The Hidden Costs of SEO - Part 1: Implementation Costs

Friday, 30 January 2009

Search Engine Optimization is with no doubt one of the most, if not the most, cost effective way of attracting qualified traffic and generating sales to your website. Basically once you have optimized your website and you rank high in the SERPS, you get free traffic. Obviously it makes sense to every website owners, who have made SEO a strong priority.

As most of the SEO costs occurs at the beginning, many website owners consider SEO as a one-off cost or investment rather than an on-going cost (like SEM). However they do not realise some of the underlying costs associated with SEO. In some cases, these costs can be high and therefore need to be understood if you want to measure the real value of SEO

A standard SEO proposal usually includes a keyword research, a review of the website and some recommendations on how to optimize the website for the selected keywords. Once your agency or consultant has performed these activities, he sends you the documentation for your developer to implement.
Now, that is when the cost of your SEO project can hit the roof. For example, your SEO specialist might have recommended some changes that will require a lot of development work, or will simply take time. If your developer is pricey, the implementation of your SEO recommendations can be more expensive than the SEO work itself.

Not long ago at a party I met a website owner, who hired a SEO consultant. The SEO guy who did his job providing recommendations. When that person sent the document to his developer, it came back with a long and expensive quote, which more than doubled the initial cost.
I had a look at the SEO proposal. While it was good, it was not customized to the website CMS and therefore required new modules to be developed. After having a chat with the developer, we found an alternative way to achieve the same results without having to develop anything. Our collaboration reduced significantly the cost of implementation.

The implementation will generate additional costs unless you do the work yourself. However there are always way to minimise these costs. It is important to make sure that your SEO consultant understand that and work with your developer to understand how the website work and how to make the most of it without spending huge amount on development.
As a tips, I would advise to give your developer's details to your SEO consultant and encourage them to work together. This will facilitate the implementation as well as save you money.

Online Advertising Spending for 2009

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

The economic down-turn is likely to have an impact on the advertising spending in 2009. While online advertising is not as affected as its offline counterpart (probably because online advertising is more transparent and accountable than other offline advertising channels), the online advertising spending will slow down compared to 2007 and 2008.

According to eMarketer, the online advertising willgrow by 8.9% in 2009, which is the lowest growth rate ever. OMD has a more optimistic vision with a prediction of 17.4% for 2009.

Looking at the distribution of online advertising spending, it appears that each online channel will be impacted differently.
Search Marketing (SEO + SEM) for example, seems to be more resistant than other channel with an estimated growth of 14.9% for 2009. Videos Ads are likely to be the winner in 2009 with an estimated increase in spending of 45% compared to 2008.
Display adverstising is predicted to grow by 6.6%. However, classified advertising is likely to take a strong hit with a decrease in spending by 5.8%.

It is important to mention that the estimates above are US-based and are therefore likely to be different for the Australian industry.

SEO Jobs January 2009

Monday, 12 January 2009

With the new year starting, it is time for new resolutions. If a new job is one of them, you are lucky because there quite a lot of interesting offers whether you are looking for senior or junior roles.
Just a reminder, for those applying from overseas remember that most of the time, you will need a valid visa to work in Australia.

- SEO Consultant, Sydney: Working for NineMSN, one of the biggest online player in Australia. The position requires 3-5 years experience with search. This role sounds like an amazing opportunity to build your experience and your resume. Learn More

- Senior SEO Specialist, Sydney: Great opportunity to work from home. The role requires 3 years of SEO experience. Great Salary Package $80,000 to $100,000. Learn More

- Junior SEO Specialist/Internet Marketing: Agency role based in Sydney, Only 3 Months of SEO experience required. Interesting salary package $45,000 to $50,000 + Super. Learn More

- E-Marketing Manager, Sydney: In-House role, working for Macquarie Bank. Contract work for 12 to 14 months. Online expertise and good knowledge of financial services required. Great opportunity. Learn more

- Head of Search, Melbourne: Managing the search department of an exciting digital agency. Negociable Remuneration Package. Learn more

New Year , New Look and a Page Rank Update

Monday, 5 January 2009

First of all happy new year to everyone and all the best in your professional and personal activities!

2008 has been a great year for the SEO industry in Australia as well as for SEO Sydney Blog. Our readership has increased quite significantly so thanks to all loyal readers for your support.
As you may have noticed, I have redesigned the blog using a more contemporary template with improved functionalities and more web 2.0-ish features. The tag cloud should help you navigate our blog and access the information you want quicker. I have also added more bookmarking and social media features so that you can share valuable information with your communities.

From a SEO point of view, the new year has started with a PageRank update from Google on the 31st of December (confirmed by Matt Cutts). While SEO Sydney Blog did not see any change, I hope your website or blog has seen an increase! If not be patient and keep on building relevant links as the next update should occur sometime in March/April