Affordable means different things to different people. What feels like a hefty chunk of change for some is petty cash for others. That’s why finding affordable search engine optimization (SEO) services isn’t a one-size-fits-all process.
The basic premise of finding SEO services is similar to shopping around for any purchase. A key component is understanding the resources that you already have, so that you’re not overpaying for things that you don’t need.
Become a Smart Shopper for Affordable SEO Service
One of the first things that you’re going to need to consider how to locate the services that you require. The problem is that finding a digital marketing specialist isn’t quite like buying a new laptop. It’s a true investment in your company. Becoming a smart shopper is critical. Here’s why:
1. Google is continuously updating their search engine algorithms
There were 12 significant updates in 2018 to Google’s search engine algorithms in 2018 (in addition to the 500-600 minor ones). Most recently, Google has decided to make the switch to mobile first indexing.
To reap the benefits of your investment, you must work with a firm that is dedicated to staying abreast of all changes in the SEO game. An even more affordable option is to keep up with these algorithms internally, and make necessary changes as they come. Actions like transferring content to your mobile site and editing metadescriptions to accurately reflect your keywords are easy changes you can make that can save you a lot of money.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Exactly What You Want
Some web marketing agencies will try to convince you that you need their help when you don’t. Marketing agencies should be hired to do things like improve site speed, fix layouts, and other technical tasks, but do as much as you can on your own, if you’re working with a tight budget.
What you can’t spend in cash, spend in time. Read and learn about setting up mobile sites or optimizing content you already have. That way, you have more room in the budget to pay for the services you really can’t do on your own.
3. SEO is absolutely necessary, so learn how to do it right
There are a ton of free guides out there that can get you started on creating SEO content without paying for the services. If you have writing ability (or someone within your firm does), it may be less expensive to hire internally than it is to contract out through a marketing firm.
A few guides to get you started:
Pricing Structures Make a Difference
Depending on how you agree to pay, you may be getting more or less than you’d expect. Don’t overpay for services that you don’t need, but you also can’t expect your marketing firm to work 80 hours a week on your account if you’re paying them for 20 hours a month.
Choose a pricing structure that’s most appropriate for your business’ needs.
Simply put, you’ll receive a bill at the end of the month for the number of hours that your firm worked on your account. This is often the most expensive method, and it can cause trouble in the budget if you run into an SEO problem that requires extra work.
Signing on for a contract is the best way to get your website in tip-top shape. Contracted services often come in bundles that take care of all your SEO needs at a price discounted down from the hourly rates.
Monthly payment structures give you the freedom for what you can afford when you can afford it. It allows you to keep the digital marketer on retainer, and to access their services when you need them. You’ll pay a flat rate for that access, and in some cases, additional fees for content creation.
This is common for businesses launching a new product or service. Instead of paying for or signing onto a contract that covers your whole site, you’re asking for a particular package that helps you market and optimize your current project.
Finding Affordable SEO Services
You’ve done your research on what kinds of SEO service you need, you’ve narrowed down the list to a couple of good options, and it’s time to make a decision. This can be the scariest part, but coming to the table with information and a plan can make it a little less intimidating.
1. Talk to Friends, Family, and Other Businesses
Word of mouth is an incredibly valuable asset, especially when you’re making a major investment in your business. Talk to anyone who’s worked with a digital marketer, especially business owners. If they have recommendations and results, it won’t hurt to talk to their suggested firms.
2. Ask for References and Portfolios
It is of the utmost importance that you understand the work of the person you’re about to hire. If you don’t like what you see, or other clients complain about their service, it’s time to get out of Dodge. With that in mind, don’t let one unappealing website from the portfolio dissuade you. There’s no accounting for the taste of others, and perhaps they were doing what they had to do to please the client.
3. Create a Plan and Identify Needs
Don’t get suckered into paying for more than what you’re looking for. That’s not to say that there are services you won’t want to tack on once you hear about them and evaluate their value to your business. That is to say, though, that some salespeople can be very persuasive. Come in with a plan and a budget, and stick to it!
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Understand exactly what you’re signing up for. It’s your money; it’s your website. You should be happy with the services that you’re being offered and the results that you’re being guaranteed. Asking questions helps the digital marketer understand what you’re looking for, and it can reassure you that working with professionals was the right decision.