Are you creating your company’s marketing budget? If so, you’re probably wondering if you should leave room for SEO.
67,000 Google searches occur every second. This should prove that SEO is a powerful way to increase your brand awareness.
When shopping for SEO services, you likely notice many SEO professionals offer monthly SEO packages. This sounds convenient, but are monthly SEO packages worth the price?
No two SEO packages are created equal. You need to ensure the SEO package you’re looking at is worth your investment.
Here’s everything you need to know about monthly SEO packages, including what to look for and some questions to ask. If you are ready to check out the different SEO packages we have to offer, click below to get started!
Monthly SEO Packages: 6 Things to Look For
While all SEO services and packages differ between professionals, they usually offer some similarities. Here’s what monthly SEO packages should include.
1. SEO Content Creation
Content is essential to SEO results. Content not only helps send out positive signals to Google algorithms, but is also an engaging way to connect with your audience.
If your content is compelling enough, your website visitors will continually come to your website for engaging content, blog posts, and education.
This is why Google specifically ranks websites based on their content. Google is smarter than you think — they know quality content creates trust between a brand and its audience.
There’s a myriad of different content types an SEO professional can create for your website. This includes blog posts, articles, videos, visuals, and other unique forms of content.
As mentioned before, it’s also easy to use content to manipulate Google’s algorithms. This includes optimizing your content for keywords and backlinks.
The differences in our SEO packages and pricing comes from how we are able to prioritize and best allocate your SEO budget based on your needs and goals, rather than “adding in” more services you may not need just because you have a bigger budget.
2. On- and Off-Page SEO
Another essential ranking factor is both on- and off-page SEO.
On-page SEO is pretty self-explanatory — it’s all of the factors that Google ranks on your website. This technique optimizes all content on your website for keywords, the UX quality of your website, and other crucial SEO factors.
On-page SEO also encompasses more intricate processes. This includes studying search queries for your website, building your internal links, and optimizing your web design and performance for Google searches.
Off-page SEO attempts to optimize your website from other sources. The most common strategy is building backlinks to your website from other websites.
But off-page SEO encompasses other strategies such as optimizing your social media for Google, getting good reviews, various kinds of lead building efforts, press, media mentions, and more.
3. Technical SEO
SEO is more than just content, keywords, and links. In order to rank, your website needs to speak Google’s language. This is done with technical SEO strategies.
Most technical SEO encompasses techniques such as repairing broken links, increasing page speed, achieving a responsive design, optimizing your website for mobile use, and ensuring your sitemap is accessible.
4. Local SEO (If Applicable)
Not every business benefits from local SEO. But if your business receives most traffic and sales from your local customer base (especially for brick-and-mortar stores), investing in local SEO is worth it.
Google applies certain search terms and SEO strategies for local businesses.
In order to rank, Google needs to recognize your business. Setting up a Google My Business listing with all basic company information ensures your business is recognized on Google searches.
Other local SEO strategies include ranking for locally-optimized keywords (usually including your city, state and/or country) and link building within your local market.
Your local SEO professional may also create local listings to ensure your business appears on relevant business organizations and groups.
Local SEO also optimizes for specific Google search engines, such as Google Maps. Local SEO success also boils down to specific website best practices, such as listing NAP (name, address, phone number) on every web page.
5. Strategy & Trends
SEO is an industry that’s constantly changing. SEO tactics used only a couple of years ago are outdated.
Continuous SEO support entails the SEO service is keeping up with SEO trends and is updating your SEO techniques to match the current trends.
6. Monthly SEO Reporting
To ensure your SEO efforts are successful, the SEO service will include reporting. This is a comprehensive report of your search engine success.
The SEO service will track your SEO success and will monitor the ways you’re benefiting and can identify anything they need to change.
Some of the areas they study include your search visibility, keyword rankings, your conversions, your website traffic, your link building, and your content performance.
You’ll receive regular reports and constant communication from the SEO professional.
4 Important Red Flags to Avoid with Monthly SEO Services
SEO is an ever-evolving concept that requires continuous learning, tweaking, and research. In our many years of experience, we’ve run into a few red flags with other companies that we feel are important to share.
- Prices that are too good to be true. Like all industries, if someone is offering services at a price that is difficult to believe, be wary. SEO involves behind-the-scenes research, adjusting, and execution that unfortunately can be overlooked or misrepresented. Ask for specific, actionable items, and don’t be afraid to ask for further explanation.
- Promising top rankings for all keywords. As you’re probably aware, SEO is a difficult beast, so if someone is telling you that all of your keywords will be top-performing, be skeptical. Considering the number of companies that are investing in SEO, total domination is a concerning claim.
- Promising instant results. To get “instant rankings,” agencies would likely have to resort to methods that violate Google’s policies. While these shortcuts may prove valuable in the short-term, once Google catches onto these infractions your website will be severely penalized and left in a far worse condition than when you started investing in SEO.
- Guarantees. As previously mentioned, SEO is ever-evolving and agencies should not be guaranteeing any results. An experienced SEO team will provide some estimates based on similar campaigns completed in the past but know that they cannot control Google.
Understanding Monthly SEO Pricing
When it comes to SEO pricing, there are many different approaches and variations of services. While the goal is always to improve your organic searches and search results, the scope of services can vary significantly. This is why you can find such a wide range of SEO pricing, anywhere between $500 to $10,000+ per month.
A simple rule of thumb is that anyone charging less than $500 a month for SEO services is not likely to be doing sufficient work to actually improve your SEO rankings or their packages are losing them money.
This doesn’t mean that lower budget SEO campaigns are ineffective or dishonest, just that the actual services and work needed to be done to make substantial improvements will likely cost much more than $500.
SEO pricing can be tricky, so make sure to talk with your SEO agency and have them walk you through their approach, deliverables, and ideas before agreeing on a monthly SEO package.
Importance of an SEO Monthly Plan
Due to the complex nature of SEO, we highly recommend engaging with a monthly SEO plan. This is important for consistency and because SEO investments are a long-term play. Monthly SEO plans have become the most popular option in the industry because websites, clients, industries, and keywords are all unique and evolving. An agile team to research and implement new strategies, without being restricted by time, is essential for long-term success.
SEO Monthly Cost Breakdown
To understand SEO monthly costs, let’s first look at the scope of services.
To keep things brief, we have broken down the services into 5 different parts: technical SEO, on-page SEO, off-site optimization, local SEO, and reporting.
Technical SEO includes examining and improving load time/page speed, finding and fixing broken links (internally and externally), fixing any crawl errors, improving the site’s mobile friendliness, and examining/improving the website’s sitemap accessibility.
On-page SEO includes extensive keyword and industry research, confirming on-page content satisfies the search intent, internal link audit and strategies, outbound link audit and strategies, and ensuring the content is organized and properly configured for search engines.
Next, off-site optimization includes researching and contacting opportunities for link building, prioritizing the best opportunities for links, and tracking new inbound links.
Services for local SEO include optimizing local listings and ensuring the information and settings are correct, optimizing content with local keyword locations, and link-building with other local businesses, groups, and directories.
Reporting simply refers to the proper keyword tracking, traffic analysis, and other KPI-based review to ensure you are making progress with your campaign.
Fixed Price SEO
Fixed price SEO is an important part of a monthly SEO package, as it enables a business to put a budget together rather than worrying about paying endlessly for SEO.
For an idea of the potential services that can be included in a fixed price SEO campaign, refer to the breakdown of SEO monthly costs in the section above.
Should You Invest in a Custom SEO Plan?
You may notice some SEO services offer a custom plan. Is it worth the investment?
This depends. Even a standard monthly SEO package is technically customized. That’s because of the in-depth analysis performed on many aspects of your company.
A custom monthly plan takes flexibility a bit further. It may focus on one SEO strategy over another, i.e. local SEO over content creation.
Keep in mind, custom plans are usually more expensive than traditional monthly plans. If you’re unsure of what you need, invest in a standard plan and decide if you’ll benefit more from a custom plan.
How an SEO Professional Analyzes Your Company
Now that we know the basics when it comes to monthly SEO packages and how they work, let’s look at the process of getting started.
Every SEO professional knows each client is unique and their SEO techniques need to be tailored to each particular company.
To know what works for your business, an SEO professional will analyze your company and your website. Here’s how this is done:
Customer Behavior Analysis
An SEO professional will analyze your website visitors and how they behave on your website. This is to develop leads and be able to market to each website visitor.
We mentioned an SEO professional will perform technical SEO strategies. Before an SEO professional knows which strategies to use, they will perform technical analysis to see how your website can be ranked better.
This is usually done with a website audit, which is a technical analysis of your website’s search visibility. A website audit discovers any technical issues with your website that causes Google to punish your website.
If your business is in a specific niche, an SEO professional will study your niche and your audience. This is to ensure your content is created for your intended audience.
The SEO professional will conduct this research by studying your products and services as well as your competitors. This is done to find the targeted audience for this market.
Your Current Marketing Plan
Do you also invest in other marketing services, such as Facebook ads or Google Adwords? Your SEO professional will take your current marketing efforts and will combine this with your SEO efforts.
For example, your SEO service will study the branding materials you have and will create content pertaining to your brand voice and image.
Questions to Ask an SEO Service Provider
Now that you understand what SEO monthly packages entail, it’s time to find the best SEO company. Unfortunately, there are many scams out there. Before signing up for a monthly service, ask an SEO company these questions.
Which SEO Strategies Will You Use?
A reputable SEO firm will be upfront about the strategies they will use to ensure you rank. They may even provide a comprehensive portfolio that proves their expertise and that proves their clients also received results.
How Long Will It Take to Rank?
It may seem promising when an SEO service says it will take only a month or two to receive results.
However, run away if they say that. SEO takes time. It may be possible to see some improvement in that short amount of time, no SEO service should make promises like that.
An answer such as “we will work diligently to improve your SEO ranking, but understand it’s unpredictable how long it will take” is a company that’s more trustworthy than one who will make false claims.
Do I Need Local SEO?
As mentioned previously, brick-and-mortar stores should invest in local SEO. But what if you’re a web-based business, such as an eCommerce company? Instead of throwing local SEO out of the water, ask an SEO professional their opinion.
If they see a potential to rank in your local market, they may use a few local SEO strategies to help you stand out from competitors and increase your customer base.
Which Backlinking Strategies Will You Use?
While link building is essential to SEO success, it’s easy to buy into bad link-building practices. This is called “black hat SEO.” This type of link building places your links on low-performing websites.
Google will catch your link on the low-quality website and may punish your website.
Instead, a true SEO professional will only build your links on high-quality websites.
Ready to Invest in a Monthly SEO Campaign?
If you are considering investing in better organic visibility, click the graphic below to view our SEO pricing and packages. Our SEO approach is tailored to your unique company and your target market, and built for small and midsize business budgets.