So . . . how much does SEO cost, anyhow? Discover what your finance team needs to know about SEO.
If your company is exploring search engine optimization, it’s important to get buy-in from the entire team. To that end, The Search Guru is publishing a series of posts on how to share the information that various teams will need to get their questions answered. Read what your information technology company needs to know about SEO.
As far as the finance team, don’t be surprised when they want to know the cost of SEO marketing and what they can expect in return for their investment. It’s their job to ask those questions.
The reality is that SEO isn’t a “one-time fix”; rather, it’s an ongoing process. And, SEO “packages” don’t work, because each site has unique challenges and opportunities. What you need first is a consultation with a search engine optimization expert to determine your site’s strengths and challenges – and it may make sense to start out by requesting a site review/competitive review that shares the technical, editorial and social opportunities that exist for your business and site. If this is the route you choose, your finance team may be reassured that you aren’t committing to a large and/or long contract from the start.
Cost effective SEO: let your finance team know that NOT consulting with search experts can cost your company plenty.
The bottom line is that it can get quite expensive to fix badly done SEO. Let’s say that your finance team wants to go with a lower-cost search company – just because they cost less. There are three significant risks with that strategy:
1) It’s entirely possible that your company will pay for a service that doesn’t do your company any good. Perhaps the SEO will create content that Google sees as low value, which means that the search engine giant won’t reward your site for that content, or perhaps the SEO will get links to your site that aren’t relevant to your industry, so these links will be disregarded by Google.
Perhaps your SEO isn’t keeping up with Google’s many algorithm changes (figure 500 or so per year!), so they’re optimizing your site for what worked well in 2006 – and definitely doesn’t, now. Bottom line: the SEO cost you paid was less, but you’ll get little to no new sales leads –which means little to no additional sales and/or new clients. This means wasted money and an unhappy finance team/management team – and a black mark against the employee(s) who recommended this low-budget vendor.
2) Here’s even worse news: badly done SEO can lead to Google penalties. In this situation, changes to your site aren’t merely ignored. Rather, Google will actively punish the site. One of the most recent penalties focused on over-optimization; would a basement-cost SEO firm proactively protect your site through best practices to avoid these kinds of penalties? Don’t count on it.
3) Your site could actually be turning potential customers away. Advanced SEO services, like those provided by The Search Guru, help you understand what marketing messages work on your site and which don’t by segmenting and testing website traffic.
Here’s another way to look at cost effective SEO: what’s reasonable to ask.
It is reasonable for your finance team to ask these questions when looking for a search expert and when investigating the cost of SEO marketing:
1) What financial goals can search optimization help us to achieve?
2) After a review of our site/business needs: what is the monthly retainer? Or is there is a per project pricing structure available? Can I choose between the two pricing models?
3) What kind of reporting will I receive so that I can monitor results and return on investment?
4) What low-hanging fruit can our business go after to see some results more quickly?
5) What is the short term, mid-term and long-term plan for our business and site?
6) Can your search firm train our employees so that we can build a cost-effective in-house search team?
The best way to get answers to these questions and more is to take advantage of a FREE 30-minute gift consultation with The Search Guru. Contact us today!
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