How much is SEO worth?
SEO has become the most fashionable word, or rather acronym, amongst those who want a website: SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, together with SEM – Search Engine Marketing offers website optimization and marketing for search engines, where Google is almost always the main search engine.
There is a lot of discussion about just how much organic SEO should actually cost, organic SEO is the one done without paying for Google Adwords and similar.
Paid SEO (or artificial SEO) is done paying for ads on Google (so the site will never appear in a top position for 24 hours a day as those are shared spaces), but it will often not be clicked by users who prefer the “central “results, and can cost quite a lot and often see sites penalized in the event that the site owner decides to stop paying.
Many customers do not recognize the futility of campaigns that cost 100 Euro per year, perhaps with the promise of 100% results (this is virtually impossible as it only takes a change in Google algorithms to cause disruption), so at the end of the day they often spend an awful lot of money over a period of several years for the wrong SEO and Google ads, only to obtain results that are often fleeting or even non-existent.
Serious SEO often has very demanding costs and can never offer 100% guarantees (remember though that it takes CONSTANT effort and for best results must be done MANUALLY), so what are the benefits?
Let’s think about the costs that many companies incur to ensure their presence in the traditional media (leaflets, newspapers, local or national TV, yellow pages and the like).
What do you get for your money? Visibility on a local level, but without the opportunity to show your portfolio to potential customers, no direct communication and so on.
So what does SEO/SEM offer?
Advantageous positioning in search engines, the use of which has by far exceeded the use of printed directories, the opportunity to operate at national or global level and the possibility of being found by proactive individuals or companies, i.e. those that are actually looking for THAT product or THAT service. All this is very different from mass advertising in the press and via other media, which is “fired out” indiscriminately to all.
One of our customers experienced the following: maintenance of the company in the online yellow pages listings, no renewal of the space “on paper”, targeted SEO – although some search terms were rather generic (“office furniture” and the like).
Result: savings of around 6,000 Euro, placing achieved for 6 keywords on the first page (15 if including page 2) of Google, 50 additional requests for quotations in 12 months from all over the country, which resulted in about two dozen new customers. At the end of the 12 month service, the site maintained a good position and, indeed, still does, more than a year later (ok, this last factor may also be down to luck and the fact that competitors have not moved).
Of course, the game has to be worth the candle, spending 100 a year for SEO to earn just 80 more than the previous year may not be the wisest decision, but in most cases the benefits, especially in the medium and long term, justify the costs.