If you’re a business owner, you have a website. If you have a website, you want people to be able to find it if they’re in the market for the things you sell. When they enter a string of words into a search engine to find relevant websites, if yours isn’t the first, second, or maybe third one listed, chances are, no one will ever click the link that leads to your business.
There is nothing that has the power to catapult your website to the top of search engines quite like SEO. If you want to back up your awesome business with the search engine rankings it deserves, you’re going to need to put money aside for SEO.
SEO is the practice of using keywords, metadata, links, and formatting to convince search engines that a specific website is credible, authoritative, and worthy of being located at the top of the list.
There are three ways to do this. Hire a firm to do it for you, do it yourself, or some combination of the two. You’ll need to know how much you can realistically spend by crafting a budget.
Know Your SEO
The best thing you can do for your new SEO budget is to reduce the size it needs to be by learning enough to do a lot of your own SEO without paying someone else. SEO is complex and constantly changing, but the vast majority of people can learn enough about the basics to write their own metadata and keywords and understand that quality is better than quantity when it comes to both links and content. Fine-tuning aspects such as your local strategy might have to be outsourced, but you can take a huge bite out of your budget by educating yourself with free tutorials such as this one.
In order to establish your SEO budget, you have to start by figuring out how much SEO you need and how much money you have. Basic budgeting software such as that from Mint.com is your first and best weapon to getting on track to setting your SEO budget. Mint helps you get organized by centralizing all of your financial data in a single place. It also automatically makes the calculations of expenditures and profits when you make or spend money, and can automatically send a fixed (or variable) amount to your SEO budget category every month, week, or day.
Trim the Fat
As a business owner, you should periodically audit your operation to find ways to save money. Whether it’s reevaluating your fleet of vehicles, sitting down with your invoices and comparing vendor prices, or looking for better deals on office supplies, pinching pennies is the difference between good businesspeople and great ones.
When you do these audits, dedicate a certain amount of recovered money to your SEO budget. Whether it’s five or 50 percent is up to your needs, but don’t forget to always add to your new SEO piggy bank.
Working out an SEO budget is similar to any other budget. Smart planning, consistent saving, and a dedicated goal are necessary. The good thing about this, however, is that you can do a great deal of it by yourself just by learning about SEO basics.
Author: Joydeep Bhattacharya