SEO (search engine optimization) as a practice is utilizing known methodologies to influence the ranked position of a website in the results that are displayed by a search engine, when a specific search is performed. For example, if your business is that you are a dentist in Las Vegas, you will want to have your website presented on the first page of results when a person goes to Google and searches for “dentist in Las Vegas.” Due to the fact that search engines have become the primary means for people to discover products and services that they are seeking, a position on the first page of results means that your business is being seen by however many potential customers are seeking the services you offer. These are better potential customers than television or radio can provide, because instead of exposing your brand in an advertisement that the person watching the show may or may not be interested in, searching on a search engine means that this person is looking for your products or services specifically, and is looking for something right now. If you are presented, then you are considered as a source for what they are looking for. If you are not presented, you are missing all of these opportunities to sell to new customers. This is why search engine marketing and search engine optimization is such a powerful tool to gaining new business. People either know you are there or they don’t, and if they don’t then they cannot buy from you.
Search engine optimization itself is the practice of manipulating elements of the website structure, the code, the content and the links to pages on the site in order to push the position Google is giving you in results to a higher place. The combination of all of these elements (and thousands more) are what Google is using to determine if you are a better authority on a subject than someone else who does the same thing as you. If you are being outranked by another “dentist in Las Vegas” it is because the competitors have created a situation where Google views them as a better authority on the subject than you are. The job of an SEO is to manipulate those elements that are controllable in a way that Google will accept, and thus make your website a better authority on the subject than the competitor’s websites. The main problem is that even if you do manage to outrank them after a while, there s no guarantee that they will not also be working to achieve the same goal, eventually outranking you by using the same practices. The position you are ranked in depends not only on the elements of your website, but the comparison to the elements on competing websites too.
Your SEO crawl budget optimizations is determining your rankings, whether someone wants to admit that or not. One of the most common questions asked of SEO companies is “how much should I spend on SEO,” or “should I go with a cheaper SEO or not?” Think about it like this, you are paying for a specific amount of work to be done each month, and the SEO company needs to make money. They are not going to give you work at a price that loses money for them, or they would not be able to stay in business. Because of this fact, there are only two ways for your SEO company to give you a cheaper price than the next one. They can hire people that work for less per hour (generally by outsourcing work to India or another country where they can pay workers less) or they can work less hours per month. If your competition is outranking you they are doing more and better things on their website. If you restrict the amount of hours that are put in by your SEO company, you are getting less work every month. Will that amount of work be enough to outrank your competition? The answer is maybe or maybe not. If the work that is being done is not producing the desired result, then you must decide if the amount of work is not enough or if the work itself is sub-standard. You are paying another company to present information on your subject, and you are asking Google to judge your information on your site as being the most trustworthy and accurate on this subject, over all of the other information on competing websites. Generally, hiring the cheapest person possible to present your company is not going to provide the best results. If you were going into a meeting with the president of a company and competing for a multi-million dollar contract, there is probably no chance that you would send a minimum wage level employee in to present your company to them. This is what is happening when you hire a cheap SEO company, they are either doing very little work for you or they are hiring minimum wage employees to do the work. Google is comparing the work they have done against the best content on a subject that is on the internet, and there is almost no chance that the things that are being created by low-pay workers can compete in that arena. Your penalty for not being the best is lower rankings.
All in all, going with the “cheapest” SEO company is usually like taking a certain amount of money and throwing it away. It is not better to pay a small amount and get no results than paying a larger amount and actually receiving the benefit you are looking for. So to answer the question “how much should I pay for SEO,” it can be summed up like this. Approach the situation with your eyes open and understand that you have competition. Make the best choice of SEO company you can find, based on recommendations and achievements. If you get the results you are looking for within about six months, then you are paying enough. If you are not getting the results you are looking for, it might be a good idea to pay them more and get more work. If they do not say that more work will improve the rankings, then find another SEO company.