Plenty of business executives declined to advertise on the radio, thinking the technology would become just a flash in the pan. Plenty turned their noses up at the prospect of advertising on television as well. I would mention their companies by name, but you probably haven’t heard of any of them. There’s no need to wonder why!
I don’t have to dote on the importance of online advertising. More money is currently spent advertising on the internet than all other mediums combined. But you should not spend all of your company’s digital marketing budget on traditional ads which guide paid traffic toward your website. Search engine optimization (SEO), which drives unpaid traffic toward your site by impelling services like Google to prioritize your business in their search results, is exceedingly important to budget for as well.
Why is this? Because SEO pays off. The top five organic results on Google (which accounts for over 70% of all desktop searches) receive more than two-thirds of all clicks. That’s why business owners who judiciously invest in SEO enjoy a vast, vast advantage in an increasingly competitive online marketplace.
A successful SEO strategy exploits as many of the 200 known factors in Google’s search algorithm as possible. That includes utilizing backlinks, keywords, images and other more technical tools which direct unpaid traffic. When everything comes together correctly, the conversion rate for a company’s SEO efforts can easily exceed the 2.4% industry average.
In short, SEO is effective and its ROI can be staggering. But that begs the big question:
How Much Should You Budget for SEO?
Nearly half of all businesses devote 0% of their marketing budgets to SEO. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are doomed to fail – but in nearly every case, allocating at least some budget to SEO will yield great results.
The amount of money businesses should invest in their SEO varies on a case-by-case basis. But spending on SEO until the ROI no longer makes sense would be impractical; you do not want to waste your marketing budget on experimentation.
Fortunately, enough other businesses that are similar to your own have already tested the SEO waters. That’s why an SEO expert can estimate your ideal spending based on what other successful brands are already doing. For example, if your successful competitors are currently receiving half of their online traffic from SEO, then your analyst would likely recommend that you allocate half of your online marketing budget to SEO.
I should backpedal for a moment here. When I said “allocating at least some budget to SEO will yield great results,” I didn’t mean to imply that a marketing agency’s suspiciously cheap SEO strategy will ultimately prove effective. Indeed, there are many predatory marketing companies which exploit business owners’ unfamiliarity with online advertising in order to sell SEO strategies which seem promising at face value but ultimately fail to deliver real conversions.
An ethical, capable marketing agency will tell you upfront that an SEO strategy’s success correlates strongly with the size of the investment behind it. SEO is no exception to the age-old rule of “you get what you pay for.” That same SEO agency will also tell you precisely where your investment is going before they begin tailoring the best strategy for your business.
What Does an SEO Budget Pay For?
An ethical marketing agency will break down exactly what your SEO budget is going toward. The amount of money that will go into each aspect of your SEO may vary according to your market and industry, but none of the six key facets of SEO may be neglected entirely:
- SEO Audit – This process is performed right at the onset to determine exactly how well your site is promoting your web presence. It is the compass which will guide future efforts to enhance your SEO, and it will be repeated so that the agency can continually fine-tune its efforts.
- Keyword Research – This process determines precisely which words your potential customers are entering into Google when they search for companies like your own. For example, Ben & Jerry’s has long ago determined that their potential customers are searching for keywords including “ice cream” and “gourmet.”
- On-Page SEO – This process optimizes the content on your website’s individual pages so that it has a higher likelihood of satisfying the Google algorithm’s 200 factors.
- Off-Page SEO – This process includes any actions that are taken outside of your website that could improve its rankings on search results. Backlinks come into play here, as does social media.
- SEO Content – This process creates new content on your website that could attract search engine traffic, and also enhances existing content to accomplish the same purpose. You are currently reading an example of SEO content.
- SEO Reporting & Analytics – This process provides the SEO agency with invaluable feedback and direction – as well as proof that their work is actually benefiting your business instead of needlessly draining its marketing budget.
As consumers increasingly turn to internet searches to shop for goods and services, so too will SEO become increasingly crucial to effective marketing. The amount of your marketing budget that you should dedicate to SEO depends on many factors, but imitating what your successful competitors are doing is a good starting point. Beware predatory marketing agencies’ suspiciously cheap SEO strategies! Attaining the highest ROI demands judicious investment in the six key facets of SEO.
Would you like to learn more about how Arvig can drive unpaid traffic toward your professional website? Please contact us today to learn more about how we currently utilize SEO to maximize our clients’ ROIs![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]