Is SEO Worth the Cost?
If you want to outrank your competition, drive traffic to your website and convert leads. And then you need to do search engine optimization (SEO). You can go the DIY route or work with an SEO agency to get the job done right.
Either way, it will cost you money. On average, businesses spend between $500 and $5,000 a month — perhaps not small for startups. This then begs the question: Is SEO worth the cost?
The answer is yes.
But don’t just take our word for it. Let’s break down the biggest reasons it should be part of your digital marketing plan.
1. SEO Delivers the Highest Click or Traffic Potential
Does SEO guarantee a sale?
No. But it gives you lots of traffic that you can turn into customers.
Of the many lead generation strategies, optimizing for the search results seems to be the most effective. Compare the clickthrough rate (CTR) of paid ads and organic search.
CTR is the percentage of people who click on a search listing after seeing it on the results page. This metric is vital because it tells you how well your listing converts. A higher rate usually means that searchers find your listing relevant to their query. Your title and meta description also contribute to this. They should effectively entice users to click through.
The average CTR varies across industries and types of search. In general, Google Ads has a 3.17% CTR. Dating and personal niches perform even better at over 5%.
But these numbers pale in comparison to SEO. Depending on the study, it can be between 25% and 30%. The first result can receive an overwhelming 28.5%.
That’s not all. In one of our case studies, a reimagined digital marketing strategy, including SEO, reaped the following results:
- 10% increase in total leads year over year
- 18% decrease in bounce rate
- 71% rise in email CTR
2. SEO Optimizes Your Website for Mobile
In 2017, Google introduced mobile-first indexing, a major shift in its search results process. It means that the search engine will prioritize displaying mobile content over desktop content.
This change isn’t surprising. Over half of searches now come from mobile. The number will only continue to grow as more people become interlinked with their smartphones and tablets.
Optimizing your website for these devices is no longer an option but a necessity. Fortunately, SEO can help you leverage mobile search growth.
Responsive design, for instance, is a technical element vital to mobile optimization. It ensures that your website looks and works flawlessly on any screen size, an important factor in the user experience (UX).
SEO can also improve other mobile ranking signals. For instance, it can increase page load speed and compress images and videos with the least data loss. Mobile SEO can also clean up codes to reduce errors, making pages lighter and easier to load.
3. The Right SEO Strategies Deliver a Satisfactory Customer Experience
Websites experience high bounce and abandonment rates for many reasons. Your audience doesn’t like the content; the page has many broken links; etc.
But you can sum everything into one factor: poor user experience.
The proof is in the numbers. Eighty-eight percent of online shoppers wouldn’t return to a site after a bad user experience. Around half of the online users feel annoyed at bad mobile optimization. Even more interesting, some are over 250 times more likely to hike Mount Everest than click on a banner ad.
It takes more than SEO to keep your target market hooked and convert them into customers. However, one foot is already at the lead’s door with it. Here’s why:
- SEO attracts more visitors to your site. Relevant, keyword-rich, and informative content encourages clickthroughs from the search engine results pages (SERPs). It also puts you in front of the right audience.
- It improves web page ranking. A better position in the search results usually means more visitors to your site.
- SEO builds a positive reputation for your business. High-quality SEO services improve conversion rates. Good news quickly spreads and helps solidify your brand as a reputable source of information and solutions.
- This strategy considers audience intent. The right SEO firm would understand the searcher’s intent and craft content that meets their needs.
4. SEO Brings the ROI
SEO is worth the cost because it can deliver a high return on investment (ROI), especially when done right. A Moz study reveals that you can generate a $2.75 return for every dollar spent on this strategy. In other words, SEO has an ROI of over 250%.
Of course, that figure is not set in stone. The competition makes some industries also likely to have a much lower return. But even if you achieve an ROI of 20%, it’s still a great result.
Case in point: our study on Orthogonal, a healthcare software firm that wanted to boost its traffic and engagement. DAP combined content marketing, technical audit, and overall SEO to meet the client’s objectives.
In the end, these changes reduced the bounce rate by 20%. Most of all, it bumped the conversion rate by over 40%.
5. This Digital Marketing Strategy Pairs Well With Paid Search
Early on, we’ve stressed that you shouldn’t choose between SEO and search engine marketing (SEM). You have to do both SEO and SEM because they complement each other.
SEO attracts organic traffic to your site. On the other hand, SEM is a paid form of advertising that puts you at the top of SERPs. Here’s how they can work together:
- Paid search increases brand awareness. It also creates a sense of urgency, driving more searchers to your site.
- SEO can improve your ad campaigns. Optimizing your website and content helps you deliver a better experience for searchers, making them more likely to engage with your brand.
- They have the same goal, which is to increase traffic and ROI. SEM is a great way to get quick results, while SEO provides long-term benefits.
SEO is worth the cost, especially when you consider all the advantages it has to offer. But as with anything else, this digital marketing strategy won’t produce results overnight.
Be patient, and you’ll eventually see a return on your investment. Outsourcing your SEO can also help you achieve quicker and better results. You can tap into the expertise and experience of professionals who know how to get things done correctly.