In many ways I'm an extremely budget-conscious person. I don't like spending money when I can get the same thing cheaper and just as easily. But, over the years, I began to discover a timeless truth: You truly do get what you pay for!

Unfortunately, that's a truth I had to learn the hard way. Cheap iPhone charging cables on Amazon rarely last long. Cheaper quotes from a handyman usually mean he doesn't do a great job. Negotiate someone down in price, you're usually negotiating down on quality as well.

I could go on, but I think most of you have experienced what I'm talking about. Which leads me to all you Yeah Butters who think they can't afford SEO. The truth is, you can't afford NOT to SEO your website!

seo-bag-of-gold1-300x300.jpgNot long ago a company came to us wanting to invest in SEO. They were currently spending over $1.5M per year on offline ads, which is no small sum of money. As we talked to them about an SEO campaign that amounted to less than 10% of their phone book advertising, they asked incredulously, "How do small businesses afford SEM?"!

Marketing Investment Is All About Priorities

I find it odd that we easily find money for entertainment, but when it comes to investing in our businesses, we suddenly can't afford a good marketing campaign. Now I get it--one is a personal expenditure, and we are all need to enjoy life a bit. But if you look at the businesses that make the most money, it's usually those that provide some form of entertainment! If even a fraction of our "entertainment" money went back into business growth, there is almost nothing that a business owner could not afford to do.

The beauty of online marketing is that it's all trackable. If you knew that for every $1 you gave me, you would get $10 back, what would you do to scrounge up $100, $1,000 or even $1M?

Unfortunately, online marketing isn't as forecastable as that--there are no guarantees on your return--but good SEO has proven time and again to deliver profitable results. You just have to find the right partner to work with.

There's Gold In That There SEO!

Some businesses understand the value of SEO. Many companies we partner with started with small SEO budgets years ago. As they saw their businesses succeed through their online marketing efforts, they continued to invest accordingly. These companies have grown several hundred percent because they realized the value in SEO and were not afraid to keep investing in it.

Not everyone can afford a large-scale SEO campaign. That's OK, but you have to start somewhere if you want to get anywhere. Many SEO firms offer everything from consulting for $100/hour to complete campaigns that run several thousands of dollars a month. Start where you can and grow your SEO budget as your business grows.

Take a little and turn it into a little more. It's not the way to the quickest success, but at least its something. SEO isn't out of your reach. If you think you can't afford SEO, just remember that you can't afford NOT to SEO even more.

April 1, 2014

Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.

If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.

Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.


I have learned this to my cost. Cheap SEO can mean a penalty from Goolge due to those experts using techniques which Google doesn't like.
You truly do get what you pay for.

Couldn't agree more.

Companies need to look at SEO spending seriously and make a worthwhile investment. It blows me away how some businesses are ok with spending more on phone book advertising than SEO. Unfortunately it is in peoples nature to spend on things they understand and very few businesses fully understand the potential value of SEO.

The SEO industry has been s tainted with "SEO Snake Oil Salesman", I'm not sure how anyone can trust forking over large sums of money for a "promise".... Not to mention many SEO tactics are so dynamic (and unstable) , here today gone tomorrow...

Great article. Sometimes people think that just lounching a website is enough. Actually just being online means nothing if you cannot be heard and convert. Big companies spend great amounts of money to have ROI (return on investement). So how would anyone expect a return through their online presence if they do not invest some time or money on it? And if they want long term results SEO is the right path, even though social media could create greater but not long lasting and targeted traffic.

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