When you look online for any web service you get lots of different prices and I want to tell you why. Lets start with a list, the first reason is the company/person you approach;
- An agency will have more costs, a bigger pool of specialist to pull from and a big portfolio of clients. Because of that they either charge more because of high skill or less due to economy of scale. If you are looking for hosting then it will be lower, if you are looking for digital marketing then it will be much higher.
- If you go to a freelancer then you pay an hourly rate depending on their skill, the more they charge the better they are (in general) but make sure you check out their profile
- If you approach an SME then they either over charge to give the impression they are a big agency or they undercharge and do not give you the service you need or they give a price which is between a big agency and a freelancer.
The next thing to think about is the quality aspect. I will use search engine optimisation in this example as its a really easy example to show you. If you pay for SEO on your ecommerce website and you have some big brands, about 300 products then you should be paying a healthy amount. I would expect an established online retail outlet to be spending £100,000 + on the website development, PPC, Social Media and SEO per year. (I would not expect a start up to be any where near that ) So if an Indian business comes to you and offers SEO for $9.99 per month you can see that they are not offering you a service that will do anything for you. All they will do is send you some standard paperwork, list your website in some networks that will harm your website and take your money.
The next reason for the price difference is most of the things you are buying are people’s time and because of that it is massively different between people as they value their time differently. A great leader in a niche may value their time at £1000 per hour as they give lots of talks at conferences etc. Where as you can get a decent junior PPC analyst for £10 per hour through freelance websites. So when you hire services online check the profile, compare to others and make sure you are paying for quality that is backed up, not just all talk.
A general rule of thumb – if its automated then crunch the numbers as generally cheaper is fine. But you do have to check features and technical data to make sure it covers your needs. With people’s time you need to pay for the best skills you can afford but make sure you get a portfolio to back that up.
I think the saying you pay for what you get goes across many industries, you just have to understand what you are buying to ensure you are purchasing correctly.