Since the mid-1990s, website owners and webmasters the world over have been active in the process called "search engine optimisation" (SEO). This is the cataloguing of websites on the early search engines at the time and it was as simple as sending a search engine your web address. In 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin launched Google and added the use of off-page factors (quantity and quality of webpage links) in search engine rankings. Since then, search engine optimisation has become much more complicated and challenging.
SEO has become such a major offshoot of web development that it has become a separate discipline apart from the original web master role. These days, if you have a website, it is a given that SEO should be conducted. Otherwise, your website's chances of getting significant traffic (and business leads) may fall somewhere between zero to nil.
According to research, SEO is the 3rd largest contributor of leads generated, following word-of-mouth/referrals and social media:
Clearly, not investing in SEO for your business is a huge missed opportunity for your company.
What are your SEO options?
If you were to invest in SEO, the following would be your options:
- Hire an agency
Agencies normally have two pricing methods: monthly retainer and project-based. These two pricing methods cater to two different markets. Monthly retainers are best in high competition markets, where competitors never stop trying to climb search engine rankings. On the other hand, project-based billing is best for niche markets with little competition, where clients would simply like to give SEO a try. However, SEO is a continuing activity, so project-based billing eventually becomes a monthly retainer.
In Australia, monthly retainer fees for agencies range from $800 to $4000 per month, amounting to $9,600 to $48,000 per year.
- In-house specialist
Many companies hire one when they feel full-time attention and control to their SEO is necessary. Adjustments can be made on the fly, without having to schedule a discussion with an agency. This option is also appealing to companies who are willing to innovate and take the road less traveled. Companies who like to keep their cards close to their chest and won't like to disclose their secrets also prefer this.
The average annual pay of an SEO specialist in Australia would range from $80,000 to $110,000 per year.
- Offshore hiring
Hiring off-shore specialists presents the benefits of an in-house specialist (control, flexibility) while having significant savings on costs. Talent-wise, off-shore workers have been comparable to local Australian talent (watch this client testimonial here). According to our salary data, an offshore specialist has an average cost of $18,600 per year.
With that amount of savings available, you can build a full-time in-house team with three off-shore specialists and cost about as much as a retained agency. This is a good option for aggressive companies who are willing to try out-of-the-box solutions.
It should be worth noting that SEO is not a cut-and-dried activity with overnight results. Search engine optimisation takes time, with at least six months needed to have any impact. The right mix of talent, strategy and teamwork will be the biggest factors in your SEO success.
E-mail us at [email protected] to know more about our services and how to fully utilise offshore staffing.