site as fully as possible with a decent level of material efficiency in the end. This is a sure way to the success of your site.