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It’s no secret that digital marketing can be expensive. Owners of online businesses may have to separately contend with the cost of SEO, social media management, pay per click marketing, recurring web development projects, and so on.

You reduce the collective financial impact of all these services by entrusting them to one trustworthy company that’s capable of doing it all. But that only goes so far. Companies with tight budgets can easily find themselves in a position where they need to deprioritize one web service in favor of others. Many choose to cut out the cost of SEO.

This is a mistake, unless your idea of cutting out the cost of SEO involves taking that aspect of your marketing in-house.

It’s understandable if you have the impulse to sideline search engine optimization tasks. After all, their perceived importance has diminished over the years, as things like social media marketing have become increasingly vital. But that is a short-sighted perception. It stems from the fact that optimization has become a somewhat more natural process – one that involves generating quality content instead of gaming the system with instantly gratifying tricks of the trade.

If you reflect closely on this change, you may find that it shows you how the cost of SEO is more worthwhile than ever. Even if you were ever naïve enough to believe that you could skyrocket to the top of a search results page and wash your hands of SEO after a one-time expenditure, you must have eventually learned that effective optimization services involve constant monitoring of search metrics, audience demographics, and trends in key phrases.

Effective analysis of these data points is essential not only to clawing your way to the top of the results page, but also to staying there. It also puts you on a path to broadening your strategy to include different target audiences and search terms. The current cost of SEO comes from the necessity of long-term attention, with all the associated site revisions and strategy adjustments.

This isn’t to say that you should never aspire to save money on search engine optimization, though. It’s only to say that if you’re going to apportion more of your marketing budget to other services, you’re also going to have to compensate for a lower cost of SEO by increase the amount of your own time you devote to it.

It’s possible to make this change and still achieve success with your digital marketing. There are free tools like Google Analytics which can help you to assess how effective your site is at driving traffic, and how it can be improved. But you have to know how to use these tools. If you start cold, you may find that the learning curve robs you of time and energy so as to more than offset what you’re saving on the cost of SEO.

Still, if you have some experience or you consider yourself a quick study, you may well be able to tighten your budget by doing your own search optimization. It all depends on your assessment of your web services company’s value, and of how your marketing budget can maximize that value by focusing attention on the topics where you most need professional assistance.

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