When choosing an SEO service, the first thing small businesses consider is the costs factor. The variety of respective offers currently available in the market is huge, but in every situation, the costs of a service are directly proportional to the amount of time invested in the effort. Whether you decide to take care of things yourself, engage a consultant, or hire a multifaceted SEO service to attack the problem from all possible angles, you will always have to deal with the time/ money issue.
Depending on your goals and the size of your budget, you can approach SEO in four different ways: full-service, partial-service, assisted-service, and self-service.
Although this is by far the most expensive option, on the plus side it practically eliminates the need for you to get involved in the effort. In other words, you can sit back, relax, and let the experts take care of your site’s optimization for you. Other advantages of this approach include higher quality of service, access to a more comprehensive SEO package, and better overall results, but again, all at the expense of a hefty financial investment.
If you consider a particular offer to be too expensive, you will need to conduct a thorough assessment of your site’s weaknesses in advance to determine whether some of the other options might be more appropriate for you from a perspective of costs.
This type of service can take different forms, but essentially, it involves cooperating with the SEO consultant/ firm to determine the aspects of your site that need improvement. Together, you will decide whether it’s best to opt for social media, website architecture analysis, wire framing, copywriting, keyword research, link building, or a combination of these or other SEO services, depending on the case.
The great thing about this approach is that it allows you to pay for each service separately. Although not particularly cheap, this approach to SEO lets you know exactly how much you will pay for each service you choose. Despite the convenience of better costs control, on the downside you will get results at a slower pace, so it usually takes a while to see any sensible changes in your site’s rankings or other targeted areas.
While assisted-service SEO doesn’t lift the hands-on work and responsibility of the SEO effort off your shoulders, it does support your ventures with the professional guidance of a consultant. In most situations though, settling for advice and assistance only allows you to bring down the costs of optimization significantly.
Hiring an SEO for consultancy purposes gives you the freedom of echeloned, progressive payment, and you only take money out of your pocket for services that you actually need. Once you have acquired all the information you consider necessary, you’re done. When you think you need more, simply go back and ask for guidance in those areas you want to approach at that time.
As the name suggests, with this approach you are completely on your own. You are the one who decides both the direction of the SEO campaign and the main course of action, and to make things happen, you will have to look for relevant information at conferences, specialized workshops, forums and blogs, etc. In essence, self-service SEO allows you to save money, but choosing this route can at times be confusing, not to mention it will swallow a lot of your own time.
There is nothing wrong with the DIY approach, it’s just that you need to be sure you know what you’re plunging into. Most business owners see it as a temporary measure, and only resort to it when they are sure that their efforts will pay off later down the road.
SEO and the Question of Affordability
SEO doesn’t have to be expensive, and the costs of specialized services are relative to the results promised. Before hiring a particular SEO service, always do a brief costs-benefit analysis and only close the deal if you consider the investment worth it.
Ultimately, the secret to keeping your SEO costs down is the efficiency factor. Achieving the most efficient balance between resources like time, money and other aspects with an impact on the success of your efforts is imperative for keeping your SEO campaign affordable.