Does affordable SEO for Small Businesses mean cheap?
The simple answer is “not always.”
Affordable SEO for small businesses is available but in my experience there’s a wide gap between how one company might approach SEO versus another.
As you’ll see below, the value of those services will vary greatly and results will too. This reminds me of the lecture I received from my buddy who trades stock for a living; a cheap stock is not always an affordable stock, because ultimately you’ll lose money on them.
Affordability truly does draw in the client-variable, and what their pocketbook looks like. Living in a small town and working with a lot of small businesses, we find ourselves confronted with this reality frequently; companies just don’t make as much money and thus don’t have thousands per month to spend.
There are a few simple principles that we live by when performing SEO services for small business clients. We are 100% that those principles are correct and that when done properly, Google looks with favor when ranking those websites. Thus far, the results are unmistakable.
When taking into account cost, small business owners should take inventory of the process that is being proposed – if that process doesn’t mention some form of content and backlinks, there’s really not a price that would make the proposed SEO service affordable.
Factors that Affect SEO Cost
There are many variables that can affect outcomes in search ranking and likewise, there are factors that your SEO service provider will use to determine your services cost. Generally as a company, everything boils down to time with some caveats.
Quality of the Product
What SEO companies are doing for you means something, especially if it results in better ranking, but that is a bi-product. The real product, if you’ll allow us, is the content that gets written and structured on your website. That’s the meat and potatoes of any good website and the most efficient of all SEO efforts.
Google recognizes that not every business on earth can afford a high-end SEO company, but there is something to be learned from the fact that every major company deploys a substantial SEO effort to rank their website higher.
It means small businesses ought to participate to some degree. Many don’t, and this is someday going to come back to haunt them.
Participating in the online-world would vastly change many small businesses, whether through selling online or carving out a wider swath of future customers to come visit your business.
As consumers are provided easier online research tools and as phone books get repurposed, merely being present online is not enough.
When deciding on what SEO Company to go with, consider the value of what you’ll be left with when you are done working together. Will the results last? Will their work continue to yield value? If the answer is yes, you’ve found a more quality product and if compared apples-to-apples, a more affordable one.
Time and Effort
Solid Small Business SEO requires time and effort – the higher the quality the higher the rate AND the more time it takes. Now, this isn’t to suggest that there aren’t ways that companies can be more efficient, it’s just that each client comes with a unique need in a unique niche.
As in any business, good work generally takes more time because of intricacy and precision. When looking for a good content writer, we find that they can actually type incredibly fast – so that isn’t the time-suck.
What takes the time is the part where we ask them to research multiple sources, sometimes interview clients (if we’re writing content for them), perform SEO research, then do what they do best: write…(then edit).
I would venture to guess that low-end services would look the opposite direction and that eventually, Google is going to figure out the difference. This may come through intelligence (AI) or user engagement; either way, higher quality and more informative content is going to be a more effective strategy.
The more effective, the more cost-worthy. One approach, which very few businesses actually take us up on, is for content to be written internally. We have one client-partner who did this and made up for all the rest that turned us down for the opportunity.
The result for her was exponential growth on the website we created. You just have to be willing to put in the time and if you’re willing to work odd hours and after the store closes down, you can get a serious leg up on your competitors and this might be the most affordable SEO for small businesses
Value of the Results
Another factor that affect SEO cost is the end-result or value of the “final” product. I quote final because there really is no such thing – it’s an ongoing deal.
But over some period of time, your website will grow in both keyword volume, keyword ranking and traffic. Some industries are just not that competitive – especially in small towns. Users rarely go to the internet to find them. Searching for “candle maker in Walla Walla” will not produce much, but doing so in New York City actually reveals quite a bit of competition.
If you’re a candlemaker in New York, ranking higher among your competitors will mean market share and there’s probably quite a bit to be gained. A lone candlemaker in Walla Walla might find just a having a quality website with a few pages of good content and a sitemap submission will do the trick.
Having a really clear idea about what you want to gain from your SEO initiative will determine how affordable SEO for small businesses actually is. If you’re looking to expand your online presence to account for thousands of relevant keywords related to your business, plan on paying more for that, but value shouldn’t be overlooked.
You should simply see a scaled up version of what a smaller business would pay with consideration to competition. Higher ranking among competitors is simply more valuable.
Ways to Produce Affordable SEO for Small Businesses
There are several ways we approach SEO for small businesses and affordability is a factor, though it isn’t the first thing we consider.
If we as an SEO company approached it from a cost-first mentality, we simply couldn’t deliver anything meaningful. What we try to do is look for the opportunity, then effort, then evaluate cost.
What you can assured of is that when we provide an estimate, we’re confident in what’s available.
Sometimes that means that we feel a content-led approach will produce the needed results and other times we determine that internal content, site restructuring and backlinks are all needed to hone in on a pile of available users searching for a businesses product or services.
Now, I’m all about efficiency and as I mentioned above, having a client write content is certainly something I’m open to, so long as we get the final pass in editing. If a client is willing to produce on a timeline that helps also – it allows us to perform our tasks on a reliable timeline and keeps pace for future ranking.
I’ve also had clients who are willing to reach out to partner organizations, especially in the non-profit world, to see about gaining links to relevant pages of their website. This is awesome. If you’re able to do both while also evaluating search opportunities, and already have a well-structured website, there’s no need for us. This is the ultimate in affordable SEO for small susinesses