Let’s Break Down What SEO Is
SEO is now the service that we get the most requests for, as business owners become increasingly aware of its benefits. So, first let’s talk about what SEO is, how it works, and what you should know about it.
First, SEO is short for search engine optimization. It’s the process of getting Google/Bing/Yahoo/Duck Duck Go and other search engines to rank your website for various search terms. For example, if someone types in digital marketing agency Calgary or SEO services Calgary, we would want those search engines to show our business to you.
The higher you rank, the more traffic you will get to your website. If your website is designed properly, this will greatly increase the number of leads you will receive to your business each month.
Position 1: Receives almost 30% or more of all organic traffic.
Position 2: Gets roughly 22% of all organic traffic
Position 3: Gets roughly 18% of all organic traffic
Though, these results will vary based on the type of search performed. You can read more about it in this article from Search Engine Watch.
How does SEO work?
Search engines will send crawlers (bots) to crawl your website. What these bots are doing is indexing your website, as well as comparing the quality of your website against that search engine’s algorithm. This way the search engine knows which search terms your website should appear for.
There are literally hundreds of ranking factors that Google considers when trying to determine which position your website ranks on.
The core factors according to our research are as follows:
- Website Load Times
- User-Experience and Engagement
- Content Quality
- Number of quality Blog Posts
- Local Backlinks
- Local Citations
- Google Reviews
- Domain Age
There is no way for you to pay Google or other search engines. to rank higher on Google. And this is a good thing, as it makes SEO a more affordable service than pay per click.
Why SEO Is Important To Your Marketing Mix
To put it simply, SEO gives you the best leads. When someone clicks on your organic listing, they are as qualified a lead you can get. Unlike pay-per-click ads, it doesn’t cost you any money and you do not need to depend on Google.
Let’s do a cost comparison between the two services.
How Much Does SEO Cost?
Without going into detail, these are the main services an SEO will perform for you each month.
- Website Optimization
- A/B Testing and Content Polishing
- Content Marketing
- Link Building
- Citation Creation
- Reputation Management
In addition to the above points, there are dozens of smaller tasks that need to be completed as well.
Now, the monthly rate you will pay for SEO will depend on the amount of work necessary to beat your competition. So, the more your competition does good professional SEO, the more work it will take for us to beat them.
A minimum monthly fee for a competitive market or industry is $650, and $450 for less competitive markets and industries. There is no maximum amount you can pay, as it is all based on the amount of work performed each month. It’s not unheard of a company paying between $1,000 – $5,000 per month, all depending on what their business objectives are.
Now, compare that to the cost of Google Ads. If you are a plumber or garage door tech, the average cost of a click in a major city is between $20 – $40+. That means, even 20 – 30 clicks will cost you more than SEO. There is also no guarantee that those clicks are not fake, as click fraud is a major issue.
When Should You Start Doing SEO?
Right away! The sooner Google recognizes your business for your services the better. We recognize that not everyone can afford to hire an SEO right away, but that means you will just have to learn the basics for yourself.
What Are Some Simple Steps A Business Owner Can Take?
The great thing about search engine optimization is that you do not need to be an expert to do it. Any business owner can set up their own Google My Business page and start getting reviews.
Here’s a shortlist of what we recommend all business owners to do first.
- Do keyword research and discover what keywords people use to find your services. You can use Google’s keyword planner for free.
- Create and optimize your Google My Business page.
- Remind your clients to leave a review on your Google My Business page. (GMB)
- Create blog posts for your GMB and website
- Network and link with other local businesses and directories
- Publish fresh and quality photos to your GMB each month
If you have the time, you can also research how to optimize your website’s speed. Depending on the CMS/platform this can be as simple as installing a plugin or paying the builder a small fee. Try to stay away from any advanced or complicated optimizations, and never try to do any optimizations without having a backup first. If you don’t have a backup, you can break your website and that will require hiring a professional to fix it.
How To Be Successful In SEO
Consistency and learning, are the keys to success in SEO. In order to stay ahead, you have to constantly learn new strategies, build new links/citations, and publish quality content. If you stop, your competition won’t and it will become that much harder to beat them. So, make sure to schedule a minimum of five hours each month for your SEO.
Of course, if you don’t have the time, you can always hire Blueprint Digital Marketing & SEO to do it for you. We’ll build out a custom SEO plan for you, all based on our proven SEO blueprint.
Some Warnings Before You Hire A SEO Company
The first thing you should know about SEO is that no one can guarantee a first-position or even a first-page ranking. Even Google has come out and stated that you should not trust a business that guarantees anything.
The reason is simple, Google is a constantly changing algorithm. You can’t bribe an algorithm, and even if you trick it, eventually it will catch on. So, there is no SEO company that can guarantee anything.
A few other red flags to watch out for:
- A promise of building hundreds of links each month. Usually, these links will be poor quality or spammy, leading to your website being blacklisted.
- You are a plumber, lawyer, doctor, contractor, or live in a big city. You will be the target of many companies promising to do your SEO for cheap. SEO requires a lot of work each month, so someone doing it for $100 – $200 per month likely isn’t putting a lot of time into your business each month.
- Someone offers to sell you reviews for your Google page. While these can work, Google frowns upon it and it can lead to your GMB being suspended.
Like all things in life, if it feels too good to be true, then it likely is.