About the Author

Corey Morris

President / CEO

Corey is the owner and President/CEO of Voltage. He has spent 18 years working in strategic and leadership roles focused on growing national and local client brands with award-winning, ROI-generating digital strategies. He's a recent recipient of the KCDMA 2019 Marketer of the Year award.

Budgeting is typically something done at the broader business or marketing level or when considering the expense of hard costs. Those are definitely good things and are justified. However, I have found over the years that SEO is something that has enough complexity that it often will surprise companies with hidden costs or strings attached.

I hate surprise costs and being the messenger of new or added costs during any campaign or activity (and in life in general).

The reason SEO has more challenges than things like paid search, websites, or more predictable marketing and media channels is due to the fact that SEO requires other disciplines to contribute or support it to be successful. Sure, there are some unicorns out there (big respect if you’re one of them) who can devise strategy, implement tactics, manage reporting, write copy, edit UX, configure servers, write code, and do all the ongoing research for SEO.

However, for those of you non-unicorns (like me), to be successful in driving ROI through SEO, you’re going to need resources from people that don’t have “SEO” in their job title. That likely includes stakeholders like those that have approval authority over content, possibly legal/compliance, UX designers, web developers, IT, copywriters, and anyone else who has a stake in content, the website, and the overall marketing plan.

Some organizations are streamlined and can move quickly and have less hoops to jump through. Others can take months just to change one line of code, publish a new sentence, or make any small change.

Regardless of what your constraints are, I don’t want you to get surprised by hidden internal or external resource costs. I learned early in my career that it is never pleasant to have a client secure budget for SEO, sign an agreement to work with me, then find out 3 months into the project that they need a lot more funds to turn around and pay their development company implement SEO tactics (or copywriter create content, or a number of other examples).

Check out my deep dive on this topic at Search Engine Land: How to create and manage an SEO budget.