What is the true value of SEO (search engine optimization)? The answer to that question is contingent on the results that the SEO consultant can produce for the customer and the resulting return on investment for their company.
For example, if a top-tier SEO consultant devised a search marketing strategy that revealed the most profitable keywords, identified the top competitors, and revealed a content creation and inbound link-building strategy that propelled the company to the top of the search results and kept them there, it might be worth the investment.
It depends on the competitiveness of the market. This, in turn, is determined by the value of the finished product for sale. Promotional budgets can be increased for products with a higher overall market value based on total achievable sales.
To demonstrate what I mean, consider a high-value niche such as the health market.
People need to be healthy in order to survive on this planet, so it’s no surprise that health as a niche has a lot of appeal.
Let’s say that being on the first page of Google for “best weight loss diet” was worth £350,000 in gross sales to the company that was number one, number two, or number three. I’m familiar with this market, and these figures are fairly accurate for an information product of this type.
If a newcomer to the market wanted to take on that first company and was given a search marketing plan that allowed them to do so over the next 12 months, the £4,000 for the SEO consultant’s hour would be well worth it.
Naturally, there are other factors to consider in order to ensure success, such as the quality of the product’s website and, of course, the product itself. If either of these is out of step with what the market truly wants, no amount of SEO will be able to change that.
Let’s look at another question about the value of an SEO consultant. How can one charge £4,000 per hour when another only charges £20 per hour if all SEO consultants do the same things? The answer lies in the consultant’s ability to sell his value proposition.
If the customer understands the value being delivered, there is nothing stopping an SEO consultant from selling their services at the highest level. There appears to be a lot of misinformation out there about SEO, which leads to a lot of misunderstanding about what SEO is and how to do it effectively. As a result, various business managers believe different things and have different perspectives on how much should be paid to get the best. It’s all a matter of perception, I suppose.
The same is true in other areas of business. What, for instance, makes one CEO of a company worth £5 million per year while another is only worth £500,000? It’s the same phenomenon that drives up pricing in all marketplaces. The buyer’s perception of value, or what they believe they are getting for the money they are paying.
The fact is that the half-million-dollar CEO could probably do the same, if not better, job as the CEO on ten times the salary, but he isn’t recognised for it by his employer, so he takes home the smaller pay package.
Is he merely a tenth of the CEO’s £5 million salary? No way, because he is still in charge and can lead the company to higher profits, but he isn’t being recognised for it.
Last but not least, if seo can be performed by anyone, should we hire just anyone to do this work? The truth is that anyone with a reasonable level of intelligence, a desire to learn, and about 1,000 hours to spare can successfully navigate the SEO waters and work as an SEO consultant. The inner circle protectors’ disinformation is the reason it takes so long to figure out what to do.
This is what one guy will tell you, and that is what another guy will tell you. Who are you going to believe? Who is telling the truth, and are there any secrets they are hiding? These questions can take a long time to find out the answers to, and you can only learn the ins and outs via trial and error.
This is my estimate of how long it took me to learn what I know about getting web pages to appear in the top ten search engine results. When it comes to knowing what to do and what not to do in order to rank high, there are numerous pitfalls and dead ends to avoid.
I suppose it’s like every other piece of specialised knowledge: pay peanuts and get monkeys. People who charge £20 per hour feel they are only worth that much, and as a result, their views restrict the value they can provide to their consumers. On the other hand, the guys and ladies who feel that their tens of thousands of hours invested and outstanding outcomes place them at the top of the food chain charge appropriately and receive greater pack checks.
The true value of a high-priced SEO is their ability to be creative in approaching a target audience in order to engage them and draw them into the sales funnel, which is at the heart of all successful marketing. And, I may add, it’s about more than just creating back links. Because of their belief in themselves and their creative sales approach, the best SEO consultants stand out from the crowd. Great SEO consultants typically have backgrounds in advertising and marketing, giving them an advantage over their competitors.
So, to answer the question, all we have to do now is look at the numbers to see if the £4,000 per hour was worthwhile.