WARNING: Read this before you shop around for an SEO quote. I decided to write this article to help give my readers a better understanding of how to engage an SEO company and receive an accurate and honest quote. When most people call or write me, one of the first things they say is, how much are your services? A broad question like this lets me know this person may not understand SEO in the first place and therefore could fall pray to unscrupulous practices. To get the right answers, you need to ask the right questions. This is why you must at least have a basic understanding of SEO before you order SEO services. That being said, the first question should be something like, what type of SEO services do you provide? or How does your program work?.
On-Page or Off?
Next, you should know that SEO can be separated into two categories, on-page SEO, and off-page. On-page encompasses coding and design as well as content and server management. Most SEO firms only offer on-page analysis or on-page SEO consulting, meaning that they will tell you what to do but it’s up to you and your developers to implement the changes. If the company does do the on-page services then the quote can range widely as some sites may require a full rebuild while others just need simple tweaking.
Off-page SEO boils down to link building and social media. Starting with the types of link building, you want to be sure they are not just using black-hat software to build the links instead they should be built manually. Secondly, they should use high-quality content to build these links and definitely, no spinning (spinning is using synonyms to automatically rewrite articles). I’m not saying that you shouldn’t explore black-hat techniques but 10,000+ black hat links are usually equal to just a few good quality links. Lastly, black hat SEO done wrong can actually get your site completely removed from Google’s search results so you should probably run the other way if someone offers these types of services exclusively. The same applies to social media, there are tons of black hat social media programs out there that will create social media accounts, add friends and more. The problem is that Facebook, Twitter, and many others are catching on to this and when they catch you, they will erase your accounts causing you to lose several man-hours of work. Not to mention, social media is all about engaging the community so why would you entrust a black hat program to represent your company?
Knowing this, your next question should be how many people will be working on my account and how many man-hours will be spent working on my website? As I said, the best links come from high-quality content and this content takes time and skill to produce. Just one high-quality link could take anywhere from 2 to 8 hours to produce and if your site requires thousands of links to compete with your competitors, then you could require a whole team of SEO agents working full-time on your account. Knowing this will also help you gauge the SEO quote, as the amount of man-hours is directly related to the costs.
Do a Little Research About Them
Lastly, ask for the name their head SEO and check out their case studies. Google the person’s name and find information about them so you can investigate their SEO credentials. In the world of SEO, the proof is in the pudding. And don’t let them pull one of those cobbler’s kids excuses, meaning they dont have time for self-promotion or some other lame excuse for not being ranked. Their own website should be 100% optimized and should rank in Google for the type of searches they are competing for and they should have years of case studies. Once you find out the name of their top SEO, type it in Google and if he or she is worth a damn then you should be able to find a wealth of information about them. Simply put, if they can’t get themselves ranked high in Google then the chances are they won’t be able to help you either. If you have any more questions just leave a comment below or contact me directly. I’m usually eager and happy to answer SEO questions and always give free phone consultations.