There are two main things that factor into the costs of your digital marketing. The first is the involvement of time, and the second is the skill level of those entrusted with its execution.
All other factors, in one way or another, influence either the time required or the skill of the person involved. The more time and higher the skill, the more SEO costs. Incidentally, a higher cost should also mean higher reward, but that’s a post for a different time.
Let’s say you have a small site with relatively few problems. The cost of fixing issues is diminished and now you need to focus on content and building the web presence (page optimization is included in those two things). On the other hand, if you had a large site with many problems, the cost will go up significantly as you’ll need to repair the problems either before or simultaneously with the content and promotion aspects.
Both the severity of the problems and how successful you want to be at the content/promotion aspect can have a direct influence on the skill level required of the marketer’s handling those things.
But this isn’t just a big site/small site problem. Many small sites have significant problems of their own, and large sites could have been designed with relatively few issues from the get-go. The point I’m making here is that every site has a unique set of needs. The greater the needs, the more the cost of the SEO will increase.
Which leaves us with one more factor, which I like to call “aggressiveness level.” One of the first questions we ask prospective clients is this:
How aggressive would you like to be with your web marketing strategy and budget?
And then we ask them to select from the five following options:
- I know web marketing is important, but we haven’t prioritized it until now. Let’s start slow.
- We are losing sales to our competition and need to kick it up a notch.
- We are being crushed by the competition and must make significant changes now.
- Web marketing is my top priority and this campaign needs to be as robust as possible.
- Killer mode—no mission is impossible with the kind of web marketing campaign we’re after.
This question helps us better understand how important the campaign is to them relative to their budget. If they want to start slow, we can both expect a campaign that is lower on the cost scale. If they want killer mode, we an expect a healthy budget to go along with.
This also helps set the expectations for results. Clearly you won’t get the same results starting slow than you would with killer mode.
The whole point of this question is to start us off on the right page together, crafting a proposal that is more apt to meet their needs, while planting the idea that different levels of investment produce different results.
Why is this important? Because aggressiveness level plays a role both in the skill required and the time involved in the campaign.Which means it has a huge impact on the cost of the SEO service.
Your budget plays a role in how aggressive you can be, and how aggressive you want to be will impact the budget. Before you start talking SEO, it’s important that those two things align.