Every business website needs search engine optimization, a practice that helps to increase brand awareness, build targeted traffic, and improve the search engine rankings of the site. Just like with any other marketing activity, you will have to invest both time and financial resources to achieve your business objectives. While the benefits of SEO are clear, determining the cost of running a successful campaign can be tough.
Whether you intend to hire an agency or do SEO on your own, you will want to realize a good return on investment. As such, you will need to develop a budget that will ensure you maximize every dollar without compromising on quality. Considering that the strategy takes time to start working, here is what you need to know when choosing between hiring an agency and doing SEO on your own.
How Much Does SEO Cost for Small Businesses?
There is a lot that goes into accomplishing an SEO strategy. When you choose to have an agency handle your SEO strategy, you should be aware of the costs involved if you are to run an effective campaign.
When it comes to SEO pricing, there are several variables you should consider. Here is what an agency will typically look at when pricing their services.
The first consideration is how your website compares with those of your competitors in terms of rankings and traffic. Since every business owner will want to step up their game to achieve more visibility, your current position will influence how much work the SEO campaign will involve. The industry in which you operate will also determine the cost.
Your objectives refer to where you want to be. These objectives will shape the strategy that will get you from your current position to your goals. Since the strategy will include the activities required to achieve progress, your objectives will affect the cost of SEO.
Another factor that will determine how much you pay is how fast you want to improve your site. SEO takes time to deliver results, meaning that you may pay more if you want quick results. In addition to the timeline, costs will also include maintenance once you have achieved visibility.
The quality of SEO services you are looking for will have a huge impact on costs. While high-quality SEO will typically cost more than cheaper SEO attempts, the results you get will be worth every cent. By investing in quality SEO services, you will have passive organic traffic for a long time.
Which Other Aspects Influence the Cost?
Apart from the variables mentioned above, there are other elements that will have a direct impact on SEO cost.
The Agency You Choose
SEO pricing varies from one agency to another, depending on the level of expertise and experience of the professionals. As such, you should take the time to find out if the agency will offer you value for money. With the important role that SEO plays, you should never compromise quality in a bid to save money.
Where your business is located, and the number of competing local businesses will have an impact on SEO costs. Pricing will also depend on the number of locations your business has. SEO for businesses with multiple locations will involve more work since there will be more pages to cite. The more pages the agency will have to work on promoting, the higher the costs are likely to be.
Number of Products or Services
In case you have different products that you want to target with SEO, there may need to optimize the individual webpages for each of the products. Optimizing individual pages will have a direct impact on the scope of your project and the time it will take to complete it. Some agency fees depend on the number of keywords you want to chase after, you will end up paying more if you want to promote a higher number of products.
What Are 4 Main Focuses of a Successful Campaign?
With the numerous search engine ranking factors, small business owners who are new to SEO can easily get intimidated. Regardless of the nature of your business, there are three critical areas you should focus on to ensure you get the best results and value for your money.
#1 Information Architecture
Essentially, your site should not only be accessible to search engines but also follow search engine guidelines and SEO best practices. The website should feature the highest page speed possible and be mobile responsive.
With content marketing gaining in popularity around the world, this is one of the areas you should pay attention to. Make sure that the content on your web pages is unique and adds value to your readers. It should also be of high quality, match search queries, and satisfy user intent as well as the fresh content algorithm.
Backlinks help to project your website as credible and trustworthy. Backlinks also go a long way in improving your ranking among search engine results. If the backlinks are to benefit your domain authority and SEO rankings, the links should be natural and from high authority sites.
#4 Developing a Budget
To budget properly for SEO, you have to determine your goals. Take time to define the desired outcome as well as the measure of success to allow you to create an action plan and develop a budget to support your strategy.
During the campaign, keep an eye on how your information architecture stacks up against your competitors, how your content compares with the competition, and how your backlink profile looks relative to top-ranked websites in your niche. This information will make it easy to determine your priorities and areas where more investment is needed.
Even as you budget, you should ensure that you can comfortably afford your budget for a minimum period of four months without any serious effects on your cash flow.
In the end, instead of focusing on the cost of SEO, you should pay more attention to ROI. While it is not always easy to measure the different factors, it is critical that you understand the return on your digital marketing activities. You can achieve this by being aware of the key performance indicators (KPIs), tracking progress, and measuring results during the entire period of the campaign.
How Much Does SEO Cost to Do on My Own?
At the end of the day, provided you understand the fundamentals of SEO and have the right strategy, you will manage to rank your site for a given set of keywords related to your product.
What Do I Need to Know To Get Started With SEO?
Do Keyword Research
When doing SEO, you will want your website to rank for the keywords chosen. To remove the guesswork from the process and improve your chances of success, you should start with keyword research. You will need to find the popular words and phrases that customers use to search for the products or services that your business offers. Brainstorm seed keywords, which you should then use to generate more keyword ideas. You should then filter the keyword list based on the search volume and keyword difficulty.
In the end, you want a manageable list of keyword ideas that includes phrases that are not competitive but will help you generate tons of traffic.
Optimize Your Web Pages for Search
Once you have identified the keywords you want to target, you will need to create pages that can rank for those specific keywords. Depending on the keywords, this could be your homepage, product page, landing page, or blog post. The next step will be on-page SEO, where you will focus on the content, structure, and code to ensure that your pages are optimized for search. If you are to create content that ranks, you must ensure that the content matches search intent, is simple and easy to read as well as create compelling title tags and meta descriptions.
Optimizing your pages so that they can rank higher will also involve using descriptive URLs and adding internal links.
Fix any Technical Issues Your Site May Have
A website that provides a great user experience will not only rank higher but also encourage users to spend more time on your pages. As such, it is important to address any technical issues when running an SEO campaign. The first step is to run a site audit that will reveal all the technical issues with your site.
Today, online security is essential, meaning that you have to ensure your website is encrypted. Second, improve your site so that it loads fast, allowing customers to access the information they are looking for quickly. Some of the strategies you can use to improve page load speed include choosing the right hosting, reducing image sizes, and enabling browser caching.
Build Some Links
Link building is one of the top search engine ranking factors, making it an integral part of SEO. Getting authoritative and relevant sites to add a link back to yours helps to project you as a credible website with useful content. However, backlinks are more likely to benefit your domain authority and SEO ranking if they are of high quality.
Since building a quality link profile will take time and effort, there are a number of tactics you can rely on to get more backlinks to your site. Participating in community activities and delivering value will give you a chance to promote your website. You can also find out who is linking to your competitors’ websites and identify a way to replicate the links.
Review Progress Regularly
Generally, SEO takes time to produce results. Since you will have invested time and money in the campaign, you will want to know whether your efforts are bearing fruit. Reviewing progress regularly over the entire duration of the campaign will give you a chance to establish if you are on track. By reviewing progress, you can also identify areas that are not performing as expected.
With this information, you will be able to find ways of improving your SEO to maximize returns. Make sure you understand the key performance indicators that will help you to measure and evaluate the success of your project.
Optimizing your site is a continuous process that will involve keeping up with best practices to rank for relevant and meaningful keywords. The good news is that once you start having more money coming into your business, you will be in a better position to invest in SEO. Over time, you can consider hiring an SEO agency to help you take things up a notch.
In addition to SEO knowledge and an effective strategy, it is important to remember that SEO is a long-term process that requires constant work and management. Before embarking on this process on your own, you should be prepared to put in the work and time. As a business owner, the amount of time you spend on SEO might see you losing in other areas of your business.
Whenever possible, you should consider hiring an SEO agency to focus on the campaign. Hiring a competent SEO agency will leave you with enough time to focus on your core business, a factor that will ensure everything runs seamlessly.