Social Media Marketing, Social Media Strategy & Social Media Services

July 26, 2017

Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Search Engine Marketing– The Nature and Need


Due to the rise in online competition, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Social Media Marketing (SMM) are the most trending and demanding industries. Businesses that wanted to survive the online challenge adopted them at the earliest.

The nature of these industries is result and target oriented with continuous efforts. They have project scopes, timelines and associated costs. These industries do ensure business success, but it is time scenario based. In usual scenarios it takes a couple of months to see results and in others it might take more than that. However, keep in mind that utter patience is required for long run benefits.

The goal of SEO, SEM and SMM is to reach out to potential customers. If a business has not opted in for internet marketing then it is losing out to its competition. There is a common misconception in business starters that the business will be managed via marketing. Marketing in this new era does have its limits, the internet is almost limitless and ‘internet marketing’ is ideal for nearly all sorts of businesses. It can help build reputation, awareness and reach and also build confidence in existing customers. A franchise having its roots on the internet is bound to succeed!

Case studies show that businesses that use internet marketing have generated more revenue than other any other means of marketing to no marketing at all. In obvious cases the theme of internet marketing is to let the customer find you and not the other way around. This works because the internet is query and search based. If your business is not there when a query is made then you have already lost! With the power of internet marketing and the right service providers, your business definitely gets what it deserves.


Experience and Cost


Talking about the costs associated with internet marketing, it really depends on the skills of the service providers. The higher skilled service provider produces quality work output. Service providers shouldn’t just be taken for granted, a complete background check is mandatory. Things to look out for are skills, experience and portfolio.

The following is the minimum experience required to ensure your business is in the right hands and the maximum quality work is delivered.




1.5 years


2 years


1.5 years


During the course of a minimum of 2 years, an individual may have worked on at least 4 projects or more. This gives them a lot of industry exposure and the time to build a strong portfolio while enhancing their skill set. So, the employers or clients do not have to doubt the service providers’ ability to handle projects of various natures.


Pricing Models


SEO, SEM and SMM are still new industries which are trending. Businesses and companies are still trying to figure out appropriate pricing models for specialized services in order to hire contractors which are fair to the service providers and the clients.


Hourly Pricing Model


One of the pricing models that are most commonly used for SEO (Search Engine Optimization), SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and SMM (Social Media Marketing) is the “hourly rate” pricing model. This pricing model allows the employers to pay for the services acquired on an hourly basis. Prior to the hourly contract, the hourly wage is determined.

The hourly pricing model has its merits and demerits – both to the contractor and employer. Let’s look at the following typical example:



Hourly Rate

Fixed Rate


50 Directory Submissions




Keyword Research




In the above example the contractor has to do 50 directory submissions for an SEO project. His hourly rate is $80. Typically it would take around 2 to 3 hours for this task provided a list of web directories is available. But, the service provider may take longer than that resulting in extra hours of work.

If the employer does not know the number of hours it will usually take to complete that respective task, because most of the time they are on assumption and estimate basis, often enough, this doesn’t work and changes have to be made – including the time and scope of the project. Sometimes this is where service providers take advantage by limiting their productivity per hour to increase their overall wages. In the above example the total charge to the employer was $245 where it could have been $100-150. Similarly, the keyword research is also determined by the service providers’ productivity. However, the employers can impose the maximum number of hours if they have prior experience with hourly service providers. Some employers may give leniency to the contractors, even though the work cost them extra but the overall outcome was great! However, this is not always the case!

For large projects there are a lot of factors to be predetermined before the hourly job initiates; this includes the hourly rate, scope of work, maximum hours and an approval process in the case where more hours are required.


Fixed Pricing Model


If we look at the fixed rate pricing model, it is much easier for both parties since the price is already predetermined for the job. In addition, all that is required is a deadline which is either initiated from the employer or the contractors end. In the long run, fixed price models have proven to be beneficial for projects as a whole since they contain numerous activities to be performed during their course. SEO, SEM and SMM have different packages so the client is fully aware of what they will get, for how much and when. Usually their quotes and consultations are free!


Typical Project Costs


SEO, SEM and SMM projects have varied costs based on the packages a service provider offers. Usually the projects are divided into the number of tasks and activities performed by the service providers. For a greater number of tasks and activities the cost is higher. This is where the service provider will help you out and nominate the package or packages that best suits your business. The cost however does vary between service providers. Those who have a high skill set and an impressive showcase of portfolio will usually charge more for their services.


Average Basic Starter Plan Cost (per month)




6 months



Depends on employer, minimum 8 months



6 months


The Verdict



Charging hourly per activity does not seem feasible for these projects as the overall cost will be much higher than the fixed price cost. This graph sums up an estimate of the charge an employer has to pay the service provider.


The hourly values are calculated based on working on an average of 3-4 hours a day for SEO, 2-3 hours for SEM and 2-3 hours for SMM with an hourly rate of $80. The cost is calculated on the basic starter plan package.

As you can see from the graph, the hourly pricing model ends up charging the employer nearly 40-50% more.

For choosing the service providers, the cost should not be entirely focused on. Keep in mind that the cost alone per hour does not reflect the quality of the work done that hour. Internet marketing does entail results but it requires a certain period before it’s effective.

The fixed pricing model combined with the weekly progress reports is the best possible pricing solution for employers seeking internet marketing service providers.

The expected ROI from Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), and Social Media Marketing (SMM) depends on the nature of business. The following example best demonstrates the ROI.

A business that has a digital camera store online opts for SEO, SEM and SMM. The minimum price of his products inventory is $300 and the maximum is $1500.

Total cost during the course of a 9 month contract was nearly $6000. If there are even 5 sales of the maximum priced inventory it will cover up the total investment. So, the ROI in this case is depended on the number of sales. Typical ROI is usually greater than 1000% in the long run. Hire a trustworthy internet marketing service provider today for a “fixed pricing model” and see your business blossom!


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