The cost of search engine optimisation
When you plan to implement a search engine optimisation and marketing campaign for your website, it should be just one part of your overall marketing spend, whether online or offline. It is very rare that an online business can sustain itself just from search engine traffic alone and, in the same way, you should view the investment on search engines as just one part of your overall marketing costs.
When you employ a company to manage your website’s optimisation and marketing on search engines, it can be the case that you pay for what you get. Low cost offers will usually give you a poor service without any meaningful results for your site, so before deciding which route to take, please refer to our summary of different search engine marketing services and also consider the budget estimates outlined below.
The costs of getting a website established on the most popular search engines anddirectories will largely depend on your objectives and the type of market within which your business is competing. In addition, the growth in the use of pay-per-click advertising and the advantages that this activity can deliver has also increased the potential online spend, although this can also provide very targeted and cost-effective marketing campaign
The Return on Investment (ROI) from a search engine marketing campaign will therefore depend on the market you are competing in and the value of your products and services. The cost per lead from traditional sales channels will give you some idea of what you can invest on the web and what returns you might expect, or require.
The table below is designed to give you an idea of the costs that might now be involved if you are planning to launch a business website and want to get established on the main search engines as soon as possible. Of course, the value of each option will vary, depending on your objectives, but it should give you an idea of the main options and the costs now involved:
|Activity or search tool||Costs||Comments|
|Employing asearch engine marketing consultancyto optimise and market your site on the main search engines and directories||£500 – £2,000 for a tailored service covering a range of target search terms||Costs and techniques can vary widely here, so it’s worth shopping around. Most companies offer one or more set-price packages but will also quote on a specific campaign to suit your objectives or budget.|
|Implement alink building programme||£200 – £750 for an agency fee, depending on the number of links required.||This can be particularly important to help a new website become established quickly, but any site will benefit from links from other relevant sites, both in terms of link popularity and additional traffic.|
|Use ‘pay-per-click’ advertising tools such as Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing and Miva in the UK||Prices will vary depending on your chosen search terms, bid prices and traffic volumes. Expect to pay at least £100 per account for an initial test period, plus an agency set-up and monthly management fee which can vary widely but should be a minimum fee and then no more than 10% of your advertising spend.||A good way to get your site ranking well for a large number of search terms on some of the best search tools within days. These tools give you a flexible way to target your spend and measure the cost-per-lead from each source as you only get charged once a user visits your site. However, your placements will only be maintained as long as you keep your account in credit.|
|Ongoingsearch engine marketing maintenance.||£50 – £200 per month, depending on your agency and the service provided.||At the end of the initial optimisation and submission contract period, you can maintain the services of the consultancy to check and maintain your rankings. This service may not be required if your site had achieved a high placement in a niche market, but for sites in a competitive market where positions may regularly change, this option is essential to maintain your traffic from search engines.|
|Specialised search engine marketing support on search tools such as comparison shopping search tools or local search engines.||£200 – £500 per activity, depending on the sector and search tools being targeted.||Targeting specialised search services is becoming increasingly important for some sites and can be very cost-effective if done well. Identify which search tools your prospective customers may be using and build these into your online marketing strategy.|
|Analysis ofsearch engine marketing results.||£75 – £200 per month, depending on your agency and the service provided.||Search engine marketing can be the most analytical form of marketing, with a huge amount of data being generated which can then be used to analyse the cost-effectiveness of each form of activity. ROI (return on investment) is a valuable measure to compare which activity works best for your business.|
NB: All prices shown exclude VAT.
If you would like any further information on any of the above options and costs, or would like to receive a FREE website assessment and quotation for the search engine marketing of your site, please contact us now.