“How do I rank on the first page when someone types in…” is the broken record question every website client asks. The answer to that question is incredibly simple and to be perfectly blunt, it comes down to how much you are willing to spend monthly. SEO requires tons of strategizing and a boatload of techniques to achieve some form of success. Evidently, that truly depends on your budget and willingness to stick to the game plan.

What many new businesses and website owners don’t realize is that SEO is not a 100-meter dash where you run a little to achieve a lot. The execution of SEO is like running a marathon – you run a lot with the hopes of making it to the finish line without passing out from dehydration. A lot of preparation must be done to achieve the long-term goal of outranking your competitors. Nothing truly happens overnight. In fact, results will not begin to appear in your SEO campaign for a minimum of 8 months, and even this timeframe for results is not promised. However, when results do come in, they make every penny worth it.

As they say in the world of boxing, “going to the stomach is like putting money in the bank”. Although you are not necessarily causing damage to your opponent in a visible manner, you are setting yourself up for an eventual win. This is the game of Search Engine Optimization. It’s all about working for your company’s future, and not the immediate one.

So the question is, why SEO?

Have you ever received money from your employer and spent the money immediately after your payday? Regular marketing is comparable to the “living paycheck to paycheck” scenario. You spend all your marketing dollars on advertising your product, storefront, and shop. However, once a flyer runs out, a Google AdWords budget drains, or a radio ad stops playing, the campaign is virtually over. Not only are you still invisible through organic search, but typically, customers are not even asking about you. Building a brand that is on the top of your customer’s mind takes years if not decades to establish. In a time where people are constantly moving onto the next big thing, even that aspect of branding has become harder and more expensive.

Here is why SEO is the way to go. Imagine an advertising campaign that is always working for you as you sleep. You have set the initial budget at $1500 monthly, and have put your advertising on autopilot. No need to hope anymore that the 10,000 flyers you distributed made it to hands (and not garbage) of at least 2% of recipients. The truth is that when people search online, they are already interested in something. They don’t only want to gather information about the product or service, they also want to know who the best provider of that product is. This is the initial research phase of the search process by your clients. Now that you have invested in your SEO campaign, the client’s search query shows your company as

one of the providers of the service/product. Statistically, about 70% of all searchers click on the top 3 search results for a given query. Your investment will allow you to sit comfortably within that margin of the top 3 search results over an extended period of time. This will not only secure your potential for new clients and business, but you have stopped the guessing game in advertising. Here, you have real user intent when it comes to Google search. You know that the client is doing one of two things: 1) the initial research stage, or 2) the final purchase/acquisition of the service or product. No more guessing. You’re in the top search results and that monthly budget you set aside is now paying off.

Remember that organic search (no paid ads – i.e. cost per click) has unlimited potential for growth and impressions. No longer are you constrained by your advertising budget. You are now being viewed by hundreds if not thousands of clients monthly (for free) simply because of that “marathon” you decided to invest in at the onset of your optimization campaign. In the long run, you cut your cost of acquisition per client and created an inbound marketing system that works for you, night and day, as long as your website is running.

What should my Search Engine Optimization Budget Be On A Monthly Basis?

Our advice for potential clients is simply this: the budget is truly in your hands. However, it’s hard to build a mansion if all you have is money for a single brick. So, realistically speaking a real budget for SEO should not be anything less than $1500 per month.

Its breakdown is as follows:

  1. Creating a Google AdWords campaign – This campaign acts as your primary buffer. Because the SEO process is long term and results are not measured in days or weeks, your AdWords campaign will act as your initial none-organic search results as your clients input their related queries.
  2. Creating new website content – This is where the term “CONTENT IS KING” comes into play. Your content is everything for SEO; if you’re not creating content, you’re swimming in the ocean without a lifejacket and at some point your website will sink. Google loves informative, user-friendly content that allows the potential client to research and make an informed decision during the purchasing process. These articles should be strategically written with best SEO practices in mind.
  3. Publishing content – You can have fantastic content, and that will mean very little if people are not exposed to it. You must let everyone know that this content exists. There are different ways achieve this. Try utilizing as many platforms you can to get users reading, commenting, liking, and reacting to your content. This whole process lets Google know that your content is valuable enough to be viewed by not just a few, but hundreds and thousands of potential users.
  4. Internal Link Building – Think of your website as a massive spider web. The more pages you have, the more connections you need to hold up those pages within the web. These are “links” that connect your pages together. Building an internal linking structure lets Google know what content is relevant and how users can navigate through it. The more “links” to a page on your website, the higher perceived value it will have in Google’s googly eyes.

Of course, having seen the basic breakdown of a $1500 budget, the truth is that the more you spend, the more you will end up doing for your website on a monthly basis. Typically speaking, this is a basic budget to begin your SEO adventure with.