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Guide: How to justify the cost of SEO

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For the average business, the idea of investing in digital marketing like SEO is more powerful than you might think. Providing a practical, effective, and organic way to enhance the visibility of your business, SEO should be anything but an afterthought for companies looking to grow online. So when it comes to tight marketing budgets and allocating funds where you can, why should SEO be at the top of your digital marketing list?

Read on to find out more about why SEO is essential for your business. We’ve covered all you need to know to understand how powerful SEO can be – when it’s carried out by the right people. For increased sales, enhanced click-through rates and better visibility than ever before, SEO is the place to start.

This guide will uncover the fundamentals of SEO, how to justify its costs and why it’s essential for your business.

What is SEO?

The first step to understanding the value of SEO is knowing what this type of digital marketing means. SEO, short for search engine optimization, encompasses a range of different techniques and skills designed to work with search engines. 

These methods help your business increase its visibility whenever buyers are searching for content on Google or Bing. By investing in the optimization of your business and website, your brand is far more likely to be seen by all the right people.

SEO provides a practical, organic and sustainable way to invest in your business. Pay-per-click through social or paid advertising are valuable for companies; there’s no denying that. But for the customers you’re trying to reach, SEO provides a way to get in touch with them that isn’t overtly selling to them. Plus, the cost of SEO, compared to PPC, can be much more minimal and is considered a long-term, sustainable digital marketing model. 

For your audience, appearing genuine—and ranking competitively on search engines —should be one of your top priorities. SEO provides more truthful, sincere, and trustworthy visibility to your business—helping to build customer trust and establish a relationship with potential buyers.

Why is SEO so important?

SEO is so crucial to businesses because it sets you apart from your competition. If other companies in your field or niche aren’t investing in SEO, then it instantly places you ahead of them when it comes to those essential search rankings.
 
With millions of searches taking place every minute, shoppers’ attention spans are shorter than ever. Reaching the top three results on a page with SEO can mean a substantial difference in the visibility and accessibility of your business to the customers you’d like to target.
 
A well-designed and properly executed SEO-friendly website also holds plenty of value to your customers. Meeting modern and best practice on-page SEO steps and off-page search optimization standards mean creating content that’s relevant to your audience, valuable to them, and enhances their experience of your business.
 
Investing in SEO doesn’t just get your business seen—it also enhances your appearance and authority in the eyes of your customer base. As a long-term investment for your business, SEO doesn’t have the up-front ‘buzz’ or instant results as PPC advertising, or even social media marketing. But it sets your company up for success in the long-term, ensuring that customers come to you time-and-time again even when those paid promotions have run out. 
 
PPC is all about direct, instant conversions—but SEO is vastly more successful and cost-effective over time than paid advertising could be. For instant results, paid advertising is the way to go— but for long-term visibility, industry leadership, and quality results, SEO is the place to start. SEO provides stable growth, unlike PPC, where you must consistently pay to ensure you reach your target audience. Below is an example of how SEO outperforms PPC overtime.
 

Justifying the cost of SEO

While SEO can seem like a high monthly cost, when you consider the long-term benefits of investing in SEO, the price tag attached to top SEO services seems far less prohibitive.

SEO vs PPC

While, as mentioned above, PPC and other paid advertising provide an instant boost in customers, SEO is much more sustainable and cost-effective. That means the benefits continue for months or even years following the first implementation, helping you grow your customer base organically and naturally.

As a more sustainable form of digital marketing, the cost of SEO is outweighed entirely by the benefits. While you won’t receive the same influx of customers overnight, you’re more likely to develop lasting relationships with customers, as well as generate new and repeat visits. 

SEO takes time to work. On average, it takes around 6 months to a year (or more) for websites to start appearing on competitive pages, i.e. page one of Google. Of course, this timing differs from website-to-website and multiple factors influence your site’s performance. Some of these factors include the age of your domain, on-site optimization, link building, content and beyond.

Effective on-page and off-page SEO techniques help to place your business as an expert and leader in your field. By repeatedly achieving those top rankings, you’re providing to your audience that you’re a long-standing, professional company that they can trust.

Budgets for digital marketing can change and wane depending on the current status of your business, especially for smaller companies. But investing in SEO can mean your current budget doesn’t affect the long-term success of your business.

Professional, well-executed SEO can ensure your business is visible, accessible, and valuable to your customers for years to come. SEO isn’t just beneficial in terms of getting the right people to see your business. In essence, it’s also financially beneficial. With the right strategy in place, you can generate new and repeat visits with the chance of converting them into leads and customers.

Hiring an SEO consultancy

So, how can you invest in SEO as effectively as possible?

Working with professionals is the ideal choice for the majority of businesses, providing all the expertise needed to maximize your optimization results.

An SEO consultancy supports businesses to achieve far better results for your money than you could accomplish in-house. As a long-term, practical model, investing in quality SEO services isn’t just about the immediate benefits to your business—it’s also about the long-term effectiveness, relevance and compliance of your business.

It may be tempting to attempt SEO for yourself, especially if you’re a small business. But it’s just as easy to fall foul of the Google algorithm with poorly handled SEO as it is to succeed with the best methodology. Keyword stuffing, content with no value and less-than-effective link building can all lead to your website losing its footing in the search rankings, instead of reaching that higher ground.

With a professional SEO consultant and service, you’re in good hands—for SEO that lasts, is sustainable and does all it needs to, choosing to work with an expert consultancy is a strategic option.

If you’re considering implementing effective SEO for your business, then getting in touch with Segment should be your number one choice. We support small, medium-size and enterprise firms to achieve incredible SEO results across a broad spectrum of markets and industries.

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