Money

How To Invest The Right Amount In SEO

Bill Faeth
Posted on February 13, 2018
(photo: pexels)
(photo: pexels)

FEB. LCT: Most limousine companies default to investing into search engine optimization (SEO), but is it the right decision for everyone?

I say NO to that question. It’s not for everyone.

There are some questions you need to answer before you invest in SEO. Answer them honestly so you don’t get screwed like I did in 2007 when I started learning SEO. My mistake cost me $9,000. I don’t want this to happen to you.

What City Are You Operating In?
This is the first question I ask when someone asks me about SEO because each city varies in keyword search volume, costs, and competition. New York is the most competitive SEO market in our industry, yet many limousine companies invest in the SEO fight without a big enough budget. You will never gain traction unless you are targeting keywords your competitors are not (more on this later).

Since most of you are using SEO for local client acquisition, you should start by conducting some keyword research in your Google Adwords tool or an SEO software like SEMRush to see the DIFFICULTY score, COST PER CLICK, and your current ranking position before you invest one dollar into search engine optimization. This will help you understand the budget you will need to be effective within six months.

What Is My Budget?
Whatever city you are based in, you need to understand SEO doesn’t happen overnight, and once you hit the first page of Google you must keep performing SEO to stay there. This means once you start using SEO and you begin achieving your desired results, you will need to continue to invest every month to maintain your position.

So, if you’re spending $1,000/month on SEO the first month, you will need to continue to spend a $1,000/month after you reach your desired result — which may take anywhere from five to 12 months or even longer.

If you are in a competitive market and rank on page five for “your city” executive car service, you should expect at least six months to get to the first page. At $1,000 per month, you must make a $6,000 investment and wait six months to get to page one, not Position #1, but most likely just the first page. Now, remember, 62% of all clicks go to the Top 3 results, so you still have a long way to go to capture most of the “click share” for this keyword phrase.

Does Your Website Convert?
This is a biggie. If your website content doesn’t convert visitors to leads or customers, then what is the point of investing in SEO to drive traffic to your website?

Most limousine companies need to invest in upgrading their websitse before they start spending hundreds or thousands of dollars every month on SEO or you are just flushing your marketing dollars down the drain.

This all starts with deep, rich, and valuable content that actually benefits your website visitors and doesn’t just sell them your service. It needs to be unique, informative, and targeted to the keyword phrases you are trying for the specific page of your site.

All too many business owners and low level CEOs try to send all of the traffic via SEO to the homepage of the website. You should think about each page as its own unique website and optimize each and every page on its own. This way your “weddings” page will rank for wedding search terms.

If your website isn’t converting visitors to leads or booking online reservations, then you need to update your website before spending big bucks on SEO. if you’re not generating at least 1,000 visitors/month, then use Google Adwords or Facebook Ads to drive some quick traffic to your conversion pages to test them.

SEO Takes A Long Time
If you hire an SEO manager or consultant who claims to get you to the first page of Google in less than 90 days, then you risk “Black Hat” tactics which could result in a penalty from Google. You don’t want a penalty as it’s time consuming and expensive to recover from.

With SEO, you need to be patient and understand you are in it for the long haul. Be prepared to invest every month with a trusted SEO partner.

Is SEO Right For Me?
Investing in SEO can be valuable for your company, but make sure you’re ready. Your website should be set up to convert the traffic you will be paying for, or your investment is pointless. You must be committed financially for the long term and have enough of a budget to compete within your local market.

If you can check these items off your list, then you must conquer the biggest task: Finding a reputable SEO partner to do the work for you, or you’ll need to learn how to implement it on your own. Most of you will decide to pay someone to execute it for you. If you go down this path, I highly recommend you use the industry Facebook Groups to get recommendations from peers who have had success with someone knowledgeable about our industry and with a proven track record driving results for luxury transportation companies.

If you haven’t gone through all of the above steps, then you’re probably not ready. That’s okay. Save your allocated budget for a few months to build a marketing nest egg, get your assets ready, and then start on your own terms or use a more affordable method that drives faster results such as Google Adwords or Facebook ads to help build more investable income for SEO.

Related: Bill Faeth Profit Motives columns here

Related: Bill Faeth Blog posts here

Bill Faeth is the founder of Limo University (www.LimoGrowth.com), Inbound Marketing Agents (www.inboundmarketingagents.com), and 23 additional startups, including Silver Oak Transportation of Nashville, Tenn. As a successful former operator and active advocate for the industry, Bill continues to invest in educating and training operators on how to grow, manage, and sustain a more profitable business. You can reach Bill at [email protected]

Related Topics: Bill Faeth, How To, innovative marketing, Profit Motives, SEO, social media marketing, web marketing

Comments ( 1 )
  • Anthony

     | about 4 months ago

    I am not a fan of SEO, we dont want retail customers. You are simply flooding your company with random people calling for PRICE... i dont compete with cheap operators

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