What is SEO?

Without SEO, your website is like an expensive sign rusting away in the middle of the desert. SEO puts your sign on the information superhighway.

Your website without SEO

Search Engine Optimisation is both a science and an art, as anything must be that depends on the decisions of a third party, in this case: Google.

Get your website on the Information Superhighway with Corporate SEO

As a search engine, Google’s stated objective is to deliver the most relevant results to people.  To do this, it uses a massive array of computing power, and some of the brightest minds in the industry to develop the algorithms behind that. Google changed its algorithm over 500 times in 2010 and much more than that in 2012 although it hasn’t released that figure. We observed 37 large-scale changes in 2012.  So it takes considerable work to keep on top of all this, but we enjoy the challenge.

Is SEO for Everyone?

No. It very much depends on your industry and marketing model. Some businesses are targeting a select clientele, such as a B2B provider of jumbo jet engines.  They already have a list of prospects, and they only need to network with those individuals.  The website still needs to present well, but it is never the first point of contact. Similarly, some businesses depend entirely on word of mouth referral, so their website is more of a brochure, to build trust after initial contact.  However, there may still be a hidden opportunity for SEO, depending on market research. Other businesses run on such a tight profit margin that the cost of customer acquisition makes most inbound marketing methods unfeasible. And some industries are so saturated with SEO that it’s virtually impossible to get on the first page inside any reasonable budget.  Imagine trying to get on the first page of Google for “home loan”, “life insurance” or “SEO”.

Black vs White Hat

All SEO strategies can be organised along a continuum…

Black Hat Grey Hat White Hat

White Hat

Grey Hat

Black Hat

Obeys all of Google’s Terms of Service

Bends the rules when appropriate

Breaches Google’s Terms of Service

Zero Risk

Managed Risk

High Risk

Not Illegal

Not Illegal

Sometimes Illegal

Results in 6-12 months

Results in 2-3 months

Results in 24 hours

  We do not provide Black Hat services, but allow you the choice of Grey or White Hat depending on your desired timeframe, budget, and appetite for risk. Most business owners are comfortable with some level of risk, and we have found that by sliding the continuum a fraction along the scale from White towards Grey, we are able deliver much faster results for minimal risk.

What are the Risks?

Our role is like that of a skilled plastic surgeon, making your website look like it was born beautiful.  We each invest 1-2 hours a day to stay current with the latest criteria that Google uses to define that beauty, and we use that knowledge to carefully sculpt your web presence accordingly. Google simply wants to ensure that the most deserving websites come up on top.  So if your website is not the most deserving of a first-page ranking, and has obtained that position by nefarious means, at the worst case, you risk being “deindexed” or removed from their listings, in which case you must move the website to a new domain name.  (You can still preserve much of your SEO investment by carefully linking from the old site to the new site.)  But if you’re signed up with Google Webmaster Tools, you’ll get a warning long before deindexing becomes an issue.  Usually, you’ll just find your rankings may drop sharply after Google releases a significant algorithm change, which we investigate and repair for you as part of your monthly subscription. Google’s ideal is essentially “build it and they will come.” By creating useful content, people will link to that content on your site, and you’ll naturally develop a following over time.  But most companies don’t have the years it takes to develop such a following, or are in such competitive markets where everyone else is investing heavily in SEO plastic surgery.  So the ideal falls short of reality, and that’s where Search Engine Optimisation can bridge the gap.

How Much Is SEO Worth to You?

If you invest in online marketing, for you to appreciate its worth, you should know the number of clients giving you new business each month. This formula simply gives you that exact number:
  • LVC = The customer’s Lifetime Value
  • Spend = How much does the average client spend in a year’s time for your services?
  • Years = How long does the average client stay?
  • Profit = How much of that shows profit?
  • Referrals = What is the number of referrals the average client brings?

An Example

For instance, if your average client spends $50 a week and stays with you about 2 years, referring you a customer or two in that time, and you take home around 40% that figure in your pocket, this would be the calculation: The Lifetime Value of a Customer - an SEO example Essentially, spending around $1,500 monthly for SEO, it would take a new customer every second month to pay for itself, not really much of a performance. Granted, you may not see all the money up front. Still, if we bring in 3 new clients for you a month, it would then mean that you invested $1500 to get back a profit of around $9360, which means an ROI of 624%.  It follows that investing more would bring greater returns.

How Much Does It Cost?

Most Australian companies spend from a few thousand to a few million dollars per year on SEO.  Since the Return on Investment is so high (usually 10 to 50 times) the amount you invest depends on how much profit you intend to make.  Most small and medium enterprises in Sydney invest between $200 and $5000 a month.  The $200/mth variety is completely outsourced to India, with no considerations for risk management, a penchant for Black Hat, and very little investment in education and best practices.  Most known brands spend upwards of $30,000/mth. As you’re no doubt aware, anyone can do their own SEO.  After 2-6 months to learn the basics, the average small business will require 2 hours a day.  The average medium business should devote one staff member, either half time or full time depending on the online competition in their industry.  At the hourly rate of the average tradie, say $80/hr, a small business spending 2 hours a day would spend $3200/mth in billable hours.