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What Does My SEO Company Do With My Money?

If you could pay Google “X” dollars per month to put your website in that highly-competitive first spot for every search, you would do it. The value of that top-ranked spot, not the amount of work that goes into getting there, is what matters to your business. That being said, there is no one we know at Google that we can pay to get you to the top spot. At the end of the day, all that matters are the results you get from your SEO provider, and we have to work our butts off to move you up the organic search rankings.

Every one of our clients wants to know exactly what they are paying us for on a monthly basis, and our answer will always be “whatever it takes to improve your rankings.” We know if we were at the other end of the call we would say that answer is b.s. However, it is not. There was a time that just filling in meta information could put a webpage at the top. Then tons of links with exact match anchor text, then lots of useless content, then interlinking all your clients, etc, etc, etc. Google changes all the time, so what we need to do to move sites changes all the time as well.

You evaluate your SEO company on your positions and if your “quality” traffic trends up. If you are not getting more cases, you need to work with your digital marketing company to see if you are getting the types of leads you want. You should have working relationship that allows you to promote/SEO the right practice areas to drive the right leads.

The last piece of the puzzle is the uncomfortable piece. Sometimes, it is our clients’ intake departments and processes that are failing. If we work together, we can actually monitor client intake for you, and will help you if necessary. We recently went out to a client’s office to help them with intake. The firm’s close percentage improved by 15% after our weeklong, intensive training. To us, this is what true partners (not vendors like the soda machine filler) do for each other. We do whatever it takes to help our clients succeed. We are your partner in every part of the equation.

SEO Companies Help Drive Traffic to Your Site

SEO companies have specialized experienced helping businesses rank on search engines. SEO experts know what it takes to help bring your website more organic traffic through search engines. An SEO company employs specialists in different areas of search engine optimization, providing a range of services, including developing a customized SEO strategy, auditing your site, and implementing the methods that will help your company reach its goals.

Natural search engine optimization requires time to build sustained traffic-producing outcomes. Once your website has reached the top of Google’s results, you can expect more consistent traffic – and visitors who stay on your site longer – as long as your SEO efforts are maintained.

By targeting the correct keywords on your website and providing value once a visitor lands on it, you can expect quality conversions and a significant amount of inquiries from your target market. The amount of inquiries is directly correlated to how highly your website ranks. An average web user will not go past the first five listings on a search engine results page. This shows how important it is to be in those top spots for your market, and why having an SEO provider gives you an edge over the competition.

SEO is important because of the quality, not just quantity, of your visitors. It helps people who are looking for exactly what you have to offer find you. You want to convey a greater sense of trust for your website and your company – SEO helps you do just that.

SEO Creates More Leads and Potential Sales

When you hire an SEO company, you’re paying them to improve your site by analyzing rankings, tracking conversions, and testing organic/paid traffic. After gathering the data, the SEO experts will refine and retarget their strategy for the best results.

The bottom line is that increased rankings contribute to more traffic, which then leads to more conversions/customers, which ultimately brings in more revenue for your company. Remember that SEO can take some time, but in the long run it will be worth it, as your return on investment will skyrocket.

If you are skeptical to try it out, ask one of the top five ranked companies on Google and see if they feel like the money they are paying for SEO is working or not.

Ready to get started with SEO? Call The Search Engine Guys at (512) 394-7234 or reach out to us online to get in touch with a member of our team.


The Search Engine Guys are a 2019 Austin City Excellence Award Winner!

The results are in!

The Search Engine Guys have been awarded a 2019 Austin City Excellence Award by UpCity. Out of 465 marketing service providers in Austin, we were selected as one of the top 20 based on our UpCity Rating, which measures digital recommendability by reviews, search score, domain authority and more.

As one of UpCity’s top 20 Marketing Service Providers in Austin, we’re able to cut through the noise, standout and create trust with prospective buyers. It’s an honor for us to be represented on the City Excellence Award List.

The infographic below goes more into detail on what makes a great agency in Austin and stats that highlight Austin as a marketing hub in North America.

About UpCity

UpCity helps businesses find marketing providers they can trust. The UpCity Marketplace creates and empowers successful relationships between businesses and marketing service providers. We provide transparency and insights to dramatically improve the marketing partner selection and purchase experience. Over 225,000 businesses visit UpCity each month seeking marketing services from over 33,000 providers in over 600 cities in North America. UpCity helps partners in the marketplace grow their business and build their digital recommendability. (Heidi Sullivan, SVP Product & Marketing, UpCity).


4 Things to Factor in When Picking a Marketing Company

by Ryne Goertz

Unless I receive a direct referral from a happy client, most of the prospective clients I discuss digital marketing strategies with are also talking to other potential digital companies, as they are looking for the perfect fit to help their business reach peak performance. During these conversations, it always seems like marketing companies are pulling the prospect in different directions, “You need to be only doing Pay-per-Click”, “You need a new website”, “For this type of campaign, you should really be focusing on Facebook Ads”, etc. So who is right? Who is wrong? How do you differentiate between all of the different website and digital agencies when you are being pulled in so many directions? How do you know you’re making the right move?

Here are four key factors you should be asking your website company about that can best help determine where you are on the map and how to achieve business goals:

Page Speed Update

In the past year, Google has updated its algorithm to start penalizing websites for how fast (or slow) they load or function on mobile devices. This can be a driving force in mobile rankings as well as help overall Google Ad Quality Scores. Google has a developers tool called Page Speed Insights. Plug in your website url in its entirety to get an accurate reading. For ex: Plug in “https://www.williamskherkher.com/” not just “www.williamskherkher.com”. If your website isn’t where you want it to be, ask your current company to look into the issues raised by the Page Speed Insights tool and make the necessary changes.

Pay-per-Click

Your PPC campaign can get expensive really quickly. Before you agree to an SEO company telling you to spend “X” amount, have them send you over a PPC forecast showing the amount of money it would take to be competitive. Google Ad’s forecasting tool allows companies to plug in your geographic area and search terms to determine a budget for the campaign. Based on Google’s historical data, they can predict cost, impressions, clicks, click-through-rate, cost-per-click, and how many conversions you can expect. Cost per click varies greatly per market, so it’s smart to know where your ad dollars are going and how you are allocating among keywords related to your business.

Hotjar or Crazy Egg

These two are tools that can help you see the activity of visitors on your website. They create what is called a “heatmap” that tracks how far down visitors are going on your page as well as where they are clicking. If your website is having trouble converting visitors, this tool could find the problem. These two are both great, however, don’t keep them on your site for long periods of time as they can tend to slow down your website speed, but one month’s worth of data could help you in the long run.

Tracking Leads

One of the things I hear the most from attorneys is that while they may be getting traffic to their site, the leads that they are getting may not be the types of cases they want to bring on. You should be tracking your leads that are coming through your site and listening to the calls or reading the contact forms/live chat transcripts (if you use one). How were they referred to your site? Are they quality leads? With these programs, you can track the keywords that were searched before the visitor landed on your page and called you. If you are repeatedly showing up for terms and getting calls that you don’t want, you should communicate that to your marketing company so they can adjust keywords and campaign strategy accordingly.

All in all, there are many different platforms that are available that can help you make an educated decision before even calling a potential marketing company. If a marketing company is just throwing out a number for you to spend without providing screen-shots of the problem and detail on their strategy to enhance your business’s performance, that is a red flag and something you should consider when choosing your digital agency. Choose an agency that knows your business, your goals, and is willing to share insight on how they will be managing your campaign. Transparency creates comfort in knowing that you are in good hands.


Is AdBlock Killing Your Digital Marketing?

How you can save your digital marketing campaigns from AdBlock

We love AdBlock.
If it weren’t for AdBlock, we would have to face all of those annoying, pop-up, pop-under, spammy, and obnoxious ads.

Figure 1: Remember these?

Surfing the web with ads blocked can feel like a real-life cheat code – you get away with something that you aren’t supposed to… as a consumer.

But as marketers, we must understand the impact that ad blocking software has on our work – especially when the software is literally intended to kill our digital campaigns.

Just to make sure we’re on the same page, let’s analyze how these ad blocking extensions came to be installed on nearly a quarter of global online users.

Figure 2: Ad Blocker study results from IAB

 

How did “ad block” happen?

As you surf the web, you take part in an exchange with the sites you visit: their content in exchange for your payment. However, the payment is not with currency but rather with your attention, view, impression, click, etc. of the ads shown on the site.

Whether you like it or not, this ad revenue is how a large portion of websites make money. Without it, they can’t cover costs to keep the website running and keep bringing you the content you want.

Since Day 1, ad blocking software is so highly sought after because it helps alleviate symptoms arising from core internet problems.

These core internet problems are:

  1. Little control over privacy
  2. Disruption of web experience
  3. Ads in excess
  4. Ads with bad intent
  5. Ads with bad presentation

If you’ve seen a pop-up instruct you to pay for the removal of a computer virus – then you fully understand why the concept of ad blocking software is so appealing.

In fact, 64% of people agree that ads are annoying and support the idea of ad blocking software.

On top of that, 79% of ad-blocking software users agree that their browsing experience improved with it.

These two stats make it clear that browser extensions AdBlock Plus and AdBlock have made a significant impact in the history of internet advertising, but what exactly is their impact today? And more importantly, what is their impact on your digital marketing campaigns?

 

Does AdBlock / Adblock Plus Affect Your Digital Marketing Campaign?

 

Paid ads on Google are largely unaffected because Google is a member of the Acceptable Ads program. Most users unknowingly opt into this program when installing an ad blocker. But what is it?

Acceptable Ads, defined by AdBlock Plus (ABP), are “respectful, don’t interfere with content, and are clearly labeled with the word ‘advertisement’ or its equivalent.” They also follow standards set forth by the Coalition for Better Ads, a group formed by leading international trade associations and companies involved in online media.

By default, AdBlock & ABP allow the whitelisted ads to show. To disable this feature, you have to manually go into the settings and uncheck the box next to it. Or (if you don’t exit out of the welcome page as soon as you see the donation part) you’ll see that ABP actually tells you about the whitelist and even provides a link to the settings page. (See “Figure 4” below.)

“The Acceptable Ads Committee (board that controls the program) gives advertisers, such as Google, a pass to show their ads – for a fee, of course. With these gatekeepers in place, advertisers must create ads that fall in line with standards produced by the expectations of online users.”

For users that do disable the whitelist, their Google experience will be free of all search and display ads.

A Google search, with ad blocking switched to “ON” will undergo these changes: (drag slider to compare)

Check out how different websites on the display network look with
1) no ads,
2) acceptable ads, and
3) all ads.
I counted 26 ads – but ABP’s number is a whopping 78.

As a result of the Acceptable Ads whitelist, Google ads in the search and display networks remain unblocked. Not only must a user install an extension, but they also have to change additional settings. ABP cleverly adds the Acceptable Ads notice below the donation box on their welcome page (highlighted in green below). By the time users get to the donation box, they’re already opening a tab to test out the ad blocker on YouTube.

How do ad blockers affect YouTube campaigns?

YouTube Ads are really just Google Ads run on the YouTube.com domain. The effects are similar to those observed with display ad campaigns. YouTube ads have banners that appear over the video player and in the sidebar above the queue of next videos. You can see how different the view is with and without AdBlock below.

Video ads are also blocked on YouTube. With AdBlock enabled, a user on YouTube avoids seeing all ads for an uninterrupted experience.

How do ad blockers affect Facebook campaigns?

On Facebook, the “acceptable” type of ads begin to appear more subtly. Adblockers are able to block most ads that are seen outside of the main timeline. Within the timeline, you still see ads in the form of sponsored posts. They will be presented in a more organic manner, but it is still a paid placement. Using standard settings, ABP will not block all ads on Facebook.

However, customizing advanced settings gives the user the option to block all ads, including acceptable ads. Remarketing campaigns using the Facebook pixel also suffer. The advanced settings can be configured to prevent the user’s browser from being tracked by the pixel code on your website or landing page. This is alarming because anyone willing to take the time to adjust settings can essentially become invisible on the internet (in terms of advertising). This ghost-user browses the web with ads blocked, and browser tracking tools thwarted.

Luckily, ABP by default will allow acceptable ads to pass through their filters. See the difference for yourself:

How do ad blockers affect SEO campaigns?

Your rankings are unlikely to fall victim to ad blockers, but your SEO campaign can still suffer.

An ad blocking extension can prevent your site’s Google Analytics from tracking users correctly, similar to the way they block the Facebook Pixel. With Google Analytics, we can see valuable data from a client’s website to draw insights from. This data helps us develop and implement changes to an SEO campaign. So when a visitor using ad block also blocks Analytics, we lose data about their on-site behavior such as how much time they spend on a webpage, which links they click on, and what websites they come from. This data is automatically processed daily and is a crucial factor of any good SEO strategy.

In short, ad blockers might be causing you to plan out your SEO campaign with inaccurate numbers.

How do ad blockers affect Hulu campaigns?

Hulu is impacted when streamed on a web browser. Like many other subscription services, Hulu’s website is able to detect ad blockers and combats it by directly requesting the user to enable ads on their site. The screenshot below shows the message that appears over the video player when the user would normally be shown an advertisement.

To take it a step further, Hulu forces the anti-adblock message to display on screen for thirty seconds, the same time a typical commercial would be shown. There is even a link to a guide in Hulu’s Help Center instructing users how to stop blocking ads on their site. The guide is even split into sections to show specific instructions for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

Users that persist with ad blockers skew reach and impression numbers from Hulu because the ad-blocking user is counted as a viewer of the programming even though they were not served any advertisements. This means that your ad campaign may be using inaccurate projected figures in its strategy.

However, this is typically not a negative occurrence. If a significant portion of your campaign’s reach was never exposed to your ad, Hulu’s ad algorithm can make up for the lapse with repeat exposures. You might be paying a higher rate for less reach, but if you exclude ad blockers when measuring the performance of your campaign, metrics like cost per view, cost per click, and conversion rate will reflect more accurate, higher quality results.

While users are able to avoid watching ads on Hulu, they still have to wait through pauses in their streaming, which could encourage them to enable ads. At this point the user must choose between sitting through empty gaps or watching ads.

Figure 4: Hulu raising an eyebrow

Is Your Digital Marketing Ad Blocker Proof?

Ad Block is an obstacle that must be addressed when planning out any digital marketing campaign for your law firm or small business. Whether a user is on a search engine, social media website, or television streaming service, these internet browser extensions intend to stop your online advertising. With the population of users increasing every day, it is crucial that you understand the impact ad blocking software has on your ad spend and more importantly your law firm or business’ growth. If you are concerned your marketing/advertising is suffering because of ad blockers, fill out a form or give us a call at (512) 394-7234. We’ll be more than happy to discuss how we can best optimize your campaigns.


Rumor has it, Google Local Service Ads will soon be available for lawyers!

What are Google Local Service Ads?

These special ads appear above paid search ads, maps, and organic results. For example, if you search for Plumbers in Austin, you will see these results:

google LSA ads for plumbers in Austin

These Local Service Ads appear above the Pay per Click Ads, map listings, and organic listings.

The other unique feature of these ads is their fee structure. Advertisers who are using Local Service Ads pay per call received, rather than for each click.

As with all digital marketing, you will want to track the results of your Local Service Advertising closely to make sure you are spending your marketing dollars wisely. We are in communication with Google to see when they will be available in your market.

Stay tuned!


What Attorneys and Vendor Do Wrong at Legal Conferences

What I would love to accomplish is a better experience for both lawyers and vendors at all legal conferences.

Vendors

We spend a lot of money to be at these conferences, from the high cost to attend, building booths, giveaways, sending salespeople and entertaining our prospective clients. That being said, we probably put too much pressure on our salespeople to obtain new business. This results in our salespeople being too darn pushy and a bit slimy at times. This results in attorneys hiding from the “dreaded” exhibit hall.

Here is the solution in my not so humble opinion. We (vendors) have a lot of expertise and knowledge that can help attorneys grow their practices. Therefore, we need to become trusted advisors, not just another salesperson. In my company, we have many clients that have known us for years before coming on board and I think the biggest contributor to this is the fact that we preach to our team to be AUTHENTIC. You don’t have to “sell” but just be your normal self. Take your time to educate the attorneys and create a TRUE relationship. How do you create great relationships—pretty easy… Give more than you receive. Give attorneys helpful advice that they can implement before they give your company a dime. Be committed to growing the attorneys business, not your own. We have a very long term view when it comes to partnering up with a firm. If we are not selected now, that is okay because it probably means someone OVERSOLD the attorney in the past. These attorneys come back over time, albeit a bit jaded.

Lawyers

Okay, we really gave it to the vendors and now it is your turn ;-).

Have you ever found yourself looking at the competition with a hint of jealousy of their success? Have you ever wondered how they get all these great ideas? Or how they are so knowledgeable about marketing/operations etc…Well, one of the reasons could be that these attorneys BRAVE the exhibit hall and take the time to speak with almost everyone. I truly believe that if you don’t spend the time to chat with these folks you are doing yourself a HUGE DISSERVICE. We live in our respective spaces as you live in the legal world. It is virtually impossible for you to stay up with all the latest and greatest digital marketing trends, video marketing trends, what is the best CRM, etc. I have been in this field for 20 years and know most of the vendors personally, and there is a TON of knowledge in the “hall” that can help you grow your business. Take the time to go meet with them, learn about what they offer and gain insights to help your firm. Don’t feel pressure to sign up and if the vendor is pressuring you, it is probably not a good fit. On the other hand, do not be afraid to take a RISK on an idea that you think might work because you have been burned in the past. If a person had a terrible experience with a lawyer, would you recommend against lawyers in the future? Just like anything, there are good vendors and bad vendors, your job is to find the best company for you your firm.


Authenticity in Business Relationships

Authenticity in Business Relationships

by Stephanie Lemley

In the world of texting, emailing, and working remotely creating a personal connection can be challenging in our business communities. Yet connections in a technical world still rely on our innate, intelligent, and very human instincts because we all know when Bullshit is Bullshit. It is felt in a cold and self-serving email, the email will take on a tone, a cheesy factor; but integrity, warmth and personality are also indicators that are sensed in the same form of communication. Our ability to read the other person is now done through the filters and veil of technology protecting all from pausing and wondering out loud, “what did they mean by that”

The sales consultants at TSEG know that creating valued and authentic relationships in business begins during the inception of the service we provide, whether its unique web design, discussing creative digital marketing strategies, commercial creation or a social media roll out, experts say you earn the listeners decision to move forward during that first minute of exchange. We are all journeying into the new frontier of a multi-platform communication with emails, Insta this, Snap that or Link it ! We now interpret the response our brains and hearts once processed with a hand shake or eye to eye contact, through a lens of punctuation and tone.

At TSEG we are relationship pioneers, meaning our mission is connection. We mindfully decide first before the communication begins  “Do we have something to say that offers our clients valuable information” and the team goal becomes “How can we help this company, law firm or startup grow”. We know when this mission is the motivation the other party will feel the intention and whether its in person, through an email or a phone call; the feeling is the transactional exchange.

This creates an authentic business-relationship energy; it begins during those first few words and the energy continues to build with the exchange of information creating a visceral growth for all parties involved. The relationship then evolves and morphs naturally into welcomed calls to avoid the emails, because the sounds of shared wisdom, humor and gratitude between colleagues and friends is exactly where the good stuff lives! 


How much money are you losing due to slow website speed?

How much money are you losing due to slow website speed?

by Chris Massaro

While most business owners are either already aware or are just becoming aware of the importance of having a quick loading website, many don’t know just how vital it is. We hear the question all the time: “How much money am I losing due to slow website speed?” The answer, unfortunately, is much more than you think.

Just think of it this way: how do you feel when you visit a poorly-performing website? Are you willing to wait around while a slow site loads? Are you less than impressed when elements fail to appear? If you are, you’re not alone. According to recent surveys, nearly 90% of customers say they are less likely to return to a website after a bad experience. More than 75% of people reported leaving a slow-loading website for a competitor’s site.

To improve the user’s browser experience, Google has reportedly made site speed a factor when it comes to ranking websites. This means that a slow website may no longer show up at all for those valuable keywords that your business relies on.

Calculate Your Losses

So, is there a way to calculate how much business you could be losing due to a slow website? To find the cost, use this formula:

(Monthly Traffic * Estimated Visitor Loss) * Conversion Rate

Let’s say, for example, your traffic is 10,000 and you’re losing 10% of your visitors:

(10,000 * 0.10) * 0.05 = 50

If 20% of conversions become cases and the average case is worth $10,000, then:

(Conversions * Case Rate) * Average Case Value

(50 * 0.20) * 10,000 = $100,000

Cost = $100,000 per month

So, now that you know how much money you might be losing due to slow site speed, how do you fix it? First, make sure that the company that manages and hosts your site performs a site speed test to identify any issues that might be slowing it down.

Your provider will check to make sure that all the images on your site are optimized (or compressed for the web) and sized correctly to make sure that they don’t slow down the load time. They will also make sure that your site passes the scalability test, which means that your site can handle any potential spikes in traffic.

Turbocharge Your Website

If you’re ready to get your site up to speed, contact The Search Engine Guys today. Our web designers have the expertise to boost your site’s speed so you can retain more of your income. Contact us at (512) 394-7234 or online to get off to the races.


How Much Should I Be Paying for SEO?

How much Should I be paying for SEO?

By Jack Turner

When it comes search engine optimization (SEO) services, it can be helpful to understand what goes into a balanced, well thought out campaign before deciding how much to spend on it. Gauging how much to invest in SEO is not quite as cut and dry as calculating your PPC spend. There are several factors that you should think about when determining your SEO investment. Ask yourself the following questions:

How competitive is my market?

Market competition has two factors: your business’s target keywords and what city are you in. Going for the #1 spot as a snow cone shop in Fargo, ND is going to have much less competition than attempting to rank for “personal injury lawyer” in Los Angeles. More competition = higher spend.

Analyzing competitors’ sites is a great way to quickly check the market competition. Simply search your top keywords and get the URLs of the sites that are consistently showing up for these keywords. There are dozens of free online tools to check their backlink profiles, and also just clicking through their sites will give you a good idea of how much money they are pouring into their online presence.

If your competition is strong, you need to be stronger.

How quickly do I want to move up the rankings?

Different businesses have different timelines. As an SEO professional, I always tell my clients to be patient, as changes on your site can take months to get picked up by search engines. However, you can move up the rankings quicker if you invest more time/money into the site.

A company that is more seasonal like a landscaper might have a set timeline to get up in the rankings. If it is November and they want to be on the first page for their main keywords by May, they will want to spend more aggressively in the months of November-February to make sure the effects of the SEO boost their website’s rankings in time for the busy season.

SEO involves a mix of several strategies to build your site’s authority and standing in Google’s eyes (I will go into these later). An agency can “speed up” your climb on Google with a higher budget because it allows for two things:

  1. The ability to spend more time on your site. A lot of SEO work is time spent analyzing your site and coming up with strategies to beat out competing businesses/websites. A lot of SEO companies will even charge hourly for their work.
  2. It provides your SEO team more resources to build content for the site, build out local citations, and pay for various other services that increase your site’s credibility.

A knowledgeable SEO agency will be able to tell you exactly what they will analyze on your website and will have a robust plan for improving your site’s important SEO metrics.

What is the condition of my current site?

If a site is already built for SEO, or the site has a healthy backlink profile already, you may have an easier time climbing up the rankings. There are several tools that will give you a quick indication of your site’s SEO health. Website Grader is one of my favorites, especially to show SEO beginners. Of course, an SEO professional is better suited to analyze and explain your site’s health to you, as it is not always so black and white.

When auditing a new client’s site, an SEO professional might simply recommend that the business build a new site. This can be for several reasons:

  1. Cost – It might be cheaper than doing SEO for several months. Sometimes sites need a refresh. If you have had several web developers and companies working on your site it can become a mess. It can cost months of SEO to fix all of these issues. Instead, it may be more cost effective to build a site from scratch that has SEO in mind from the start. Plus, you’ll end up with a brand new, modern website.
  2. Bad Backlinks – Many SEO Agencies will, or at least used to, use poor backlinking strategies that can leave your site vulnerable. They build tons of bad backlinks using strategies that may have worked in the past but are now harmful to your site. Google has cracked down on many common link building strategies, causing numerous sites to be penalized. In this situation, it may be a good idea to change URLs and start over with a clean slate. It’s possible to keep your current site’s appearance and simply change the URL. Moz and Ahrefs are good web tools to quickly check your backlink profile.

If your site is suffering from SEO problems, our team can help you determine their cause and take action to fix the issues.

What are my current rankings?

Your current rankings can also play a big factor in deciding how much budget to allocate to SEO. If you are not ranking in the top 50 for any of your major terms, this is a sign that extensive SEO work needs to be done to get to the first page.

The amount of effort and time to get up the rankings raises exponentially as the site climbs up the rankings. Going from position 50 to position 12 can be as difficult as going from position 12 to 7. This is because as you go up the rankings, your surrounding competition is getting tougher, so it requires more work to outrank them. Think of a sports team going through the playoffs and each round getting more and more difficult to win.

What Are the Costs Associated with SEO?

So you are spending more money on SEO to see expedited results, but what exactly are you paying for? Many people associate SEO with the service that provides you with “free” organic traffic. While you may not be paying per click, there are a lot of costs associated with SEO to ensure you are in a position to get these clicks. These SEO expenses include:

  1. Labor/Time – This is probably the largest cost associated with SEO if you decide to go through an agency. Time has to be spent looking through keyword rankings, creating content plans, analyzing data and reporting. Even if you decide to try and take on SEO in house, you will either be spending your valuable time to learn SEO, taking away the time of another one of your employee’s to learn it, or you will end up hiring another employee to manage it. No matter what you will be spending money on labor for your SEO efforts, so it would be advisable to hire an SEO professional who is trained and has done this kind of work for dozens of other sites.
  2. Content – Great SEO takes great content. We recommend adding new content to your website on a continuous basis to keep the site fresh and show Google that the site is being updated. Whether you write the content in-house or outsource it, this will cost you money and/or time.
  3. Backlink/Citation Building – Building out business citations and doing outreach to build backlinks can be one of the most costly, recurring monthly expenses for SEO. There are many online services which build out citations for you, however, they all have a monthly cost to maintain them. You can build out citations yourself, but again this costs time. Many online directories charge a monthly fee, especially for premium directories that generate a lot of traffic, such as Avvo for attorneys.
  4. SEO Tools and Resources – There are plenty of great free online resources for SEO, but you do get what you (don’t) pay for. SEO Agencies rely on paid tools to get great insight to improve their strategies. Moz, Ahrefs, SEMRush, Keyword tracking programs, Website crawlers, review monitoring programs, and reporting programs are just a few examples of the tools used by SEO agencies and businesses to create and implement their SEO strategies. All of these tools can become quite costly if you are only paying for them for one site. That is why SEO agencies are very cost effective, as they can spread out the cost of these tools across all of their clients.

It can be hard to quantify how much doing all of this on your own would cost you. An SEO agency, however, understands what is needed to plan an effective SEO strategy and put it into place. We can help you determine how much all of this would cost for your business.

Get a Quote on SEO Services

Many of the big online SEO services and even some smaller SEO agencies will give you a menu of services and their prices and you pick and choose what you want. This system works fine and makes their job easier, however, it is more beneficial for you to speak with an agency that will give you a custom quote on services. This allows them to build you an SEO package that fits your needs and leaves out items that you may not. This means you are only paying for what benefits you.

Contact The Search Engine Guys today if you are interested in receiving a custom quote on SEO or a website build. We can walk you through the SEO process and explain exactly what you should be paying for. Call us at (512) 394-7234 or reach out to us online.


How do I know if I’m spending my PPC budget wisely?

Pay-per-click marketing is difficult to master. It can either boost your company’s profitability or drain its resources (if the campaigns are not optimized correctly). There are also so many variables to consider, like how much to spend on search versus display, and whether your PPC is focused on e-commerce or lead generation. To avoid losing money on PPC, it is worthwhile to take a careful look at how you are spending your PPC budget and what you can do to improve it.

Start with the Basics

The first question to answer in figuring out the best PPC budget for your company is what do you need to generate more quality leads? To determine this, consider the essential elements of leads:

  • The frequency of visitors: How often are people coming to the site?
  • The cycle of buying: What is the typical buying cycle of each visitor?
  • Location of visitors: Where are the visitors located geographically?
  • Quality of leads: How well do the leads translate into measurable results?
  • CPL (target cost per lead): What is the cost for each lead?

Starting with these questions can help you paint an accurate picture of what your site’s activity currently looks like. Before you can envision a goal and create a path to get there, you need to know where your beginning point is.

Calculate Target Lead Goals

Once you gather this necessary information, you can distinguish your leads in terms of profitability and define your target lead. Some factors to consider in deciding what your target lead is includes the following:

  • What is the ideal number of leads for our company’s goals?
  • What makes a lead valuable?
  • What is our CCR (current conversion rate)?
  • How much money can we spend on each lead?

These are more difficult questions to answer but taking the time to do so will pay off as you enter the answers into formulas designed to make the most of your PPC budget. For example, you need to calculate how many new clients you need each month, what your close rate percentage is, and how much your cost per lead is. Using these numbers, you can figure out what your PPC lead goal should be and how much you need to spend to reach it. Let’s break that down into five steps with an example:

  • Step one: calculate your goal cost-per-lead–$50 per lead
  • Step two: decide on your new client goal—500 new clients per month
  • Step three: calculate the close rate of leads—30%
  • Step four: figure out your PPC leads (divide step two from step three)—1667
  • Step five: establish the amount your company needs to spend per month (multiply step one and step four)–$83,350

Final Considerations

Fine-tuning your company’s PPC budget is an excellent way to ensure that your company is in a fiscally responsible position, as well as to analyze its marketing strengths and weaknesses. Rather than just looking at how many leads you’re generating, for example, you can break down the quality of those leads and hopefully discover ways to improve not only the quantity but also the quality of the leads. Some of the considerations that can help you do that include the following:

  • Do leads from certain areas consistently result in higher conversion rates?
  • Do certain times of the day produce more leads than another?
  • How much time do visitors typically spend on our site?
  • How user-friendly is our website concerning the number of clicks that a user has to make?
  • Which search engine makes the most sense for us to use?
  • Would negative keywords winnow out the leads that don’t lead to conversion?
  • Should we adjust our bids according to traffic and pay more for leads during more profitable times or days?
  • How well does our site perform on a range of devices such as tablets, and laptops?

After analyzing these factors, you’re in a much stronger position to create an optimal PPC budget that gives you the most marketing power for every dollar you spend. The investment you make in smarter marketing practices will pay off as your site becomes more productive in attracting and retaining users. Additionally, your site will generate more quality leads, and your conversion rates will increase as you analyze and then adjust the way you spend money on PPC. You will also have peace of mind knowing that your PPC budget is being spent wisely.

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