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Behind The Cost of Search Engine Optimization and PayPerClick

Many firms offer SEO and PPC advertising, either as their specialty or a value-add service (like Rapport does). Most price it the same way – an ongoing monthly cost, and it can seem high. So, clients and marketers wonder what goes into that cost.

First Steps With PPC and SEO

First of all is the research into the best keywords/phrases that your company should compete for. The expert will discuss objectives with prospects and learn more about their business. There may be keywords that are highly competitive and locked up – not worth going after at this point, as well as alternate ones that are ripe for the picking. For example: Full Service Marketing vs Full Service Marketing Firm Toronto, or Personal Injury Law (very competitive) vs Accidental Death Claims.

Creating High Performing Websites

Then, with SEO comes the consultation on how to make the website perform in regards to these key words. There may be up-front copy changes to include them as well as behind the scenes opportunities such as image tagging, etc. There may also be recommendations to make the site generally more accessible to Google, like adding a blog or removing a Flash splash page. These aren’t just regular web changes, there is a lot of expertise behind the best, yet legitimate ways to accomplish this, while avoiding ‘black hat’ techniques that Google frowns upon. With PPC it’s writing the ads using the keywords, setting them up and making sure the landing page leads to conversions (see what I mean here).

A Monthly Commitment to SEO and PPC

Though the first two steps are simplified above, they’re followed by ongoing care and feeding, as well as continuous off-site activities such as creating links back to your site. SEO/PPC experts will continually monitor results and make adjustments. They’ll also regularly report progress to clients.

Seeing results with organic SEO takes time, which is why many service providers require a 12 month contract. PayPerClick provides more immediate results, but can take a month or two to determine and refine what works best. You’ll still get a better idea of ROI after months, not days. Even once you achieve a very high ranking, if you stop tending it, someone else will be tending theirs’ and eventually trump you.

It’s An Art, Not a Skill

There are a number of things that can make your site more appealing to Google and therefore show up higher when prospects search your keywords. This ongoing care includes more than knowing the technology, but a whole lot of keeping up with and understanding what Google likes. It’s a specialty, an expertise that is separate from web development.

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