As a digital agency that’s been building websites since 2008, helping our clients grow their business by getting found on search engines has always been a priority. But ranking high on Google is not a one-time project and I’m sure we’ve all received our fair share of unsolicited messages offering to get our website to the very top for just a few hundred bucks a month.
This can create the impression that SEO is a kind of packaged service (small, medium, and large) that businesses just need to pay for and then start reaping the benefits. As a result, we get asked these two questions all the time:
How much does SEO cost?
Do you offer SEO packages?
The short answers are “it depends” and “no, we don’t offer SEO packages”. Now, I’ll explain why and what we do instead.
SEO is Different for Every Website
The number one reason we don’t offer “SEO packages” is because SEO work isn’t some generic list of tasks that need to be done every month like maintaining a piece of machinery. The cost and level of effort required to rank for the keywords that are going to get you in front of new customers is largely based on how aggressively your competitors are going after those same keywords.
Your existing website can play a big factor here too. An older or neglected site may need some initial development work done to get it up to date with the latest best practices – where a newer, well-maintained site may need to focus more on content or adding functionality.
Simply put, SEO isn’t a single project or a checklist to complete each month that will get you to the top of Google. It’s a complex marketing channel with many moving parts.
It’s also a journey, not a destination. Just think of how much revenue can be gained from being the number one result for, well… literally almost anything. If you are able to capture a top placement, there will always be a very real financial incentive for your competitors to try and take that spot for themselves.
To keep the technical jargon to a minimum, SEO can be generally broken down into three categories, each of which needs to be considered if you want your best shot at earning attention from search engines like Google:
Technical improvements to your website’s code, structure, and performance
Landing pages and keyword-rich content that is well-written and informative
Backlinks to your pages through digital PR, guest publishing, and many other means of authentic link building
An exact understanding of how Google ranks pages is not public information, but they’ve gone on record saying that they use over 200 ranking factors in their algorithm. An entire industry around search engine optimization exists to break down and reverse engineer these ranking factors so we know what most of them are, but what we don’t know is how they are weighted or work together. And even if we did, there is a massive team of super-smart engineers working on constantly improving search results and most SEO experts estimate that Google adjusts their algorithm at least 400 times a year.
So, depending on your objectives, the scale of your website and how competitive your keywords are, SEO could be an ongoing effort that requires a team of professionals, or it could be handled largely in-house by your own team with some regular check-ins and guidance from a partner you can trust.
Hence, offering a generic package of SEO services just isn’t something we do.
Our Approach To SEO
The competitive nature of SEO requires you to have a better strategy and better execution than your competition. When successful, getting a person to your website is only half the battle and we still need them to convert into a customer, or a lead, or a regular visitor to your site. That’s the real goal at the end of the day.
A Strategy Sprint from Reaction will get you in the game fast by getting our team onboarded to your goals, assessing your current website and search engine standing, and putting together a plan of attack with specific, actionable recommendations.
Typically, we see a combination of factors, including:
Technical issues that are causing slow page speeds
Poorly optimized landing pages that are missing crucial keywords
Messy CMS with a bloated theme or excessive plugins
Not using current markup or development best practices
Lack of ongoing content production plan
Bad user experience or calls-to-action
You’ll be provided with a comprehensive report and we’ll walk you through everything we found, along with our recommendations and next steps. This will likely include a mix of items that you could tickle yourself, initial maintenance or update project, and a strategy for any ongoing work.
If you’re working with Reaction to develop a new website for your business, rest assured that search engine optimization is a standard part of our design and development process. Once the site is live we don’t need to do a separate SEO Strategy sprint but we will want to monitor how it’s competing against the other sites already ranking for those same keywords and can develop our plan of attack from there.
What Will This Cost Me?
While we may not pre-package our SEO services, I can give you an idea of what you can expect to invest in this area of your business.
A Strategy Sprint from Reaction starts at $2,500 and typically takes 2-3 weeks to complete.
The cost to implement the recommendations can range anywhere from $5,000 – $30,000, depending on the scope of work required. It also may not need to be done all at once and this work could be spread over multiple phases.
Any ongoing efforts (content creation, analytics reporting, follow-up audits and active improvements to your website) will depend on the size and type of website you have, the online competitiveness of your industry, and your ultimate goals for search engine traffic. On average, this can range anywhere from $1,500 – $10,000 a month and the amount you’ll want to invest in this area may change over time.
This is where our Reverse Retainer comes in. Rather than prescribing a fixed budget and scope of work, pre-paying for hours each month, and then locking you into a long-term contract, we establish a monthly credit and only bill you for the actual time used after the month is over. You’ll approve any work before it’s started and with regular check-ins, status updates, and access to our team through project management and chat tools, you’ll always be in the loop and know what’s coming next.
Let’s Have a Chat
At Reaction, we have you covered with no off-the-shelf pricing, packaged “results,” or long-term contracts like those shady folks you might have dealt with in the past. We come with a pedigree and a history of clients who can vouch for our SEO skills. From large publishers with hundreds of thousands of articles to small businesses in almost any niche you can name.
If we’ve piqued your interest or you’re sick of navigating pesky Google algorithm shifts in the dark, let’s talk.
With more than a decade of experience in SEO-focused web development, we are ready to tackle your challenges head-on and get you on the right track toward search domination.