Updated: Jul 25
Did you know that there are nearly 2 billion websites in existence today? While the number changes every day, one thing stays the same: in order for your business to succeed, your website needs to rise to the top to avoid being pulled down by the tidal wave of other webpages out there. One important strategy to have in your marketing fleet is SEO. What is SEO? SEO is short for “search engine optimization.” This means making sure that your website content works well with the algorithm of search engines like Google to appear near the top of internet users’ searches.
Of course, this algorithm isn’t simple. It’d be nice if, say, the top search for hardware stores near me always yielded a local store with the friendliest customer service, but unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way in the Internet Era. It can be difficult to understand how to make the algorithm work for you. Luckily, LEO Digital Marketing is a top-rated SEO Company that understands how to make your website work with the algorithm so that you don’t have to learn the ins and outs of the internet just to get your website noticed. Still not convinced? Read on to learn more about the advantages of hiring an SEO company.
Should I hire an SEO company?
Having your website optimized for search engines means that more people will see your website, more of those people will visit your website, and, ultimately, more people will buy your product or service. So, in short, SEO means more traffic, which means more customers.
According to Forbes, analyses of internet users’ habits have found that somewhere between 71 - 92% of Google searches end on the first page of results, meaning those searchers never click to see the results on page two. If your website isn’t making it onto page one of search results, you will not be seen. And just squeaking by onto the first page isn’t enough – the first five results received 67.6% of all clicks. On top of that, only 15% of searchers clicked on a paid ad or tried a different search when they didn’t find what they were looking for, which means that 85% chose from the search results that were presented the first time around and did not dig any deeper, and the majority of that 85% chose a link within the first five results.
If you spent time and money to make a website, you want people to see it. Otherwise, it doesn’t do a lot of good as part of your marketing strategy. While some of your loyal customers may use and appreciate your website, a website that isn’t appearing near the top of Google searches isn’t bringing in any new customers and therefore really isn’t doing you much good. But that doesn’t mean that giving up your website is a viable solution to this problem. According to Search Engine Land, only 5% of consumers never use a search engine to find a local business (meaning that 95% do), around 30% of consumers won’t consider a business that doesn’t have a website, and around 46% say that a website is the biggest determinant of whether or not they trust a company. I know many young adults in their 20s and 30s (and I myself am guilty of this) who won’t go to a new restaurant without first checking out the menu on the restaurant’s website. For me personally, this becomes even more true if I am traveling out of town.
Is hiring an SEO company worth it?
If you use a website to sell a product or service or to drive people to your business, then yes, hiring an SEO company is worth it. While paid advertising is an important tool in your strategy for marketing your business, it can be expensive and often is not the most cost-effective method for small businesses who don’t have the funds to run the types of ad campaigns needed to majorly boost business. SEO allows customers to find you through online searches instead of you having to constantly run ad campaigns to try to find them.
Many small businesses also rely heavily on social media as their primary online presence. Social media is a very important tool for your marketing strategy, but a website is still very important. You have limited customization on social media, and you must follow social media’s ever-changing rules and formats, whether those work for your business or not. Also, just like a website, people have to find your social media page to be able to find your business – but it is much harder to make a Facebook page show up at the top of Google than it is to do proper SEO on your own website.
However, SEO is not easy. It is a time-consuming process with a lot to learn in order to make the most optimized website possible. If you don’t have a lot of time to learn all about SEO, to keep the content on your website up-to-date, to find the best search terms, or to work with other companies and websites to get them to include links to your website on their website – which is called a backlink and is very important to Google’s algorithm – along with all of the other analysis and content creation that goes into optimizing your website, then hiring an SEO company is probably the best way to go. You’ll be handing this time-consuming task over to professionals who already understand the algorithm and have experience in improving websites to make them rise among search results, saving you time that could be better spent on the aspects of running your business that you know best. In that regard, it is very much worth it to hire an SEO company. You get all of the benefits of SEO without having to take time away from the aspects of running your business that matter the most.
How much does it cost to hire an SEO company?
According to Search Engine Journal, a survey found that less than half of all small businesses have any money budgeted for SEO. Small businesses that did budget for SEO planned to spend just under $500 per month on average – yet businesses that spent more than $500 per month on SEO were 53.3% more likely to be “extremely satisfied.”
SEO is a highly customized process, tailored to each individual business’ needs. SEO is not a product with a one-size-fits-all model, and therefore in order to really make it perform for you, it requires a fair amount of work from an SEO expert. Hourly rates for an SEO contractor can cost anywhere from $80 to $300 per hour, or $750 to $2,000 per month based on the scope of your project. Search Engine Journal also recommends that, at a bare minimum, you should budget for six months of SEO work, but ideally, you should aim for a 12 month contract with your SEO company. This may seem like a long time to complete a project, but search engine algorithms do not change automatically the moment you make SEO changes to your website. It also requires adjustments and new content additions as time goes on, and it also takes time for reputable websites to reply about backlinks. Six months is the minimum amount of time before you will start to see any real results on search engines regarding your page. SEO is a process which takes a lot of patience, more patience than many other types of marketing, and it is easy for a business owner to get frustrated and give up if they have not seen the results in the first couple of months. Don’t let it get you down! You should budget for a 6-12 month contract, hire a reputable SEO company, and trust the process.
LEO Digital Marketing is ready to help you with that process. We are a small business ourselves and therefore know what it’s like to be a small business owner with a tight budget and a need to find new customers. LEO charges $85 per hour for SEO and will work with you to determine the appropriate number of hours per month to boost your SEO while staying within your budget needs.
How do I hire an SEO company?
A good SEO company should be prepared to tailor their strategy to fit the unique needs of your specific business. According to Search Engine Journal, when you meet with a potential SEO company, you are looking for someone who asks you questions like:
What makes your business and services unique?
Who is your ideal customer?
How does your business make money, and how will an SEO strategy help you make that money?
What other marketing channels do you currently use (eg. Facebook, Instagram, newspaper ads, radio ads, etc.)?
Do you use offline advertising, social media, or a combination?
Who are your competitors and what do they do well?
Remember, SEO is not a one-size-fits-all model, so your SEO agent should be interested in discovering as much about your business as possible. This is the only real way to make SEO work for you. If you schedule an initial consultation with a potential SEO company and they don’t seem interested in learning more about what makes your business so awesomely and uniquely different – RUN! They are not going to meet your SEO needs and are just looking to make a quick and easy buck off of someone they assume to be an uninformed and easy target.
You should also go into the discussion with a good idea of some target metrics for your company. What does a successful SEO campaign look like for you and your business? Now, as mentioned previously, SEO is a process that takes time, so make sure your goals are realistic; no SEO company is going to catapult you to the #1 search result on Google overnight (and any SEO company that promises you that they can do that is one you should get away from immediately). If you aren’t sure exactly what metrics you should pursue, don’t get overwhelmed! You can approach the meeting with basic measures (“sell more orders” or “get more website traffic”) and have a discussion with your potential SEO company about more specific metrics. They can tell you what you can realistically expect from them, and you can decide if that sounds like a reasonable plan for your business. Remember, any good SEO company will make sure that you and your business are at the center of the strategy, and along with that, they will want to work with you to choose metrics as unique as your company.
Ready to get started on an SEO strategy for your business? Schedule your consultation with LEO Digital Marketing today!