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Brendan Egan

Comparing Advertising Costs : Why SEO Delivers The Best ROI

>Advertising. It’s everywhere — from billboards to digital screens to TV ads to those annoying little pop-ups when you’re just trying to use an app on your smartphone.  I’ve heard numbers that the average person is exposed to over 5,000 advertisements per day!

One of the things I always say is that SEO is one of the most cost effective advertising means, especially for small to medium sized businesses.  Through this article we’re going to examine more about why SEO truly is the best and what other forms are out there to consider.

First off let me start by saying that while many of you are thinking “Sure this guy recommends SEO because he offers SEO” that truly isn’t the case.  I got started in SEO as a small business owner at another business because after experimenting with advertising for years I decided SEO was the most cost effective, but I couldn’t find a high quality SEO provider at an affordable cost.  Long story short here we are today providing high quality SEO services for affordable prices to help out small businesses.

Advertising Comparison:

Television Ad: A TV ad is great for large corporations, but a little on the expensive side.  To purchase a few 30 second commercials in a national market, you’re looking at anywhere from $100,000 up to $1,000,000!  And it doesn’t get much better in a local market as you’re looking at anywhere from $10,000 up to $50,000.  The worst part is you have no targeting — you’re going to be targeting a large group of general consumers who might not be your target market.

Radio Ad: A 60 second radio slot is going to cost you a small chunk of change as well, but is comparable to SEO in that it costs between $500 and $2,000. The reaction numbers can be pretty good if you find a good, targeted radio station, but you are limited in who you can target.  Let’s face it, there’s not that many people that listen to the radio anymore these days, especially the targeted radio stations.

Magazines: Magazines are great and are PACKED with ads (something I never understood is how companies sell magazines that have more ads than content but that’s another story).  The cost for a national magazine is about about $75 per 1,000 magazines and for a local magazine you’re looking at roughly $150 per 1,000 magazines. The response rates in these types of ads are very low and while you certainly can target a market based on the magazine type you usually won’t see the ROI you’re looking for.

Direct Mail: Anywhere from $75 to $200 per 100 pieces of mail.  Direct mail has a super low response rate as most people never look at solicitations or junk mail as we call it.

Telemarketing: Cold calling and telemarketing have decent response rates if you find a good caller, but they also annoy many consumers.  There’s no way to estimate the telemarketing costs as it varies widely by industry but the main drawback is annoying people with your calls and fighting with new telemarketing legislations.

SEO: We saved the best for last– search engine optimization.  The cost is anywhere from $3,500 up to $50,000 per year depending on your competition, but for most small businesses you’ll be right around the $4,000 to $8,000 price point.  The ROI you see is the big story here.  With SEO we’re targeting keywords that people are searching for when they’re ready to buy your product or service.  These people then generally become regular customers as long as you deliver on what you promise.  An ROI on an SEO campaign can be higher than 500% in some cases.

While this isn’t a fool proof, comprehensive guide to marketing for small businesses it certainly gives a great starting point and outlines the main pros/cons and costs of advertising forms.  I truly stand behind SEO because I have seen it work for my businesses and I have seen it work for dozens of our client’s businesses as well.