Do You Think SEO Is Too Expensive, Or Are You Misunderstanding The Value And Return On Investment That SEO Can Generate?
Business owners often ask me why Search Engine Optimization (SEO) “seems so expensive.” First off, if you are looking at SEO as an expense instead of an investment in your business, you are looking at it all wrong from the beginning. You will probably never be satisfied no matter how good the results are.
On the other hand, other business owners are trying to compare SEO costs to other marketing channels, like their FREE Facebook pages or Instagram Pages. The problem with this is that many business pages have very little engagement because they aren’t paying for ads or posting quality, engaging content.
Many business owners recognize this and take to their personal profiles to complain about the platforms they are on and how those platforms “don’t care about small businesses.”
Keep this one thing in mind…
The social media “overlords” do not owe you visibility or engagement.
You are on their platforms and have to play by their rules.
Let me refresh your memory. When you signed your business up to be on these platforms, you agreed to their terms of service.
If you don’t follow those terms, your business page will get slapped down by the algorithm, if not outright banned. Blaming the rules you agreed to for the reason your business is suffering will not change a thing.
Over the past year, we’ve seen many high-profile cases in which social media giants are not afraid to censor, downgrade pages in their algorithms. We’ve also watched them kick people and businesses off their platforms altogether.
SEO helps make marketing channels work more effectively because it ensures the appropriate content for every platform gets created and disseminated.
Search Engine Optimization is an often misunderstood marketing strategy by small business owners getting their lunch eaten by their competitors who “get it.”
Many people look at this marketing strategy wrong. So I figured I’d give a quick education on why SEO “seems expensive” to business owners and then show off some SEO math.
Here are some SEO facts to chew on for a moment.
SEOs (or agencies) aren’t selling Search Engine Optimization per se, as their customers will soon discover.
We provide businesses with the ability to rank well in Google for relevant search terms that can help generate leads or sales. At C.H. Local Media, we’ve helped and watched many businesses grow through our SEO services. More on this later.
For right now, let’s look at seven SEO facts.
- Search is the single largest online traffic source, driving well over 50% of most industries’ web traffic.
- Google drives eight times more traffic than all social media networks combined.
- 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, not social media.
- 75% of people never scroll past the first page of search engines.
- 81% of people perform some online research before making a large purchase.
- 72% of consumers who perform a local search visit a store within 5 miles of their current location within 24 hours.
- 61% of mobile searchers are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile-friendly site.
Are your potential clients finding you on the first page of search, and more specifically, at the top of the first page?
Are your current clients finding you on the first page of Google? Yes, this is a thing.
We had a company call us in 2019. Their existing customers couldn’t find them for their own company name on Google.
They asked about us reworking their website and doing SEO for them. Last I checked, they still aren’t showing up for their services after choosing a cheaper alternative because “SEO is too expensive.”
SEO really can’t be compared to Social Media or any other marketing channel or strategy.
Please do not misunderstand me. Social Media has its place, and we all know business owners who are killing it on social media – I’m looking at you Alonzo Edwards – but they are few and far between. Plus, many of them are paying way more for ads on social media than they would be paying for search engine optimization.
I also know how much more business they could gain by adding consistent search engine optimization to their marketing strategy.
What are some key differences between SEO and Social Media Marketing?
SEO includes both on-page and off-page strategies that focus primarily on optimizing a website for search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others. SEO employs techniques that improve the quality of a website for it to rank higher in search results when potential clients are looking for your services or products.
Social Media Marketing on platforms such as Facebook or Instagram can build your brand awareness among customers. Social media marketing may include organic posts, sponsored ads, or boosted posts to try to build engagement with your brand.
Once again, I believe you should be using social media for your business and your brand. Heck, we even offer Social Media Management and Marketing services as well.
Just know that FB reaction emojis do not equal the cash register ringing. They serve their purpose for vanity metrics and to give you an idea of how engaging your post is, but they do not equal sales.
We even believe that social media should be a core part of your marketing strategy but not your only system.
While social media CAN drive engagement, I’d encourage you to go back and look at the stats above. If you take nothing else from this information, remember this. Google drives eight times more traffic than all social media combined.
SEO is not an inexpensive marketing strategy. However, when search engine optimization is implemented correctly, you can expect a high return on investment.
Businesses that invest in Search Engine Optimization are typically those who understand the power of SEO and its benefits for their business.
One of our missions at CH. Local Media is to help more business owners understand the true power of SEO to generate more calls, leads, appointments, in-store traffic, and, most importantly, sales. Understanding this marketing concept would help level the playing field for them to compete with more substantial businesses.
As it stands right now, even though SEO has been around for years, not many small or local businesses are taking advantage of this marketing opportunity. Many local companies that have implemented SEO into their marketing strategy are dominating their industries in their communities.
You might get lucky and gain a couple of first-page search results for a keyword or two without SEO. Still, without a solid SEO strategy, you may fluctuate, fall off the first page, or even worse, you may stay stagnant because there are more areas to cover that you are not reaching.
SEO is not a one-time event where the SEO company does something and then goes away. SEO is a long-term relationship with your SEO agency where both parties work together over time to develop strategies that will continue to grow search traffic and rankings for the business.
So What About That SEO Math You Promised Earlier, Chas?
SEO isn’t cheap, but SEO is one of the oldest and highly proven forms of online marketing that has stood the test of time.
It’s no secret that it can be expensive to develop a solid SEO strategy for your business. This is why many business owners are turning to social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram as their primary forms of marketing.
But what happens when you get those likes and followers on Facebook?
If you don’t stay consistent with your posting, then in just minutes, they will disappear, and all those hard-earned “likes” and “followers” won’t keep coming back.
The value of SEO is that it’s sustainable over time. SEO can remain consistent and provide fresh, new leads over time with the right SEO agency working on them.
With an SEO strategy in place, you will build a more solid foundation for your business than some of those social media platforms mentioned above. You will begin to see consistency in your leads and closed sales.
Let’s Look At Some Numbers For Three Current C.H. Local Media Clients.
SEO Client Number One is in the residential and commercial services industry.
When starting with us at C.H. Local Media, this client’s average job was between $150 – $300 per job. They were mostly doing residential jobs at that time but wanted to focus more on building their commercial work.
We helped them shift their business to more commercial work while expanding their service area with targeted search engine optimization strategies.
Their business started seeing a significant shift in inquiries from residential jobs to commercial jobs. Out-of-state companies with commercial property holdings in our client’s service areas started calling them for quotes and contracting them for the needed work.
This client is now consistently landing more commercial jobs with values between $5,000 – $45,000, and their business is doubling year over year. That’s a far cry from their beginning when they were doing jobs between $150 – $300.
Do you still think “SEO is too expensive?
This client thought that SEO was too expensive at the beginning but still took the chance. They now know it isn’t since we are paying for ourselves, on top of generating insane revenue for them through our search engine optimization process.
SEO Client Number Two offers professional services.
When this client started with us at C.H. Local Media, they only had four leads from forms on their old website that was three years old. They were only receiving around five calls a month from their Google My Business Listing.
This client is in a tough niche and competing with national businesses with deep pockets for a particular segment of their business.
We rebuilt their website with a solid SEO foundation over 30 days. After launching their website, we started implementing the C.H. Local Media SEO process.
They started rising in the rankings. Keywords started landing on page one and in the map pack.
Potential clients were filling out their forms on their website. Their calls started increasing from the website and their Google My Business Listing.
They are now getting over 100 calls from Google My Business alone per month on average in a city with 32,000 people. Their highest searched keyword only gets 110 searches per month. Do you think they’re dominating their industry in their region?
I’ll spell it out for you, Y E S!
Their average overall ranking when they started with us was at 73.2 for their keywords. Their average overall ranking now stands at 1.9. Forty-two of their fifty-nine tracked keywords are in the map pack. The other seventeen keywords are ranking organically in positions one to three.
This same client opened a new location in a new state last year during covid.
How’s that going?
We were able to piggyback off the trust and authority from their first location to transfer power to their second location with a 10X larger population. This client is already beating well-established businesses in the area and taking away market share from companies that have been in this location for years.
They have been in continuous hiring mode for the past six months with no signs of stopping.
I just spoke with the owner last week. He has tasked us with market research for two new locations and stated he would be opening one new branch per year after these next two.
Do you still think “SEO is too expensive?”
When we quoted the above client for SEO services based on the niche, services, target markets, and competition, they suffered some sticker shock and hesitation and spoke with other marketing agencies.
They liked our strategies and service at the end of the day and chose C.H. Local Media as their marketing partner. They now know that SEO is not too expensive after growing their business exponentially through the power of SEO.
SEO Client Number Three owns an e-commerce shop in a very highly regulated industry.
This client’s industry has many regulations on what can be said, claimed, and how they market their services and products.
Between Federal, State, and Local regulations imposed on their industry, they cannot advertise in the traditional sense. They cannot advertise on social media or with Google ads either.
Their growth has been through straight SEO.
When this client started with C.H. Local Media in 2018, they were bouncing between $5,000 – $9,000 per month. We integrated our team with their backend office and customer service systems and got to work.
The first thing we did was build them a website with a solid SEO foundation. We structured their e-commerce platform to focus on categories instead of individual products. We also worked with them on implementing an affiliate program.
Between our SEO and their excellent customer service team working in tandem, we started seeing incremental growth. Then we started seeing compounding growth.
We helped them go from $5,000 – $9,000 per month to $20,000 per month within the first year working together.
It doesn’t sound like much, but remember what I said earlier. SEO Is a long game strategy.
Within six months of hitting $20,000 months, this client was now doing $100K+ months.
Towards the end of last year (2020), they broke past $300K months.
This year (2021), this client has consistently been over $500K per month, with most months to now over $600K.
We fully expect to go over $1,000,000.00 per month by the end of the year / first quarter of 2022.
At this point, do you still think “SEO is too expensive?”
If so, there is no way I could ever change your mind or even help you because you are looking at cost versus investment.
I do wish you the best of luck in your business, though, because your competitors will be calling us or someone like us to help them dominate the market, putting you even further behind the eight ball.
Is the problem that SEO is expensive or that priorities are mixed up?
One of the things our team has learned on discovery calls and strategy sessions with business owners that some would rather enjoy the fruit of their labor now with fancy homes, cars, and exotic vacations instead of holding off for one to two more years.
We quickly realize that the investment in SEO as a marketing strategy is not “too expensive” for them. They actually do have the budget. It comes down to priorities. Some business owners would rather prioritize their “social media highlight reels” than grow their business at the rate they say they want to.
It isn’t that SEO is too expensive. The real problem is that “priorities” are out of line, and those “priorities” are “costly.”
- They cost you time by delaying the growth you claim you want to achieve.
- These misplaced priorities cost you money in lost revenue that you don’t even know you are missing out on.
- The future cost is even more significant because your competitors are running SEO campaigns to ensure their market dominance in the upcoming weeks, months, and years.
It will be hard to catch up or beat them once Google sees their businesses and websites as the trusted, authoritative experts in your industry.
Some of this information may have seemed harsh. My job is to tell the truth, not make you feel good or comfortable about your inaction.
With all that said, I will ask one more time with a little different twist.
Is SEO too expensive, or is it really just an excuse to make you feel better about your misplaced priorities in marketing your business?
If you’re ready to learn more about how SEO can grow your business and change your trajectory, get in touch. We’d be happy to help!