Should SEO be seen as an Investment or an Expense?

It depends on how you choose to see it! Search engine optimisation (SEO) sounds like a great idea as we all want to have lots of visitors coming to our website day and night, looking for exactly what we have to offer them. However SEO isn’t free and certainly doesn’t come cheap.

Some companies view SEO as a long-term investment in their online success, whilst others see it as an expense that can amount to hundreds of pounds and eats into the budgets.

SEO as an investment

All marketing can be seen as an investment. Whatever you choose to promote, the aim is to raise awareness of your brand and products and connect with more people. The main distinction between expenses and investments lies in what we expect back in the future. As a business owner, you should aim for a substantial return on investment (ROI) in SEO of at least 5 to 10 times your initial outlay.

Statistically, by wisely investing in SEO, it has been shown to improve the search rankings, which ultimately brings more people to businesses’ websites. This then translates into a higher turnover of sales. However, this SEO investment does involve dedicating your time through research and planning which can take some effort and money with the expectation that it will yield greater returns in the future. Part of this planning and research comprises of optimising meta tags, acquiring trustworthy and quality backlinks and mobile optimisation. By investing time and effort, should ultimately translate into increased organic traffic, higher rankings and better visibility. All leading to higher conversion rates.

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ROI

The Return on SEO is not immediate

One aspect of SEO compared to other marketing methods is that it won’t provide an immediate return for your business. Upon starting the SEO journey, there are initial stages like technical SEO, keyword research, on-page optimisation and also setting up your Google Business profile. During this period, you won’t see an immediate ROI, but it is about building the foundation for future success.

Businesses that ranks number one in search results are estimated to receive about 25-30% of all clicks, whilst the number two ranking gets 10-15%, and this decreases from there onwards. So, if you rank outside the top 10, then you won’t receive many visitors. By investing in good quality content marketing, link building, and optimisation, your search rankings will gradually improve. By breaking into the top 10, you will start seeing more visitors. The aim is over time to crack the top five, or even grab that coveted number one spot, which will help your site’s visitors to flourish.

If You Choose to See SEO as an Expense.

People who view SEO as an expense are more likely to be uninformed as to what it is and how it works and businesses often have common misconception about SEO.

SEO is a one-time strategy.

Once completed, SEO will continue to provide results forever. No, this is not the case and in reality, SEO is a continuous effort and investment in people, content and tools.

Keyword stuffing is effective.

No this is incorrect. Keyword stuffing does more harm than good, as search engines understand content and its relevancy to the keywords that you are trying to rank for. In addition to this, your content will look spammy and unnatural. So focus your efforts on creating high-quality content from personal experiences and unique perspectives and research that.

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Why Should You Invest in SEO?

Quality Traffic

When done in the right way, SEO will bring in quality organic traffic. This means by attracting the right kind of audience, your chances of dealing with low conversion and high bouncing rates will remain low. When investing in SEO, get to know your audience and adjust your strategies and relevant keywords accordingly as this will help your audience discover your products or services.

Digital Presence

SEO will help your business to build brand awareness. This means that potential customers will get to know about your existence, expertise, mission and values and ultimately will start purchasing from you once you have gained their trust.

User Experience

SEO involves optimising your website, its design and content in order to enhance your users experience. The faster and more intuitive your website is, the more users will enjoy their experience.

Why does SEO take so much time to take affect?

SEO can take a few weeks to months to see improvements in rankings and organic traffic simply for a variety of reasons:

• Low Domain Authority. Domain Authority is a ranking influence. Whilst your Domain name itself isn’t a direct Google ranking factor, elements of your domain name may play into your overall SEO success. These include length, keyword usage, brand-ability and memorability. These are often overlooked by search engines, losing rankings and traffic.
• Indexing: search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo) constantly crawl web pages to update their search results. This takes time, especially for keywords, competitive topics, industries and content updates from other websites.
• Algorithm Updates: SEO is a continuous effort, so you need to ensure that your content is both relevant and good quality as these are the biggest priorities for search engines. As a result of these updates, your SEO strategy may need to be adjusted to be on the same page and you will need to respect these latest changes too.
• Competition: Certain industries are more competitive than others. For those industries which are more competitive, ranking improvement takes more time as the search engines have more pages to scan and rank.

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What are the benefits of SEO?

If you are still sceptical as to whether SEO is an investment, then here is another benefit of SEO for your company. SEO is a great investment as people always use the internet to search for information, find services and solve problems etc. In addition to this, our phones are readily available to help us find any information we need.

Below are some useful statistics to know when conducting SEO:
• One third of online experiences begin with a search engine.
• Over half of all website traffic worldwide comes from mobile phones.
• Around 60% of the global population has access to the internet.
• Prioritising SEO and content marketing is 13 times more likely to generate a great return on investment.

In conclusion, is SEO an investment or an expense?

Despite the expense, it is definitely an investment worth considering. SEO plays a large part in how users organically find your business online and how successful your website is in an organic search.
It also helps you to build your brand awareness, digital presence as well as improving user experience. However, SEO is not a one-time strategy as it requires time and continuous effort to keep up with the latest changes and policies.

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