SEO is the basic building block of content marketing. There is a lot of emphasis on SEO, but how often do you evaluate your ROI based on your SEO costs? In fact, the relation between SEO cost and ROI is the most ignored aspect of content marketing.
Brushing away popular misconceptions around SEO costs, this article helps you understand the work of SEO, SEO optimization cost, and its impact on ROI.
8 SEO costs that impact your ROI
SEO is not about keyword stuffing of your blogs. Off-page SEO, technical SEO, and local SEO are equally important to climb up the results page ladder. However, SEO optimization is not a one-day battle.
Ambitious businesses with digital aspirations hire SEO engineers to dominate the content marketing space. But unfortunately, not all SEO engineers are proficient enough to tackle different SEO aspects like on-page, technical, and off-page.
SEO is central to all your content marketing efforts. However, it is not a one-size-fits-all formula. Instead, it is a personalized strategy that requires intense competitor analysis, keyword research, and target audience content consumption behavior.
Google has constantly been altering its ranking policies and bringing more algorithmic changes. As a result, ranking on Google is not as easy as it used to be earlier. Hence, the Google SEO price has drastically increased.
Optimizing your website and content is inevitable and essential. The average ROI on SEO is unpredictable and inestimable on a first look. But, the below formula helps you obtain the ROI on SEO
(Gain from the investment – cost of investment)/cost of investment.
However, you may have to fork out a huge sum for a guaranteed higher ROI.
It is impossible to assess the SEO strategy of your competitors and the keyword search habits of your audience without SEO tools. If not for these tools, it takes weeks to chalk out an SEO strategy for a single blog post.
Although there are a lot of these tools, good SEO tools are pricey. Google Ads Keyword Planner, Uber Suggest, and Google Trends are good affordable alternatives. But, as you scale, you will need deeper insights for personalized strategies. Hence, SEO tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs are necessary for your digital growth.
A well-optimized website is determined to drive more traffic, which directly impacts your SEO. Therefore, website optimization entails technical SEO. Technical SEO pertains to the size of web elements and content.
All your on-page and off-page SEO efforts go in vain without an optimized technical SEO. Hence, you will need a technical SEO audit and fundamental website changes if your technical SEO is not up to the mark. It incurs additional SEO costs on top of hiring an SEO expert.
Content marketing is not a one-off game. You need to churn out quality and highly optimized content to gain visibility and rank higher. There is already an abundance of information available on the internet. You have to think from your target audience’s point of view to cut through the stream of words.
Intensive keyword research trends and creating content around those trends to keep your audience updated is one way to content marketing excellence. Search engines usually rank credible and up-to-date websites over others. Content creation is the working capital for your content marketing. Hence, it is a mandatory budgetary obligation for your web presence.
Local SEO doesn’t look like a hard nut to crack. On the contrary, the competition on the native level is much more fierce than general content marketing.
Local SEO incurs additional costs on top of all that we have discussed above. Data feed service and Google map pack augment your general SEO efforts. They are imperative for location-specific results for your target audience. If you are a small business or focusing on location-specific targeting, Local SEO is an additional SEO optimization cost.
User experience is often deemed as a different subject area altogether. However, technical SEO and user experience are inevitably intertwined. You cannot compromise user experience for technical SEO and vice versa.
UX (User experience) is your website’s visual appeal, responsiveness, and comprehensibility. Website responsiveness, speed, navigation, and web elements’ size and clarity play a crucial role in user experience.
A website that is not mobile-friendly, unresponsive, and slow will never attract traffic, rank on google, or convert visitors. Therefore, user experience is one of the most expensive SEO costs.
- Visual content
Visual content ranks in the image section of the search engine results page. Websites and businesses often use sourced images for their content marketing. It is an utterly wrong strategy.
While authentic content avoids copyright issues, visually appealing content drives more traffic. Creating visual content might cost you for graphic designing or photography.
Visual content, too, needs SEO optimization if you want to rank in the images section. Format, dimensions, and alt text are some determinants of image SEO. The often ignored factor, image SEO optimization cost, too, impacts your ROI to a great extent.
In addition to SEO tools, you have to invest in other tools to comply with the search engine ranking policies. They are:
- Heat mapping tools
Google Analytics is the commonly preferred source for web analytics and to gauge website visitor behavior. However, big companies resort to alternatives or supplements like Hubspot, Baidu analytics, or KISSmetrics for rich insight into their traffic.
Web analytics helps SEO analysts understand the target audience’s on-site behavior, web navigation patterns, and content consumption patterns. Based on these inputs, SEO analysts figure out their SEO performance, average ROI on SEO and enhance their SEO strategy.
Google is against plagiarized content and supports authentic content. Even though you don’t consciously plagiarize (which, you know, impacts your ranking and site performance), checking for plagiarism is a healthy habit to avoid unforeseen errors.
There are numerous plagiarism tools, but very few of them are actually reliable. Therefore, you have to invest in a reliable plagiarism tool to ensure accurate output.
SEO is an ineludible building block to your web excellence. Digital or content marketing is indispensable for businesses. As more and more businesses are hopping over the digital bandwagon, the content competition is at an all-time high.
Frequency, relatability, and usefulness are the main determinants of your success on the web. But, SEO is the main pillar that decides whether you prosper or perish on the internet. Surprising, the work of SEO directly impacts your ROI.
Targeted SEO has the potential of turning tables. Poor SEO results in low or negative ROI, which in turn is attributed to below-par marketing efforts and poor sales. Hence, continuous evaluation and restrategizing of SEO optimization are central to higher ROI.