If you run any part of your business online, you may have been approached by companies who offer to optimize your business for search. As a business owner, you may wonder if you really need their services and what the cost of search engine optimization (SEO) is?
The cost of search engine optimization
Search engine optimization is huge for your business. In fact, the cost of not having a strong SEO strategy for your business is lost revenue. Let me explain.
Years ago, I started a diabetes website. I had great traffic. People were visiting my site and gaining a lot of insight. I was earning revenue through ads and services that I offered.
SEO management companies were contacting me and telling me that my website wasn’t optimized. For a few thousand dollars per month, they could help me out.
I ignored them. I didn’t understand what they were talking about. My site was getting traffic and I was earning money. I wasn’t prepared to give them thousands of dollars per month for something that made no sense to me.
Eventually I noticed that my earnings were dropping. A check of my Google Analytics revealed that my web traffic had decreased by about 75%. I had to make a choice. I would either fold my business or I would have to learn how to get my traffic back up.
Because I had been helping people in the diabetes space for so long, I decided that I couldn’t abandon the website or the business. It was time to see how to save it. Saving it, I learned, meant understanding what SEO was all about.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, is all about following a set of guidelines that will help your content to outrank your competition. Outranking your competition means that your content—your article, webpage, blog post, and even your social media post shows at the top of a search engine results page.
What does it mean to be at the top of a search engine results page?
Having your content at the top of the page doesn’t mean much in itself. You want your content—your business, to show at the top of search engine results pages (SERP) for topics that are relevant to your business. You want your business to be the first thing that your ideal client sees when they go looking for your product or service online.
To do this requires you to follow certain guidelines. This is the process of search engine optimization.
Getting your business to the top of a search engine results page is a complex task, but whether you decide to take on this task yourself or hire someone else to do it, you need to understand what is involved.
The three components of SEO
Search Engine Optimization can be broken down into three parts.
Technical SEO involves things like where you host your website, how fast your website loads on a page, and which font you are using.
Depending on your level of coding, some of the technical SEO may be easier to outsource. The exact price of outsourcing would depend on the specific needs of your business.
You can do technical SEO if you have the time and inclination to learn. For business owners who prefer to be hands on or want to understand how things work, I would encourage you to take the time to learn the fundamentals. Tools like GTMetrix can provide you with an overview of areas to focus on.
On and Off Page SEO can and should be done by you unless you are hiring someone else to do your content creation.
On-page SEO involves making sure that each page of your website or blog has a main keyword. That is the main topic of your page. For example, in this post, the keyword is “cost of search engine optimization”.
On-page SEO is about using that keyword in the correct way so that search engines can find your content and share it with the people who are searching for you. This is something that every business owner who plans to do their own content creation and social posts should have a good understanding of. This is part of what helps get your business in front of your potential clients.
Off-page SEO is about relationship building between you and other businesses. It can involve being a guest on someone else’s podcast, being recommended by another website or blog, or being featured in a listing. You should never be paying for links back to your website. It will not help your search page ranking in the long run.
How much does it cost to get to the top of a SERP?
The key to consistently reaching the top of search engine results pages is consistency and a good strategy.
You can pay an agency to manage your SEO strategy and help you stay at the top of relevant pages. A quick online search shows that prices for this service can range from $2500-$10,000USD per month.
You can purchase hourly services for as little as $100USD per hour or pay up to $30,000USD for one off projects.
If you are a small business, I encourage you to invest in time with an SEO strategist or coach. An SEO strategist will look at your business and work with you to develop a plan to help you reach the top of search engine results pages. They will help you to identify areas that are already working for you, as well as a plan to move your business forward.
An SEO coach will continue to work with you going forward. They will meet with you on a regular basis. Over the course of 3-4 months, they will guide you through the steps that you need to improve your search engine results.
If you would like to learn more about SEO strategy calls or SEO coaching for your business email Barb at seo @barbwagstaff.com
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