As we welcome 2013, many are not just making resolutions to lose excess weight; they are also contemplating how to reduce excess spending.  As a business owner, cutting costs without cutting the ‘necessities’ while still leaving room in the budget for ways to increase revenue can be a real challenge.  Subsequently, it is no surprise that over 90% of businesses utilize some type of Internet presence, either through localized optimization or social media; to gain leads, increase their customer base or simply just get their name out there.

“It takes a lot of money to make money.”

SEO = ROIYes and no.  Yes, it does take money and no, it doesn’t have to take A LOT of money.  Knowing exactly what you want from your Internet marketing and knowing how you want it to work for you is vital to choosing how you would like to spend your marketing budget.  Companies that have around 1,000+ employees typically hire between 18-24 people, each with a specific skill set in one of the following:

  • Content Writing
  • Web Development/Design
  • Marketing
  • Paid Search Marketing
  • Social Media Strategist
  • Social Media Management

Let’s just say that your small business would like to have one of each of these people in your marketing department.  To give you an idea of how much it would cost to have all of these people work for you; if you are in or near a major metropolitan city, the average yearly salary for a Social Media Manager is approximately $73,000 – 116,000 per year.  When you add web design and development, paid search and a content writer to the mix, expect to add around $475,000 or more to your payroll.  That also does not include additional computers, software, and continued training your staff will need to stay ahead of the game.

“It will be cheaper if I do it myself, than to hire a SEO firm.”

Will you also perform your own surgery as well?  Definitely not, that’s why we pay surgeons.  With all of the videos, blogs, white papers and knowledge out there on the web, it just seems easier to take your business’ marketing into your own hands.  You already know your brand; you already know how to use Google, Twitter and Facebook, as well as write a blog post.  As true as this may be for many business owners, you will need to ask yourself, “Do I have the time? Do I really know what I’m doing?”

Sure a tweet there and a blog here will not take that much time to do; but when your competition is knocking out 3 tweets a day, a blog post daily and shared a link on their Facebook to a newly posted YouTube video, you merely just started a race that the competition just finished.

The average cost of a month of an effective SEO strategy that includes social media options is anywhere between $2,200 and $5,000 per month; the cost of having just one salaried employee.  An easier number to swallow compared to the $475,000+ payroll addition per year for 6 employees.  Many SEO firms today have gained a credibility that many traditional marketing firms can’t even match.  A majority of SEO firms can provide Social Media, Paid Search and Web Design all under one roof which is especially important when executing your brand across the Web.  Having everyone working together, maintaining consistency and communication across all channels is what makes a campaign successful. The power and efforts of a dedicated team for the cost of one may be one employee will help to take your business further without going into debt is likely to be one of your brand’s best business decisions in the new year.