Are you trying to figure out how much of your budget you should dedicate to SEO this year?
You’re not alone. Due to shifting trends in the SEO industry and its growth, as well as the presence of competing strategies, it can be difficult to determine just how much you should spend on it. Plus, you have to consider that every marketing campaign has unique needs so it’s difficult to have an exact budget figure.
In the end, most SEO service providers and business owners turn to the company’s positioning in comparison to its competitors to find a ballpark figure. Once you figure out where you stand on the market and figure out where you want to be, you can use that as guidance to determine your SEO budget.
Here are some additional tips and questions you should ask yourself to help you figure out how much you should allocate to SEO marketing this year.
- What Strategies Work Best for You?
It’s important to start by pointing out that your SEO budget is determined by the use of various strategies, including:
- Social media marketing
- Landing pages
- Website creation
- Link building
- Website updates
- Blog creation
- Website maintenance
- Pay-per-click ad campaigns
The good news is that some of these strategies need to be applied only once, such as in the case of website creation, for example. Others like website maintenance, social media marketing and link building require on-going maintenance.
No doubt, you’ll probably fork out a lot for the one-time cost items, while strategies that need on-going maintenance require spread-out payments. Both are worthy investments, especially if you hire a reliable web developer. Keep in mind that the goal behind SEO marketing is to generate sales leads for your business and convert those leads into paying customers.
- What Can You Do In-House?
Once you have a clear picture of the strategies you’d like to use, you can start the process of figuring out which of the tasks should be handled in-house. Things like PPC campaigns are quite straightforward for your marketing team to handle.
Website maintenance, on the other hand, can be very demanding and will have to be outsourced to a reputable agency. Whatever you do, don’t approach an agency without a set budget.
- What’s Your Budget?
If SEO came to you as an afterthought, then you’ll have to find a way to fit it into your maxed out budget or extend your budget for it because it’s an important part of your marketing arsenal. You cannot afford to ignore it.
Keep in mind that most of your competitors are probably using SEO marketing already, so if you don’t edge up you’ll soon find yourself left behind.
To create a thriving and growing business it’s important to invest in SEO marketing and use it every day to give your business the added advantage. The good news is that most SEO service providers offer tiered billing which makes their services accessible to businesses of all sizes.
- Contact Different SEO Agencies
Once you have a budget in place and you have determined the SEO strategies that you’d like to implement, you need to approach SEO providers immediately. For the best results, look for SEO agencies whose existing customers are happy and ones that have a strong track record. A good SEO agency should sell their services through their website, and that’s where you’ll find out if the agency knows what they’re doing or not.
If you’re lucky enough to know industry insiders, ask them for recommendations on companies that they think are reliable and legit. Once you have a list of potential agencies, start conducting interviews either face-to-face or through the phone. During the conversations, make sure you ask them relevant questions that will give you all the information you need to make the best choice for your company.
- Evaluate Your SEO Campaigns
Evaluation is the next step you should take after you’ve started implementing your SEO strategies. It’s standard operation for SEO agencies to compile progress reports so make sure to go over these thoroughly and ask questions to get a better understanding of what they’re communicating. Keep in mind that SEO marketing is about playing the long game so it won’t do you any good to panic over the short term fluctuations in numbers.
Over time, you’ll be able to build on the success of your SEO campaigns to reach a wider audience through more sophisticated campaigns. You may even choose to increase your budget to accommodate these new strategies and this is a good idea because once you start reaping rewards from SEO marketing, there’ll be no stopping you.
The Cost of Hiring an SEO Agency
The great thing about hiring a digital marketing agency for SEO is that this is one of their specialties, which means they’re very knowledgeable about the best SEO practices and strategies. Most reliable agencies have a “per-hour” billable rate of $100 to $250.
It’s not uncommon for business owners to allocate 50% of their digital marketing budget to their SEO efforts. The more you put into good SEO, the more you will get out of it.
The amount of time you choose to dedicate to SEO marketing will depend on the size of your website and business, as well as the amount of content generated and your budget. On average, businesses dedicate about 5 to 50 hours to SEO marketing per month which typically costs about $500 to $10,000 per month depending on your provider.
Why You Should Have an SEO Budget?
Your main goal is to get the results you want when investing in SEO marketing, especially since the whole process takes a lot of page optimising, content creation and keyword targeting. At the end of the day, all of this is done in the name of generating legitimate sales leads and increasing revenue.
If you’re not seeing the results you want, then you’ll have wasted hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a failed strategy. A common mistake is trying to rank for a very difficult keyword that’s based on a highly generic product term, like Samsung, for example. Even in your own city or town, you’ll find that there are numerous businesses competing for the same keyword which makes the margin for success very low.
Look for easier keywords that can help you generate income in a relatively short amount of time. However, your marketing team can only start looking for keywords to target once they have a budget to work with. Typically, they’ll start with the easy wins and work their way up to increasingly challenging keywords over time.
The reality is that most businesses are usually working with a limited budget when it comes to SEO marketing. So you must allow positive principles guide your budget allocation decision by looking at the importance and significance of organic traffic and search rankings for your business growth.
How to Spend Your SEO Budget in the Best Way Possible
Once you’ve allocated a set amount from your budget to SEO marketing, the next step is to start digging into online leads and sales that you generated in the past. Find out how many of those leads are organic, and use that data to find the keywords that have worked for you.
Another valid method to try would be to use relevant online tools to find out how much your target consumers are spending on certain keywords.
As with anything, there’s no silver bullet to achieving success in Google search rankings. The key is to try with a few different techniques that have worked for you and those that are proven to work on the market. After that, monitor the results and make adjustments as you go along.
Meanwhile, you should also keep track of your competitors and websites that are doing well using your target keywords.
If you think a professional will save you time and money rather than do things yourself, please send us an email or call us on 03 9043 444 to talk with our friendly specialist.