Budgeting Your SEO Package – Monthly Or One-Time?

When you look at SEO packages, you probably look at the included output, the promised results and – most importantly – the price tag. But if that’s all you consider, you’re missing out on one very important factor. A package’s payment scheme as major a point as the upfront price because it could very well determine how much you pay in the end.

You’ll nowadays find many SEO companies offering their service packages in either one-time or monthly arrangements. How does each one work out, and which payment schedule will work better for your budget and your site’s needs?

Why One-Time Payments?

It’s common for companies to offer their services and then ask for a one-time up-front payment either at the start or at the end of the project. This kind of arrangement has certain nuances that could make it either advantageous or disastrous for your budget.

The biggest advantages of going with one-time packages are

1. A fixed project cost- You just need to have enough capital to pay that single up-front charge, and then that’s that.
2. Less budgeting hassles- You won’t have to worry about continuously paying the service provider. After you issue the payment, you’re free to relegate your budget to other pressing matters.
3. Fewer time frame worries- Once you’ve paid, you just sit back and wait for the results to begin manifesting. It’s entirely the provider’s responsibility that the agreed upon results are delivered, and all within the specified schedule

You might, however, have a very big problem when it comes to the price of one-time packages. With price tags that range from $1,000 to $5,000, it’s not something that you can easily afford. And there lies its primary disadvantage – it’s cost-prohibitive because you have to pay that entire amount all at once.

The Case for Monthly Packages

If you don’t think that one-time packages are for you, many professional SEO companies also offer their services on a monthly basis. As you might have guessed, this arrangement has certain advantages:

1. It’s more cost-accessible- You’re likelier to afford $500 dollars a month than $3,000 in one go. Monthly packages will make it easier for you to get SEO services for your site if you’re on a tight budget.
2. Your budget is adjustable- Because you renew your contract at the start of every month by paying the fee, you could also opt out of the provider’s services at any time. If, for example, you run out of funds or you stop needing Internet marketing services, it’s easy to just stop a monthly-term SEO project.
3. It’s more flexible- In case you happen to need a slight adjustment in SEO services midway through the project, it’s easier to make that adjustment with a monthly payment schedule.

But a monthly arrangement is not without its faults. If anything, it could actually turn out to be more expensive than a one-time package. Say you got a $700 monthly package instead of a $3,000 one-time deal, but the project stretched on for 5 months. In the end, you paid out more because the project took so long to complete – a problem that doesn’t exist with one-time packages.

Which One’s Better?

That’s a question that only you can answer. Both payment schedules have their own pros and cons, making them better suited for certain sites, niches and other factors. If you have the budget for it and know a reliable provider, though, one-time packages are a wise choice because they’re less troublesome to maintain.

You could also try a combination of both. Take, for example, a new service provider you’re trying out. While you’re still gauging the provider’s methods, a monthly package is a smart idea so as not to plunk down too much money with that new provider at once. But once you’ve proven your new provider to be effective, you could switch to a one-time plan and then take advantage of its hassle-free nature.

Look at your niche as well to guide you in choosing a package. If your niche is growing and expanding rapidly, a one-time package might be more strategic so that you’ll get all the services you need to achieve a certain result; your SEO-using competition won’t easily drown you out.

It all comes down to answering these two questions:

* What do you need?
* What can you afford?

Choose one-time packages if:

* You’re just after results, period.
* You want to peg your marketing budget to a specific amount.
* You’re confident in the abilities of your provider.
* You’re not sure how long the project will take to finish.

Meanwhile, monthly packages might be more practical when:

* You want results and flexibility
* You have a small marketing budget that’s replenished monthly.
* You’re not yet entirely comfortable with your provider.
* You’re positive that the project will be finished in x number of months.

Whichever one you choose, just make sure that you’re going for the package with the better value-for-money and not just the one with the better up-front price.