Search engine optimization is similar to PR in that both are all about increasing awareness of your brand. SEO helps you get results by boosting your visibility with search engines like Google (which leads the pack by a massive margin), Yahoo and Bing.
SEO is also useful when it comes to monitoring the performance of a campaign because it provides data and analytics that inform your decisions on a strategy. So the integration of PR and SEO is an effective way to drive real value to your company or for a client.
But what SEO services and strategies do you need? And more importantly, how do you determine the value you’re getting for the price you’re paying?
Let’s start with discussing what determines the cost of optimization services
SEO pricing can be complex because there’s no standardized pricing method. Agencies decide how they want to charge for their services through pricing models: per hour, per project, or on a monthly retainer basis.
The factors below will help you find out what affects SEO pricing strategies which will then make it clearer for you to determine which companies offer real value for your money.
The size of the website
The scale of a website has a huge effect on the price of an SEO service.
For example, a small business website will require fewer pages than an e-commerce site. A typical business offering, for example, PR services will only need maybe five or so pages (home page, a few service pages, about us, contact us) whereas a retail website will need hundreds of product pages.
The optimization work for each site will differ in terms of scale, tactics and time.
Competition plays a huge part in SEO pricing. There are cases where a brand is in a competitive field and will need more work done to outrank the competition. But then some websites in a niche market may not have much competition or may even be pioneers in their market. If you’re marketing a company that provides a specialized service, the fact that you have less competition means your site will be easier to rank, take less effort on the SEO team’s part, and cost less compared to a more crowded market.
In SEO competition, you must consider the industry, location and keywords.
The right keyword is crucial to SEO. If a business wants to rank for a very competitive keyword it must apply a range of SEO initiatives, such as regularly publishing lots of relevant content, updating old content, updating metadata and meta tags, having a link-worthy website others can link to and other tactics.
Your PR plan will dictate the service model you’ll choose. Most SEO companies follow the usual service model: hourly, ala carte, monthly or retainer. The SEO package you choose (if it’s a fixed package or a customized one) is going to impact the overall cost of SEO.
SEO: How much it costs
SEO costs will depend on the scale of your PR campaign. SEO campaigns typically range from $500 to thousands of dollars a month.
Some things to think about with SEO costs:
- The average SEO price can range from $500 to as high as $50,000 or more for U.S. SEO agencies.
- Hourly costs range from $50 to $500 on average.
- Different businesses need different SEO strategies. Bigger businesses/companies in a competitive industry may need a more flexible and customized SEO plan and market on more online channels.
- Beware of ranking guarantees or companies guaranteeing SEO results. This might not be legitimate. SEO is an effective strategy, but nobody can control how Google will crawl and rank a website, so any guarantees have to be met with a lot of skepticism.
Services you can get
Understanding a website’s overall health can be a challenge for professionals in the PR field. Not just conducting the process itself, but also understanding its purpose and importance.
An in-depth SEO or website audit is necessary to know what your client’s website’s issues are. Why the website isn’t gaining traffic and underperforming. It exposes a website’s flaws and weaknesses.
This is the first step in the process and it can make or break your PR campaign.
In this process, SEO specialists will audit a site and then present you with a report that contains all the findings along with recommendations. That’s when you decide your next move. By knowing a website’s health, you’re able to make the necessary changes and revisions.
Placing target keywords on URLs, meta descriptions, page titles and different site content is very important because bots use these to understand what the content is about making it easier and faster for them to crawl your website.
Implementing relevant keywords will help bots display your site as a relevant search result.
Note that the higher a page ranks on search results, the more people can come across your content. If you have a catchy and unique title, then there’s a higher chance of them clicking the link and reading your page.
One of the common denominators of SEO and PR is quality content. Quality content plays a major role in SEO especially if that content rakes in traffic and earned media placements.
Search engines prioritize the quality of content whenever they rank a page. Google even made a list of search essentials for webmasters and content marketers to follow.
Creating helpful, reliable, people-first content is now a must. You want to work with an SEO agency that knows how to not just create content but optimize it enough to compete on Google.
Off-page optimization refers to activities happening outside of your website that can influence your site’s position and search visibility. One of the factors that affect off-page SEO is earned media. Things like reviews, guest posts, mentions and shares can have a huge impact on SEO and your site’s performance.
Off-page SEO is important because it takes care of the credibility of your site in places that are seen as outside of your control as a site owner. Done right and it can help boost your rankings for a long time.
On-page optimization is the process of fixing all your site problems in terms of content on the site pages and HTML source code. For example, sitemaps and robots.
Technical SEO tackles a more tactical side of your site. With this service, you’ll have a website that adheres to the rules set by search engines.
Link building is an initiative that increases your site authority through backlinks. PR can widely benefit from link building campaigns because one of the main goals of PR is engaging readers through effective and strategic message placement. This can also be used to generate high-quality links that will improve the overall ranking of a page.
Using different link building strategies will increase your reach and the number of backlinks you get. This will then make your PR campaign more successful.
The right SEO agency will not just have the right packages or services but will also be able to customize solutions to fit your needs.
Leverage SEO for PR
Businesses that integrate SEO and PR create opportunities for visibility, branding and exposure—to the right audiences. This marriage allows you to not just be competitive, but also potentially be ahead of the pack with the right specialists in your team.
If you lack the resources right now to build an in-house SEO team, outsource to an established service. One that has experience and background in optimization work for the PR industry. Consult with a few services, asking if they can tailor services and fees to your business.
And respond to the one that has the capabilities to understand your goals and requirements.
From brand awareness to visibility and reach, your PR goals will be met with the right SEO tactics. Use it, and watch your PR strategy deliver results.