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Search engine optimization is no longer an optional service that some businesses choose to ignore. If you work online through a website, blog, social media, or another internet platform, you need SEO.

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the improvement of your business’ visibility through search engines. Google, the king of the search engines, controls this visibility with a series of algorithms that rank your website among competitors. The factors that go into these algorithms aren’t 100% apparent and are constantly changing. This makes it difficult to predict what will put you at the top of your industry. This is where hiring an SEO consultant becomes imperative.

Search engine optimization firms specialize in knowing what search engines are looking for and how to help their clients rank highly. Of course, hiring a specialist costs money. So, how do you know if what you’re being charged for an SEO retainer is worth the spend? Here are a few factors to consider.

Competition in Your Industry

How much competition you have within your chosen industry will help outline the cost of SEO for your business. Companies with minimal competition may not have a difficult time building a web presence. Questions to ask yourself include:

  • How many other businesses in my area do what I do?
  • What makes my business unique?
  • Would my business be considered a niche market?
  • Has it been difficult breaking into my industry?

For businesses in large industries like weddings and fashion, there are such a high number of competitors online, building your SEO may cost more. For smaller unique markets where fewer results appear during an online search, your SEO costs will be less.

It’s important to recognize that while SEO costs are more for popular business models, these are also the businesses, which need the most help.

Local vs. National Traffic 

Where you live also impacts the cost of SEO. If you have one business location selling in your area, your business needs local SEO help. This requires less work for your SEO management specialist and might be cheaper than national businesses, which have more than one location.

The larger the region your business resides in, the more potential there is for local competition. We discovered above that the greater the competition, the higher the price point climbs. Therefore, the larger your local, the more potential for a cost increase.

National vs. International Traffic

The cost of SEO for your business is dictated by a variety of location factors, including whether your business is national vs. international. Why does it matter, you might ask? Aside from the increase in potential competitors, a national vs. international setup could require language and currency conversions. Entering a new market where your product isn’t well known also requires your SEO team to build brand awareness and create an online presence in a new country.

Online Sales and eCommerce

Some businesses forego a brick and mortar location altogether. These online services are part of the ecommerce movement. If you sell products or services in exchange for a credit card payment or alternative payment like PayPal, your business will need ecommerce SEO management.

Services Required

Search engine optimization encompasses a wide assortment of services. Everything from the length of your blog posts to mobile-friendly videos can influence your rank online. If your business already has an established online marketing system, you may need fewer services than those companies, which are just starting out.

Web presence is determined by everything your company does online. Your website, blog, and even comments customers make on websites like Yelp, all affect search rank. Your SEO company can help improve customer engagement, create custom content for your blog, design an aesthetically beautiful landing page, design an effective e-mail marketing platform, and help you use keywords to improve your relationship with Google.

Calculating the Cost of SEO

All the information you’ve gathered above goes into determining the overall value of your business in terms of SEO support. Knowing the answers to these questions will help you calculate how much you should spend as a company to rank through Google.

At W3 Affinity, we recommend speaking to an SEO specialist for a list of services and a quote. Before this, however, you can do some solo calculations using an online SEO calculator, like this one.

Hopefully, this article has been useful to you in determining your SEO needs and potential outcomes. For more information call us at W3 Affinity, we’ve always happy to speak to new and current clients who have questions regarding SEO. 

Author John Keller

Cultivating proper SEO tactics along with building sites with excellent User Experience since 2003.

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