Friday 6 December 2013

Be prepared to spend more on SEO in 2014 - here's why

Increase your SEO budget in 2014: grow your business online


Industry experts are predicting that SEO spending will increase in 2014. Certainly, digital media and digital marketing communications have been gaining more traction than traditional media in recent years. Therefore, not only will SEO spending increase in 2014, but digital marketing budgets are expected to increase overall. I'll show you the figures which support the expected increase in SEO budgeting along with the strategic reasoning behind it which lies in the difference between paid traffic and natural traffic. Finally, I'll give three reasons why you can expect your SEO budget to increase in response to Google algorithm updates.

Market Trends in Digital Marketing Spends

According to market research on marketing spends for 2013, 53% of companies’ budgets have gone to marketing. 75% of the company's marketing budget has gone to digital media instead of traditional marketing and the digital marketing budget is expected to increase by 28% in 2014; while the overall marketing budget is expected to increase by 23% overall in 2014. This research shows that there is a growing trend towards digital marketing, which is quickly gaining preference over traditional marketing tactics. To be specific, Search Engine Optimisation, which intends to capture natural traffic, and e-mail marketing techniques, which intend to retain customers, have received the most budgeting and attention by companies in 2013.

This data demonstrates that companies are valuing retention over acquisition; meaning that they are sensitive to the needs of their technically savvy consumers and are trying to gain customer trust through SEO, online content and e-mail marketing in an effort to create long-term relationships with customers, rather than simply getting a conversion.

The use of SEO techniques and e-mail marketing also affords companies the ability to add variety to their portfolio; not only can companies offer their usual products/services, but they can also use online advertisements and sponsored e-mail advertisements in order to add another source of income. However, these advertisements will only offer a sizable income stream if the company can garner enough viewership from natural search engines, and gain the trust of their viewers through continued effort.

Online content offers a way to connect with people, and build a relationship. You choose the type of relationship you want with your consumers; why not build a positive relationship with mutual benefits?

Paid Search vs. Natural Search: use SEO to seize the market

What is even more interesting is the inequity between spending on paid traffic (Google AdWords) and spending on SEO tactics. Currently, most companies are spending up to 20 times more on PPC and other modes of paid traffic than SEO tactics which will gain natural search traffic. This inequity is interesting because paid search traffic only accounts for 25% of all search traffic. Whereas, natural traffic accounts for 75% of all search traffic. Can you see where this is going?

Companies are currently spending about 85% of their budget on paid traffic, when paid traffic only targets 25% of the entire online search market. How much more effective would your marketing efforts be if you spent 85% of your budget on trying to capture 75% of the entire online search market?

It seems that companies put a lot of attention on paid traffic because it's an easy way to get a quick conversion without much maintenance. However, a bit of effort can go a long way and allow you to increase your market share exponentially if you spend more on SEO marketing then paid traffic. Focusing your budget on SEO marketing techniques will also allow you to enter markets that have little to no competition. Hence, you can take advantage of market gaps and opportunities by targeting markets which are not already saturated with marketers.

Think of SEO as like buying a house and Google AdWords as renting.

By spending more on SEO tactics and less on garnering paid traffic, you can effectively target 100% of the online search market and increase your market share exponentially.

Already budgeting for SEO marketing? 3 reasons it will cost you more than you think in 2014

You may have already researched predictions for trends on SEO in 2014, however keeping up with these trends comes with a price tag. I'll give you three areas which will require a greater SEO budget in 2014 if you want to keep in front of market trends and off of Google's de-indexed list.

1.    High-quality back-links

The new Google algorithm updates are expected to instantly spot unnatural back-links, possibly purchased cheaply, and penalize the website for them. Therefore, natural back-links, which have been earned by guest blogging and as a result of social sharing will help your website to rise to the top of Google. While, cheap back-links will definitely make your site sink to the bottom of Google and could even get your website penalized and de-indexed. Expect to not only budget for the creation of new quality back-links monthly, but also expect to pay for an audit of your website’s back-links which will destroy any links that will affect your ranking negatively.

2.    Extensive, high-quality content

Not only will you be expected to have well-written, quality, informative content, but each blog post/article will be expected to be at least 1,000 words. This means that if you're currently paying for 2-3, 500 word posts, you can expect to double your content creation budget. Google's algorithm is getting better at recognizing when an article is trying to game them. They want you to provide valuable content, not just an article that passes Copyscape and repeats the same word a few times. If you aren't a writer, now is definitely the time to hire one.

3.    Outsourced Social Media management

Social Media has become a necessary tier of SEO. Your Social Media interactions on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+ are expected to factor highly in Google’s PR ratings. Social Media is also a great way to siphon natural traffic to your website, where you can capture viewer’s attention and possibly win new business/increase sales. If you aren't already partaking in Social Media or haven't already outsourced your Social Media management, this service is no longer optional; rather Google has made it obligatory if you want to stay ahead of the curve.

Staying competitive in the online market means trying to ensure your business keeps in front of the trend. Being behind trends in SEO, can make the difference between being on first on Google’s page rankings and being de-indexed. The online market moves so quickly that you need a team of people that can help you manage various aspects of your digital marketing communications.

So take advantage and invest in search engine optimisation, social media marketing and content marketing/blogging that will help you grow your business and scale upwards.


Get in touch with Lisa Forster to find out how angelfysh can help you in 2014.

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