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How much does Search Engine Optimisation cost your business?

Whether you are trying to generate leads or grow online or offline sales, most businesses use digital marketing to drive future revenue.

With 68% of online experiences beginning with a search engine (Source: BrightEdge) many of us are well aware of the importance of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

However, with a myriad of unsolicited emails from questionable SEO providers, combined with a heavy coating of jargon, most businesses rarely capture the benefits of SEO. Either through fear of being ripped off, or by simply not receiving the service they thought they were paying for.

Typically, we see businesses who believe they rank first on Google. Which is a broad, bold statement. However, when we drill down into the detail, it usually means they rank first for their business name rather than for the products or services they provide.

Usually, there are many more valuable keywords or phrases that a business isn’t aware of. Tapping into these ‘unbranded’ search terms, really is the key to growing revenue and your customer base.

Gaining a clear understanding of the keywords or phrases, and the quality traffic they can provide your website and business is key. Only then will you understand the ‘opportunity cost’ to your business for ranking poorly for these terms.

In one way or another, search engine optimisation is going to cost your business. Either you’ll pay an SEO professional to increase your visibility for keywords, or you could lose potential revenue or leads when you do not rank well.

What you need to know about SEO?

Search engines such as Google use over 200 factors in their algorithm to rank websites for each and every search term (Source Backlinko.com). With so many factors at play, business owners should understand that SEO is no longer a keyword stuffing exercise.

Instead think of it like a recipe for your favourite meal, where you should carefully select ingredients depending on your desired outcome.

Serving up a dish that search engines like Google literally want to eat, means that you need to provide a wholesome and tasty experience for users. In fact, E.A.T. is an acronym that stands for Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness, a combination of characteristics that Google uses to evaluate the quality of website content.

To use another analogy, SEO is like gardening. It is something that should be tended to regularly, planting new content frequently and constantly pruning to optimise the experience. It is not like building a house, where once it is built, you can forget about it for years.

Expect SEO to require frequent energy and focus.

How to avoid SEO scams and find an SEO professional

With businesses being bombarded by SEO services, almost daily, it’s no surprise that people are wary. The biggest shame is when a business owner decides to invest in an SEO professional only to be scammed or overpromised.

The most common scam is being guaranteed Google page one rankings, or worse, ranking first. Whilst that’s surely the purpose of SEO, Google never guarantees top placements for search results or its ads.

An SEO professional will first want to understand your business, competitors, search behaviours and keywords before making any such claim. Even with this evaluation complete, a guarantee is highly unlikely. Not everyone can rank first and positions can change daily for a whole host of reasons.

Another frequent scam is businesses being misled. Thinking they are paying for SEO, but in fact they are implementing AdWords.

In these instances, as soon as you stop paying for the service, the ads stop running and there is little to no SEO in place to pick up the slack.

An important indicator of a website’s authority is how many external websites link to you. Building quality links is insanely difficult. Therefore, any service promising to instantly build links, is likely going to damage your digital reputation. When your website receives thousands of low-quality links, search engines will be suspicious and may even penalise you.

Sometimes we see business owners who genuinely believe they are receiving regular SEO services. However, there are instances whereby that business is simply served a monthly report indicating their search performance. Whilst reporting is important, it really doesn’t help optimise a website, or help increase the visibility of your business on search engines.

SEO360

When we launched SEO360, we did so purely with the intention to demystify SEO as a service. With clear actions and outcomes. For each campaign, we research and identify keyword priorities with our clients, and then build a clear action plan to meet their objectives.

We provide a unique combination of professional copywriting, web development and digital marketing experience. This enables your SEO strategy to be able to pull on the leaver of any of the 200 ranking factors, whether they be technical, content or authority related.

If you are trying to work out the cost of SEO for your business or want to understand how it can help you grow your revenue, we’d love to hear from you.

If you are a Cairns Chamber of Commerce member, we are offering a free SEO audit for a limited number of businesses.

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