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What is the best way to determine my online marketing budget and how do I choose an SEO provider?
Marketing budgets for SEO, will understandably vary greatly depending on the size and sector of the company. The potential return-on-investment will also vary greatly depending on how important website visits are to your bottom line.
The fact is however, that no matter how important those visits are today, they are going to be even more important in the future, so it is necessary to budget accordingly. There is always a need for online marketing; however, be sure your provider is able to demonstrate measurable results.
Return on an SEO investment can be difficult to measure because search engines’ algorithms are constantly changing. And to complicate things further, the lines between content marketing for SEO and social media content promotion are becoming increasingly blurred and it is easy to understand why companies have difficulty in placing a firm value on this.
So when setting your marketing budget for SEO, here are a few things to consider:
What percentage of your current business is coming from your website? If you find that it is less than average for your sector, it might be an indication that you are missing opportunity and should dedicate a higher percentage of your marketing budget to SEO.
How does your websites conversion rate (the number of people who buy from you because they visited your website) compare with other websites in your sector? Again, if this number is on the low side, more expertise in SEO could help your bottom line.
Do you have a system in place to understand how each form of marketing is working for you? If the answer is yes, you may well already have an advantage over your competitors. If the answer is no, then a marketing professional will be able to help you with this.
When selecting an SEO company to work with, look for a company that is able to provide you with recommendations on improving all areas of your site, including content, site design and coding.
It is also important that an SEO company is able to analyse your competitors’ sites as well as your own. If there is no competitive analysis, the SEO company won’t be able to target your competitors online.
Finally, find a firm that has good references and is willing to work with you for a customized strategy. The reality is, an SEO company isn’t able to provide you with a detailed plan until they have done a proper analysis of your company. (If they do provide you with such a plan, take this as a red flag!)
The SEO firm needs to have a discussion with you so that they can learn about your business before they can even start working on keywords – otherwise they might be targeting the wrong words, which is not going to help your SEO strategy.
Finally, when you are comfortable that you have set an appropriate budget for your SEO marketing strategy and you have chosen a company that you feel comfortable with, then enjoy the ride and see what sound SEO marketing will do for your business.