When running a business in the third decade of the 21st century, it is virtually impossible to avoid the company’s presence on the Internet. Almost every customer – no matter if they are present or just potential – is in some form an Internet user, so they can come across a given activity during their activity on the Internet. There are many forms of advertising on the Internet – this is a very broad term that can refer to many channels of communication with the client. One of them, which in many cases gives the best profit to cost ratio, is page positioning (SEO), i.e. activities aimed at improving the visibility of the website in search results, while ensuring more traffic on a given website. Some entrepreneurs try to position themselves on their own, usually with a moderate effect (there are exceptions, however). Most businesses, however, at some stage of development, decide to cooperate with a professional agency. What is the cost of website positioning? Is it possible to effectively position the website on your own?
What is SEO?
As we mentioned above, positioning is a process, the correct execution of which makes the website attract more users who enter certain phrases in the search engine. In a nutshell, SEO activities are divided into two types – both are necessary to properly position the website in search engines and ensure high positions on the list of results:
A. On-site SEO – activities that we perform at the level of our own website. They mainly include:
– publication of well-matched content, containing carefully selected keywords,
– presenting content in a search engine-friendly form – using appropriate headers, taking care of the structure of the text and division into paragraphs, graphic descriptions (alt),
– ensuring fast operation of the website – choosing a server, CMS system, code optimization, image compression,
– internal linking – simplifies navigation for the user, but also influences better page indexing;
– equipping the website with an SSL certificate,
– setting friendly addresses,
– responsiveness – the website must be displayed correctly on various devices – not only computers, but also smartphones and tablets.
The first step in positioning, however, is always choosing your keywords. The analysis should be detailed and based on reliable data. You have to consider what phrases users may enter when looking for products or other content on our website. A good start will be an analysis of competing pages – what words are they positioned on and what “power” they have in the context of SEO. To check various aspects related to the selection of key phrases, the market offers a large number of programs and services – from free ones, such as Google Trends, to paid ones, such as Ahrefs or Semstorm.
B. Off-site SEO – activities aimed at acquiring as many valuable links leading to a given page as possible.
Linking is a key element of website positioning. As a website gains popularity, it most often also gains links in a natural way – users share content they consider valuable by placing hyperlinks to it on their own websites or blogs. In the vast majority of cases, however, it will not be enough to ensure high positions in search results, especially if the industry is highly competitive and there are many candidates for sharing the online pie.
Websites that help us buy links from different sites come to the rescue. Their form varies – it may be the purchase of a hyperlink in an already existing article on a similar topic as our website. It can also be buying space and publishing your own sponsored article on a given website, thanks to which we have full control over keywords and the form of the text. Some websites also allow you to buy a copywriting service, which consists in writing such an article, thanks to which the need to generate the text yourself disappears.
The key in this case is the quality of the page from which we want to obtain the link – the quality is calculated by the Google algorithm and depends on the SEO level of the website.
Another option is to build a network of your own pages to improve the positioning of your main site. On such pages, called backend, keywords are placed along with links, thanks to which the positioned landing page increases its results. However, building an effective back-up facility requires a lot of know-how. Usually they have to be projects based on valuable domains with a rich history, and there should be a lot of well-profiled content on the website itself. It is not enough just to “set up” a simple CMS and wait for the results – the Google algorithm very easily detects pages of little value from the perspective of the search engine, so unskillful preparation of the back-end will only be a waste of resources and time.
The principle is simple – the more links from websites defined as valuable, the greater the value of our website, and thus, the higher the position.
It is also important that the links leading to our website have the dofollow parameter, i.e. they are indexed by search engine robots. Links with the nofollow parameter, i.e. very little valuable from the SEO point of view, are, for example, links in social media – of course, they still lead to a given page and attract users to it, but they do not noticeably improve its position after entering a given phrase in the search engine.
However, link building is not easy. If suddenly many links from different sources appear to our website, the algorithm of Google (or another search engine) may determine this activity as suspicious, which will limit the effects, and in the worst-case scenario, the website will be punished, which will result in the opposite positioning result.
Is it possible to position the website for free?
Technically, it is of course possible, and with an extremely niche industry and relatively large effort, quite likely. A well-chosen strategy and on-site and off-site SEO carried out on-site in the long run may lead the website to the top of search results. One of the biggest allies here is Google Analytics along with the Google Search Console tool – these are free services officially provided by Google. However, their installation itself can be problematic (depending on the website structure and the CMS used), and improper implementation will make the results distorted.
When it comes to acquiring links, we can of course count on a natural flood of hyperlinks – especially if, for example, an entry from a company blog is substantively very valuable and solves a widely encountered problem or raises an issue that has not been explained in such a comprehensive way so far. Usually, however, you should not expect spectacular results.
We can also ask for help in linking friends who run their pages – preferably on topics related to our site. In the vast majority of cases, however, the number and power of links will not be sufficient to catch up, let alone overtake the competition in a clear way. In individual cases, free positioning can be successful, especially if the website is run as a hobby and it concerns a little-known topic. However, if we want to promote a profit-oriented business, and there are recognizable brands in the industry with marketing and SEO budgets, our chances of high positions are illusory.
Why is it worth working with professional positioners?
First of all, because website positioning is a complicated process that requires experience, specialist knowledge, professional tools, resources and time to bring good results. Many agencies allow you to conduct a free SEO audit after entering the address. This automated audit is able to find the most pressing problems related to indexing and page construction, giving an overall picture of the situation. This is a good start, but the tool will provide us with much less data than a professional audit performed by an experienced specialist.
Tools supporting the analysis of links and keywords are paid:
Professional agencies use a whole package of various programs, thanks to which they are able to correct the SEO strategy on an ongoing basis and operate on the basis of a large set of data. When working on SEO, Paraphrase-Online.com uses tools whose monthly cost for one company (one page for positioning) is over $ 2,000.
The cost of website SEO
There is no simple answer to this question. The cost of website positioning depends on the competitiveness in a given industry, the “strength” of the competing pages, previous SEO activities, content quality, site construction and many other factors. However, you can put the entire SEO process into the overall framework, relying on the rates offered by experienced agencies.
Remember: in SEO it is not possible to guarantee the result and agencies that declare the certainty of achieving TOP1 or TOP3 on a popular phrase within a certain period of time actually predict coffee grounds. Certainly, an experienced team of reputable specialists will improve positioning results, but how high the page will be is the result of so many factors that precise prediction.
The problem here is also the fact that the search engine displays different results to different users. The core of the positioning “value” of the page remains the same, but Google, based on the location, history of visited pages and Internet behavior of a given Internet user, will probably present him with a slightly different order in the rankings than his friend.
The minimum cost of website SEO in cooperation with the agency
It can be assumed that in the case of cooperation with a good agency, the monthly cost of website positioning is at least $ 1000-1500 in the case of small service websites (local small business) and online micro-stores from less popular industries. As part of such a package, we typically get about 30-50 monitored phrases and optimization up to 10-20 subpages. These values are slightly lower for service companies and higher for e-commerce stores – due to the specificity of sales, positioning of stores is generally more difficult, and therefore costs more.
SEO of a service company – cost
A company that operates on the local market in a moderately competitive industry and plans to significantly increase the number of leads from search engines must take into account a slightly higher cost – $ 1,899 (up to 100 phrases, up to 30 pages). Extending the scale of operations if we take into account a niche industry – nationwide, it is already $ 2,700 (up to 170 phrases and up to 60 subpages) and $ 4,200 (up to 250 phrases and up to 100 subpages). Nothing stands in the way of, of course, getting involved even more on the basis of an individual valuation.
The cost of SEO an online store
A small e-shop from a relatively niche industry, offering a small number of products, should spend at least $ 2,000-3500 on SEO. As part of such a package, it will receive monitoring of 100-250 phrases and from 30 to 100 optimized subpages. Medium and large e-commerce websites with a larger assortment can consider higher packages – from 5,000 to 8,000 $ (in Paraphrase-Online.com, up to 250 phrases and up to 100 subpages or up to 400 phrases and 150 subpages, respectively). The largest platforms from the most crowded sectors of the market are subject to individual pricing – “sky is the limit”, both in terms of costs and returns on investment.
The cost of website positioning may seem high – especially in the case of microbusinesses – but the traffic coming to the website directly from search engines (the so-called organic traffic) is very valuable in the context of acquiring customers. Users come to the website in search of specific products, services or information, which means that they usually do not get there by accident, which significantly increases the chance of conversion.
We say it often, but this quote will most likely never become outdated: SEO is a race of sorts. Certainly, however, he is closer to a marathon (or even an ultramarathon) than a sprint, and a good result requires know-how, effort and, above all, time.