If there is one area many companies fail to plan prior to having a web site designed and developed, it is Search Engine Optimizaton (SEO/SEM).
There is so much involved in getting your site listed on search engines, reference books the size of Tolstoy’s, ‘War and Peace,’ have been written on the subject. We will keep this shorter but want to stress: Research, Planning, Patience and most of all stay away from “Black-hat SEO” techniques. Always live by Google’s guidelines and create interesting content. Content is King!
After your web site is ‘Live’, it is time to begin your planned search engine marketing campaign. Depending on the competitive nature of your industry and the targeted keyword phrases for your web site, SEO costs will vary greatly. SEO companies can dedicate multiple employees up to and over 40hrs a week to your marketing campaign. SEO Campaigns MUST BE ADDRESSED BEFORE YOU START THE DESIGN PROCESS, NOT AFTER!
The single most common issue we see from existing sites that do not rank well on search-engines is the technical manner in which the web site was coded and developed. Web Designers without fundamental search engine knowledge rarely code a site that can get listed well in search-engines.
Below are areas you should address with your Web Site Development / SEO Team.
- Keyword analysis (prior to copy writing!)
- Technically sound SEO structure of the web site code (on-page SEO)
- Site Maps
- Canonical URLs with Keywords
- Use 301 redirects
- ‘Mobile-Ready’ version of your web site
- Directory Listing Submission (paid & free Directories – Authoritative Directories!)
- Develop a ‘Back-link’ strategy using high Domain Authority sites
- Develop a Search Engine ‘Local Search’ strategy
- Develop a Social Networking strategy for Facebook, LinkedIN, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube
- Create a Blog & update it weekly at a minimum. This is as important as everything else combined!
If we look at Google, there are 3 areas your site can be listed. The Organic, Local and Google Ads (Pay-Per-Click). Each of these areas require a unique tasks to be completed by your SEO team. Also your Social Networking standing influences your overall ranking. So you could include Social as a 4th area of your SEO.
Below are general cost associated with Search Engine Optimization. These are monthly averages. A business that is starting with a brand new domain, wishing to rank on the 1st page in a competitive category on Google should realistically expect over a year’s worth of SEO costs and more than likely it will take 2 years of SEO work to compete in a highly competitive keyword category. Less competitive keyword phrases require much less SEO work.
- Organic SEO: $1500.-$5000.00/month
- Local SEO: $800.00-$1500.00/month
- Social SEO: $600.00- $1200.00/month
- Google Ads (Pay-per-click) cost depend on the competitive nature of the keywords phrases you are targeting.
We have seen long stem keyword phrases as low as a few cents per-click while competitive two-word keyword phrases go for as high as $75.00 per click. Ouch!