Is SEO Worth The Money?
SEO itself is fairly straightforward, but understanding how to use it effectively can take a little digging and a lot of reading. If you’ve attempted to demystify SEO for yourself then chances are you’ve stumbled across articles asking questions like ‘Is SEO worth the money?’ or worse, ‘Is SEO Dead?’.
SEO isn’t being maligned per se; there is no doubt that SEO campaigns have had a strong impact on many websites owned by businesses, and by extension that business’ success. The doubt lies in whether or not SEO is still effective, or if it’s time for SEO campaigns to go the way of the dodo bird.
What is SEO? How Does it Work?
SEO, short for ‘search engine optimization’, is a marketing strategy intended to put your site on the first search engine results page (or SERP). It directs targeted, organic traffic to your website using keywords entered into Google’s search engine.
Though it can technically be used on any search engine some of them have gone the way of the dodo bird, so there’s no point in trying to secure a decent rank there. Further, Google is not only the world’s largest search engine, it’s the world’s most visited website. On a global level it processes roughly 40,000 searches per second, over 3.5 billion per day, and over 1.2 trillion per year. Who wouldn’t want a piece of that pie?
To be clear, SEO is not a magical remedy as some seem to think. ‘If it doesn’t fix everything right away forever then it’s not legitimate!’. Well, of course not, but we’re talking about marketing strategies, not Cinderella’s fairy godmother. The idea that only quick results equate to long-term success is where a lot of the misconceptions about SEO come from.
Organic traffic means that your visitors didn’t come across you through paid advertising. It’s important for a few reasons:
- Organic traffic targets people based on intent. Usually, when someone is searching for information or products on Google it’s because there’s a sense of urgency; they already plan on reading or buying what they find.
- Mobile users in particular are quick to take action, especially when they are looking up something nearby. As of 2019 searches for “store open near me” has gone up by over 250%, while “where to buy” and “near me” have jumped by over 200%. (These numbers are particularly promising for local businesses looking to expand)
- Further, 60% of mobile users called a business directly from the SERP. A ranking isn’t a direct call to action, but having a high rank is sure to inspire action.
Organic vs. Pay Per Click
So you’re probably wondering why organic is better than pay-per-click advertising, or PPC. We’re glad you asked! SEO marketing strategies increase visibility through natural growth over time. Here’s why that (literally) pays off:
- Unlike PPC, organic SEO strategies have a longer lifespan. Paid ads need to be monitored constantly to see what’s drawing people in and what isn’t. New ads need to be pumped out on a regular basis or the content gets stale. If your ranking comes from organic traffic it’s easier to hold your rank because it’s built on consistency, so your competitors will have a harder time outdoing you. In other words, you earned it.
- Google favors websites that attract more visitors. While paid ads will generate traffic more quickly it happens in short bursts, and organic traffic from SEO builds over time. Instantaneous results might sound more desirable but Google takes note of your growth, making you more valuable to them. This increases your odds of showing up on the first SERP.
- Organic results come off as more trustworthy than paid advertising. Paid ads rank highly for that very reason, someone paid for that spot. It’s assumed that sites with paid ads are less reliable and of lower quality. After all, if they’re good enough then they wouldn’t need to use paid ads, right? That’s the mentality many have when using a search engine.
- SEO is far more cost-effective. Because paid advertising is so volatile it’s harder to predict how much you will need to be spent on ads and when you’ll need to spend. Working with an SEO agency means starting as low as 700$-800$ per month. Knowing those numbers in advance takes an enormous weight off of your shoulders. You never have to worry about being caught off guard by surprise expenses.
Why Pay For SEO?
SEO can be hard to manage on your own. Not only do you have to learn what it is and how to do it, but you also need to stay on top of the latest trends in marketing. We are literally at the mercy of algorithms, and algorithms are constantly changing. The slightest tweak on Google can have a strong impact on your SERP ranking, even go so far as to obliterate your ranking in their search results (we’re looking at you Panda and Penguin)!
Having a pro on your side is a lot like having insurance. We stay on top of those changes for you and tackle them right away. SEO is an investment in your website’s performance. Remember that saying about how you get what you pay for? If you aren’t paying for professional SEO marketing strategies, you won’t have the same success as someone who is (spoiler alert: it’s your competitors!).
SEO works in any industry because of the way it targets people based on interest and location. A hotshot veterinarian in Toronto and a small-time car mechanic in Toledo will experience the same success if they’re using effective SEO marketing. The numbers won’t be exactly the same, but they will reflect success as determined by each business’s respective needs. Businesses of any size can benefit because it’s never too late to start. If you’re falling behind, partnering with us will help you catch up. If you’re just starting out, we’ll stick by your side and help you stay ahead of the game. Make no mistake- SEO is here to stay.
Ready to SMASH your way into Google’s good graces? Get in touch with us, tell us what you need, and we’ll tell you what we can do.