Marketing budgets are often the first place that many businesses look to when they need to cut expenses. More often than not, the reason that marketing is the first to get axed is because it can be so difficult to quantify what is working and what is not working. While that was certainly true during the days of traditional marketing, when marketing dollars were primarily spent on print ads, radio, and television, it is simply no longer the case. With web analytics, it is now much easier to measure the returns of an online marketing investment and to assess if it is worthy for your business to invest in SEO and other marketing campaigns. The key to obtaining accurate results is ensuring that you are measuring correctly.
Measuring the ROI of Organic SEO
One of the most important aspects of organic SEO to keep in mind is that it does not function like PPC. Therefore, you should not expect to receive the same results with organic search engine optimization as you do with PPC. When an organic campaign is designed properly, it should include a mix of link-building activities, content marketing, and social promotion. Unlike PPC, this type of marketing requires time to execute as well as time for Google’s search engine to index the work that has been done.
Businesses are often naturally concerned about the amount of money spent on marketing campaigns. It would be wonderful if there were a magic formula that would indicate how much money is required in order to achieve a specific goal. Unfortunately, that simply is not how online marketing works. There are a number of factors that can impact how long it will take to achieve your specific marketing goal and what it will cost, most of which are outside of your control. Such factors often include the number of competitors, the quality of the competitors’ websites, etc. When developing an SEO budget, businesses should keep in mind that it will usually take at least three months, possibly up to six months, in order to achieve desired results. Therefore, it is important to settle on a budget that your business can afford to maintain for up to six months.
Selecting a SEO Company
Choosing a firm to handle your SEO needs can be challenging. Rather than focusing on what to look for in a SEO firm, it might better to focus on what should be avoided:
• Weak backlinks
• Duplicate content
• Keyword stuffing
Regardless of what types of guarantees they may promise, avoid any SEO firms that utilize the techniques listed above, the only thing that you can be assured of reviving with these techniques is a penalty from Google. Google has been very explicit about its focus on quality content. In the end, it is far better to invest in quality content than to deal with the cost and time necessary to recover from a search engine penalty because of poorly done SEO work.
SEO is still very much alive and well, but in order to achieve your goals, you must be prepared to invest the time and money necessary to meet those goals.