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The cost of SEO and should you be paying it?

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Google search engine internetMany clients have told us a sad tale of having an amazing website built, costing them a small fortune, to then discover they are not able to find it on Google! Unfortunately this is because ‘SEO’ is now a vital component of any website, new or old.

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is the name given to any activity that attempts to improve search engine rankings. Here in Australia this mostly refers to the order in which Google provides links to pages, as a result of a search term you have entered into your Google search engine.

No matter how well a website is designed and developed, that it looks good, engages with the target market and encourages action is imperative – but this is only the beginning. If the website does not rank well on search engines then it won’t be easily found online. SEO focuses on website content and involves the ongoing process of onpage optimisation, key-phrase analysis and link building. These help improve your website ranking within the organic listings in the search engine results pages.

Google displays links to pages it considers relevant and authoritative, depending on the search term you have entered. How it makes this decision for each of the 40,000 search queries it handles every second, is what drives a whole new industry.

This industry spends considerable efforts in analysing and trying to interpret the over 400 Google algorithm changes annually, all carried out by Google to return the most useful search results to you, thereby remaining your favourite search engine. Not only does the SEO industry have to figure out what Google wants from day to day, but how to translate this into changes, updates, links and content on your website, which will result in it ranking as close to number 1 on page 1 of Google results as possible.

Whilst there is a myriad of software which helps this process, currently ‘content’ is still king for Google. Content that has to be written well, be grammatically correct and provide information as its primary role. Google’s bots are so clever now, they not only recognise but will also penalise content that is written badly, copied, or written only for ranking purposes. Hence why previously highly successful ‘overseas’ SEO agencies are now struggling to achieve results, if they don’t have really good English copywriters on their staff.

In other words, there is no getting around it. SEO is expensive and good SEO even more so, so think twice about even having a website if you aren’t willing to pay for this. Costs for SEO are dependent on the level of online competition for specific keywords and the number of keywords being targeted, as well as the website goals. On average, Australian SEO costs range from $600 per month to $2000 or more. Add another 0 to that if you are trying to compete in the insurance, car or tourism industries.

Whilst there is no magic formula to use to pick a good SEO company, there are some questions you should be asking them:

  • Do they offer a guarantee if they don’t achieve the agreed results within a stipulated time frame? The reputable companies will.
  • Is the work carried out locally by staff with a good grasp of the English language and phrases and spelling used in Australian? If not, why pay the higher costs billed by Australian SEO companies?
  • Will they assist with offline methods and ideas of how to achieve backlinks to your website? They should, if they are genuine about improving your rankings, Google loves quality backlinks.

CJU are medical marketing professionals and can assist in developing strategies and activities for both online and offline promotion of your business. We’ll take your business to the next level. Please contact us – 1300 941 250 or fill in an enquiry form on our website at: www.cju.net.au

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Caroline Ucherek has worked in medical marketing roles for many years and has developed a network of strong relationships with medical specialists, specialised providers and GPs in both sole practices and large practice groups

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Guest Thursday, 27 July 2017