Website marketing is made up various components... it is not an exact science, but roughly if you rank #1 for a specific keyword it's because you overall are ranking high for these factors.
A. On-Page SEO
I. Content (Made up of quality writing)
II. Keyword research (using the right keywords)
III. Correct usage of keywords (interjecting keywords in the right places without overuse).
B. Off-Page SEO
I. PageRank (algorithm which measures your "Trust")
a. Domain Authority - Do other sites point to your site and consider you an authority?
b. Page Authority - Do other sites point to specific pages on your site and consider those pages to hold authority?
2. Website Design and Development
A. Overall Layout and Appearance (structure of the site) - Does it load fast? Right HTML vs text? Does it flow? Are you using pleasing colors? Typography readable? Easily navigated? Content (again). And, finally mobile use (smartphones)?
A. The text, visual, or aural content that is encountered by the website visitor. This may even include images, sounds, videos, and animations. Are they relevant and used properly? Does it add to the user's experience? Is there enough content?
B. How much content? Content should always answer Who, What, When, Where, and Why. Here is an example for a Psychiatrist (which may require up to 80 pages of unique content):
I. Pages on Anxiety, ADHD, Addiction, Autism, Depression, Insomnia, PTSD, Asperger's Syndrome, Adolescent Psychiatry, Adult Psychiatry, Medically Assisted Weight Loss, Alcoholism, Chemical Dependency, Medication Management, Stress, Psychotherapy, Counseling, Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Alzheimer's Disease, Dementia, Social Anxiety, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and more.
II. Pages on each medical provider
III. Team Pages
IV. Insurances/Payments Accepted
V. Page per location
VI. Other services provided
4. Social Media (actively posting to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Youtube, WhatsApp, WeChat, Tumblr, Twitter, Reddit, SnapChat, Pintrest, and more). The first question to ask is "where are you potential clients and current clients?" Each social media platform has an unique target audience.
5. Link Building - Using SEMrush or Ahrefs, look at your competitors, how many sites are linking to them...and how many are linking to you? If they have 5,000 links and you have 50, you have to create good content and get other sites to link to you. The preference is to have sites (within your industry and/or sites that have high domain authority) to link to yours. This is done by blogging, providing content to other sites, providing links back to your site, press releases, and various other forms of "link building". The fastest way to build links correctly is through press releases. However, you will want to make sure you are on industry related sites (look at the psychiatrist, they should be on medical, health, and mental illness association websites).
6. Review Based Services - We are specifically talking about Google Reviews, Yelp Reviews, etc. - If you are actively seeing clients it is imperative you set up review sites correctly and get users to provide positive feedback. Did you know if you rank high in Google Reviews you can actually appear above the #1 rated site in your industry? The google box usually shows the top 3 results "near you" for service providers.
7. Other - Local Search Services, CRO, Web Hosting, Email Marketing, PR, Reputation Management, Video Content Creation
8. Analytics - Actively adjusting all SEO utilizing various tools like SEMrush, Ubbersuggest, Ahrefs, MOZ, etc.
What is it going to cost to rank #1?
1. Webpages - each page is 3-6 hours of time for unique content (and 30 minutes each month thereafter).
2. On-Page SEO - each page is 1 hour of time (and 30 minutes each month thereafter).
3. Website Design - For 1-10 pages 4 hours, 11-25 pages 12 hours, 25+ pages and custom sites it could be days or weeks. There will be constant upkeep and tweaking from this point forward, cumulatively consider an hour for every 5 pages per month.
4. Social Media - Every specific post is about 30 minutes of creation and posting - A specific post may be done on 3 to 15 social media platforms. Some can be done simultaneously, others need to be logged in and done individually.
5. Link Building - High quality links, blogs point back, and industry specific links may take an hour each. Press releases, which is more of shotgun splatter approach may take 4 hours between writing and positing, but create 100-300 links (and cost additional). We try to do 2 to 10 links per total website pages per month (i.e. you have 50 pages, we aim to add 100 to 500 links per month). A site with 50 pages may be 10-40 hours per months of link building.
6. Review Based Services - Per location we spend approximately 5 hours per month adjusting these. We also set up services which may "auto text" your clients after each experience (this may be an additional charge).
7. Other Services - Depending on your needs and your client's level of interaction this may be a couple of hours a month or a full-time job. Each video can take hours (days if we are doing video shoots), email marketing, reputation management, local search services are specific services, which may require a little time or a lot (there is no way to know until after we start).
8. Analytics - For each client we spend a minimum of an 15-30 minutes per day reviewing the Domain, Traffic Analytics, Organic Research, Keywords Gaps, Backlink Gaps, Keyword Overviews, Backlink Analytics, Backlink Audits, Position Tracking, Site Audits, etc. There are constant tweaks done based off of this work. Our goal is to eliminate errors and warnings, increase site health, and continually improve the site so it is on a path to rank #1. For most sites we track 200+ keywords, though we may try to rank for as many as 1000+.
On average, a 50 page website is 250-350 hours of setup, approximately 100 hours/month ongoing.
How much should you spend on SEO?
For marketing in total we go by 5, 10, 15, and 20% of total revenue, generally speaking:
5% = slow or no growth
10% = industry average
15% = top tier of industry
20% = aggressive growth
Where do you get most of your customers from (or want to). We recommend percent of customers you want from "web" + 10%. I.e. if you want 50% of your business from website traffic then spend 60% of your budget here. The reason is websites are more important than you think and bleed over into other areas.
If you generate $1 Million/month in revenue, be committed to spend at least $50-100k per month on marketing.
Marketing Return on Investment (ROI)
Poor Marketing returns less than 6x your spend in "new business"
Average Marketing returns 6-8x your spend in "new business"
Great marketing returns 8x+ your spend in "new business"
...Any marketing takes time to build up. Direct response is fast, but not lasting. Website marketing is slow, but lasts a long time.
Website marketing takes 4-6 months to "break-even", but after 12 months it can generate returns of 10x+. Which, is why it is important to use a combination of different forms of marketing.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a subset of digital marketing. Let's take a 10,000 foot view first:
SEO is one important part of an overall marketing. The average person sees well over 700 marketing messages every day. From a Nike swoosh on a shoe, a billboard, a flier, a tv commercial, a radio ad, a magazine ad, message boards, internet searches, etc. It takes anywhere from 5 to 10+ of these messages to effectuate a sale. This means if you see 5 to 10 of these marketing messages (and they apply to you) - and you are in the market to buy a shoe, you will most likely buy a pair of Nike's.
There are dozens of ways to reach a customer and through the WEB is just one of these ways.