You’re losing money everyday because people cannot find you in search engines. In 2012, there were 5,134,000,000 searches a day.1
How much does it cost to do SEO?
Is it worth it?
Is it something you can come back to after you launch your website?
These are common questions asked by business owners and traditional marketers. It is not uncommon to see a business launch their new website then pat themselves on the back for all the hard work that went into the project. The website looks great, it’s easy to use and it has all the special features you wanted. But if you’re hoping people will find you online, it takes a lot more than a flashy website for Google to like it. Did you really think you were the only business on the internet selling something no one else does?
For example, let’s consider a company who makes custom packaging cases. When I Google (yes, that’s a verb now) the term [aluminum cases] there are 92,000,000 results. Being on page one means being better than 91,999,990 other website pages. And even then, you need to strive to be in the top few results. It’s not luck that put Cases By Source at the number one position for that search term. It’s properly crafting all elements that impact SEO for their website for that particular search term.
Now back to your new, flashy-looking website. Fast forward a few months and you realize your site still isn’t being found in search engines. If you aren’t sure why, ask
- Did you spend time on keyword research?
- Did you plan your online marketing strategy or just focus on an attractive, trendy design?
- Did you optimize on-page SEO elements (like headings, URLs, meta data, copy, etc.)?
People think SEO is expensive, but what is the cost of NOT being found in search engines?
How much business are you losing by not being found through the number one sales channel in the world?
Divvying Up the Marketing Budget
I’ve found businesses have no problem shelling out tens of thousands of dollars on print ads, trade shows, directory listings, catalogs, banner ads and other marketing programs. However, when it comes to search engine marketing (paid or organic), there isn’t any allocation in marketing budget for this.
Search engines are rapidly changing. What worked for you two years ago in search might not work for you today. And there are other businesses catching on fast… seeing the value of investing in their website’s findability in search engines. Not to mention, it’s a channel you can actually measure results.
Keeping Your Website “Search Engine” Healthy
Investing in SEO is like investing in our body’s wellness. To be healthy and obtain the physique that we desire, we must have a plan, eat healthy, work out, go to the gym and maybe even hire a trainer. If we continue to do these things, we would expect to see results. If we stick to our plan and adjust as needed, we would expect to reach our goals. When we get lazy and stop working out, we can expect that our overall wellness will suffer. Much the same, when people don’t want to spend time and money on SEO, they can’t expect their website will be “in shape.”
So, What is the Cost of Doing SEO?
It depends. There is no standard fee for SEO. Cost is based on many factors
- Amount of content (lack thereof or duplicate content)
- Number of pages you want to optimize
- Structure of your templates
- Competitiveness of your keywords
- Current shape of your meta-content
- Off-site content (inbound links)
- Website speed
- Usefulness of your website
Most likely it’s going to cost you a minimum of a few thousand up front and a monthly fee to maintain, measure and improve.
Maybe, you should look at it another way. What is the value when someone new finds your website and converts? Don’t just look at average order value, but remember to consider the lifetime value of that new customer.
In order to be where new customers can find you (in the search engines), you must invest in SEO. It could easily make the difference between being ranked in position 10 and position 3. If you have a solid product or service and your website clearly makes it easy and compelling for visitors to buy from you, then you better make sure people know how to find you.
The cost of SEO is the opportunity cost of lost business by not placing yourself where buyers are shopping.
1. June 2013. Statistic Brain. Google Annual Search Statistics