How much should a small business budget for SEO?
website touch ups etc in order to show up on the first page in google? I just starting paying $200 per month through google business to not even show up on the first page locally.
Something to remember is that your competitors are also spending time and money trying to reach that top spot. And some probably have done for years. It will take lots of effort to get ahead.
Here are some tips:
1. Do lots of research on your target market and what they want help with. Provide them with well written content on what they want to know in a blog on your website.
2. Make it user friendly
3. No broken links or errors
4. Consider Google AdWords as you'll then show on top of the search results.
Its can be ongoing spend from $100 to $5k+ per month. Spend is only one part of the equation.
- What are they exactly doing for your spend?
- Can you accurately measure the performance and success?
- Is it in line with your sales & marketing goals?
The results that you accurately measure can only dictate the value and justify the spend.
Otherwise its easy to burn lots of cash on SEO for little tangible results, other than what they tell you to make you feel good.
There is a lot you can do yourself as a foundation, but not recommended for most business owners starting out in competitive markets. Their time is best used in their area of expertise instead.
SEO doesn't have to be expensive unless you're in a very competitive space. It's mostly about making the right decision when building your website, then spending some time on creating content that has value and making sure you're know for it. I would break it down into 3 big chunks:
- Technical improvements: that's what a lot of people think when they talk about SEO. It's important but only one part of the equation. The passing grade here is not that complex in most cases: make sure your website renders well on mobile, loads decently fast, etc.
- Content: try to answer a simple question "does the content on my page answers perfectly the reason that drove people to search on Google?". Figure out what people are googling when looking for something you can offer (keyword research), write good content, demonstrate your expertise.
- Offsite: the initial assumption of Google's algo is that if a content is good, it will have other website mentionning/linking to it. So work on your PR, work with people in your industry, etc. and make sure they mention you for the good work you're doing (with a link).
@Jamie Ryan - some good points here from @Steven Freeman and @Melanie Gray - Thank you. You might also find some more information in this article -  https://www.savvysme.com.au/article/559-google-analytics-and-google-webmaster-tools-10-seo-tips-on-how-to-optimise-your-site