How much should I pay for SEO?
What is SEO
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the perfect solution if you want to increase website traffic, reach a wider audience and ultimately increase conversions for your business.
The simple part of the process is realising how important SEO is to your business. Now the challenge lies in choosing a partner who will design, implement and deliver a strategy that meets your requirements and budget!
Vecro Tech has created this page to answer the key questions you have and provide the information needed to make a decision. Please continue reading to find out more, or call us on 0141 946 6405 to speak with our experts now.
Now let’s get back to the world of SEO and its pricing
You will most likely have heard of SEO when running the day-to-day processes of your business or when discussing marketing plans. This means many will have a good foundation or introductory understanding of what is involved. However, where knowledge gaps appear is when considering how much money must be spent on SEO in the UK.
A survey carried out in 2017 by High Visibility on the topic of SEO, emphasised the lack of awareness about the costs required for effective management of SEO. Of the 500 respondents, only 46% had allocated any of their monthly marketing budget towards Search Engine Optimisation and the majority of this number, spent less than £100 a month.
At Vecro Tech, we believe that the reason many leave SEO out of their budgets is simply that they do not have all the information required to determine what level to set the budget at. Given that people create over 3.5 billion searches per day on Google, business owners clearly understand the value of this resource.
Our guide and cost calculations will help businesses of any size, understand where their company best fits and the subsequent budget required for success.
Cheap SEO VS Mid Range SEO VS High End SEO
Effective SEO is clearly not an easy process or project to implement, as you will no doubt have realised at this stage. There will be many people and businesses who will claim to provide a cheap SEO service, typically quoting in the region of £300-£500 a month.
These SEO providers will generally target new and existing small businesses who do not have the financial resources to implement an extensive marketing plan. Examples of this target audience include self employed contractors, local shops such as barbers and beauty salons etc.
Many of you will look at these prices and think there must be a catch! And in general, you would be correct in this assumption. Effective SEO takes a commitment in both time and expertise, as well as financial resources. A company delivering results in this field will not be able to operate services for low prices like these and anyone that does, will likely provide a glossy imitation of SEO, with potential risks to your business.
This imitation of SEO will involve diverting from the correct processes in order to cut corners and save money, reducing the effectiveness of any SEO services you purchase from them and most seriously of all, potentially cause your website to fail Google’s assessment tools, incurring penalties from Google, which will directly cause a drop in traffic.
In the UK, the mid-range SEO offers often fall between £500 and £1000 per month and equally, if the services are paid for on a per project basis, they will fall within the same banding. This level of service provides companies with greater results, more effective optimisation and ultimately a better return on investment. However, it should be said that this is not necessarily a full 360 approach to SEO and may still have potential flaws.
At Vecro Tech, our experience shows that at the lower end of this band, SEO primarily deals with the companies website, fixing current problems and implementing new processes. This will involve changing both the back and front-end systems, as well as optimising the content to meet the SEO requirements of search engines.
When clients choose the higher end of this funding band, the SEO services will include content marketing strategy and implementation. These services will include the regular creation and updating of content for the website, blogs and social media, all delivering an improvement in ranking for keywords and back-links. This funding band will often be most applicable to businesses whose websites operate in lower levels of competition.
Within the UK, the highest level SEO can command a fee in excess of £1000 a month. These services would traditionally be offered in the form of a monthly retainer. Vecro Tech has found that these service agreements will often be signed, in order to resolve existing Google penalties that websites have suffered, as a result of poor SEO behaviour.
Examples of these can be a website being impacted negatively by Google updating their search algorithm and parameters or inappropriate strategies by previous digital marketing agencies. Furthermore, the high-end SEO services will focus on resolving technical issues with a website including Google Tags and the optimisation of tools used for analysing traffic.
Any company choosing this level of SEO would expect to deal with experienced, effective digital marketing agencies who can provide extensive data supporting their successful SEO campaigns. It is this size and experience by a digital marketing agency that allows them to manage each aspect of the SEO programme and the attention required.
These services will typically fall over a longer term, up to 12 months and more, with a bespoke package created to meet the companies individual goals. Furthermore, this level of service is a best fit option for larger business, e-commerce websites and businesses operating in highly competitive environments. This is primarily due to needing a larger budget to match and ultimately outperform their main competitors.
One Size Does Not Fit All - Local Business SEO, National SEO and eCommerce SEO
As with any other effective form of marketing, you cannot simply just target everyone and achieve the desired results. In an ever changing world of e-commerce, bricks and mortar shops, local, national and international entities, it is important to decide who you wish to target. You can then tailor your SEO plan for that audience.
The concept of Local Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is to enhance your companies visibility and ranking on the search engines, ultimately leading to an increase in traffic, conversion and revenue. The important point to note here is that when potential customers are searching for a product or service in their area, you want to make sure they see you at the top of the results page.
Put simply - this SEO service will help more people find you, contact you and visit your local business. Research has shown that 72% of people who searched for a local business, visited that shop within a 5 mile radius of their location. Therefore the decision making correlation between the right product and right location, can make or break a business.
Other benefits of a company choosing a local SEO strategy include:
- Tools such as Google Analytics will allow you to track the performance of your local SEO, understanding where you can change, improve and grow.
- Google My Business (GMB) profile is a tool which allows for the personalised design of your company details on search results and maps, including displaying reviews and directions to your location.
- Increased footfall to your bricks and mortar store as a result of effective local SEO. For example, should a person search for ‘Barbers near me’, then you have the chance to appear on their search results.
At Vecro Tech, we believe in offering each and every client a truly bespoke service and local SEO management is no different. We will work with you to shape an SEO strategy that allows you full visibility, varying degrees of involvement and a partnership in delivering success.
National and eCommerce SEO
Given the potential organic traffic to each website that can be achieved through effective SEO, this tool is vital for ecommerce sites who wish to increase revenue and expand their business. In essence, our SEO services will improve the visibility and performance of your website, for the keywords that potential customers search for. Subsequently, we can optimise your site for more key terms, more potential customers and in turn increase conversions.
In essence, our SEO services:
- Are managed by experts who have achieved real world, tangible results for clients will improve the visibility and performance of your website, for the keywords that potential customers search for.
- Optimise your site for more key terms, more potential customers and in turn more conversions.
When considering SEO for an ecommerce website, it is important to note the different building blocks which make up the overall campaign and without these different processes, it will not be successful.
Phase 1: Keyword Analysis
We will start every project by identifying the most valuable keywords to your business and as such, will need to be included in any content that is created. The way in which we achieve this is by utilising online tools, surveying customers and analysing data that you have already collected.
Perhaps you have heard of keywords but wonder why they are so important?
At the center of it all is the requirement that keywords must represent your product or service as accurately as possible, whilst ensuring that they are words or phrases which your target audience use when searching for such a product or service. This identification allows us to establish a strategy from which effective content can be created, such as social media campaigns, blog posts around a specific keyword or FAQs.
Phase 2: Implementation of Keywords
As the title suggests, this next phase is all about putting the keyword analysis into practice, embedding those keywords into your website. However, this is not simply in one piece of text or repeated many times. It requires a strategic, optimised approach that search engines and customers alike, will appreciate.
Locations where we will implement keywords include, but are not limited to:
- Landing pages
- Meta descriptions
- Product and Service descriptions
- Alt text for images
- Social media content
Phase 3: Product page optimisation
It is important to be aware that every page, every piece of content must be optimised, in order to improve your site ranking within search results.
When considering ecommerce, there is an obvious focal point of the product pages, afterall, this is the main reason to draw traffic to your site, so that they can buy the product from you and not one of their competitors. These product pages utilise ‘long-tail keywords’ which are in essence, longer, specific search phrases that someone will type in because they need a particular product.
As highlighted above, this optimisation is not simply about the product descriptions and we will ensure the titles, images etc, all have the relevant tags that improve SEO performance.
With products, imagery becomes even more important for SEO, as search engines are unable to assign a value to an image by simply ‘looking at it’. Instead, they will read the text linked to it, including alt text, content located next to it and the filename the image has been saved as.
Phase 4: Navigation Optimisation
Some of our clients have hundreds of pages and products to highlight and as you will have noticed when searching online, it can be a frustrating process trying to navigate poorly made websites. As such, our SEO services include time focused specifically on ensuring the site is user-friendly.
If we do not tackle this topic, then all of the traffic that SEO has generated for your website will simply leave, as they cannot find what they want. This has the technical term of the ‘bounce rate’, meaning the percentage of traffic that leaves quickly without converting to an enquiry or sale. High bounce rates will be a trigger for search engines to think your site isn’t relevant for search terms and therefore reduce the ranking of your site.
Phase 5: Content Creation
Content is a term used in SEO which appears simple - the content of any webpage, blog post, product description or email. In reality, given the highly competitive nature of ecommerce, original content must be created to add value and improve traffic, conversion and ultimately revenue.
Content marketing strategy tackles two stakeholders: the search engines and the customers. The more original, keyword rich content that is available, then the search engines can crawl through and allocate a greater value to your site. Equally, customers are bombarded by information and advertisements online and unique content will allow you to stand out, increasing your website conversion rates.
As previously stated, content can come in many forms but the most widely used content marketing includes:
- Blogs: These can be anywhere from small posts per day to larger blogs per week or month which tackle topics related to keywords, industry trends, competitions and customer values.
- Informative articles
- Long form content including white papers
- Videos and Audio marketing
This will seem confusing to many and what form each clients content marketing takes is something we work together on, ensuring each package utilises the skills and expertise of the clients and the team at Vecro Tech.
Managing the process
We do not simply just implement a campaign, we have dedicated managers who delve into its performance, analysing performance throughout the journey and continuously making improvements to ensure that each client receives the best return on their investment.
You will receive regular updates including links to view the real time changes to your SEO performance. This honest and interactive approach breeds trust and understanding, factors we have found to improve the return on any project.
What do SEO services include?
In UK business, there is an array of terms, services and activities which now fall under the umbrella of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Some of the most common services included within SEO are content creation for webpages and social media, conversion development and various other aspects of online marketing. Only by choosing an experienced, all rounded digital marketing agency can you maximise the return on an investment and we believe our team at Vecro Tech is the right choice for you.
This multifaceted approach to delivering SEO services shows that we understand the requirements to be successful and you will find that if an agency doesn’t offer this kind of service, then they may not be aware of the latest developments and requirements of today's SEO. Whenever you discuss your requirements with a service provider, they should run through pricing options with you, along with the benefits of each. If they don’t, they why would you risk spending valuable resources?
At Vecro Tech, we aim to continuously evolve and improve as a provider of SEO and this includes our pricing options. Since starting, we have fine tuned our offering so that today in 2019, we have a tiered pricing structure that meets the requirements of any customer, no matter the size of the company or budget available. Whilst there isn’t a standardised approach to pricing, research has shown our prices are competitive and reflect the service we offer, which is why we are proud to display them online and be completely transparent from the start of any business relationship.
This honesty and transparency continues throughout the project lifecycle and working relationship with our clients - we tell you before a project starts, what the cost will be and what the expected returns on investment are. There are no hidden costs and any changes to a project will be agreed upon by all parties involved to ensure customers are aware of every part of the process.
Return On Investment From SEO
At Vecro Tech, we understand that any investment in SEO requires a measurable and effective Return on Investment (ROI). Whilst each company will have their own targets for their ROI, there is a standardised approach which will allow your business to assess what benefits, an investment in SEO can offer.
Try following these guidelines and see what conclusions you draw:
Estimating the organic traffic delivered by SEO
The first task is to understand how much traffic will flow to your website if you implement SEO strategy. This is done by using keyword tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner, whereby you can enter important keywords for your business website. From here, you will see the search volume for those keywords, based on an average per month.
Studies by Catalyst have shown that websites that top the Google search engine results page (SERP) achieve the following figures:
- Top rank- Approximately 17% click-through rate
- Second rank - Approximately 10% click-through rate
- Third to Tenth - Figures reduce down to approximately 0.5% for tenth ranked pages
Using the click-through rates above, you can multiply each figure by the keyword traffic numbers, providing you with an estimation of traffic, each page ranking will achieve. This will assist in accurately budgeting cash flow for SEO marketing.
Now that you have an estimation of organic traffic, you can use website conversion and sales information to estimate revenue from this SEO project. In order to perform this calculation, you will need your websites conversion rate, close rate (this is the percentage of leads that are turned into real business) and the average value per sale.
For conversion rates, if you’re website is new, then generic figures of 2% for e-commerce and 5% for lead generation websites are a realistic starting point. However, for more accurate figures, Google Analytics will display your sites exact conversion rates.
Now you simply take the traffic calculations in part one that you believe SEO will deliver and then multiply this by all of the above figures. This end result is your estimated revenue.
As with other financial calculations that assess the profit of a project, product or time period, there is a simple calculation for you to do and this is to subtract the expected monthly cost of your SEO project, from the revenue figure you reached above.
This will now allow you to compare the different SEO options available by agencies such as our team here at Vecro Tech. It may be that spending less now, will save money in the short term but offer a far smaller return on investment in the medium and long term.
Consider the future
One of the first points we make with any customers who enquire about our services, is that SEO is not about immediate results and instant rewards. It is quite often the case that the early months of an SEO project will result in minimal movement in rankings or traffic, as site authority and traffic take time to grow.
We find it helpful to imagine growing your business through word of mouth - it takes time but will eventually lead to a consistent, committed flow of customers who will choose you over your rivals. As such, when considering ROI, you must build this long term view into your assessment.