B2B SEO Pricing: How Much Should it Cost?
When we start talking with a new B2B prospect or client, we often get asked about pricing and the specific costs associated with working together. Since there are so many agencies, software companies and independent contractors across the world selling some type of search engine optimization services, the pricing for B2B SEO is going to be all over the place. How does a company know exactly what they need SEO-wise? How do you truly understand the value of the SEO workmanship when it comes to SEO? On this page, we hope to elaborate on the many variables at play when it comes to pricing out an SEO campaign with a focus on the B2B space.
The Different B2B SEO Pricing Models
No matter the type of generalist agency or specialized B2B SEO agency, you’re going to see several different types of SEO pricing.
Hourly SEO Rates:
This is one of the 3 most common models. You can expect to pay $50 – $200 an hour. It allows you to be able to work on specific tasks or to recover from a Google Algorithm update without having to be locked in to a monthly retainer. In our experience, this model is chosen for the businesses that can’t necessarily afford the discounted retainer model or just need some supplementary help along side an internal marketing team. Be careful of agencies offering this model and working on a set of default tasks. Today’s SEO strategy needs to be a set of customized tactics tapered towards the specific needs of the URL.
Project Based SEO:
$500 – $20,000 +: Similar to hourly SEO, this would be primarily for larger grouping of tasks such as a migration from one domain to another, link building or writing B2B content. This allows the agency to work on a subset of tasks and both sides understand the exact budget and timeline. We have worked inside this model a lot especially with new clients as it allows us to “break the ice” together and show the level of detail / results we accomplish. It almost every time leads into the next model.
Monthly or Retainer SEO:
Expect $1000 – $5000 a monthly. Commonly referred to as a monthly plan, we see this SEO model the most. in our process, it starts off with an Executive SEO Analysis where we cover a very large data set which aids us in putting together a 12 month road map. Unlike some SEO companies that may have a set amount of tasks each month, we create a plan that reflects 1: Our findings, 2: The client’s goals and 3: Flexibility. It’s important to be able to be flexible along the way as things online changes and competition gets fiercer.
Variables that Affect Cost of B2B SEO
There are two main things to consider when creating the custom pricing for an SEO campaign. #1: The URL that you are working on and #2: The agency working on the website. Firstly, we will start on looking at the many variables for the targeted site that affect price. Note that these are just some of the pieces and that each website and SEO strategy is going to be different. It’s impossible to loop every website into a one size fits all SEO package.
Your Website’s Variables
- Type of CMS: Do you have WordPress or some proprietary CMS that will be more complex to work on.
- Current Rankings in Search: How good or bad are you currently on Google & Bing.
- Goals: Are you a new website wanting to become the next industry leader or are you a local “mom and pop” just wanting more calls & a decent increase in patients.
- Competition: If your SEO competition far ahead of you or are there many opportunities to outrank them.
- Time-frame: You can’t rush SEO. Any agency that tells you they can rank your website fast isn’t a true SEO company. There are some things you can do to be more aggressive from a time frame.
- Geographic Targeting: Are you wanting to target people in a small region or are you National or Global?
The Agency’s Variables
Expertise: Most sellers of SEO out there are generalists. They are either a generic SEO / SAAS company that sells SEO services to everyone or they are a digital marketing agency that works with every vertical & every size client. If you work with a company that focuses in a specific niche like plastic surgery, you can expect to pay more since the knowledge is deep and the results are obviously going to reflect that.
Location: A US based agency is going to cost more as many India, Ukraine or SEO agencies based outside of the US are going to have much lower overhead. Just remember that you truly get what you pay for when it comes to SEO.
Customer Service: Many agencies will just assign SEO tasks and send you a basic report each month to let you know that they are “working” with you. Alternatively, an SEO company that has REAL people looking at your account daily and is accessible 24-7 is going to be much more of an investment.
Return on Investment
How do you determine B2B SEO ROI? The simple answer is that it can be complicated. You’ll want to make sure that you understand all of the variables that affect the return on your investment such as the types of appointments you’re getting, types of actual procedures, lifetime value of a patient, sources of referrals and most importantly, the source tracking of all leads. To make things easier, we have create a B2B SEO ROI Calculator that you can download by clicking here.
What are Some Agency Vetting Tactics to Make Sure I’m Making the Right Investment?
OK. So you have a short list of of B2B agencies you’re going to work with. Here are some things to look into to ensure you’re making the right SEO investment.
Get an In-Depth Audit: Ask each one to submit an SEO Analysis of your website then compare. You can get a feel for how they are going to work with you and their level of expertise by simply reviewing the deep level of understanding they have in their reporting.
Face to Face or Google Hangout: Have a meeting with them to see if their personality is going to be a fit. We are all humans and finding the right B2B SEO agency is kind of like dating. You’ll know what “feels” right and what won’t.
Teach Yourself to See Black-Hat Tactics: Listen for words like guarantee, black-hat, blog networks, social bookmarking, automation, hidden, duplication, etc. At DeTorres Group, we are 100% white-hat. What that means is that we adhere strictly to how Google tells us to optimize your website. We never try anything that could mislead Google which would end up causing harm to your rankings down the line.
Find Past Clients: Of course you’ll want to ask for some results from their past clients and even speak with them. Ask for a B2B specialty that’s similar to yours as well. If you’re savvy enough, run some of their past / current B2B SEO clients through analysis tools like SEMrush.com.
In summary, just because a B2B SEO agency may have a nice website and tons of logos of past work, you’ll still need to do the “sniff test” before choosing the right one. Follow the suggestions above and you’ll be on your way to ranking locally, regionally or nationally faster and less costly than not doing any research at all.
Still not sure? Click on the button below and we will personally answer any questions or concerns you may have about Search Engine Optimization in the B2B space.