If you needed life-saving surgery, would you ask your doctor about cheaper alternatives, or would you proceed with the option that gave you the best odds? Most people would probably choose the latter if they could. Why wouldn’t you do the same to give your website its best fighting chance on search engines?
If you want to grow online, Google can be a lifeline of constant sales pumped intravenously to your website through SEO. I’ve had clients go from making $80,000 a year to $1 million a month in online sales. But how much does it cost to achieve such success with SEO?
Well, it depends. But not for the reasons you think. It should not depend on your budget. A budget may be a factor when deciding whether to proceed or not, but it should not be a factor in what your options are if you proceed.
Having been in SEO for 14 years, I’ve taken a strong position of not offering packages to my clients. Why? Because there are two recurring problems that I see with SEO packages:
- They are often oversold.
- You choose the cheapest option, and the company often underdelivers.
Experience has taught me that SEO should be approached from an all-or-nothing position. Every industry is different. Every business is different. Every website is different. That’s why I don’t have a sales team selling SEO packages: because I don’t want to sell customers on a solution that they don’t need. Likewise, I don’t want a customer choosing the cheapest option when I know that means they won’t get the maximum results they deserve.
How much does SEO cost, then? I’m glad you asked. It’s specific to each business based on the following:
• The competitiveness of your industry.
• Geographical factors (whether you’re optimizing for your city or state, nationally, or internationally).
• How well your website is built and what type of back end you have (some are more SEO-friendly than others).
Depending on these three factors, you need very specific strategies to compete on search engines. Those particular strategies have unique time requirements that equate to specific costs. Why pay for more if you don’t need more, and why settle for less if it won’t get you anywhere?
The talk of SEO taking a year or more is often real. Doing proper research to align your business’s unique value with strategies that will attract ideal buyers takes time. Then, launching those strategies, once mapped out, takes more time. Then, you have to wait for Google and other search engines to see the new content that you’ve distributed and decide what to do with it. By the three-month mark, you’re typically barely hitting your stride. Combining all of the above factors and throwing a financial investment on top means that SEO isn’t for everyone. And that’s OK.
Or maybe you do have the financial runway and patience to see SEO succeed, but you don’t want to grow. I’ve spoken with hundreds of business owners who have found their work-life balance and don’t want more. Take, for example, a consultant on the East Coast who I met through podcasting. Getting more gigs than she wanted wouldn’t correlate to an increase in happiness for her. Instead, her after-work hours were reserved for her love of riding horses and watching squirrels from her home office window.
Does everyone need search engine optimization? No. But those who do should approach search engines with surgical precision and feed algorithms precisely what they need based on their industry, geographical targets and current website strengths.
Originally published by Damon Burton Forbes, September 14, 2020.