SEO tends to have an expensive reputation. Search Engine Optimization can in fact be quite involved. Going after highly competitive search term rankings can be quite a complex undertaking, and can cost a pretty penny.
That does NOT mean that getting targeted traffic from Google need cost a bundle. It also needn’t take months on end to start seeing results.
Many in the industry will warn against budget SEO programs stating that irreparable damage can result.
Is Inexpensive SEO Dangerous?
The dangers of poorly done onsite SEO are hugely overstated. The effort that would have to go into such an effort would be ridiculous. It is far easier to do it even partially correctly and leave no damage at all.
Budget SEO programs generally go after the low hanging fruit in a niche. Between basic content marketing techniques, and social media, there is little reason to go deep and do damage.
Don’t let that term “low hanging fruit” deceive you. There is a lot of very valuable web traffic in those bunches of fruit, and none of it can do your web properties any damage at all.
Intensive onsite SEO efforts need not be all that expensive either. Long term SEO goals can be accommodated in most budgets.
Setting An SEO Budget
The rule of thumb for marketing and advertising budgets is usually around 10% of total revenues. From this you need to handle both Marketing and Advertising funds.
This is a very personal business decision that needs to be made from a realistic standpoint as to what can be spent consistently in each area. Far better to set a lower amount up front than to have to cut it later. It is far easier to add funds later than to cut them.
Setting a realistic SEO budget usually means somewhere in the neighborhood of 10% to 25% of the marketing budget. This can be accomplished by utilizing some of your website budget differently. Most SEO companies will tell you this is woefully underfunded. Nothing could be further from the truth.
There is a great deal of overlap between SEO activities and webmaster duties. Consider merging these disciplines to get the most out of your marketing dollar.
Adding an image to a webpage is a fairly normal webmaster activity, but if your webmaster doesn’t have even basic SEO skills then your new image won’t be formatted properly, and you will miss out on valuable website visitors.
Overlapping SEO Duties
There are many such examples in the webmaster role that beg for an SEO touch. Keeping plugins, themes, and CMS systems up to date is a hugely valuable responsibility in this arena.
Much of this work has to do with changes in the online marketplace including the search engines, and social media. Don’t forget that each social media property has to be considered as an individual search engine.
Google is obviously the biggest search engine online, but YouTube is the second largest, and Pinterest isn’t far behind. All of this is the long way around saying that there are dollars already being spent that could be better utilized doing double duty. Why not get at least minimal (and usually much more) SEO value from the website maintenance funds you already spend.
The Uncounted Cost of DIY SEO
If you are like most business owners, you are either doing some of this work yourself, or have tried at some time.
Have you calculated what your time is worth working within your business? It is likely more than most SEO techs bill their time at, and I guarantee it is more than it would cost to put together an SEO strategy that can double or even triple your search engine traffic within 30 to 60 days.
The cost of lost traffic has to be factored into the cost of DIY SEO efforts. Why not try even a modest SEO campaign that’s cost can be shifted from funds already being spent, freeing you to work in other areas of your business.
How Small of an SEO Budget is Too Small?
Many agencies will scoff at minimal campaigns as not worth their time. Very short sighted on their part.
The more campaigns an agency runs of any size, the more knowledge they garner that benefit their clientele.
Today’s marketing budgets are being cut to the bone at a time when they are more vital than ever. Cut, however is better than eliminated. Consider even a $25/month SEO campaign that can pay huge dividends in website traffic. The ROI on such campaigns is off the charts.
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