If you want your website to perform well, effective SEO needs to be at the heart of it. SEO is what will help your website appear near the top of search results, becoming recognized as a trusted source that web users will be more likely to visit.
Most marketers are familiar with SEO, and large businesses will have their own SEO specialists working for them directly. But when you’re a small or medium-sized business, your understanding of SEO can be limited, meaning you have no concept of the cost of effective SEO.
While the budget for SEO services varies from company to company, the following guide can help you work out how much to budget for quality SEO services.
Why pay for SEO?
With all of the areas your business is responsible for, such as sales, accounting, administration, and others, SEO can fall way down your priorities list. Small businesses, in particular, can find themselves neglecting their SEO because there is nobody within the business to take care of it.
Effective SEO requires expertise and experienced SEO professionals understand the industry inside out, making them best placed to create an appropriate strategy for your business. Even if you have marketers working within your business, they might not have the time available to prioritize SEO and may lack the expertise required in this area.
Paying for SEO services can help you with your business launch, specific projects and campaigns as well as give your current strategy an overhaul. By paying SEO experts, you can ensure that there’s a resource dedicated to improving your SEO.
Is it worth cutting corners?
Why pay for something when you can do it for free? While it’s true that there are free services online that can help you with your SEO, you need to have a good knowledge and understanding of the subject to see results.
They say buy cheap, buy twice, and that’s the price you’ll pay with cheap and ineffective SEO. Google has its own rules for its search engine, and even issues penalties when a website isn’t up to scratch. Poor SEO can trigger these penalties, and it can take some time for your website to recover after they’ve been resolved.
If you’re serious about your business achieving success online, then investing in quality SEO services is a must.
SEO and your digital marketing budget
To help decide how much you should budget for SEO services, you need to consider your overall digital marketing budget. How much do you intend to spend on digital advertising, asset creation and other elements of your marketing strategy? Including SEO as a budget line can ensure you consider the cost of SEO in line with the rest of your digital marketing budget.
There are different factors that will determine how much you spend on SEO, including:
- Your website’s existing search engine ranking
- The type of business you run – is it sales-based?
- Are you a new company?
- How many visitors does your website attract?
- Are you in an industry where keywords are competitive?
Different businesses will have different objectives for their SEO. For example, a new business will want to make its way quickly to the top of search engine rankings, while a more established business might need to compete with emerging businesses to stay on top. A review of an established website can also help identify whether a website has any significant issues that need addressing, such as accessibility issues or poor mobile compatibility.
Once you can establish how much SEO work your business needs, you can set your budget accordingly. It may not be the same from year to year, so you should review your needs annually to adjust your budget.
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In-house, freelance, or agency?
There are different options available when it comes to hiring SEO services – bringing someone in-house, working with a freelancer or consultant, or an agency.
Unless you work for a large organization, the cost of an in-house SEO specialist is unlikely to be worth it, meaning a freelancer or agency is your most suitable option.
An SEO freelancer or consultant can be beneficial for project-specific work, as well as implementing an initial strategy. To get the most from their services, your own marketing team will need to monitor results and take the strategy further. If your marketing team is limited or has limited resources, this will be something you’ll need to consider when making your decision.
Meanwhile, a digital marketing agency that provides SEO services could manage your activities on an ongoing basis, helping your business benefit from resources and expertise that would otherwise be inaccessible. Digital marketing agencies can also provide other services depending on your business’ needs including content creation, social media management, and digital advertising.
Deciding on your budget for SEO services will largely depend on your business size, your objectives and even how long your business has been established. A review of what your business needs can help you understand the areas that SEO can be beneficial, elevating your online presence and boosting the success if your business.