SEO Services Judged by the Costs - What do they convey?

Divya Fernando

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Top SEO providers that spread far and wide across the globe have a vast difference in SEO costs and an eventual incline of customer preferences depending on innumerous factors therein.

SEO Costs Trend.jpgSEO costs have been an arguable topic for both SEO service providers and surveyers of this context, in this case - SEOmoz. It is much of a concern to the end-user though who tend to get confused with the range of SEO costs that exists throughout the world for similar services. On January 3rd 2012, Rand Fishkin of SEOMoz released an interesting but rough estimate of the SEO costs by various top SEO providing countries. Although, this does not cover the entire SEO industry spread across the world at large, it does give some eye-opening observations on the customer behavior of each country. As opposed to, Mr. Fishkin's 9 takeaways from this survey that was powered by AYTM, I have a different view of things that I would like to put together here for you. 

First of all, I pity the businesses who depend upon us SEO companies who are tough to differentiate, both in terms of cost and quality of service. It gets worse when majority of the websites fail to provide cost of service on their website and ask for further contact with the seeker of SEO. While consumers must understand that a good SEO cannot really function like a turnkey solution provider and offer fixed and generic costs of service, there are also high chances of coming across companies that give you quotes without making the fact clear as to why your website would need a particular search engine marketing service. 

It is I-M-P-O-S-S-I-B-L-E to be sure of a website's SEO needs unless you have been out there tracking the website's progress and promotional activities from scratch. Since no SEO company can really do that, the maximum one can expect from an SEO provider is to check back on the history of the site promotions, research and analyze the site performance along with internal issues like keywords used and then give a quote to the end user. SEO costs are secondary, if one thinks that the money they are paying for SEO services is a one time thing and is something that they are doing out of competitive pressures, they must stop it. Think of SEO as an investment and invest wisely to gain maximum returns that really makes your SEO costs negligible.

Getting back to the topic, I would like to point out some user behavior in terms of cost of service from various countries. And since this is the internet, the user behavior is not limited to a geographic location i.e a website owner in the US can clearly seek the SEO help from SEO services company in India. 

So what is the trend really, let's take a look - 

i.) SEO service pricing:

It is no surprise when we see the pricing trend amongst the SEO companies which is somewhat directly proportional to the currency conversion rates of the country. Since the only developing nation on this list of surveyed SEO providing countries is India, SEO services India seem to have the cheapest SEO services whether it is a hourly based one, a project based one or a monthly retainer. The lowest of rates in India for hourly rates goes below $25. However, there are a lot of Indian companies, about 12%, who have said that they do not opt such pricing which is apparently not reflected in the infograph. 

Most expensive projects (with project-based quote) of $250,000 and above are acquired in the US. The common trend amongst all these countries is delivering projects between the $2500 - $5000 range in all these nations (India gets a least count here and hence can be called an exception) in project-based quotes which could span across several months. On the other hand, the common trend of SEO costs in all these countries in the form of monthly retainers is within the range $250 - $500 (SEO India featuring the highest benchmark on this range).

My take: 
SEO services in India may be on par with its worldwide first world nation counterparts but the rates remain cheap and hence the trend of outsourcing SEO services to India is on a constant high. Monthly packages seem to be a huge hit in the US and UK because customers there like to go for recurring packages for ongoing promotions and depend wholly on their SEO companies for promotions. I personally think monthly packages that recur each month needs an in-depth analysis in terms of the effectiveness of each repeated service. If this analysis is not in place the website being promoted is under deep trouble. 

The fact that US seems to have the costliest project-based SEO pricing may indicate the trust factor that clients place on their local SEO providers rather than outsourcing their jobs elsewhere.SEO services are sought the most in the US right from the start of search engine optimization, so it is no doubt that local US SEO companies have established an authority in this industry and acquire recurrent enterprise or fortune 1000 clients.

ii.) Client Types:

The pricing statistics for SEO services in India, US, Europe, UK, CA, AU/NZ also depends on the major client category that are acquired. Most businesses that seem to seek SEO in all these countries belong to a vast and unanimous category of Small to Mid-sized businesses and yet again SEO companies in India seem to top the priority list of such clients. This is much obviously due to the cost factor, that the SEO pricing is still vastly cheaper in India and small to mid sized businesses invest on Indian SEO companies. Interestingly, a huge amount of the same client-type alongwith a third and major category of large-sized businesses seek high quantities of SEO services in Germany, France, Itale and Netherlands. 

The overall trend in all these nations is that they get maximum business from small to mid sized businessses. 

My take:
Being a part of the Indian company I am glad to see positive user statistics for my nation. Apart from that, I see a huge growth and demand for SEO in the European countries that has largest number of clients from small to large businesses. This also means that some non-English speaking nations find it easier to confide in SEO companies at home (German, France, Italy and Netherlands) rather than elsewhere.

Fortune 1000 companies and big enterprises seem to either be content with their established brand recognition else seem to hire in-house SEO consultants. Obviously they have the moolah to invest on other types of costlier paid advertisements for instant reach towards its target customers.

iii.) Age of the Company:

This really shows how well acquainted each country is with the importance of SEO and that explains the rise in demand for SEO companies (this may not necessarily apply to India as Indian SEO companies majorly emerged early to serve outsourcing clients). 

The SEOmoz survey shows a rise in trend for SEO in countries like Australia and NewZealand which sees the maximum SEO startups. This is then followed by UK and India who are at a continous rise in demand for SEO companies. Surprisingly, India has the largest number of older SEO service providers ranging from 7-15 years, which is followed by European countries in close proximity. The US has the oldest SEO companies that have existed over 16 years. 

My take:
It is no surprise that US has the oldest SEO companies, but what is surprising is that in the 7-15 years range, India and Europe seem to have outdone the US. Either this or the fact that older US companies din't find the need to take part in this survey. There is a constant rise in SEO companies in India which shows that there is a huge demand for SEO services in India, no prizes for guessing why. Aussie companies are catching up at an increasing pace. Not many Canadian company statistics on the chart to boast about. 

iv.) Number of Active Clients:

German, France, Italy and Netherlands seem to have aced this race where they show the maximum number of active clients amongst other nations of more than 1000. This category is also not bad for Canada. European countries also tend to show a high number of active clients in the 26-50 range. 

The average active clients for all nations at the point when the survey was taken fell between 6-10.

My take:
Not much to say here since the survey varies in many aspects especially the inconsistent number of participants from each nation in concern. However, the numbers are impressive for Europe, and surprising for Canada that just seemed to have lower number of older SEO companies. It seems like the demand is more than the supply and hence they might have the highest number of active clients for a single company. 

v.) Number of Employees:

The highest number of individual-owned SEO businesses originate in the US, UK and AU/NZ. Most number of employees in this survey seem to feature in India. 

My take:
Indian labor is cheaper than that found in other countries in this survey. However, the cost of service still remains high in companies that have less number of employees and low in Indian SEO companies that have maximum companies having more than 250 employees. 

SEO companies in India like Submitinme provide manual processes for their various services. Looks like most other nations showing less number of employees use automation or probably just outsource to our country. That clearly explains the huge number of employees for Indian SEO companies. 

SEO costs are based on various factors that are concerned with the promotions and the nature of the business, but most of these above factors are also eye-openers of the SEO pricing trend that flows through top SEO providing nations of the world. 

Watch the infograph below, provided by Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz on which the above user trend analysis is based. 




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seo pricing
Infographic by SEOmoz & AYTM Market Research

Category :

SEO News

Tags :

SEOMoz, SEO Cost, SEO Pricing, SEO services India, SEO services company India, SEO India

About Divya Fernando

Divya Fernando I am Divi Fernando and I am an expert SEO author who is also into Business Development at Submitinme.com. I have loads of energy and I disperse it in varied tasks that involve writing, dancing, singing, strumming my guitar, drawing, photography, travel and adventure. I believe that 'You must take pleasure in what you do, or simply don't do it'. I take immense pleasure in my work as well as off-work activities and I'm always open to learn new things in life. My strengths are my positive attitude, confidence, innovative thinking and creativity. I also happen to talk too much about myself at times and never know where to stop. Thank goodness for the limited space, you must think .... more info


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