This is a big one. What is on your website has to tell Google what your site is about and what it is trying to rank for.
For example, if you are a plumber, Google needs to be able to tell that your site is about plumbing. And putting “I’M A PLUMBER in big, bold, black letters on the homepage won’t cut it.
You have to have content that is both relevant and resourceful to your site visitors. The more you have, the more Google will start to correlate your site to your industry.
When you work with One Thing Marketing, the first step of SEO we do for our clients is create content around their services/products. The content can be pages on your site about your work or blog posts will additional relevant resources for your site visitors. We then optimize that content using an SEO strategy that has been tailored to you. All this combined will achieve the ultimate goal of relevance.
This factor is a two-parter…
- Domain Age. Trust has a lot to do with how old your site is. The older the site, the more likely Google is to trust that site more and suggest it to searchers.
Let’s put this into a real-world example. You are single and using an online dating app to meet people. The first time you meet someone, you are not going to automatically trust them. It will take a few dates and text messages before you are ready to trust them and introduce them to your friends and family.
Google is the same way. Their reputation is on the line. They are not going to suggest a brand new website to its searchers.
- Links. Trust is also influenced by incoming links. These are the links that come from external websites to your website.
Back to the dating example. You are more likely to trust someone that your friend introduced you to, right? Sure, you are. Now let’s say that ten of your friends recommend the same person. Wouldn’t you want to meet that person even more now? Of course! Your friends are not going to put their good name on the line and introduce you to someone they themselves do not trust.
Same for Google. If you have multiple external links from Google-trusted websites to your site, then Google will be more willing to suggest your site to its searchers.
How does this fit into your SEO strategy? Step one was building relevance and now we move onto establishing trust through continued content creation. Our content coordinators and SEO expert do this by creating content that answers industry-specific questions. This could be through FAQs, blog posts, and/or answering specific questions your customers are not getting answered by your competitors. This type of content will give you a better chance of gaining quality organic links to your website from Google-trusted websites.
This is another two-part factor…
- Industry. How many businesses in your industry are in the area you want to target? How many of those are optimizing their websites?
The density of the competition in your industry can have a huge effect on how easy or hard it will be to rank in the search results. The more competition in your industry, the harder it will be to rank. Simple as that.
If you are the only plumber in the city, then you will have a much easier time being found online versus if you are one plumber among fifty in one city.
- Location. It is harder to show up in the search results for a specific city in which you do not have a physical address.
For instance, if you are an accountant whose office is in Shepherdsville, KY, but the clients you would like to target are in Louisville, KY. This is a case of Proximity of Address to the Point of Search.
If your business is not in the area in which you want your clients to be located, it will take a bit more effort to show up in the results when those clients do a Google search for your service/product.
Back to the question… “How does this fit into my SEO strategy?” Once we build relevance and trust for your site, these will play a huge part when it comes to dealing with the competition. If you are doing things that your competition is not doing, like creating relevant content and gaining trustworthy links, then Google will see your website as more relevant and trustworthy than your competitors, thus giving you a competitive advantage.
It’s also important to keep in mind that in order to be seen as an authority in a highly competitive industry, you will have to continually create content and build links to stay ahead of your competition.
For our clients who are in a competitive industry, we will work with them for the long term. We will make sure they not only achieve their goals, but exceed them.
Now you can see how these three factors are all connected. Pretty, isn’t it?
But why did we tell you all this?
Everyone needs relevance and trust. Period. But it is the competition that determines how much work, time, and effort it will take to gain the relevance and trust needed to compete and overtake your competitors’ websites that are already showing up in the search results.
The more competitive your industry is, the harder and longer it could take to see positive results. And visa versa. The point is, everyone wants to be where everyone else is. But they are there because they dedicated their time and effort to establish trust and relevance. So you have to do not the same, but more.
Here at One Thing Marketing, we take all this into consideration when we are creating your customized lead generation strategy.
Just keep calm and SEO on.
How Do These Factors Determine Your SEO Budget?
We know that your hard earned money is precious to you. We understand that. We all love our money. But in order to get your business noticed, you will have to set some aside for your marketing efforts.
Part of that budget needs to be specifically for SEO. As mentioned above, competition can really affect how we set up your specific strategy for your SEO timeline. It, along with the amount of trust and relevancy your site has, also affects how large or small your budget needs to be.
Just to give you a ballpark idea, you need to have the expectation going in that you will be spending a minimum of $1,500 per month on SEO. Don’t freak out. Trust us, it will be worth it.
There is an exception to this. (Yea!) If you are the only company in the entire state offering your service/product, then you can get away with having a smaller budget and spending less. But realistically, that probably is not the case. So, be prepared to spend at least $1,000 per month, even if you are in a low competition environment. Whatever your competition is spending, you will have to spend the same or more to be able to compete.
Are you wanting a more concrete price estimate? Then sign up for a free strategy session with us! We will take a look are what your competitors are doing and spending, and create an initial strategy and SEO timeline just for you!
Let’s dive into some different budget scenarios…
- Brand new company, no competition
Sarah just opened up a new bakery and launched her website. Luckily, she is the only baker in town. But to get those customers in the door, she has to let people know she is open for business.
In this case, Sarah will need a larger budget initially to get her name out there. Later on, once she is showing up in the search results when people search for a bakery, she can reduce her budget.
- Brand new company, with competition
Michael is excited. He just opened his car repair shop in his hometown, but there are other repair shops in the area. His target customers are choosing the other repair shops over his. He needs to show everyone his shop is just as good, or even better, than those other guys.
Michael will need a larger budget. He may even need one larger than his competition because those established shops already have resources, like existing customers, trust, and age, that make them a step ahead in the SEO process. Michael has some catching up to do.
- Established company, with competition
Evan is the CEO of a technical support business in a big city that has been around for many years. He has relied on word of mouth in the past but wants to grow his company further. As you can probably guess, there are other companies in the city who offer similar services. Evan wants to pull ahead of the competition and be the authority leader. What is he going to do? You guessed it…SEO!
Even though Evan’s company has been around for a while, he will consistently need a larger budget to pull ahead of the competition. His SEO timeline could be shorter, because people already know his company and will be able to more easily access his site with his SEO efforts. The reason for the continuous larger budget is because he will still be competing with other established sites who could also be executing their own SEO strategy.
To sum these scenarios up in one blanket sentence… if you want results, you need to have a budget that will allow the necessary work to be done to gain trust, relevance, and authority. Simple as that. There is no way around it.
Another important thing to note is, as the competition changes year after year and as more companies jump on the SEO bandwagon, we recommend increasing you budget at least 10% every year in order to stay competitive. If you wish to pull ahead and get more leads year over year, then we recommend increasing your budget more than 10% per year.
(Hold on tight, we are about to do some math.)
To break this down, let’s say your marketing budget is X% of your total revenue. Then ideally, as your leads increase, your revenue increases (still with us?), thus your total budget should automatically increase accordingly too.
Now we know what you are thinking, “If I just double my budget, then I will get double the leads in half the time!” Haha, wrong! Just because you have double the budget, does not necessarily mean the results will come twice as fast. But it will still get you a return on your investment sooner.
A great way to keep track of your progress, your ROI, and map out what the next steps are is to hire reputable marketing experts that can guide you through the SEO process. We just happen to know a great team you can hire! (Wink Wink!)