In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become a crucial component for businesses looking to establish a strong online presence. For mid-size B2B industrial companies with annual sales ranging from $10 million to $1 billion, determining the appropriate budget for SEO marketing efforts is a strategic decision that requires careful consideration. In this article, we'll explore key factors that influence the cost of SEO for mid-size industrial companies and provide insights into establishing an effective and budget-conscious SEO strategy.
Understanding the Value of SEO:
SEO is not just about increasing website visibility; it's about connecting with the right audience and converting visitors into customers. A well-executed SEO strategy can lead to higher organic search rankings, increased website traffic, and improved brand visibility within the industry. The long-term benefits of SEO make it a worthy investment for mid-size B2B industrial companies looking to compete in the digital marketplace.
Factors Influencing SEO Costs:
1. Industry Competitiveness:
The level of competition within the B2B industrial sector significantly impacts SEO costs. Highly competitive industries may require more resources to outrank competitors in search engine results. The good news for the B2B mid-size industrial market is that it is not a competitive market. In fact, based on my experience and significant research, most mid-sizes currently have an opportunity to literally own their industrial niches.
2. Keyword Strategy:
Choosing the right keywords relevant to the industry is crucial. High-value keywords may have higher competition and, consequently, higher costs. A comprehensive keyword strategy that balances competitiveness and relevance is essential. If your marketing department is ready to improve your brand visibility using keyword strategy, make sure your marketing folks or your marketing agency knows their way around SEO research tools such as SEMrush.com. Using tools such as SEMrush is critical for effective outcomes.
3. Website Complexity:
This is a big deal. The complexity of the company's website architecture, design, and structure can influence SEO costs. A well-optimized and user-friendly website is more likely to achieve higher search engine rankings.
One thing to keep in mind, which I write about often, is that almost all web designers and many marketing agencies do a great job of building attractive websites. The rub is, they are often not experts in SEO. To build an effective website the web designers must work closely with SEO experts to ensure the architecture is SEO friendly.
4. Content Creation:
Content is king in SEO. Developing high-quality, industry-specific content that resonates with your target audience requires investment in writers, editors, and content strategists. This is a real challenge for most mid-size industrials as they have never had to create high quality content such as ebooks, keyword-specific blog articles, webinars, videos, etc. I highly recommend that you get some help to create a “publishing culture" at your industrial company.
5. Technical SEO:
Addressing technical aspects of SEO, such as website speed, mobile-friendliness, and structured data, is essential for search engine rankings. Investing in technical SEO ensures a solid foundation for other optimization efforts.
It’s not to say that web developers are inherently not good at the technical aspects of SEO marketing. However, many web designers and developers do not possess the necessary technical skills for an effective SEO strategy for many reasons. Make sure your web developer either understands SEO or works collaboratively with SEO professionals.
6. Link Building:
Building a strong backlink profile is crucial for SEO success for many business niches. The cost of acquiring high-quality backlinks from reputable sources can be very expensive. However, in less competitive environments like the mid-size B2B industrial market we can achieve great search engine rankings without an extensive backlink profile.
My experience in the mid-size B2B industrial market tells me to hold off on spending resources for backlinks until you get good at content publishing. Once you achieve 50% brand visibility with your content then monitor your competitors using SEMrush’s Position Tracking tool (or similar). If your competitors are improving their brand visibility compared to yours, then start investing in building reputable backlinks from other industry blogs, industry association websites, etc. If the needle is not moving while watching your competitors’ brand visibility, then I would not waste your resources on backlinks. However, it is always a good idea to improve your backlink profile naturally by asking thought leaders, industry associations, industry authors, etc. to exchange links on each other’s websites.
Establishing a Budget:
1. Define Clear Goals:
Clearly outline the specific goals and objectives of your SEO campaign. Whether it's increasing website traffic, generating leads, or improving online visibility, having well-defined goals will guide your budget allocation.
2. Conduct a Comprehensive Audit:
Prioritize a thorough audit of your current online presence. Identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to develop a roadmap for your SEO strategy.
3. Allocate Resources Wisely:
Consider the factors mentioned earlier to allocate resources where they are most needed. A balanced approach ensures that your budget addresses the diverse needs of your SEO strategy.
4. Evaluate ROI:
Regularly monitor and evaluate the return on investment (ROI) of your SEO efforts. Adjust your budget based on the performance of different strategies to maximize the impact on your business goals.
For mid-size B2B industrial companies with sales ranging from $10 million to $1 billion, investing in SEO is a strategic decision that requires careful planning and allocation of resources. By understanding the key factors influencing SEO costs and adopting a goal-oriented approach, businesses can establish an effective SEO strategy that aligns with their budgetary constraints while reaping the long-term benefits of improved online brand visibility and industry authority.
As I write in my ebook, Do Your Brand & Sales Materials Greet Your Buyer on the 1st Page of Google? industrial marketers must change their expenditure mindset to stay competitive in the world of search. Consider a percentage-of-sales approach for mid-size industrials. Plant on at least 5% of sales to deploy a strategy outline above … more if you produce high quality video versus the stuff you shoot with your iPhone.
Remember, “A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops the clock to save time.” -Henry Ford
Need a little help crafting your B2B marketing strategy? , give me a call or contact me via email.
A passionate marketer attempting to change the way industrial marketers leverage the web as a growth-oriented, lead generation machine. View all posts by Tom Repp