Signing up for an SEO program is a long-term financial investment. Many small business owners mistakenly sign up for SEO services without considering that they’ll need to pay for several months of lead generation before they see a return on their investment. Instead, they rearrange their budget just enough to pay for the initial setup fee and the first month, hoping that will be enough to amplify their web presence. Unfortunately, that’s not the way SEO works.
SEO Is a Slow Build
SEO, especially for lead generation purposes, takes time. Business owners are typically looking at a baseline of three months before they can expect to see results. That’s why most online advertising experts recommend hiring a company that offers services on a monthly retainer, which means a business owner pays a monthly fee to have an SEO company perform regular site maintenance, analytics, call reports, keyword research, link building, and more. (This is the model that Prospect Genius follows.) But if you do opt for a monthly retainer, then you’ll need to plan for at least three months of payment before seeing any tangible improvement in your web presence.
Note: Sometimes, the process can take up to six months, depending on the condition of your web presence before you hire an SEO company. If you have mismatching information on business directories, social media pages, and Google+ listings, or you’ve previously participated in dubious or spam-like behavior, then three months may not be a sufficient timeline for resolving these problems and boosting your rankings.
Why Does SEO Take So Long?
Effective SEO requires repetition. Social media listings must be routinely populated with fresh content, press releases have to be syndicated, and directories must be updated as needed. However, not all of these tasks can be done at once. There’s a strategically tiered system of steps to be completed by your SEO specialist for optimal results, and proper spacing and timing of these tasks is essential. Once this foundation has been completely set, a few months have gone by.
Do Not Leave Your SEO Provider High and Dry
The initial setup period of your SEO campaign takes more than just your time—it also consumes the time and resources of your SEO provider. Signing up for your campaign is a tacit agreement that you’ll be patient for the first three months, and during that time, your SEO company is hard at work promoting your business. Make sure your budget allows for several months of payment. If you’re forced to quit early, all that work, and the money you’ve invested in it, is for naught.
Prospect Genius Has Options
If you have trouble predicting what your budget will look like through the next fiscal year, that doesn’t mean you must abstain from an SEO program entirely. Instead, you could opt for a service that sticks to the bare essentials or one that will give you a temporary push. At Prospect Genius, we’re addressing this need for options by rolling out a new selection of packages. From our lower cost Starter package to the bells and whistles of our Premium package, our offerings provide different types of service and kinds of online advertising at a range of price points.
Here’s a quick overview:
- Starter—This basic, cost-effective package builds you a LeadTrax™ site and adds a Google+ Local listing on your behalf. There’s no off-page promotion included; we simply get your web presence up and running. This compares to many of the low-cost “lead generation” programs out there.
- Core—This is our bread-and-butter SEO lead generation package. We build you a LeadTrax site and optimize it with plenty of off-page promotion, including social media, directory listings, a Google+ Local listing, and more.
- Boost—This package is a targeted, three-month pay-per-click campaign that focuses on one of your major service offerings. It’s used in conjunction with our Core program to give your campaign a temporary boost, just like the name implies.
- PPC—With a pay-per-click program, your site is displayed in sponsored ads on Google and other search engines. This can be a stand-alone package or it can be combined with Core in our Premium package.
- Premium—This package brings you the best of SEO and the best of PPC, combining Core and PPC to augment your organic rankings with the help of sponsored ads. It’s like a permanent Boost to bring you high value today and in the future.
These packages are designed to provide you with an Internet marketing program that’s tailored to your budgetary needs. If you’re a business owner, you must have an online advertising strategy to succeed in today’s market, so make room for one in your budget, whatever it takes. You can’t afford not to. Just make sure that you’re able to afford the strategy you select—stretching your budget won’t get you very far if you can’t maintain your SEO program long term.