With the various Google Penguin and Panda updates released over the passed couple of years, the level of work required for SEO companies to drive visitors to client’s sites has significantly increased. What sort of costs should you be looking for in an SEO company to find one which is reliable and will deliver results?
What Has Changed?
Actually the word SEO is even out of date now! SEO, or search engine optimization, used to mean ranking websites for certain keywords high on Google. Today its called Internet Marketing. Yes, search engine optimization still plays a role in Internet Marketing but there are just to many factors to consider driving targeted traffic to websites to just be called SEO.
The role I see SEO playing in 2013 is the old term onsite SEO. It no longer covers the whole umbrella of driving traffic to a website, Internet Marketing seems a far more appropriate name for today.
What Do SEO Companies Charge In 2013
Lets bare one thing in mind, 85% of SEO companies do not have the first clue about what’s required to drive traffic to clients websites. They are either living in the olden days or try and cut corners and spam your site.
Depending on the competition of your keywords will depend on your monthly invoice from a SEOer. I will run through a scenario of the average website owner working on in an industry, which has a medium/average competition.
To start with, the company must research your industry in full before they do anything to your website. This will help them establish how much work is required for your site to drive targeted visitors.
From this research they can start collecting a list of relevant keywords, which are searched for today and in 6-9 months time. Using these keyword they can start to generate an Internet marketing strategy for you.
Internet Marketing Strategies
You should always ask to view a copy of the Internet marketing strategies the SEOer has put in place for your site. This way you will be able to track and monitor the work they are supposed to do with the work they are actually doing. Your Internet marketing strategy should outline everything in a month-by-month basis and should run over a 12-month period. Planning ahead with your Internet marketing is essential, as its impossible to only plan a month or two ahead.
Implementing Your Strategy
Your strategy should always start with making changes to your website from the research the SEOer has performed. Implementing these keywords on your web pages so they are fully optimized (or SEO in 2013!) is key as it sends signals to Google letting them know what your website is about and what keywords you would like to be ranked for.
The next step for the SEOer is to create a blog, if you do not already have one. Posting regular high value blog posts will generate inbound links, social shares and followers. The SEOer would have included in your strategy how many blog posts they are publishing on your site each week and how they will promote posts over social media networks.
Your Internet marketing strategies need to include social media activity. The first step should be creating, and optimizing, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ business pages. Social signals plays a huge role in how Google ranks your website so you need to ensure your posts and tweets are getting shared.
This is how SEO received a bad name! Inbound marketing, or link building, plays a large role in ranking your website for certain keywords on Google. The reason SEOers have a bad name is due to 85% of them creating spammy, unnatural backlinks, which Google pays no attention to. Therefore the clients website never gets ranked and SEO gets a bad name because of these companies!
Your inbound links should always look natural and only published on trustworthy websites. One of the best practices for creating inbound links is through guest blogging as this ensures high quality links, surrounded by quality content relevant to your search term. Your Internet marketing strategy should outline how many inbound links are created each week and where they are published.
Finally, you should receive a monthly report containing all the work which has been performed on your website. Cross reference this work with your Internet marketing strategy to ensure you are getting your moneys worth and they are doing the work what they said they would.
You should also receive reports containing keyword positions, backlinks, new social followers, analytics and total social shares. This way your can monitor how effective your Internet marketing campaign is working.
The total cost per month, working on an industry with medium competition should be in the region of £300+. To complete the above work will require 40 hours per month, any less than this is not acceptable and will not increase keyword rankings or website traffic.
If you work on the minimum wage being £6.50 per hour X 40 hours per month = £260 per month (minimum). Remember the SEO Company needs to make profit on top. Anything less than £300 per month for medium competition keywords, you will not get the correct service, rankings or traffic.
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This post is from Kev Massey from SixtyMarketing in the UK. I write and share all things Internet Marketing. This industry chances every few months and I’m always keen to researching what’s new around the corner!