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Whenever I buy any Internet tool or service that is connected with my online businesses I always ask myself, will this particular good or service bring me enough additional revenue to pay for itself? In the language of marketing this is known as "return on investment? or ROI. It can also be called cost effectiveness.
So what about search engine optimization (SEO)? Will I get a good return on my investment if I purchase these services? Before you can answer this question you have to look at your business model. How much do you earn if you get one or two extra sales that you would have not otherwise gotten?
The answer varies from business to business. If you are selling low priced items then it might take a lot of extra business to pay for the fees of search engine optimization. But in some industries, one or two extra orders will more than pay for the fees of a search engine optimization specialist. In case you are wondering these fees vary and some search engine optimization firms offer low-cost services, while others require a substantial budget. The fees also depend on how many of your website's pages will be optimized.
In any case, if your site is properly optimized you have a fighting chance of being found in the organic, free search engine rankings. A well optimized site will pick up hundreds of extra visitors or if multiplied by several months and even years it can run into the thousands. Suppose just a fraction, say one per cent of these people, buy something from you then, depending on your business, you should easily be able to afford the cost of having the site optimized by a specialist.
The good part of SEO is that it lasts for quite a while. If you are advertising in a pay per click program like Adwords, then as soon as you stop paying, your traffic stops. Optimized sites, that have achieved high rankings, usually stay in prominent positions for many months, and in some cases many years.
It is true that algorithm changes of search engines sometimes result in a website losing its position in the search engine rankings, but this can usually be corrected with tweaking of the site. Just as you have to service your car or other equipment, from time to time your web pages have to be serviced and tweaked. If your site is built on sound principles and offers good content, then it should be able to weather the changes in search engine algorithms.
If your website is an important part of your business plan, then you should take a look at your website's visitor statistics, take a look at your competition and do whatever you can to improve your website so that it achieves higher rankings in search engine queries for your most important keywords and keyword phrases. If this is going to cost you some money to do, then don't worry about it, you will get that money back from the new customers who will find you when your site is more visible in the search engines.