Arguably, the best form of marketing in the world.
Most likely, you own some sort of business. Also, the chances are you’re already pretty familiar with search engine optimization.
But is it worthwhile to invest in SEO services? The answer is usually yes, but this might not necessarily be true for everyone.
Deciding whether to spend some of your budget on SEO services is a common question among business owners. Fortunately, this article will give you a truly definitive answer.
We will also cover the benefits of SEO, the cost of SEO services, the return on investment (ROI) of investing in professional SEO, and the importance of choosing a reputable provider.
Benefits Of SEO
Fundamentally, you first need to know why many large and small businesses invest in SEO.
Perhaps your competitors are even doing so and dominating the niche?
Well, the benefits of a good SEO strategy are vast, but primarily focusing on SEO can significantly increase your visibility in search engines e.g. Google.
As a business, if you can rank very well in the search engine results, it is much more likely that you will be seen by potential customers who are searching for the products or services that you offer.
Oh, also, unlike PPC, this is FREE ORGANIC TRAFFIC.
You will not pay a single penny for blog posts that people find organically through Google.
In my opinion, this is one of the ways in which SEO is better than PPC.
Suppose you sell a service that costs $500, and just 1% of your website visitors make a purchase. That means that every visitor will be worth around $5.
A high-quality content creation and backlink strategy will allow you to get thousands (even tens of thousands) of visitors like this every month for free.
This increased visibility can lead to more traffic on the website – this can only mean more sales and revenue.
That is why there is so much hype for SEO.
As well as being able to increase brand awareness and generate much more traffic, SEO can actually lead to higher conversion rates.
Your conversion rate is essentially how frequently your website visitors take the desired action, such as signing up to your email list or making a purchase.
How does SEO help you improve your conversion rate?
Because it allows you to optimize your website for relevant keywords. This will help Google understand what your business is all about.
Google is focused on improving user experience, so if you can prove to Google that you are an authority on a topic, they will reward you with highly targeted traffic.
Traffic isn’t just a number. It’s typically real people looking to buy from you!
To illustrate the hugely positive impact of SEO, let’s look at a few examples.
Gadget Flow was not attracting the level of traffic through organic SEO that it hoped to. Essentially, the company had a lot of potential, but it wasn’t getting as much love from Google that it deserved.
They decided to invest in SEO and worked with Wordflow in order to optimize their website and improve their search engine rankings.
They decided it was critical for Gadget Flow to improve content relevancy. This is a staple of on-page SEO.
As a result, Gadget Flow’s organic traffic increased by a whopping 198%, and their page engagement improved by 27%. Investing in SEO meant a significant increase in the online presence and revenue of Gadget Flow.
Brian Dean at Backlinko is perhaps the most respected name in the entire SEO industry. Backlinko operates in a highly competitive industry (SEO). Ironic, right?
Brian noticed that he was struggling to rank on the first page of Google for the search term “SEO Checklist”. The page was failing to satisfy user intent. Google didn’t like this.
Brian’s famous “skyscraper technique” focuses on two things, high quality (and relevant) link building, and satisfying user intent. Brian revamped the page and saw a 652% increase in organic traffic in just seven days!
The bottom line is that SEO introduces new benefits to a business: visibility, traffic, and sales, most notably. Unfortunately, doing SEO in-house takes a lot of time and knowledge. This is why lots of business owners decide to invest in SEO.
The Cost of SEO
One of the first questions business owners have regarding SEO is: how much does it cost?
And, rightly so.
You are probably very keen on the idea of investing in SEO, but the prices some agencies state can be off-putting. The exact cost of investing in SEO will largely depend on the level of service and the competitiveness of your industry.
On the lower end, you may be able to find reputable SEO providers who offer basic services for a few hundred dollars per month e.g. SEO audits, keyword research, and content briefs. However, on the higher end, you will find providers who charge well over $10k monthly for comprehensive SEO services.
With that said, opting for mid-range services priced between $2k and $6k a month will probably be the best choice. We recommend starting with a smaller package for the first few months and then scaling up to a larger one once you see positive growth.
Feel free to use our free SEO budget calculator when deciding how to allocate your budget.
So, how does the cost of SEO stack up with other forms of advertising and marketing? Well, the truth is that in general, SEO can be a far more cost-effective option compared to paid options like pay-per-click (PPC) or display advertising.
If you use PPC advertising e.g. Google or Facebook ads for your business, then you will pay for each and every click on your ads. This can be efficient if your conversion rates are good, but the costs can stack up quickly. With other forms of paid marketing, you will pay for the number of impressions your ads receive. This is a far cry from paid conversions.
Your SEO efforts offer the potential for significant long-term benefits for your business.
Why? Because it can continue to drive traffic and lead to your website well after you stop paying for the service, years even.
This is because the improvements you make to your website’s content, and backlink profile will have a lasting impact.
Great content and awesome backlinks drive the growth of a business in terms of SEO.
So, you know that you can create great content for free or you can pay for it, but what about backlinks…
You will be pleased to know it works the same way. You can invest as much or as little as you’d like.
That being said, if you operate in a highly competitive industry, it may take more time and resources to improve your search engine rankings and get results. In this case, the cost of SEO will be higher. So, ranking well can take years if you are in a competitive space like finance.
SEO may not be the cheapest option upfront, but nothing brings long-term benefits like SEO. Therefore, it can be a significantly more cost-effective option than other forms of advertising.
The ROI of SEO
Return on Investment is a decision that business owners must consider tactically before making any significant investment. In regards to SEO, will the benefits of SEO outweigh the costs (financially)? The ROI is one of the most important factors in any marketing strategy!
But, determining the ROI of SEO isn’t exactly straightforward. You’ll need to measure the results of your SEO campaign compared to the service costs.
Unfortunately, you may not know the true ROI of an SEO service for a long time due to the nature of SEO.
With that said, there are some key metrics you will need to consider when measuring the ROI.
Traffic: How much traffic is your website receiving from SEO? You can track this in Google Analytics. With that said, traffic is often considered a “vanity metric” and shouldn’t be your main campaign focus (unless you are a blogger who monetizes a site with ads).
Leads: Looking at how many leads (potential customers) you can generate through your website is a good indicator of your SEO campaign’s success.
Sales: Sales means more money for the business. Ultimately, most business owners need to focus on this the most. Will implementing a sound SEO strategy mean more revenue?
Cost Per Lead/Sale: You should also factor in how much you spend on SEO compared to the number of leads and sales you generate.
By tracking these metrics, you can get a better sense of the financial ROI of SEO. This will help you to determine whether it’s worth the investment.
To give you a better idea of the ROI that some businesses have achieved through SEO, here are a few examples:
- Hellman Clothiers saw six figures in revenue within the first 6 months of working with Robben Media.
- Soar Digital was able to help an e-commerce brand achieve a 350% increase in organic sales.
- We helped a tech company’s website rank for an extra 3000 organic keywords after deploying a 6-month content marketing strategy helping them achieve a competitive edge.
What does this show?
It shows how SEO works. Businesses of different sizes and in different industries can achieve a strong ROI through SEO, meaning it’s worth the investment.
Importance of Choosing a Reputable SEO Service
When it comes to investing in SEO, you need to find a reputable service.
If you have a large business with many resources, you could hire an SEO specialist in-house, but working with an external company is likely a much better option.
You need to avoid working with low-quality providers. This is the best way to fail and not see any results.
There are several reasons why it is important to choose the person/company you want to work with carefully.
Expertise: A reputable service will either have a single or multiple SEO experts (or a team) who are up-to-date on the latest SEO trends and best practices. Google’s algorithm is constantly changing, so having people like this will be able to provide strategic guidance and help you implement effective SEO techniques.
Results: Results matter. An effective SEO agency can deliver results and help you achieve your business goals. This won’t happen instantly, but you should expect some results after a few months.
Compliance: Following the guidelines set by search engines is important. Some SEO providers will use spammy and unethical methods; this can get your website penalized by search engines. Basically, avoid cheap SEO services on Fiverr.
Support: The person or business you work with should provide ongoing support and communication throughout the SEO process. Having someone available to answer your questions and provide updates on your progress is crucial.
Choosing a reputable partner for SEO will make you feel safe that your business is in good hands. Even the best SEOs can’t guarantee results due to the nature of Google, but good SEO services will help you get the best possible return on your investment.
If you go too cheap, you will likely waste time and resources without getting the desired outcomes. The best SEOs have access to valuable SEO software but, more importantly, valuable contacts.
Before working with SEO companies, we recommend researching the industry. Identify best practices for improving your SEO and then work with a provider who will support you and provide additional guidance when necessary.
So, to sum it all up, we’ve introduced the topic of SEO and have weighed up on whether SEO services will be worth it for your business.
As you know, SEO has many benefits, including increased visibility, traffic, and conversions. We’ve also discussed the cost of SEO and the return on investment (ROI) that businesses can realistically achieve through SEO.
In conclusion, SEO will likely be the most valuable investment for businesses regardless of size and industry. By improving your website’s visibility in search engines, you can drive far more traffic to your website and generate more leads and sales.
Outsourcing link building (or other parts of your SEO) can be a great way to access the skills and knowledge of industry experts at an affordable price.
So, if you’re considering investing in SEO for your business, we encourage you to consider working with us. We have strategies and techniques that are aligned with thought leaders in the industry, competitive pricing, and a track record of delivering results for our clients. Reach out to matt@splintereconomics to book a free consultation.