In this part of the series “How much does positioning cost” we will focus on cost differences, depending on whether we are going to position the website or the online store. At first glance, it may seem the same to a less experienced person, yet the two concepts need to be separated. In the previous text, we discussed the topic of settlements for SEO activities and found out what factors determine the cost of positioning. If you did not have the opportunity to read the previous article, we encourage you to catch up as soon as possible. You can find the article here. If you are up to date, please read the next part below.
The cost of website positioning
If you wish to create an e-commerce business, you should take into account several fees that will be one-off, but which should also be included in the cost of positioning. Starting from fees for creating an online store, through domain and hosting fees, to fees for promotional activities. In the case of a service activity for which Google visibility is the main source of customer acquisition, part of the costs will be shared with those incurred by online stores, while – in theory – the overall cost will be much lower. Therefore, assuming that positioning has its price list, the costs should be divided into website positioning and online store positioning.
Positioning a website is often local, but not only. Local positioning is the positioning of a website, e.g., an accounting office or a law firm (services provided regionally). For local positioning, phrases such as “accounting office New York” or “law firm Miami” are used, i.e., phrases with an annotation location.
Starting with the base costs, i.e., resulting from setting up and maintaining a website, we are talking about fees from $400 to $60,000 PLN per domain per year, about $60-300 for hosting (server) per year and a fee from $300 to $5,000 as a one-time fee for creating a website. Websites are usually created on the basis of popular CMS systems, and WordPress is one of the most used. Such large discrepancies in the price for creating a website result, among other things, from whether we decide to cooperate with an agency or a freelancer. They also depend on the possibilities and variety of paid or free options of a given CMS.
A WordPress website for $100-500 is feasible assuming that it is created by a student or someone who makes extra money in this way after hours. A person who does not run a business has significantly lower living costs than the agency. Unfortunately, a common problem in such situations is the fact that not only the issue of payment is dealt with “illegally”, but also the contract and the resulting assumptions. In the case of websites based, for example, on WordPress, it is extremely important to purchase a license that allows the use of a given template and the transfer of proprietary copyrights, which in the above-mentioned situation usually does not take place, which can lead to negative legal consequences. Therefore, a much safer and, above all, legally compliant solution is to commission a website to be created by a professional agency.
Websites’ positioning involves positioning from a dozen to several dozen phrases, and the most frequently searched keywords enjoy the greatest interest. On-site activities come down to a one-time preparation of content for individual keywords, introducing them to the website along with technical optimization, and then systematically acquiring links. Assuming that the website is positioned for 30 keywords, one-site activities will amount to about $1,000 including the cost of copywriting at a relatively good level. Link building should be based on local portals or links from forum entries. Often it is also worth trying a few “stronger” links to improve the parameters of the domain obtained through sponsored articles. The budget that should be counted on for these actions is impossible to define in a universal way, even in the form of a price range. The price list will vary, depending mainly on the location (the city in which we position ourselves) and the competitiveness of a given industry. In smaller towns, with, say, up to 30,000 inhabitants, achieving high positions for even the strongest phrases may be possible without the need to add any links, which is due to low competition in the industry, and sometimes even the lack of it.
It is good to remember about the possibilities offered by analytical tools such as Google Analytics or Google Search Console. Both are free, but it is worth using something that will allow us to monitor the position. In this case, Web position or Stat4Seo will be perfect, for which the monthly fee should not exceed several dozen dollars. The cost of website positioning by an SEO company will rarely be calculated in this way. The valuation methodology most often resembles a “positioning price list” depending on the number of phrases in the offer and possibly the number of searches.
Can I position my website on my own?
Yes, you can. It is better to do it yourself or outsource it to an agency? We prefer and strongly recommend the second option. Independent website positioning is a risky and very time-consuming task. It also requires specialist knowledge of the Google algorithm. Failure to follow the recommendations of the search engine or failure to comply with important rules may result in the imposition of filters on the website. These, in turn, will make it no longer visible in search results. When it comes to SEO, it is worth relying on specialists who can boast specific achievements and experience.
The cost of positioning an online store
Positioning of online stores is much more difficult than positioning websites. At the beginning, when, like above, we want to establish base costs, there are a lot of discrepancies.
Store platforms can be divided as follows:
- Dedicated solutions
The first type gives us many more opportunities to make individual changes. Due to the access to files, we have virtually unlimited editing possibilities. The second of the above is a kind of closed software, without access to files, therefore the editing options depend on the capabilities of the administration panel.
SaaS platforms are usually paid for on the basis of a license for using the software, most often in the form of a monthly subscription covering the server space (we do not have access to files, the store is on the servers of the platform owner). The related fees may differ from provider to provider. In some cases, resource scalability is determined by traffic and sales, which then determines the subscription amount. Their undoubted advantage is the guarantee of a kind of security of the correct functioning of the store and its resistance to possible hacker attacks – we pay a subscription for access to software, which is serviced and developed by the supplier’s IT department.
The monthly fee for this type of online store is from several dozen to several hundred dollars, while the cost of setting up the store depends on the selected mask (template or individual design).
Open-Source platforms are usually preferred by SEO specialists, mainly due to their high flexibility and ease of introducing changes. In the case of this type of scripts, it is worth hiring a programmer who will take care of the security of our environment, introduce updates, install new plugins and deal with all other issues, which can be difficult to implement. Of course, the hosting costs are on our side in this case. It’s not easy to determine the price range for creating a store. For example, PrestaShop is a free platform, but its setting and configuration are priced in similar ranges as above.
The cost of positioning an online store will depend – just like in the case of website positioning – on the industry and its competitiveness, but there are many other, additional issues affecting the final amount.
Positioning an online store will not be positioning for a few, a dozen or even several dozen phrases. Of course, there are many agencies that approach the subject this way, but it is not always a good solution. If we analyze search trends, and thus check which phrases are searched by users, it turns out that we can position a given store even for tens of thousands of keywords. SENUTO is an external tool that allows you to test the visibility of a website in search results, based on your own keyword database. By checking the Cocolita website, i.e. an online drugstore, we will find out that the company is visible in the TOP50 on over 25,000 phrases. By checking them in Ahrefsie, which tests visibility up to TOP100, we will get information about over 65,000 potential phrases. The above data results from the construction of the website and the content introduced within it. Knowing the wide scope of Google indexing, some of these phrases will certainly turn out to be unfounded in positioning, but on the other hand – taking into account the possibility of expanding the store with deeper categories and alternative category trees – there are phrases that the website does not currently index, and which are searched by users.
Our goal should be to index ourselves to all possible phrases describing our offer, preferably in TOP3 positions, which collect about 60% of search traffic. The number of products, the number of their characteristics (e.g., size, weight, material, purpose, etc.) and the potential of product phrases determine the scale of subsequent activities in the field of website development. Following this line of reasoning, the scope of technical optimization and the possible increase in server resources will be dictated by the type of assortment we sell. In addition to activities in the genre of technical optimization, one should add the working time of a specialist who, by analyzing search trends, will assess the legitimacy of creating individual categories and subcategories. To quote Google’s guidelines:
“Avoid publishing broken pages: users don’t like seeing” blank “pages, so avoid using temporary versions as much as possible. For example, don’t post pages for which you haven’t developed any content yet. If you choose to create such pages, use the noindex meta tag to block them from being indexed. “
Depending on the size of the business, companies spend $2,000 – $10,000 for content creation each month. Content creation is a very extensive issue, including texts that constitute product descriptions. These, in turn, apart from the issues related to UX, allow you to develop content on subpages containing the assortment and position it on product phrases. It is also recommended to additionally monetize traffic from visitors by encouraging them to write such an opinion.
When it comes to link building in the case of websites, it is so important that we do not have much room to show off in on-site activities. In the case of online stores, you can and should do a lot as part of on-site activities, which is why off-site activities theoretically do not have to be that intense. However, on the other hand, the scale of the activities makes it a bigger undertaking than for the parties.
As far as the differences in the positioning of the website and the store are concerned, we have exhausted the topic above. In the continuation of our guide, we will discuss in detail the issue of billing models used by agencies, as well as discuss the impact of inflation on the SEO industry and why it affects positioning prices. There will be a topic important to a large part of our clients, i.e. the costs of positioning abroad, and we will also debunk the myth whether an unlimited budget for SEO activities is the key to success.