The decision to invest in SEO can be monumental for your company and its success. You’ve researched a variety of companies, and have finally narrowed it down to the company you think will be the best fit for your SEO campaign. In their proposal, though, there are a range of options for you to choose from. The question quickly becomes, “What is the difference between the various price points for SEO?”

At Firestarter SEO, we get this question all the time. As we educate our clients on their different options, most of the time we can confidently say that they will see quality results within a good range of pricing options, but the main factors they need to consider are: their budget, their level of patience, and how aggressive they want to be. From a more tangible and specific standpoint, though, what are the real differences in a low-cost versus higher-cost package?

Time for Success

One of the biggest differences in a low-cost option versus a higher-end package is the time it will take to get results. For example, the difference between a $1000/month option versus a $2000/month option could be between 3-6 months, depending on a number of factors. Companies that are limited in their budget generally will need to wait longer for impactful results.

Quality & Quantity of Content

A staple of an SEO campaign is content creation. This can come in a variety of forms, such as blogs, white papers, infographics, and more. High-end content production – such as a comprehensive guide – is reserved for higher-budget campaigns. These digital assets are extremely rich in content, and can be used as a sales tool, informational piece, or distributed on social media platforms for higher visibility. Low-budget campaigns focus on more simple content pieces, like basic blogs. Over time, these blogs will create a network of content designed to boost main pages up in the rankings. For Firestarter’s clients, smaller budgets will provide blogs, and as budgets continue to increase the quantity of content produced each month follows suit. For premium campaigns, we begin introducing the digital assets mentioned above.

Quality and Quantity of Links

The single most crucial difference in deliverables for different budgets comes down to link building. The lowest-cost options we provide strip away everything else and simply focus on links. There is a wide variety of link types, but these lower options focus on the most basic links: local listings, directories, and guest posts. On the other end of the spectrum, we have the budget to chase after high-end links. These are inevitably more expensive and time-consuming. Think of it this way: how much does it cost Forbes to pay their writers as compared to a small, local site? Links work the same way – premium, impactful sites simply cost more (in time and money) to acquire links from than small, local websites.

For Firestarter, higher budget campaigns afford us the flexibility of acquiring high quality links, and more of them.

Ongoing vs. 1-time Optimization

At the beginning of any campaign, a website usually requires a minor overhaul and optimization. This ranges from improving the page speed to fixing titles and even revamping content on each page. One difference in the pricing options is how often this optimization is done. Since low-cost options have limited resources, the site optimization is done once upon the start of the campaign. This is geared towards shoring up the foundation for the campaign and making sure each page on the site has a set target keyword and has been optimized for it.

For premium packages, optimization is constantly monitored and adjusted, and issues are resolved as soon as they come up. Regular site crawls keep us informed of any error that can pop up on a site, and we can immediately address them.

Development Hours

An important element to SEO is ensuring websites are large, up to date, and fast. This means that ongoing development can play a role in your campaign’s performance. Higher budget campaigns include ongoing development built into the budget. These hours can go towards building new pages on your website, improving the layout and design, and much more. In the long run, this can provide solid savings for your company. Since low-cost options strip away everything but the core services needed to succeed, development hours are usually not included.

SEO services can range from $250/month up to $5,000/month and beyond, so it’s important to understand the differences in what you receive for those prices. The core differences fall into the time it takes to see results, quantity and quality of links, and the quantity and quality of content produced. Other factors are the ongoing optimization and number of development hours. Regardless of the variations, each option is designed to maximize results for our clients.