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Investing in SEO: Where to Spend and Why It Matters

In the world of digital marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO) is crucial for enhancing online visibility and driving organic traffic to your website. A study carried out by Search Engine Land found “More than 25% of people will click on the first Google result” meaning it’s never been more important to be position number one in the SERP. However, navigating SEO can be daunting, especially when allocating your budget effectively.

Why is SEO important? 

SEO is essential if you’re looking to lift your rankings on Google and improve your visibility, ensuring you’re in front of potential customers at every opportunity. According to Ahrefs, ‘96.55% of content gets no traffic from Google’, which means it’s vital to be part of the 3.45% that does get traffic. There’s no quick hack to appearing in organic top positions in relevant search results pages. It takes keyword research, investigations, tech fixes, on-page optimisations and quality, relevant content. There are so many factors to consider, places to start, and areas to invest your budget, it can be overwhelming. 

So where do you start with SEO? Where do you allocate your SEO budget? Which SEO areas should you prioritise? And how do you create an effective, impactful SEO strategy? Let’s start with the cost of SEO.

How Much Does SEO Cost?

The cost of SEO for your business can vary massively based on several factors, such as the size of the business, the current condition of your SEO strategy (if you have one) and your goals, priorities and forecasts as a whole. Before blindly dishing out your budget, it’s essential to understand the various costs associated with SEO. Here are some things to consider before building your SEO strategy: 

  • SEO Employee Salaries or The Cost of Agency Fees

Whether you hire an in-house team or enlist the help of an agency, there’s a cost attached to content creation, on-page optimisations, and technical SEO. This expense typically encompasses content writers and SEO specialists. Though this may sound expensive, in a poll carried out by (Search Engine Land) “49% of respondents…agree that organic search has the best ROI out of all the other marketing channels”.

  • Software and SEO Tools

Knowing which SEO tools to use can make or break your SEO efforts, and is the difference between knowing and presuming. These may include keyword research tools, analytics platforms and site auditing, all of which will give you the vital information needed to help craft your SEO strategy.

  • How Long Does SEO Take? 

Higher organic SERP (Search Engine Results Page) appearances often result in substantial long-term traffic growth, however, it’s crucial to factor in the time it takes to see tangible results. SEO may not work as fast as other techniques, such as PPC, but if you invest time and effort into ensuring your site is climbing the SERPs, you will reap the benefits long-term. 

  • The Cost of Not Doing SEO

Overlooking SEO isn’t just a missed opportunity; it’s the difference between potential customers choosing you or your competitors.

“The first five organic results on search account for 69.1% of all clicks” (Up Inc)

 The cost of neglecting SEO translates into lost visibility, decreased brand awareness, and therefore a loss in revenue. 

  • The Cost of Doing SEO Badly 

Half-hearted attempts at SEO can be more detrimental than not doing it at all. From keyword stuffing to black hat techniques, the repercussions of spammy SEO practices include penalties from search engines and plummeting rankings. Both of these can be extremely difficult, and time-consuming, to recover from. 

Key Areas To Focus Your SEO Budget 

Now that we’ve laid out the groundwork, let’s delve into the strategy behind segmenting your SEO budget:

Invest in High-Quality, Relevant Content: 

Allocating a significant section of your budget to quality content means you can use skilled content writers. Ensuring you can create engaging, informative, strategic content that resonates with your target audience. This can be achieved by hiring in-house copywriters or utilising agencies/freelance copywriters to outsource the content creation.

Prioritise Technical SEO

A technically optimised website is the foundation of a successful SEO strategy. Allocate resources towards ensuring technical aspects such as site speed, crawlability, and indexability are optimised to enhance user experience and SERP appearances. 

“A mere two-second delay for a website’s load time can increase bounce rate by as much as 103%” (Akamai) 

Google will favour sites with fewer 404’s and redirects, and more fast-loading, optimised, relevant pages. 

Digital PR

Authoritative backlinks remain a vital ranking factor in search algorithms. Dedicate resources towards acquiring high-quality backlinks from reputable websites within your industry. This may involve outreach efforts, content collaborations, or, in most cases, Digital PR. 

Budget for Continuous Optimisation

SEO is a dynamic field that requires constant monitoring. Allocate a section of your spend for on-page optimisations, keyword research, content updates, performance tracking, and technical issues as they arise. Things can change fast in the world of SEO, from Google Updates to functionality changes across your site, and so it’s crucial to stay on top of your SEO efforts. 

Invest in Education and Training

Equip your team with the knowledge and skills necessary to stay ahead in the ever-changing world of SEO. Allocate a portion of your budget towards training programs, workshops, and certifications to gain expertise within your business.


There’s no way of knowing exactly how much money each business needs to allocate to their SEO strategy. Still, there are priority areas to focus your efforts, and key areas to allocate more budget to than others. In the world of SEO, you’ll often hear the phrase ‘it depends’ and the answer here is much the same. Where are you now? Where do you want to get to? Are you new to SEO or have you previously invested in an SEO strategy? The answers to these questions will likely give you a starting point when investigating where you should prioritise your budget, and a strategy can be built from here. 

Whether you’re brand new to SEO, or have a stable, well-ranking site, it’s important to ensure you have a strategy in place, and an effective, realistic budget is crucial when looking to acquire or maintain higher positions in search engine results. The increased visibility that a successful SEO strategy achieves will undoubtedly lead to greater traffic and potential conversions for your website. 

Are you a growth-minded business, and eager to improve digital performance and ROI? We are happy to have a no-obligation initial conversation, evaluate your current situation and measure how our capabilities match your growth plans.

Author: Megan Jones, SEO Executive, Door4

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