Are you wondering how you should spend your marketing budget?
A portion should be spent on SEO. Here’s why.
In any marketing budget, the first question most businesses tend to ask is, “Is this a sure thing?” And, of course, the sad answer is that nothing’s ever a completely sure thing.
But some are better than others. Keeping your brand fresh and inviting. Staying ahead of the curve in your industry and learning from your competitors’ mistakes. And, when we talk about digital marketing, nothing is more tried and tested than search engine optimisation.
In today’s article, we’ll be putting SEO under the microscope, with ten of the best reasons to work it into your marketing budget as soon as possible.
What Is Search Engine Optimisation?
Let’s start our article with the assumption that you don’t actually know what search engine optimisation is. This isn’t such a crazy assumption. In spite of its massive impact on the digital marketing industry, it’s not uncommon to meet business owners who can’t define what SEO actually is.
At best, they think it’s some technical process that gives their website more “Google juice” than others. At worst, they may think it’s some sort of scam, given its bigger than life reputation and all the stories of amazing results.
For our purposes, let’s look at the facts. Major search engines like Google (the largest to this day) list the search results for anything their users are looking for. As users, we want the shortest wait possible when we search, so we tend to pick our result from the first page, near the top. That’s what’s easiest, and easy is important to us and getting website on search engines.
This makes the first page of web results a valuable place for your website to exist. Which is where search engine optimisation comes in. Without paying for ads, you can make subtle changes to the way your website operates that will prompt Google to list it higher up. These changes add value to your site, showcasing you as an authority in your field and something Google should show off first to give value to its users.
And that, in a general sense, is why SEO consultant services should top your marketing on a small budget. But let’s take a closer look.
Why Should It Dominate Your Marketing Budget
It’s not overselling it to label search engine marketing one of the most significant developments in modern marketing. Companies have been using it for years to fine-tune their websites. This positions themselves prominently and reaching wider audiences. It’s grown to such an extent that many now consider it a standard, more than an option, and if you aren’t using it, you’re missing out on something.
But don’t take our word for it. Below is our list of the ten best reasons to devote more of your marketing to SEO.
Marketing your business is a tricky tightrope to walk. No business owner wants to needlessly spend money on something they don’t need (or don’t need yet) when they could use it for something else. On the other hand, however, there are proven ways to “get it right” and nobody wants to skimp out on those for pride’s sake.
SEO actually makes for a great cost-saving approach to internet marketing on a budget. Your organic listings with any search engine are essentially free, as opposed to buying an ad or running some sort of campaign. Once you are at the top on the first page, you’re not paying for visits to your webpage.
That’s right, you don’t pay per click. There’s no ongoing monthly budget for advertising or unexpected overheads. You’re just “there”, right up front where everyone can see you. We like to think of it as the proverbial gift that keeps on giving.
Of course, there are the initial upfront costs of optimising your page, and you’ll need to wait any given amount of time for your site to climb. Quality SEO work is going to come with a price tag, and there’s no avoiding that. It’s what makes it as valuable as it is, and the cost is almost always worth it.
There may be updates that need to be addressed when the engines change their algorithm, which is to be expected. But SEO is a measure that stands on its own, by and large, eliminating the need for ads and other internet business marketing.
It Gets More Clicks
We’ve all seen PPC ads appear at the top of the search results, above organic rankings. It could be easy, looking at these, to assume more people are likely to click on them, given that higher positioning is what we’re all after.
But search users are savvier than that. While PPC has its place in digital marketing, the numbers highlight SEO’s importance overpaid clicks. More than 70 of search results that lead to a click are actually the result of organic listings on the first page.
Users have an intrinsic trust in Google’s algorithm. They understand, even if on a minor level, that something marked “Paid” means some level of interference from the website listed there. What they value, however, is a site that ranks for being a valuable site in terms of their search.
A Focus On Quality Traffic
There’s a misconception about traditional Internet marketing, and that’s that more is always better. After all, what is a marketing plan without the numbers to back it up?
What this fails to take into account, however, is how many of those numbers are people who have no interest in your product or service. People who are looking for something else entirely and will click away when they see your ad. Or, worse still, people who aren’t looking for anything and will only be annoyed at you popping up in their browser.
SEO, by its very nature, avoids this problem entirely. Your website is optimised within a specific silo, to match your product, service, or brand. It ranks for what you have to offer, and the people who see it will only ever see it because they are already looking for that particular thing.
Think of it as sending your website to a party to sell your product. If you sell dental equipment and your website goes to a New Year’s Eve bash, it may find one dentist in a hundred to sell to. Everyone else will just be listening to some dentist’s pitch while they try to enjoy their evening.
But if your site only goes to dental conventions, it’s only going to meet people from your industry. Those people are at least possibly going to be interested, and you won’t have wasted your time.
Better ROI Than Paid Ads
As a business owner, nothing matters more than the bottom line, especially when it comes to marketing. Buying a thousand visitors via paid ads may seem like a lucrative way to see results from your money, but relatively few of them ever convert into sales.
A thousand clicks from SEO, on the other hand, offers statistically more converting visits. While the numbers may seem to take longer to come in, overall it translates to a much better return on your initial investment.
It’s a benefit that no other form of digital marketing has been able to replicate with any degree of reliability. People who find you in their Bing or Google searches actually searched for your site’s tags. They’re interested in your product, and there’s no chance they arrived from a misclick.
In any marketing budget breakdown, the return on your initial investment can make or break your continued efforts. In the case of SEO, your ROI is not only measurable but fairly bankable as well.
A Good PR Move
We’ve spoken already about how users react to authority listings. What it boils down to is that a user understands from looking at a search engine listing for their search that some sites are good and others are paid. Both might be relevant to their search, but only one got there organically, and they drift to that most of the time.
A big part of how websites get these rankings comes from link building. For those not in the know, the concept is simple enough: your site “earns” links from other sites in your industry. If you’ve done this correctly, these sites will be reputable, respected names in your industry. The links may come in the form of industry blogs or on news sites. Perhaps they’ll reference a product on your site that matches or complements their own.
Using link building gives you new ways to distribute your brand; to get it out in front of new potential consumers. It’ll also show anyone researching you that you’ve been vetted and your brand “stands up” in the eyes of someone they already know and trust.
The Competition’s Using It
This point is a simple one, but no less meaningful than any other. Every industry in the world with a digital presence uses SEO in some form to help cement their marketing. It’s the end result of years of work and proven results with this brand of optimisation.
If you aren’t optimising your website, you’re already doing one less thing than your competitors are to market yourself. Because, believe us, big or small, they are all already using it.
It Sets You Apart In A Saturated Market
The most fundamental benefit of SEO is that it highlights you as something special in a crowd of below-average marketers. This is because of something known as “the fold”.
We’ve all been there: you search for something on Google, the results come up, and there are eight-thousand pages worth of results. As we’ve pointed out, nobody clicks past the first page unless they absolutely have to. But did you know that many people won’t even scroll to the bottom of the first page? This area, from the fifth or sixth result down, is known as the “fold”, an old newspaper term that basically the lower half of the front page.
If you rank above the fold, you’re in the golden circle and stand a much higher chance of getting the user’s click. 60% of clicks are awarded to the first result. Don’t be the part of the 40% – allocate a marketing budget for SEO and get ready for that spot in first place.
It Informs and Improves Businesses
With properly implemented SEO, you can bring in thousands of visitors a day. This spike in activity may put you in a position to expand, both to a bigger, better website and also to more staffers to handle the influx of business.
It also allows you to see where customers are using your site the most. This allows businesses to change their actual products and services to home in on the best parts of their catalog. Maybe you thought of one specific product as your flagship. The numbers, however, show customers prefer something else.
The data SEO provides not informs your budget percentages, moving forward, but also where to focus your production. You’ll find what you need to take your operation to the next level once you are optimized.
Marketing can be an ephemeral thing. One week goes by and your Halloween promotion is going great. The week after Halloween, however, it’s back to business as usual.
With SEO, your marketing never stops. People are still finding you on page one of Google, and they’re having the same amazing reactions to your brand. Your rankings don’t slip, and the major search engines are effectively promoting your business all day.
It’s a long-term strategy, and while it can take a few months to achieve optimal rankings, it also takes time for those rankings to slip, if they ever do.
Integrates Your Online Marketing
Over the course of this article, you may have gotten the impression we look down on other forms of digital marketing. Nothing could be further from the truth. Used properly, PPC, social media marketing, and other online promotions can have a great impact on your bottom line. And SEO recognizes that fact!
Search engine optimisation actually benefits a lot from your other online marketing activities. That’s right – your ranking can and often is influenced by all of your integrated marketing activities. This is great news, as your entire marketing portfolio helps to bolster your standing with the search engines. Whether it’s web design, content marketing, or social media, everything can help your SEO.
So, Why Isn’t Your Budget Focused On This?
Marketing can be a very personal thing to many businesses. There’s the pressure to “get it right” and put every cent to work, and the fear that you might be barking up the wrong tree when it doesn’t. With a marketing budget focused on search engine optimisation, it’s possible to see great results that not only impress but last.
Still not sure? Get in touch with Dot Media today, and ask us all about our extensive brand work, from SEO and social marketing to print design.