Where SMEs Should Focus their SEO Budgets

As a small business, you have to be quite frugal, spending wisely where investment will yield the greatest return. As such, marketing can be a bit of a trial and error experience as you first set out. Here are some tips to help steer you in the right direction when it comes to spending money on improving your website’s exposure within search engines through SEO.

Amo Sokhi, Account Director at SEO agency POLARIS, looks at where you can get the best return on your limited SEO budget.

1. Don’t always start with SEO; PPC is actually the first port of call!

Whilst you may not want to hear it, PPC is a much better place to start your internet marketing because you can gain results faster through PPC for a lower investment. Yes, clicks are expensive and yes not everyone clicks on the sponsored ads, but plenty of your potential customers still do click on these ads and you can spend a smaller amount of your budget in a shorter space of time to get your website in front of them.

Setup a PPC account on Google Adwords and either setup an account yourself with the help of googles friendly advisors or get an agency to build an account for you. Either way, you can choose how much you want to spend per month (which is then split into a daily budget), and you should start seeing results from day one.

2. Make sure your website is user friendly and clearly communicates the keywords that are relevant to your products / services

The most important factor that will make the difference with any internet marketing campaign is the usability of your website. Ensure that your website is easy to use, loads quickly, and works well on both Mobile and Desktop. Google have recently been focusing a lot on mobile usability so ideally your website will be mobile responsive (which means your website will automatically resize to suit the screen size its loaded on, including mobile and tablet devices.

3. If you’re starting an SEO campaign, get a rough estimation of the time it will take for your website to rank for your chosen keywords

Starting an SEO campaign can be a slight unknown depending on the agency. What you don’t want to do is enter into an agreement that goes on for months and months without any real direction or idea of when you will achieve the rankings, traffic, and enquiries/ sales you want. To better understand the opportunity, ask your SEO agency or consultant to tell you how many months they expect it will take before you start getting sales or enquiries.

Note, we are questioning sales and enquiries, not rankings or traffic. The reason for this is simple, even if your SEO campaign gets rankings and traffic, this won’t necessarily mean you will receive sales or enquiries. Therefore, the metrics that you want to gauge the success of your campaign against are really sales and enquiries, particular once you have seen your website has increased rankings and traffic.

4. Keep it simple and learn how to look at Google Analytics

Make sure that you keep your SEO campaign simple. Use the data you’ve collected from your PPC, and don’t try and conquer all types of keywords and campaigns in one go. Work on a reasonable set of keywords at a time, and at the end of each month, measure the performance.

Google analytics really is a great tool so start looking at how to use this to its full advantage so you understand what your building. Key sections within analytics include Audience, Acquisition, and Behaviour.

Amo Sokhi is an Account Director at POLARIS. Joining the agency in 2010, Amo specialises in all aspects of digital marketing, including SEO, PPC, Commercial Planning, and Campaign Strategy.

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