You may have the perfect product, company or blog, but if it doesn’t show up in any search results, no one will find it on the internet. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quality and quantity of visitors to your website through organic search engine results. You can get help with SEO from internet marketing experts to help drive more traffic, and especially more relevant traffic, to your business or personal website. The process of SEO typically means updating your website with keywords and phrases to make it easier for people to find your website as well as optimizing the site design and architecture.
Whether you are already using popular SEO platforms like Moz or Google Analytics to help with SEO, or don’t yet have any SEO strategies, someone with SEO expertise can help you. SEO improves your visibility in whatever industry you’re in, from sales and marketing to education and nonprofits to consumer goods and construction. SEO is available as a one-time service to get your website better positioned, or as a monthly service in which professionals constantly fine-tune your site to reflect the ever-changing algorithms that determine web search results. Several factors determine the cost of hiring an SEO professional.
One-time SEO services
In a one-time SEO service, a professional will optimize your website with keywords and phrases that potential customers or readers might use when searching for the kinds of goods, services or information you offer. If your site is optimized to rank well in their search results, you are more likely to make a sale or gain a new client. The fee for one-time SEO service can vary depending on the marketing or web design company providing the SEO and the specific services included. Here are two examples of cost:
One-time SEO: $99 from Eric Wing of MetroCreate Studios of Arlington, Massachusetts.
- Includes digital marketing and content strategy creation; keyword research and suggestions; optimization for page title, metatag, content, heading and subheading; website audit and suggestions report; and traffic analytics setup.
Basic SEO package: $195 from Robert Schonhoff of Digital Vision Marketing in New Braunfels, Texas.
- Includes unique heading tags; unique page titles and metatags; optimization for page title, metatag, content, heading, and subheading; optimization with social networking accounts; search engine account; domain name submission; page enhancements; CSS enhancements; domain name enhancements; and business directory listings.
Ongoing SEO services
Depending on your site’s content and how competitive your market is, an SEO expert may recommend an ongoing SEO service. SEO results tend to improve over time as a result of professional adjustment based on ongoing research and optimized content. Typically, ongoing SEO services can be provided remotely, with the marketing professional tracking information about your website, tweaking things with your permission and providing updates. Pricing is often tiered, with more services provided for a higher monthly rate. The services included in a package may be standard; once the company and client start working together, details are adjusted to fit the client’s specific needs. Here are some examples of cost for monthly SEO services:
Basic service: $500 per month starting price from Bo Lais of Upshot Media Group in Olathe, Kansas, for quality link building and SEO services.
Local SEO: $650 per month from Eric Wing of MetroCreate Studios of Arlington, Massachusetts. Local SEO means providing search results relevant to the location of the person searching. For example, if you search for pizza, you’ll find pizza parlors near you — even if you don’t indicate the city you’re in.
- Includes: Industry and competitor research; keyword, title, and metatag optimization; internal, external and backlink development; monthly ranking report; access to private client portal.
Full-service SEO: $850 per month from MetroCreate Studios.
- Includes everything in Local SEO package plus in-depth keyword research and recommendations; on-page optimization and content development via ghostwriting; ongoing title and metatag optimization; complete technical audit; advanced link development.
SEM versus SEO
SEO affects your unpaid search engine results, and can improve your organic site ranking (the number of visits your website receives) and help you improve your site structure so it’s friendlier to customers and visitors. If you want to improve your internet traffic through paid advertising online, you can also hire a professional to do search engine marketing (SEM). SEM prices vary depending on your industry and the amount you want to spend to attract customers. Ask your SEO expert about SEM if you’re interested in promoting your website by increasing its visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) primarily through paid advertising.