How to make it less expensive?
Based on my observations, there are these 4 key elements to increased difficulty – here they are together with some suggestions of what can make it less expensive.
1. Increased competition
As more businesses learn about how SEO can help them, their SEO strategies are getting more and more competitive.
This causes the overall competition for ranking to increase, making it harder for any individual business to rank high.
Well, there is no solution to competition, BUT you can definitely try positioning yourself better.
Niching down is just one example of getting into a less-competitive area.
2. Changes in Search Engine Algorithms
Search engine algorithms are constantly changing, and SEO techniques that worked well in the past may not necessarily work as well today. This means that SEO experts have to constantly look at their strategies and change them to stay competitive.
This also means that the constant changes may mean some shifts in strategy, which in and of itself generate costs.
Lastly, the algorithm changes mean search engines are getting smarter. This means they are less forgiving of “SEO shortcuts” that so many specialists were accustomed to. Less shortcuts = higher price.
Firstly, build your SEO strategy aligned with the search engine requirements from the beginning.
Hire SEO consultant AT THE DESIGN STAGE of your (new) website.
Really, can’t stress this enough, yet, this is so often omitted!
With SEO involvement at the early stage of the website’s lifecycle, you might be adding a few bucks to it now, but it WILL pay back many times over in the long run.
Done right, you should be better equipped for the coming updates.
And when the update comes, gather data and apply an incremental Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDCA/PDSA) approach.
3. Changing User behaviour and Intent
As the users become more sophisticated and aware of SEO, they are more likely to search for more specific terms, making it harder for websites to rank for generic terms.
This morphs into changes in behaviour, expectations and the user intent behind searches.
On top of this, you have changing trends, like Bing search engine building in ChatGPT in the SERPs.
As I mentioned earlier – changes make things more difficult and expensive.
There are 2 approaches to changing user behavious and intent:
- Reactive – this one is easy. Just react to anything that happens.
It works well, because you are working with the known.
- Proactive – this is a bit more complex as it’s hard to predict and prepare for a change in user behaviour.
You can do it by preparing your content for additional risk factors you identified while drafting the brief.
Additionally, observe trends so try predicting the change.
4. The increasing importance of social media
As the user behaviour is changing, users more often turn to social media as their preferred way to learn about things.
This became more pronounced last year, I think, with the outpour of young people stating that they go straight to Reddit, TikTok or Instagram to look for answers.
This is, obviously, limiting the search volume and taking the traffic away from both search engines and your websites.
SEO should just be one component of your digital marketing strategy. Here are some others: social media, influencers, content marketing, press, TV, research papers, PPC, email marketing, videos, webinasr, reputation management, etc.
Not all of them are applicable (or effective) for all businesses, but at the very least, social media should be part of most strategies.