It is the goal of every company to stay ahead of its competition. One way of doing this is investing more in search engine optimization. This is because before people consider doing business with a service provider, the first thing they do is conduct an online search. If your website does not appear in search engine results, most prospective customers will be suspicious of you and they will walk away. The good news is that there are so many SEO companies that you can work with to boost your ranking. Even so, before you get started, it is imperative that you understand the SEO payment models.
The purpose of investing in SEO is to boost visibility, which will in turn help you get more business. The whole exercise will be counterproductive if the cost of SEO is higher than the returns. To find a service that works best for you, it is good to understand the payment models that are used by SEO companies. Below are the main forms of services and payments.
• Monthly retainer
The first option that will be presented to you by search engine optimization companies is the monthly retainer. With this option, the clients are required to pay an agreed fee every month in exchange for agree-upon services. This is the most common payment model used in the industry today. It offers the best return on investment. However, you need to be vigilant when going with this option.
Monthly retainers include a wide range of services. The amount you end up paying at the end of the month will depend on the number of services you select. Typically, the services that come with this option include on-site content improvements, analytics reports, press releases, keyword research, link building and optimization. Most companies will allow you to select the services you want. Make sure that you pick what you really need for your business.
• Fixed prices
The second payment model is that of contract services at fixed prices. Almost all search engine optimization agencies offer this option. This is often provided to clients before they make up their mind to engage in monthly retainers. With this option, you select the services that you need and then a fee will be charged to you on an agreed upon period of time. The services offered by the agency are normally advertised on their website together with the prices.
Different companies have different offerings in their fixed prices. A good example is where you get SEO audits which will enable you to determine the existing strengths and weaknesses in your online presence. The service may also include competitive analysis and keywords that have the highest potential to return positive ROI. Again, you have to tread carefully when going with this option. Make sure you don’t get a package that will make you incur unnecessary costs.
• Project-based pricing
A good example is where a local baker asks an SEO company to help with their local online marketing. The client will decide whether they want the agency to establish their social media accounts. The SEO Company and the bakery will also decide on the cost and scope of the project. With that being said, the price will vary significantly.
• Hourly consulting
The most common payment model that is loved by SEO agencies is that of using the hourly models. The beauty of this option is that you will only pay the search engine optimization agency for the services rendered within a specific amount of time. This means you will not have to pay unnecessary fees for services you will not be receiving throughout the month. With this option, there is an hourly fee that is charged in exchange for information or services. It is good to dig deeper into this option in order to understand how the fees are determined and how the company will work with you.
Most of the SEO agencies use all the four payment models. This means it is up to you to select the payment model that works best for you. It is also possible for you to use more than one model. For example, you can pick a monthly retainer and buy a contract service as well as engage in special projects with the same or different agencies. The idea is to ensure you get a payment model that works best for you. Ensure that you can easily manage the expenses and remain within your SEO budget.