Mar 18, 2014 • Jessica Jones
Our DIY SEO series of blog posts has focused on things you can do on your own to improve your SEO without spending money. We will continue to cover these DIY techniques, but let’s face it: you may reach a point where the DIY work isn’t getting you as far as you’d like. Devoting some of your time and effort to consistently following some of our DIY suggestions will absolutely benefit your SEO, but you know what else would benefit your SEO? That’s right: spending money.
There is a misconception among some people who are unfamiliar with SEO that it’s something that just happens. I have been asked “Why am I not coming up on the first page of Google?” by business owners who are putting neither time nor money into SEO. Hopefully the DIY SEO series has helped you to realize that SEO is an ongoing process that requires participation.
SEO is also extremely competitive. You may not relish the idea of spending money on it, but it’s probable that your competitors are doing just that. If your competitor is ranking more highly than you on Google, it’s unlikely that that success just happened for them - they made an investment of time, money or both in order to get there.
The amount of effort you need to put into SEO is also going to depend on the type of business you run. If you specialize in something extremely specific and fulfill a small niche it may be easier for you. Competition for searches on “left handed curling supplies” isn’t going to be as cutthroat as it would be for, say, “real estate” or “divorce attorney.” Some extremely niched local businesses may find themselves very well ranked without a great deal of effort - if this is the case for you, enjoy the success, but also be aware that there are never any guarantees, and regular monitoring of your ranking is always smart.
The answer to this question is going to be different for every business. Like an advertising budget, each business must determine the right amount of money to invest in order to create a worthwhile return. A reputable SEO professional will help you to realistically determine that balance. For reference, have a look at this article and infographic on Forbes about the cost of SEO.
Many SEO professionals offer a one-time tune-up or audit, performing a set list of tasks, updates and analyses to help tweak your SEO and get you started on the right path. The Slamdot Search Package is a great example of this - and at $495 we come in well under Forbes’s estimate of $600-$2,000 for a basic audit!
If you’re ready to take it further, you’ll want to hire an SEO professional to work with you on an ongoing basis. This will generally entail a monthly fee that is determined by you and the professional you hire based on the services and time investment that you agree upon.
There are many reputable, well-informed, honest SEO professionals out there. Unfortunately, there are also many of the … less reputable variety. Be mindful when choosing an SEO professional to work with. Beware of anyone who claims to be able to produce amazing results for dirt-cheap prices - you know what they say about things that sound too good to be true. Beware of anyone who cold-calls you. Don’t just beware but avoid anyone who claims to work for or be affiliated directly with Google. Believe me, Google is not making an effort to gain your business. Google is doing just fine.
Finding SEO experts to work with your company can be an investment that makes a massive difference in the effectiveness of your web presence. Once you’ve got a good looking, professional website (and if you don’t yet, hey, give us a shout!) you want to make sure that people are seeing it! SEO, like any other marketing, is something that requires a budget, but when you make an investment with a professional you trust, the benefits you reap will be well worth it.