To do great SEO in today’s online landscape, it is going to cost you two things: time and money. The strategies used to get results from SEO have changed drastically in the past year, leading to an increasingly high cost to do SEO. Let’s look at why SEO is becoming more expensive for companies.

The Steep Competition

The competition in the SEO game is very steep. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in – if you are just now starting SEO for you website, you are way behind in the race. It is certain that you will be competing with websites that have been doing SEO for years. Competitors across all industries have been aggressive and proactive with their SEO campaigns. In order to catch up to your competitors, you will have to have a better strategy and an aggressive budget to compensate for the time lost.

Doing a full competitor audit is the best way to see what your competitors are doing online and identify weaknesses in their strategy. In most cases, there is a weak point in a strategy that you can leverage against. The key is to do your research and know the SEO landscape before entering.  If you are thinking, “Maybe I shouldn’t do SEO at all if I don’t have a big budget,” keep in mind that anything is better than nothing. The longer you wait to do some kind of SEO, the further behind you will be.

Having a Good Strategy (and Patience)

Google’s complex algorithms have made SEO increasingly difficult. To be successful at SEO today, you have to know the difference between good and bad SEO. Good SEO requires time and patience to reach your goals. The most time consuming part of SEO is writing good content and making sure it reaches the right audience online.

Writing a great blog post for your website is only the first step in the process. Next, you have to make sure that you are sharing, tweeting and posting your blog to gain momentum. With a decent amount of effort, great content can give your website natural and relevant backlinks that will affect your SEO campaign immensely.

Look at the big picture and know that you are not going to see results overnight. Set modest and realistic goals for your rankings and track search traffic benchmarks. Always be proactive with your SEO campaign and plan ahead for algorithm updates and changes in best practices. Being up-to-date on SEO best practices will keep you aware of when you need to shift your strategy. Being educated will save you the time it takes to play catch-up when changes are made.

No Cutting Corners

You may think it is easier to invest less money into a cheap black hat SEO company rather than hiring a good company to write content and find valuable links for you. Cutting these kinds of corners will give your website short-term gains, but in the long run, you are only hurting yourself. Google can detect spikes in links or link farms, especially from websites that are somewhat questionable. Repairing the inevitable damage of doing black hat SEO will be far more expensive than investing your money into a company that will provide your website with valuable and quality content to begin with.