Digital Marketing Consultant
Agency Quality Advice at Prices You Can Afford
SEO is one of many marketing methods available to you as a small business. But, it is important to know where it sits alongside other activities you may be running such as free social media, paid social media, email and Google Ads.
I specialise in helping small businesses understand and implement the most effective (ROI) marketing for their budgets - however limited.
We can work together to find out the marketing strategy you need and can afford. Rather than try and be a jack of all trades, I work with trusted, selected partners who are experts in their field and will refer you to them, giving you the best possible experience and total control.
If you would like to start a discussion and get a better understanding of your digital marketing efforts, contact me today for a free consultation.
how much should small business spend on marketing
How much can you afford to spend on marketing?
The answer to this questions depends entirely on your business model, service and product. There’s no magic formulae for how much a business should spend.
First, focus on calculating your current spending. Calculate your Cost Per Sale and work out what your margins are.
Different marketing types will be more suited depending on the product. For example, if I’m selling budget sunglasses for £10 a pair with free shipping, I probably can’t afford to spend £2 per click on getting someone to my site. But I can invest in SEO and make sure I’m ranking for low difficulty keywords, giving me huge amounts of traffic for a low cost.
However, if I am an emergency response plumber who charges a minimum of £150 for a call out - then paying even £10 to get a website visitor is worthwhile.
Before you ask how much you should be spending, work out the following:
What is your Cost per Sale currently
What is your profit margin per sale currently?
How many orders / customers can you currently handle? Where is your limit for becoming unable to deliver your current level of service?
How much could you afford to lose on an initial test? £50? £500?
Small Business SEO
why seo is important for businesses
SEO is one of the most cost effective marketing channels out there. With even minimal investment the scale of results can be far greater than Social or Paid efforts - and for far longer too.
By focusing on your SEO, you will begin to naturally:
Improve your website for customers
Have a better understanding of who your customers are, and how they act
Increase sales and traffic at low cost
Help improve conversion rates across the board
Help inform your Google Ads
Out perform the competition.
If you’re in an industry where your competitors aren’t really paying attention to their SEO, you have a fantastic opportunity to out perform them first and establish yourself as the leader. This often puts them in the position of having to spend more money on paid marketing to compete with your natural level.
Everyone who is trying to find anything online will turn to Google. If you’re not there when they are - you’re missing out.
why small business need a website
Any business that doesn’t have a good looking website that works will be missing out on business. It doesn’t have to be fancy, and can be quite basic - as long as it works.
Many customers nowadays will Google a company or brand before they make a purchase, so ensuring that your website can be found and is trustworthy is vital. If you don’t have a website, you appear as a ghost to potential customers who may question the validity or credibility of your business.
how much does seo cost for small business
Sadly, there is no clear answer to this question. As always, “It Depends”!
It depends on the:
Size of your website
Previous work carried out
Have you worked with other SEO agencies before, and what work did they do?
Your business model - do you want sales, leads, or just traffic for ads?
SEO Costs in the UK
As a very rough guide however:
For Freelancers, expect to spend between £40 and £100 an hour.
For agency work, expect to spend at least £500 per day rate - but some agencies may have a minimum required spend.
This work is usually split into two methods:
Project - Usually for fixing issues, managing a site update or optimising a site as a one-off task. Can be viewed as “House keeping”
Ongoing - Where you will pay a monthly fee to a freelancer or agency to manage all of your SEO. Usually focused on continued growth and investment to get results
When approaching either a freelancer or agency, I would always be open with how much money you are willing to spend. Ask them what you can expect to get for the amount you’re willing to spend. Leave it as an open question - any good freelancer or agency should be honest with what they can achieve for that.
If you have a relatively small website with just a few pages - for example if you’re a freelancer (photographer, illustrator, sound engineer) or local service based business (plumber, mechanic, builder) then on average I would recommend a budget of up to £1,000.
If however you’re running an eCommerce website with tens of thousands of pages and products, then the cost will be far greater - but the expected return is too. Even climbing a few positions in search can see thousands of more visitors to the site each month and increase revenue.
For any client I always spend 30 minutes (free) talking to and researching the them to see if I can have a positive impact at the budget they can afford. Sometimes, SEO isn’t the most effective strategy and it’s better if I can refer them to another trusted local business instead to pursue PPC or Social Paid etc.
For example, in an interview (Episode 3) with a local web agency I suggested that the terms they want to rank for are too competitive to bother trying to compete for. The return on the time and money to rank for their niche terms just wouldn’t be worth it and instead they were better off looking at LinkedIn Ads or simply networking more.
SEO is like building a house..
There are parallels that can be drawn between building or renovating a house and a website, and the costs involved. Both have structures, and both have users which will need to interact with the site. Most importantly - the planning, how money you spend and who you hire to build the house will directly affect the end result.
If you’ve hired cheap builders who have come in and done a bad job, and you’re now hiring a more trusted builder to come in and fix it, they’re going to have to undo all of the bad work and start again. This often ends up more expensive in the long run.
However, if from the start you’ve hired an expert and have a plot of land where you’ve not started work at all - the cost can be far cheaper as you’re working from a blank slate.
Equally if the builder discovers a lot of structural issues that you’ve not been honest about, costs can spiral unexpectedly.
For both, planning is vital. Starting to build a house without an idea of the end result or well thought out plans is disastrous. Blogging or trying to “do SEO” without a realistic and practical keyword strategy is the same. Investing time in keyword research will give you a solid foundation to build everything else around, and a detailed understanding of your customer to make sure all the information they need is on your site - all the fixtures and fittings are in the right place.