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SEO work

ScotComp

ScotComp

New Member
I know the basics of SEO but I'm in no way an expert and would much rather bring in someone that knows exactly what they're talking about.

I've contacted a few companies recently about getting some work done and most of them have quoted £200-400 per month for the work which is fair enough for the amount of work that will be done on the site, but I wonder how startup companies can afford costs as high as that when they're also paying for the huge list of other business items and equipment?

Is there anything small businesses can start off with in SEO that would give them a step forward and not cost them so much money?
 
ScotComp

ScotComp

New Member
Sorry this was meant to go into the internet marketing topic.
 
aviemorebusiness

aviemorebusiness

New Member
As we have already had some email conversations about the value of SEO I won't go into huge detail, but for the purposes of companies who I have not had the contact with yet, my question would be, why is SEO not included in your business plan? Is it because people feel that they can do it themselves effectively? Or is it similar to having a website built in that there is quite often someone who is 'my neighbours grandson' type of thing who professes to know how to SEO a website? Don't get me wrong I am not going go all pious and say that you can't possibly do it yourself but if you would pay a professional for other areas of your business start up why do businesses have such an issue paying for quality SEO which should really be a very large percentage of your marketing budget these days.

I am genuinely curious as to why SEO is valued so low. Being a specialist SEO company we obviously see the value in it ourselves, combined with other Internet marketing techniques including social media and I think we have come to conclusion that it is because you can't 'touch' SEO that it is seen as a poor relation when start up costs are put together. If done properly and if the website is included and social media is undertaken, there is absolutely no reason why SEO can't be your major source of marketing - believe me it is a lot more cost effective and trackable that putting an advert in the local paper. Having said, that I would clarify that by saying if you are a tradesperson then local paper advertising is probably the way to go, but if you are selling something online or the service you provide is UK wide then local paper advertising should not even be considered in my opion.

Hope that helps - I am interested in hearing views on this subject because I have to say the majority of our business is from larger companies these days and we rarely get enquiries from small local companies, and I am presuming it is because the minute we say we are more expensive than £10 per hour then we are discounted from any future consideration.
 
Mike Lewis

Mike Lewis

New Member
Katie,

You've raised some good points. I'm not really qualified to answer them. But I suspect that the reason that start-ups don't include SEO in their business plan is that most business people don't know that there is such a thing as SEO - or why they might need it. If they think about it at all, they probably assume it's part of the general work of setting up a website.

This is just a guess on my part, of course.

Mike
 
ScotComp

ScotComp

New Member
I think there is a certain amout of fear with SEO, £300 a month (or £3,600 a year) is a huge amount of money to invest without knowing exactly what the return will be like. We recently advised one of our customers that it might be a good idea to bring a SEO company in to improve his search engine performance but it was instantly rejected without even a question asked.
 

kmbookkeeping

New Member
I would agree with Scott. If I hire someone to build me a fence, I know at the end exactly what I will have. But to hire someone to do SEO I have no idea how much difference their work will make to me, I don't know what I will get at the end, and most I have looked at cannot offer assurances. It all just seems really subjective.

Kris
 
BioOutsource

BioOutsource

New Member
SEO is costly. Yes that's right. But the million dollar question is, do you really require seo? Organic web marketing like seo shows the peak results when it is used for sales online. But if you are going to create a brand for your site then seo may not be much helpful than other traditional ways. no need to bear seo cost for pushing your message on internet
 
Scottish Business Owner

Scottish Business Owner

New Member
Ok - first of all i've moved this thread to the internet marketing forum as it seems more appropriate :)

We've spoken about it before but I do agree that there's a certain intangibility to SEO which I think stops many people from seeing it's true value.

I do firmly believe that you can learn the basics of SEO and the guide John has linked to above is a great starting point. The main issue with SEO I guess is the level of misinformation that exists on the internet which is a shame. I've learned enough to know that if anyone guarantees results in the SEO field then run a mile :p

It's a shame that alot of companies get into this position and i've always wondered whether there would be a viable business model in teaching a small group and showing them how to implement basic SEO in a group format. It's certainly something that I would love SBF to get involved in. So for the SEO folks on here do you think there is a business model for that type of offering?

I know SEO works but I also appreciate the difficulties small business have towards trying to fund it. :)
 
aviemorebusiness

aviemorebusiness

New Member
I think I may be getting 'off topic' here as the initial question was alluding to the cost of SEO and thanks for the comments regarding why people don't include it in business plans however, I think I need to clarify some basic points regarding employing an SEO company and this is where I totally agree with when he says if someone says they can guarantee results then run a mile! However, the key to making SEO effective, trackable and have the ability to show the return on your high investment then your SEO company should be discussing with you in the very first instance what it is you as the customer wants to achieve. Now, this is where good communication comes into play. If someone says to us we want to be number 1 on Google for 'bespoke computer software' and we have a budget of £90 per month then obviously we would have to say that it is completely unachievable. Similarly, if someone wanted to be number 1 on Google for that same phrase, had a budget of £1K per month but the website would not allow a decent amount of conversions then again we would have to say that it is unlikely that their enquiries or sales are going to increase because of their website.

People are under the misconception that SEO is stand alone, this is definitely not the case. In an ideal world when you are looking to get a new website built you should get your SEO, designer and developer in the same room together. There will always be a compromise between SEO, design and development, but people must be aware that you tie the hands of the SEO company if you want a flash based site and no easy way for a customer getting in touch with you. This is when people become unhappy with SEO providers because they feel they have spent a lot of money and havent seen any return on the investment, a proper SEO company will go through all these constraints with you and give you an honest opinion on what will and wont work for you. If your budget is only £90 per month for example then it could be a case of making sure the meta statements are correct, that each page has some on page opimisation and that you should actually then concentrate on some directory link building - as long as you as the customer is aware that £90 is going to buy basic services then there are no unreal expectations.

With regards the building a fence analogy, I totally understand that, however if you stick with that example and a gardner comes round and you say here's £50 build me a fence around the garden and he gives you a 1ft high piece of plastic fencing around the whole garden, you have your fence but it's useless. What he should have done is say to you at the time your £50 is only going to buy you a rubbish low plastic fence are you sure you wish to go ahead with this? Or he would have asked you what you wanted the fence to do, keep the dog in or the neighbours out and actually you need proper wood panels and that will cost you £500 - you get my drift?

We offer start up packages for set number of pages websites, however, at the time we make it VERY clear that the end result will be that their website is friendly to Google and that there is probably no way that their website is going to be number 1 on Google any time soon. BioOutsource made a good point here that SEO might not always be appropriate, what we would probably say in this instance is that make sure your website looks good from a code point of view for Google and if you budget is not going to stretch to ongoing work then look at raising your brand awareness yourself through business directory submission, Facebook, Twitter and the plethora of other avaialble and free social media channels - as long as you have the time to do it!

The end result of all of this is, if you want a proper service you would pay a professional to do it for you if your budget allows.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
poppydesign

poppydesign

New Member
Hi Katie & Gavin

Good post above.

"The end result of all of this is, if you want a proper service you would pay a professional to do it for you if your budget allows."

I completely agree with this - the problem is educating clients to understand the value of professional SEO. I don't personally offer/specialise in SEO (I work with a partner on this) but I understand the importance of using a specialist company (much like yourself) who have the expertise and time to do the SEO work properly. I run a couple of websites in addition to my web and graphic design business and have paid in the past for SEO work - the main issue was a huge set up fee and monthly fee - I valued the work done but as small individual ecommerce site I just could not afford the service in the end.

There are certainly many things a website owner can do themselves to help, make sure they are listed on Google maps (if they have premises),use of social media if appropriate, get their site listed on as many related directories and websites as they can, use of website address on all company literature etc

I get the same thing in my design business too - some clients won't pay for professional design and the end result is a poor, home made, unprofessional site which is a shame really as they might have really excellent products or a service but their site would put many potential buyers off.

Joanne
 
BioOutsource

BioOutsource

New Member
If you're startup company try to do things by your own, don't risk your site PR giving it in the hands of bunch of amateurs, when you think you can afford SEO professionals go for a proper and thorough campaign that will reap more benefits.
 
aviemorebusiness

aviemorebusiness

New Member
Whilst I would agree to a certain extent with BioOut... I would apply a bit of caution to this, if you try to do everything yourself to start off with you could end up looking 'home made' and not business like. We all need outside eyes to view our work sometimes and give objective advice - you could think everything looks good and is working well but what are you portraying to your customers? A very early mistake we made years ago was forgetting that people didnt know what SEO stands for, but because we use the term probably at least once an hour (well it feels like that) it had become part of our vocab. So it is worth asking for input and feedback from other people/businesses when you are starting up. You don't want to give off the wrong image before you have even started!
 
BioOutsource

BioOutsource

New Member
Totally agree with Aviemorebusiness...
I always say SEO is easy and getting spammed is even more easier. There is a very thin line of doing the right SEO and getting spammed and kicked out of good list. You might know you're doing 100% right but things are actually not the way you think they are. So get a professional who can look into things prrofessionally.
 
Content Chefs

Content Chefs

New Member
The main priority for increasing your search engine rankings, should be engaging, high quality content. You can then promote this through social channels or methods such as
1) Guest posting on other people's blogs
2) Web2.0 properties such as Pinterest, Reddit
3) Forum conversations, email marketing, etc.

I hear what you're saying about the investment in SEO being a big outlay. However, if you have a good product or service to sell, it's most likely worth it.

SEO can create a long lasting steady stream of relevant and targeted customers to your website. You might say that advertising can do this as well.... which is true, but all advertising is temporary. SEO is more of a long term strategy that can help your business grow and expand to new customers whilst making it easier to find for your existing base.

I run a Content and SEO company, so believe me, I understand your concern. I would suggest looking at it as a marketing activity rather than purely "SEO". Any SEO campaign worth it's salt is indeed a marketing campaign in it's own right anyway. If you look at it like that, then the outlay probably doesn't seem as much compared to what you might spend on local advertising, which doesn't have the same reach or longevity that SEO does.

I hope that helps. Please drop me a line if you have any questions about what I've said!
 

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