Small businesses are at an all-time high due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The competition among them is increasing with every passing hour. Most of the small businesses cater to the local audience and some operate in a highly ambitious niche market. Therefore, SEO services for a small business are a must-have to give your business a competitive edge.
There is no shame in admitting that most of the small businesses out there are bootstrapped. This means that they started with limited funds and gained traction over time while utilizing these limited funds. You may be running a small business in the same bootstrapped fashion. Every penny is valuable to you. Therefore, gaining the maximum utility out of SEO packages would be at the forefront of your mind. You will want to know all the SEO costs for a small business and the constituents of your SEO package.
The SEO costs for a small business are dependent on a variety of factors that we will discuss in this article. In the end, you will be in a strong position to make any decision related to SEO costs associated with your business needs.
Let’s start with a short refresher of SEO for it will help any beginner to better understand the affordable SEO for small businesses.
SEO – A Short Refresher
SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. It is a set of different techniques used to rank your business higher in search results of Google. Simply put, SEO makes sure the searchers of your product or service find your business in the top results. This leads to increased traffic to your site and may potentially translate into increased revenue for your small business.
Now that we have had a quick refresher on SEO, let’s look at the factors that may determine the SEO costs for a small business.
What Factors Determine SEO Costs?
There are several factors but we have hand-picked a few of the best factors for your understanding. These are discussed below.
Your SEO Goals
What results do you want your SEO campaign to produce? What is your business strategy vis-a-vis SEO? Do you want to outdo the SEO strategy of a certain competitor? Does your business need a long-term or short-term approach to SEO? All the answers to such questions will set your goals of SEO for your small business.
Whatever goals you have set for your SEO campaign, the costs will vary from case to case depending upon the complexity of your requirements. You need to discuss your objectives and goals with your SEO agency. It is then, your SEO agency will quote a price for your custom package. You can tap a few SEO agencies and discuss your goals to go with the best proposal.
Pricing Model of SEO Agency
There are several SEO agencies with different pricing models for more or less the same services. You need to align which package suits your goals with the best possible value for money. However, if you are working towards a custom SEO solution, the prices may go up.
SEO agencies put in extra work for custom SEO packages. They discuss and understand your needs to propose a relevant custom package. Therefore, it is generally understood that the costs associated with custom packages will be higher than normal packages.
Portfolio of SEO Agency
The portfolio will decide how well-known the SEO agency is. Usually, agencies with a large number of well-known clients charge more for their services. The math is straightforward, they charge you for their brand name and provide you with the best SEO solutions too. Hence, their clientage is outstanding in the market.
You need to look out for an SEO agency that has a modestly impressive clientage together with good reviews. This way you will get the best of both worlds i.e. a somewhat experienced SEO agency providing good SEO services at a relatively low cost.
Timeline of Your SEO Campaign
The time requirement of your SEO campaign will be of significant importance for the associated costs. SEO is an ongoing process that seldom ceases to exist but for a small business like yours, the timeline may be short i.e. you may need your SEO done in relatively less time. This will translate to higher costs and vice versa.
Secondly, you may set aside ample time for your SEO campaign but you may need a long-term package. This too will result in increased SEO costs. The ideal way is to choose a timeline that is enough to give you a significant advantage over your immediate competitors’ SEO.
SEO Strategy vs SEO Service
SEO strategy involves taking a 360-degree view of your existing site and auditing it to come up with a robust SEO plan for your small business. On the other hand, SEO service is the act of putting that plan together. Now, it is up to you to decide whether you need SEO strategy, service, or both in a single package.
Going for either of the two separately will definitely result in additional costs. What you need is a complete SEO solution that includes SEO research, planning, and finally the implementation. Therefore, a custom SEO package with all three stages may be a cost-effective option for your small business.
All these factors are the main contributors to SEO costs. You need to make your best judgment in tandem with available funds while choosing the best SEO package or getting a customized SEO solution. Remember to study your SEO goals with clarity because half the solution lies in understanding the problem.
Next, we look at the idea of in-house SEO for optimal cost i.e. whether it will be a good idea to invest in an in-house SEO expert or to go with an agency as far as associated SEO costs are concerned.
Should You Go for In-House SEO?
Going for an SEO expert in-house means hiring an expert within your organization to cater to your SEO needs. Let’s go through the delicacies surrounding this option.
More Control Over SEO Services
Bringing in an in-house expert will definitely give you more control over your SEO services. You will work together in understanding your SEO goals for your small business. If you feel the need to change something during the SEO process, you will be able to do so without bearing additional costs.
Expected Salary of an In-House Expert
You need to compare the expected average salary of an in-house SEO expert as compared to working with an SEO agency. The average salary of an in-house expert starts from $50,000 per year. You can shortlist a few SEO packages offered by SEO agencies to compare their cost-effectiveness with that of an in-house SEO expert.
To understand the value for money at stake, compare this average salary with an SEO package of your choice offered by any good SEO agency. This way you will come to a definitive conclusion where SEO costs are concerned for your small business.
SEO Team vs an In-House SEO Expert
An SEO agency will usually deploy a small team for your SEO solutions as compared to an individual expert when you do in-house hiring. This translates to the fact that sometimes SEO requires a team with differing expertise rather than a single individual who claims to know it all. A team of SEO experts seems a far better proposition on paper than one individual expert. You need to assess your SEO goals before going for either option.
The SEO expert which you hire in-house will need to be monitored and that requires a manager with SEO knowledge. This may require additional hiring thereby increasing your SEO costs overall. Therefore, relying on a team of experts from an SEO agency seems like a better option than hiring in-house for your SEO needs.
What’s the Takeaway? – The Final Word
A small business needs to think twice before making any investment. The same goes for investing in SEO services and the overhead costs associated with it. This becomes even more crucial if your small business is bootstrapped, which normally most small businesses are. You need to do a robust assessment of your SEO goals and based on the set goals you need to search for a perfect match in the form of an SEO agency. You can drastically reduce SEO packages for your small business by choosing the right SEO agency.
Certain factors may affect the SEO costs for your small business needs. These may include but are not limited to your SEO goals, the portfolio of the SEO agency, the pricing model of the SEO agency, and the timeline of your SEO solution. Once you have considered all these factors, you need to find a workable SEO package that is cost-effective in the long run. You do not want to drain your budgetary requirements in the process. Therefore, it is better to start small with less associated costs than not to avail SEO services at all!