There are so many factors that go into this that it’s difficult to decide where to begin, but let’s start with:
(ROI) Return On Investment
The be-all-end-all, of course, with any given marketing endeavor is: Will it be worth it?
Forecasting your potential ROI for any given SEO campaign means considering a number of factors:
- Your products and services all have potential keywords associated with them – what is the search volume (average number of searches per month) of these keywords? Now, consider where you rank for these keywords currently. If you ranked higher for these keywords, you’d definitely be getting a lot more business and a lot more money.
- How is the conversion rate (the percentage of users who take a desired action) on your website? Do you get a lot of form notifications or calls from the site? (You can track these using Google Analytics.) Your conversion rates are ultimately going to be higher with a sound SEO strategy behind your site, and that means more sales and more money.
- Is the long-haul worth it? SEO is a long-term endeavor; it could take 3-6 months before things start to get exciting.
It has to be said: Measuring ROI when it comes to SEO can be difficult. For one thing, SEO focuses on a myriad of different things that all culminate in an overall search-optimization effort. This is opposed to PPC (Pay-Per-Click) in which ROI can be fairly easily measured – you spent this much on ads, you got this many clicks, and here are your conversions.
There’s a common simile we often use to describe the difference between SEO and PPC: SEO is like diet and exercise, PPC is like liposuction. The former takes time, effort, patience, dedication, and all of the different factors that go into it ultimately culminate in you achieving your desired physique. But in the same way that you can’t look back on exactly which set of lifting gave you that little extra boost in your pectoral muscles, it’s difficult to say exactly which SEO task – blog post, local listing, or backlink – got you from the top of page 2 to the bottom of page 1.
Now, this isn’t to say that accurately measuring ROI with SEO is impossible. It can be done before a campaign begins, but the picture starts becoming much more clear after the campaign has started – it’s in this phase that we can begin adjusting strategies and navigating our way to success once we start seeing the data (traffic increases, keyword ranking boosts, more conversions, etc.).
We look at your business, your website, and your needs and put them into context – we’ll work with you and get the information we need to suggest a budget that would be ideal for your specific situation and your desired goals.
Take A Look At Your Competitor’s Websites
Your competition is a great way to learn about what you should start doing (and possibly stop doing) if they are all ranking higher than you in search results.
There are some surface-level things by which you can compare your website to theirs.
- Are their websites loading faster than yours?
- Are their websites better-organized and more user-friendly than yours?
- Do their websites easily lead the user into making a conversion?
- Do they have calls-to-action (Click Here!) and contact forms in all the right places, whereas your website may only have a phone number on the Contact Us page?
- When you find them in search results, are their title tags and meta descriptions filled out with compelling messages and keywords, whereas yours aren’t even filled out at all?
Then there are ways of evaluating a website on a deeper level. Your competitors may have a lot more backlinks (websites linking to them) than yours, which indicates to Google that they are an authority on their subject. They may have a lot more local listings than you do. The content on their website may be higher in quality and written with Google algorithms in mind.
Keep in mind that we offer a FREE SEO audit so you can get a better idea of where you stand in terms of your website’s SEO value.
If you need to make the leap from where you are currently to where your competitors are, it takes not just matching but beating them in all of these different aspects. The time it would take to accomplish this is going to be a big factor in determining your SEO budget – the higher the budget, the faster the results.
Be Honest With Yourself: How Quickly Do You Need To See Results?
As stated above, successful SEO is a long-term investment, but some SEO campaigns see success at a faster rate depending on their budget. Simply put, if you start off with a low budget, it’s going to take more time to see results; if you go in big right from the beginning, then the needle is going to move a lot faster.
Your budget goes towards all of the activities required for proper SEO. You can expect your budget to go towards:
- Ensuring all of your metadata is filled out and search-optimized.
- Improving your website’s speed and functionality.
- Writing and posting high quality, search-optimized content that is engaging for users.
- Optimizing your website for conversions.
- Reducing bounce rate (keeping users engaged with your website for longer periods of time).
- Local listing work (getting your business information out on as many local directories as possible, and this includes Google My Business optimization).
- Link building (getting links to your website from high quality and authoritative websites in your niche so as to improve your website’s value/authority in the eyes of Google and other search engines).
All of this is going to not only help you rank higher in search results, but also achieve an even more important goal – getting you more conversions and, ultimately, more business.
The higher your budget, the more we can do all of the tasks listed above and more, which means you’re going to see results sooner.
Again, Are You In It For The Long Haul?
I keep hitting on this point because it’s so essential – SEO isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it kind of thing. Going back to the diet and exercise simile – what happens when you quit working out and start eating whatever you want? You start losing all of the progress you’ve made. The same principle applies to SEO. It takes dedication and long-term commitment, and this is another factor to consider when trying to determine your SEO budget.
What You Can Expect With Arcane Marketing
We work with you to help determine the ideal SEO budget for your website and the goals you want to attain. If you have a vision for your website, we can do the heavy digital lifting to make it happen.