SEO is a tricky business. It gets even trickier when you don’t know how much of it you need and how to go about investing in it. We say invest because we do not believe it is an expense. We consider it an indirect investment with higher returns over a longer period of time. If you are torn to no end thinking about how much of the green bills to put in the content basket or the UX basket so the rub of the green will go your business’ way, we are here to help and make the concept all too clear for you. Here’s what all you need to know about what constitutes a comprehensive SEO strategy and how to balance it all out with dedicated allocation of budget.
How to allocate your SEO funds in 2023
1. Clearly define what “SEO Services” are
People often think elements like content, web designing, user experience, and backlinks seem to operate outside of the magical realm of SEO. That’s the first mistake. Each of those elements is linked to the other. People also often overlook the formerly-mentioned issues, expecting “SEO” to make up for them. That’s the second and the gravest mistake. SEO is not about tickling search engine’s bot’s unmentionables, it is about creating a superior experience for the users, and meeting their search needs. We’re in 2023 and Google is getting closer than ever to mirroring its users’ expectations through AI-based solutions. Moving forward, you too need to be sure of what really constitutes SEO if you are to gain any SEO advantage over your peers.
2. Prioritise each task accordingly
With all due respect, you need to think of SEO outside of the traditional sense and acknowledge that all the elements we mentioned above (and more) are an integral part of the modern-day SEO concept. Proper information structure can make it easier for users to navigate through content pieces and different pages within the website. Elegant looking website can grab people’s attention by the hook and keep them at the page for an extended period of time, thereby decreasing your bounce rate. Enhanced user experience serves the same purpose, and prompts Google that the webpage is worth looking at. Getting the right keywords in place can help you get a clearer picture of what the users are looking for and how best to approach them. Content and backlinks when done right can spark community debate and that is never not rewarding.
To create a more streamlined system, you can prioritise each of those elements according to what you believe is right. Ignoring is simply not an option.
3. Allocate budget according to each prioritised task
Now that what constitutes SEO is clear in your head, hopefully, and prioritised, now is the time to allocate budget to it accordingly. For example, a company that churns out content on a daily basis is made up of a team of writers, so their budget for SEO content creation has already been paid for. They can prioritise other aspects such as web designing, improving user experience, and strategic acquisition of backlinks, and a majority of the budget would go towards that. Similarly, based on the niche you are in, you might have a different allocation in mind. Setting a definite budget would help you find out some method from the madness.
Where to allocate your SEO funds in 2023
1. You cannot get ahead without good content
And it costs money. But the returns are far greater than you could ever imagine. There is no match for content that is of high-quality, relevant, evergreen, written with in-depth research, has the potential to go viral, and of course is “helpful”. With the new Helpful Content System put in place by Google with two updates under its wing already, it is imperative that the content needs to be created by the people, for the people. To put it into Google’s words: “The helpful content system aims to better reward content where visitors feel they’ve had a satisfying experience, while content that doesn’t meet a visitor’s expectations won’t perform as well.”
If there were any doubts on just how important content is to your SEO strategy, there shouldn’t be any now. Ideally, it should be at least 30% of your total budget.
2. There’s no alternative to solid user experience
It appeals to both Google and the users. The fact that user experience is a definite ranking factor is no secret. And yet, many websites are found lacking any real thought in how to create a winning one. Issues like overall site design, content presentability, cross-pages accessibility, readability, load times, and value proposition if not done right, are a huge deterrent in providing good user experience to the majority of the users. In today’s cut-throat virtual race to stardom, you just cannot ignore your users. Outdated tactics or tired-looking websites can no longer suffice. Even if you think you have a substantial amount of website traffic, it will fall and become stagnant after a point.
If you don’t want that to happen, and want repeat customers who can’t stop singing praises for your website’s user experience, you need to allocate some SEO budget to it right away. Ideally, it should be at least 20% of your total budget.
3. Frequent audits keep the blues (and penalties) away
And keep your site in the pink of health. It is quite natural for website users to focus more on top-performing pages. However, in the process, sometimes, issues arise with other pages that often go unnoticed. Issues both technical and otherwise. They may look quite benign but trust us when we say, they are most definitely holding your website back. This is where frequent complete site audits come into the picture. They help you identify and isolate site issues like improper on-page optimisation or penalties. Fixing those issues or getting rid of penalties may not be your cup of tea. You may need an experienced professional SEO firm to work on hire for you.
If you feel you are doing everything right but are not able to find a place at the top of search results, we recommend you perform an extensive site audit as soon as possible. Ideally, it should be at least 10% of your total budget.
4. Keyword research is critical to your business’ success
And your content cannot flourish without it. You may be able to create great content, but consider this: is that great content relevant to your niche or to readers you are trying to convert into long-term customers? If the answer is “no”, you better turn it into a “yes” real soon. Keywords that are relevant to your niche, are a right mix for shortened terms and long-tail phrases, and are finalised based on user intent carry a high potential to add wings to your great content so it can go places over the internet. And this means higher rankings, higher traffic, and greater, more consistent return on investment. Sounds quite brilliant, doesn’t it? That’s because it is. And it is the only way to move forward and expand your brand.
If you don’t want your hard-written great content to lose steam before it even takes off, you need to allocate some part of your SEO budget to Keyword research and analysis real soon. Ideally, it should be at least 10% of your total budget.
5. Backlinks are very much alive, and have an evolved purpose
“Backlinks are dead.” We’ve all been hearing about it for as long as we can remember. But are they, really? The answer is both a yes and a no. It’s a yes if you only want them to serve as ranking signals, which is no longer the case. At least, not the only case. It’s a no if you deem them their real purpose, which is to get the community-talk up and rolling, benefiting your brand through engagement and visibility. And this is not mere speculation or hearsay. We say this from what Google has officially confirmed.
While it’s true that as compared to back in the day when Google Search started, backlinks’ relevance as mere ranking signals has significantly dropped. Google’s Official Documentation states: “Google also finds pages through links from other pages. Learn how to encourage people to discover your site by Promoting your site. Chances are, there are a number of sites that cover topic areas similar to yours. Opening up communication with these sites is usually beneficial. Hot topics in your niche or community could spark additional ideas for content or building a good community resource.” What is off-limit is spamming websites with links requests or indulging in blackhat link-buying practices.
And that brings us to the real question. How to go about link-building the right way? Is there even a right way to do so, to begin with? Absolutely, yes! Not all link-building campaigns are paid for or irrelevant. Some are a collaborative effort between websites whose fondness for quality content and overall SEO ethics and sensibilities match each other’s. When such is the case, building backlinks proves beneficial in more ways than one. And when such is the case, backlinks become more of a sustained and consistent marketing effort rather than just buying your way into the top of search rankings, which never lasts long anyway. With December 2022 Link Spam Update in place, you’ll anyway find it impossible to withdraw any benefits from bulk link-buying practices. You need to find other competent and legit ways to really earn backlinks for your website.
Just how important backlinks are to you will decide how much of your SEO budget you want to allocate to them. We think they form the core of your overall SEO strategy. Ideally, it should be at least 30% of your total budget.
SarkarSEO can help you cut-down your SEO budget in 2023 without compromising the quality or range of services on offer
To cut the long story short, extensive website audit with on-page optimisation and bad link removal, and high-quality content to go along with your niche to create equally important high-quality linkable assets is an integral part of each of SarkarSEO’s Monthly SEO Packages. That’s more than half elements that make for a successful SEO strategy. And at prices that don’t put a dent in your pocket and keep your budget in check.
If you find yourself stuck in quicksand to that end, don’t worry, we can get you out. For that is exactly how we function. Being in the SEO business for more than 12 years, we have gained trust and built healthy, mutually-beneficial relationships with websites across niches across the globe. If the content passes through us (or created by us), we’ll find you the right host website according to your niche and the same sensibilities. That the website will have a high repute and high DA is a given. You’ll be in safe hands.