There’s a nice honest post by Matt McGee, a search engine marketing consultant in the USA, on his Small Business SEO blog, which discusses the cost of getting search engine optimisation work done on your website. In Small Business SEO: Costs, Expectations & Realities, he addresses the strange situation whereby businesses seem to think they can get someone to “sort out their website” for a couple of hundred pounds a month.
Now, you know and I know that a consultant in any type of business is going to charge three figures an hour. I’m sure that if you do contract work for your customers, you do too, so you know the economics, and sometimes even several hundred pounds an hour might not be unreasonable. So in reality, if you ask someone to help out on your website, and you’ve only got a couple of hundred pounds a month to pay them with, you’re going to get half a morning’s work at best. This is the real world – nobody’s going to give you more time than that – and yet many businesses conveniently put that out of their mind when talking to internet consutlants, somehow convincing themselves that the economics are different, and even for a small monthly fee, they’ll have someone toiling away past midnight for weeks on end on their behalf.
Here’s the news. It isn’t going to happen. There are people who will take small amounts off you each month and convince you they’re doing something magical with it, but even in these straitened times, they won’t be. If you seriously wanted me to help get your website up the Google charts and advise you on getting more of your visitors to convert into customers, I’d want to spend at least a few days on the job, and if you think I can work for a few days for two hundred pounds, my wife’s credit card bill would suggest otherwise.
And yet, many small businesses can barely find a thousand pounds a year to develop their website. You could give that to a consultant and hope they can come up with enough advice to see you through the year with just a couple of days’ work. Bear in mind they’ll need most of that time just to get to know your business and your market. Or you could get the job done by the people who know your business best – you!
This is stuff you really can learn by reading an article barely any longer than this each week. I’ve written 52 weeks’ worth of what we call our “Practical Steps” sheets, and if you read each one when I send it through on Friday mornings, I guarantee within a year you’ll know more about online marketing than 95% of business marketing managers in the UK. And because the ideas come through in a steady, manageable manner, you’ll be able to act on them.
We call this the “Insider Programme”, and it costs just £100 a month. What’s more, as part of the Programme we’ll monitor your website’s performance in Google and email through weekly reports, and we’ll put you in our company directory, which is already providing valuable links to many of our subscribers. There’s no commitment past the first month either.
At this point, if your company needs to have a much more effective website, you can do one of two things. You can pick up the phone, call Tony here on 01462 489060, and ask to start with Week 1 of my “Insider Programme” on 1 August. Or you can carry on hoping that one day you’ll be introduced to a consultant who’ll work for £10 an hour.
Over to you.