Is Cheap SEO Of Any Use?

They say that, “Long after the sweet taste of low cost is forgotten, the bitterness of a poor choice remains”.

When it comes to SEO, this old saying is no less true.

In fact it ties in with another, “you get what you pay for“.

Pay a little, get a little.

Pay a lot, get a lot.

Pretty simple equation wouldn’t you say?

Well, in SEO circles there is another confusing factor. And it goes like this…

SEO, Ah… What Exactly Am I Paying For?

Most people are not aware of exactly what it is they are paying for when it comes to hiring an SEO company to look after their online promotion and reputation.

SEO companies are famous for fluffing out their deliverables by putting decoys in their clients paths. Things such as, confusing reports, graphs and charts and other diversionary distractions.

But what did you actually do for me? Is often asked.

And aside from the seo hirer’s confusion is the fact that the SEO practitioner can get shafted, even when they provide a good service. It goes something like this, “Hey look at us, we are making good money, our rankings are great, so we probably don’t need the seo guy anymore right?”…

So much confounding fog on both sides of the equation.

For the client:

You got to sell more product – that is what your SEO guy did for you. Anything else is not needed to be known.

For the seo guy:

You did your job well and got good rankings for your client and through more website visits, connected with more new customers. End of story.

Attention: All Parties!

Both parties need to remember this, SEO is designed to help increase exposure via search. When the efforts of the SEO guy or gal are fruitful, this usually leads to increased sales or leads for the client.

Back to the original point, you get what you pay for. Too often I will loose a prospective client to someone who will under cut my prices. This stings, as no one likes to loose. But…

Undercutting is a race to the bottom, so you need to know your anchor point and remain true to your value proposition. I like to charge my clients in line with what my SEO can do for improving their bottom-lines.

I stick to my guns. My price is fair, especially when your gain is exceptional.

When prospects can see what good SEO has done for someone else, they are getting a glimpse at their own future. To be able to use a case study, to enlighten the otherwise dark and mysterious path of SEO, is one of, if not the best way to demonstrate – what your are actually getting for your money.

Let’s look at an example:

Dr John (not his real name) is a well respected plastic surgeon who up until his site got slammed by Google, was getting a good amount of new patient inquiries – leading to bookings.

He didn’t know what to do, his site was sinking fast and despite the best efforts of his current SEO company, things just got worse.

His surgery had overheads that were not being met by his current cash flow and he had to do something to stop the money bleed.

He turns to Google Adwords.

It is expensive, with some clicks costing him $60+ each time someone just clicks on an ad in the search results.

Things go well, he stems the financial hemorrhage and the day has been saved. Well sort of…

He now runs at a considerably high cost per acquisition equation, for finding new patients.

Cost of New Patient Acquisition

Each ad click in the Google search results paid ads section, averages $45,  and this times 42 equals $1890.

Forty two is the average number of ad clicks it costs to find and secure a new patient. With an average cost of a procedure being $8,900 he is netting approximately $7,010 and this is before his other overheads are considered.

Each month he gains an average of 10 new patients, so we know he is spending about $18,900 on Google Adwords. Over a year that is $226,800 he is spending on his search marketing efforts.

Now enter smart(er) SEO consultant who comes in and demonstrates a way to start a brand new website on a new domain, all the while leaving the existing site complete with the Dr John branding in place. This new site cost’s $12k to hand build in accordance to the new Google Panda specifications and his SEO costs him $5k per month.

He begins to now get 15 new patients per month, after his site has reached the top of the search results, typically after 6 – 12 months and now he is very happy with the results.

By reducing his Google Adwords dependence over those 12 months down to $0, he is in front by $13,900 per month ($18,900 – $5,000) which ads [sic] up to $166,800 saved each year.

On top of that, his increase in new patients from 10 to 15 each month, means those 5 new patients he adds to his customer list each month, add up to an extra turn over of of over $500,000.

Patient = $8,900
x 5 = $44,500
x 12 = $534,000

Who Wants To Bump The Bottom Line Up Another $500k?

Now here’s the question, if you knew for certain this was going to be your outcome by investing in proper SEO that delivers these results time and time again like clockwork, would you risk this by looking for a cheaper alternative to save a few hundred or even a couple of thousand a month?

My guess is, if you are short sighted and love a bargain, or are always looking to get the best deal, by taking a quote and getting someone to undercut it, then you are probably not going to see the sorts of returns I have demonstrated above. Your peanuts mentality will get you comical results like an unfortunate episode in a Charlie Brown sketch. The only problem is, this is no laughing matter.

“What am I paying for with SEO?” the answer is more patients.

When done right with a proper realistic budget and the right team behind your SEO efforts, you can expect to increase your new patient acquisitions and lower your marketing costs substantially.

To find out exactly what your (current) SEO company is up to, why not schedule a 30 minute strategy Skype call and I can show you not only what you are missing out on currently, I can show actual cases studies of doctors who are prepared to share their success stories. So what are you waiting for, your 30 minute strategy call is free, so get in touch today.

What Is The Best Value For Money Traffic, Paid or Organic?

When it comes to acquiring traffic for your website, in a business sense there is a very real difference between paid traffic and organic traffic.

Not simply a matter of calculating the costs of each channel but fully taking into consideration the responsiveness and the convertibility of each channel.

In simple cost terms, it is not uncommon to expect highly trained SEO specialist to be able to return a 50% reduction in traffics costs when going head to head to with paid traffic sources, in particular Google Adwords PPC.

There is another dimension that needs to be taken into account when analysing the value of each traffic source. When it comes to “Ads” or “Advertisements”, the psychology behind someone who clicks on an ad, typically renders their potential to make a buying decision, a whole lot less likely.

above-fold-layout-penalty

Let me explain: Google savvy web surfers, know the difference between an ad, and an organic listing in the Google search results. Despite Google’s best efforts to provide people with a “poor user experience” ie, trick them into clicking on an ad, so they can make money, smart users can identify the Ad symbol and move down to the organic listings, as these have a higher reputation of being the best results. Ads on the other hand can be bought by any Tom, Dick or Harry, and therefore render themselves with a whole lot less trust.

So if people come in on the back of not trusting what they are seeing, then they are less likely to move towards a buying decision.

Some may argue at this point, that if they don’t know they are clicking on an Ad, then their bias would be neutral. This is the very reason why Google try to hide the fact that they are ads, and trick people into thinking, these must be the best search results because they are at the top.

A few years back now, Google had the hide to come out arrogantly claiming that anyone with an “Ad” above the fold on their website would be penalised, as this represents a poor user experience. This penalty was referred to as the “Layout Penalty“. Google have been doing this very thing for years, but they don’t seem to penalise themselves.

But I digress, back on topic here. Paid traffic typically costs more because the cost of clicks via PPC or Google Adwords, has risen so high due to the constant messing with organic listing algorithms. With Pengin, Panda, and now Fred wrecking the rankings of websites, many folks have decided to give up on SEO and go with what Google wants them to do, namely pay for the traffic that they feel is the only way to make money from their website. With the way Google increase bid prices based on the “auction model”, is it any wonder in some highly competitive markets, come cost per click prices can be as high as $200 or more. Now that is a high price to pay to get someone to visit your website, and when you consider the number of visitors you need to have visit before one converts to a paying customer, this can be a very costly exercise.

Naturally not all markets are this saturated and expensive but I think you get the idea. Google started selling each and every click for just 10c back when they started selling ads on their site. This soon evaporated and became the auction system we have today.

So with higher convertibility and lower overall visitor costs, SEO or search engine optimisation when done the right way that produces #1 rankings, there really is no better choice. If your experience has not matched what I have been talking about here, and you are feeling like there is no hope in SEO anymore, then it is probably time we spoke. I have helped many companies in both Australia and overseas to achieve higher profits through smart and effective SEO. If this is you, then get in touch today.