SEO agency with transparent costs

 In Digital Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation, SEO

SEO Agency with Transparent Costs


SEO Worthing

SEO or digital marketing costs can and does vary between providers. This is an obvious reasoning as different companies will have varying overheads and costs. But why is there such a discrepancy between costs and the services that are offered? Why are there so few,  Retriever is an SEO Agency with transparent costs!

We look into what various agencies, without names mentioned, charge to their clients. Why is there also such a variance in transparency in services offered? Why charge for a “secretive” service, in an industry that has a poor reputation? Estate agents still have to be fair, a poor reputation for trust but I reckon that coming in the second position are SEO agencies or digital marketers. However, without taring all agencies or SEO consultants with the same brush, there are exemptions to the rule. We are one of those, quite obviously!

SEO Services 

The various SEO services offered by agencies can vary from almost doing nothing, to a full on service which literally covers everything including the kitchen sink. So prices would obviously vary in accordance for the services offered.

Whilst there are still agencies, some National, that offer a gleaming service, allegedly for £75 per month and do nothing for the money until an agency provides a report based on the current – and then they magically do some work. Whilst I have experience of coming up against these “agencies”, who undoubtedly have grown too fast and cannot do the full works that they promised and how many people, not knowing what SEO is, are happy with paying £75 per month “knowing” they are having a service offered to them. We have provided reports to these people who are being ripped off, showing them the issues with their site, the basic work not even being touched, for these reports to go to the “agency” and for us to be told we are liars!! This hurts!

However, there are agencies that price a lot more than £75 a month, sometimes £500 and even into four figures, that do not do the work either. So, just because you are being charged a lot of money, do not expect that the agency is doing the work that you expect.

Check the SEO agency is doing the work

So, what can you do? Whilst the internet has a lot of information available, hence why SEO is so important to get found for what you offer – finding out what an agency is or should be doing can be a nightmare. So either read this article for a brief overview on what they SHOULD be doing for SEO work as a minimum really or ask an agency to give you a free review on your current SEO or online marketing.  I say free, as long as you do not have a huge site, experienced SEO consultants should be able to give a brief overview of the basics and social media, content etc. for free. However, if you do have a rather large site, then you should expect to pay something.

Transparent SEO Costs

This has got to be the biggest let down area we come across. Why charge for something that is almost secretive to many, without explaining what it is you are going to do? Would you accept a car mechanic on giving you a price for fixing your car, without him or her, explaining what the cause of issue was and the replacement parts needed? Would you pay for any other service in business without having a break down of services provided? So why should SEO be any different?

Again whilst there is a wealth of information, advising on what SEO is, it is worth understanding the basics to know what services you are paying for. this is important also if you have an in-house marketer doing the SEO for your business. After all, you are paying for their services too.

We come across many organisations advising that they “have somebody sorting their SEO” – and whilst mostly this might be an excuse to get us off the phone, most believe they do have somebody sorting it. So, why would we call a company that is seemingly not needing our services? Surely that would be a waste of our time and expense!

Transparency in Services Offered

Even at the proposal stage, when an agency wants your business, they should outline in detail what they are going to do and when. The costs are then associated with these. For instance, an agency might cost their time at £500 per day and stipulate that it will take them two days a month to complete the monthly work. Should their work be a fixed cost, or should they be able to provide extra costs, without advising previously?

We believe that costs should be fixed for a transparent service, where the list of services are advised. Any extra work that is agreed to will be charged as an extra. But again, these should be highlighted and explained. Not a secret because the consultant needs a new suit that month, and YOU are going provide it!!! IF the consultant was part of an SEO agency with transparent costs, you would probably trust them more.

What we do

At Retriever Digital, we believe that there should be a core set of services offered each month. When we say we will carry out that work, even if it takes us longer than the agreed two days, we will not charge extra. However, if the client wants to send out an email campaign, then we can cost for that separately. This will be over and above the two days we have set aside for that client. By the way, two days is not two complete days, in one hit but a total of 16 hours set over the month. We need to complete different tasks as varying times of days!

Initial Search Engine Optimisation Costs

There will be initial setup costs for an SEO campaign. If you ordered a CCTV system, you would pay for installation. SEO is no different, we need to complete competitor analysis, keyword research and then be able to optimise the website. So expect to pay a setup cost. Some agencies offer to do this over a few months. This depends on the size of the site but this will cause a delay in your return on investment. So, paying for an initial setup will provide a faster return on improved results.

The setup can vary, depending if you have had any work completed previously. For instance, somebody quoted a client, £100 just to install Google Analytics into their website! Without asking if they had an account. Adding it to a WordPress website, would take 10 minutes. £600 per hour is ridiculous money!

Ongoing Search Engine Optimisation Costs

Whilst the services offered can vary according to what the site is like initially, the cost will vary accordingly.

Some agencies will offer a cost for the bare minimum but that it produces results – rankings, leads, enquiries or sales? If not is that worthwhile paying? Expect proposals for SEO vary according to what work is going to be completed each month.

Some agencies will not provide backlinks to your site, they might not know how to provide this service; which can be very time-consuming. Backlinks are worthy of their cost, done well, and relevancy of course. It is not worth paying for backlinks that are not relevant to your business. For instance, if you provide IT Support, a link to window cleaner website is not relevant! Google will not reward you for those links.

Providing Content

If you provide content for your agency to add to your website, then take this cost into consideration when agreeing to an ongoing campaign. Likewise, if your agency is going to provide suitable content, for backlink campaigns and social media marketing, this should be included in the monthly retainer. Do check, or even approve all content postings. Check for quality, the way it is written and quantity of content. If the agency agrees to provide two articles of content, then ensure they do so.


We can see from the above that transparency is key for pricing and services offered. Whilst you might be able to afford a campaign of several thousand pounds a month, ensure that just because it sounds like a quality service; ensure the work is being completed. Do you trust your car mechanic to repair your brakes on your car? After all it is your life at stake but trust with your marketing agency needs to be earned. And check that the work is being done!!

We can help with all the above, from providing a free review of your digital marketing to providing a transparent digital marketing service, that works! Call us on 01903 791660 (office working hours 9-5 Monday to Friday) or visit our contact page and fill in our enquiry form.

Let us start to build the trust with SEO again!

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