Is Paying for Monthly SEO Services Really Worth It?
To understand SEO we must first understand Digital Marketing as a whole, then SEO's role within it. Digital marketing was an attack on traditional marketing channels such as TV and Print. Amazon rose while Sears and Toys R Us fell. We saw newspapers and magazines die while YouTube and Google rose. People "Facebook" more often than they scrapbook. When was the last time that you used a phonebook? Digital marketing is the way to monetize your Internet. Digital marketing is essential for any business owner. People will likely find your website before they visit your store, before meeting you and before purchasing from you.
Although Amazon may not be the greatest internet achievement, it is perhaps the most prominent monument. It is the 7th largest retailer without a single storefront. It has the 7th largest market capitalization, surpassing Walmart...and it's just warming up.
Search marketing, social media and display advertising are the most important digital marketing channels. Email marketing is also a major channel. In 2017, digital marketing budgets surpassed TV advertising spending. The search engines are the most important digital marketing channel.
Search engines currently produce around 200 billion searches each month (source: SEO.com). In 2019, search engine users will reach over 236,000,000 people in the USA. 66% of marketers say increasing their organic presence online is their number one priority. 72% of those who search for a local store via their mobile phones will actually visit the store. Social media generates just 3% of traffic to websites on average. Search engines are responsible for the largest share of online-based sales and also lead to more visits to a website.
We have now established (1) that digital marketing is more important than TV and other channels. (2) Search engines are now the kings of digital marketing sales. This demonstrates that search engine marketing is an integral part of any marketing strategy. There are two types of search engine marketing: sponsored search (PPC), and organic search. SEO is more cost-effective than PPC and has a higher ROI when done correctly.
When you ask the question "Is it worth paying for monthly SEO services?" then you need to think about what is at stake if the search engines do not index your business. This is a great way to drive business. Search-based traffic is second only after a referral. Search engines show your website to people who are looking for the products/services that you offer at the moment they are interested. This is the best way to go. SEO investment is common sense marketing strategy. Millions of people search for millions of items every day, which means that there is a high sales ratio.
Why can't a single SEO effort suffice instead of a long-term strategy? SEO is not a sprint. It's a marathon. Websites do not go from #1000 on Google to #1 in a day. Trusting search engines takes time. Google has stated publicly that it updates its search algorithm more than 500 times a year. It also considers over 200 "signals" when deciding which website is better. Because search engines change constantly, it is important to continue SEO. Today's SEO is different than it was three years ago. One company may not be able to sustain a single SEO project, but that doesn't mean their competitors will. It's not a good idea to do a one-off SEO project. This is serious stuff, and your business is at risk. Do you think SEO will be abandoned quickly, even though it is a powerful marketing tool? It is possible to fail at SEO if you have already tried it.
SEO companies are terrible at what they do. They either are outright malicious and exploit their customers or simply incompetent. SEO theory is fine, but SEO companies are a problem. Take your time when searching for an SEO company. You should look for a company with proven track records. Do not be seduced by salespeople. Take the time to ensure that the SEO company is competent, honest, and affordable.