SEO: What Are You Actually Paying For?
With the rise of the importance of the internet and digital marketing over traditional methods, SEO has become a vital part of a business’ strategy. However, it can be extremely difficult as a marketing manager or similar within an office to convince a board of directors of the importance of SEO. It is particularly more difficult to convince a board of directors to invest in digital marketing if they’re not entirely sure what they’re going to be paying for, and what they’re going to be getting out of their money. Understanding the value of SEO is the first step, but then understanding what you’re actually getting out of the money you’re paying is also important. Here, we’re taking a closer look.
What Is A Google Rank Actually Worth?
Even with limited knowledge of SEO, you may be able to explain that SEO can help you to rank on Google pages for certain keywords in your industry. There are six key goals which you may want to consider when it comes to SEO, and the majority of these goals can be achieved by maintaining high positions on Google SERPs. But when your board of directors asks why, are you prepared to answer?
The main reason for investing in SEO is to achieve page 1 positions, in order to drive more traffic from organic search to your site. Google will rank your site on page 1 if it feels that it is highly valuable, trustworthy, authoritative, and can provide your audience with the answer to the questions that they may have when searching for your product or service. If your site appears towards the top of page 1, then you are likely to find that your brand appears more trustworthy further helping to increase your overall number of conversions. But how much of an impact does ranking on page 1 actually have?
Here is a chart depicting organic click-through rates for searches being sourced from 1,669,706 keywords for 32,262 websites, on both desktop and mobile, from May 2018.
This chart is showing that the click-through-rate obtained from position 1 on page 1 of Google is significantly higher than that at the bottom of page 1. To be specific the breakdown is as follows:
As you can see, a greater amount of people click-through on the top 3 positions on page 1 than they do on the bottom positions. It is a similar story on mobile, too.
The only way to achieve the top positions to truly capture a larger proportion of the market share on Google is to invest in SEO.
What Impacts The Cost Of SEO?
Many people believe that SEO investment should be one flat cost for every business in every industry no matter the size, but it isn’t always quite that simple. The SEO world is everchanging, and while keyword-stuffed content used to be the key to ruling the digital landscape, this is no longer the case. Google is making it harder than ever to integrate effective SEO strategies which are successful, and there are a number of factors which can contribute to the cost of an SEO package.
Firstly, if you are operating in a highly competitive industry which is regularly competing for the top places to attract the most search traffic, then significant investment may be required. Almost every company in the most competitive and niche sectors will be investing in SEO, and this means that specific work will need to be integrated in order to meet your overall SEO objectives, also requiring more resource to be allocated to the campaign. However, there are some niches which are not yet taking advantage of SEO, with the construction industry being one of them as they rely on word of mouth and brand recognition over digital marketing. Jumping on the trend before your competitors can definitely help to give you an advantage in the digital landscape.
Target audience is also another factor which could change the price of your SEO package. If you’re looking at a small, localised market to push your brand to the forefront, then it is highly likely that the package will be much smaller than what it would be if you were an international corporation targeting multiple geographic areas across a range of languages.
The existing complexity of your site’s IA can also impact the price you pay for an SEO package, as a large and complex site with thousands of technical errors will require a lot more time to solve than what a small brochure site would.
What Are You Actually Paying For When It Comes To SEO?
This is the most important question that a board of directors is likely to ask if you are pitching the idea of SEO to them. SEO isn’t just a one task job which, when complete, will provide you with position 1 keyword rankings for all of your target keywords. Instead, think of SEO as a series of objectives, which incorporate a number of different skills and roles in order to help ensure that your website is consistent with its rankings. Some of these tasks can be completed as a one-off, whereas others will be indefinitely ongoing. An effective SEO strategy must include a series of different components in order to maintain search engine success, including the following:
Website Design & Development
If you do not already have a fully designed and operable website, an agency can provide you with a website which features a sound structure, complete with the integration of your brand’s personality. This is the basis of all SEO and the design and development process is likely to be regarded as a separate project. Keep in mind, however, that simply designing and building a nice new website is not going to be enough to develop and maintain rankings at the top of Google search.
Ongoing Web Maintenance
At Absolute Digital Media, we can provide ongoing web maintenance as part of our website design and development service. This will also be included as part of the technical SEO of the SEO package, which will cover all technical elements including redirects, server log file analysis, website architecture review, site and domain migrations, and more.
This is the core of any SEO campaign, and while techniques have changed, understanding what your audience is searching for can provide the basis to all content marketing and on page optimisation.
On Page Optimisation
This will cover the optimisation of all content, page titles, meta descriptions, header tags, URL structure, multimedia implementation and more.
The phrase content is king is commonplace in the SEO world and for good reason. Google loves fresh content as long as it is valuable to the reader and is highly relevant to what your customers are searching for. Introducing content can help your audience to understand who you are and what you are offering. The keyword research will help to structure the content marketing part of the campaign, and original content can help to not only inform your customers but also engage them while building your brand as a thought leader. From on-page content and product descriptions through to blogs and white papers, content production can stretch much further than many people realise.
Authoritative Digital PR
Once referred to as ‘link building’, digital PR is the process of gaining valuable mentions and also links from authoritative publications, online blogs and other means of exposure across the web. Digital PR involves consistent networking with journalists, influencers and bloggers, building relationships and gaining exposure for your brand, while also developing those valuable SEO backlinks to help showcase your site as an authority in the industry. Digital PR is not all about links, however. This form of online marketing can also incorporate brand mentions, which can be found across the web, from publications through to social media.
Social Media Marketing
While typically noted as a separate service to SEO, social media marketing offers a number of opportunities on its own. Social media marketing offers a new way to reach your target audience, while also offering opportunities to promote your content, build your brand, offer exceptional customer service and to top it off, social accounts and singular tweets can rank. It is advised that SEO and social media campaigns work hand-in-hand in order to drive exposure across a range of online channels, to maximise your ROI.
The digital landscape is constantly changing and with more companies beginning to undertake SEO practices in order to improve their overall online presence, it is more important than ever to begin to implement SEO on your website. Call our expert team on 0800 088 6000 to find out more, today.