April 29, 2011 - In the past few of years SEO experts in Costa Rica and around the world have been hitting their head against the wall as Google keeps changing their search algorithm on an almost daily level in order to give people better search results.

SEO Marketing TodayThe frustration is not so much limited to SEO expert trying to make something happen but also affects their customers because the customer may have paid thousands of dollars to get their website ranked in the first position of their chosen target keyword but are still not getting the number of visitors that Google says they should be getting according to the Google Adwords search tool.

 

The reason behind this is because all of the main search engines are now doing search results on a local level. This means that even though the global number of searches for a keyword that gets, for example 450,000 searches per month, could only get one tenth of the total global searches from a within a specific country.

For example, an SEO client who ranks number 3 in the SERP (Search Engine Result Page) is expecting to get 15% of the people searching for that keyword to go to his website. The truth however is that he will never get that 15% because his website may not rank #3 in every country in the world.

This is happening because whenever someone types www.google.com in their browser, unless the person has defined the setting specifically, the user will end up on the Google page that is made for their country such as Google.co.cr for Costa Rica, Google.co.uk for people in the UK, Google.com for people in the U.S. and so on.

The default can be changed but the results will still changes somewhat and let’s be honest, most people do not bother changing the default to show results from a different country.

Local SEO Searches

Local SEO SearchesHere is an example of what I am talking about, we will focus on SEO Costa Rica where you have company A which is a real estate company based out of Costa Rica that and relies on foreign customers from English speaking countries. This particular company is targeting the keyword, “Costa Rica Real Estate”.

Now, such a company will face many challenges to start with because the national language of Costa Rica is Spanish meaning that the majority of locals will not be doing a search for that keyword but instead will search for something like “bienes raices costa rica”.

On a global level, the keyword, “Costa Rica Real Estate” gets 60,000 searches per month but if you break it down by country here are the results:

Top 5 results from the UK:

  1. Propertiesincostarica.com
  2. Troposphere.com
  3. Karenrealestate.com
  4. Costaricarealtyone.com
  5. Remax-oceansurf-cr.com

Top 5 results from Costa Rica:

  1. propertiesincostarica.com
  2. costaricarealtyone.com
  3. costaricarealestate.com
  4. metrocuadrado.com
  5. karenrealestate.com

Top 5 Results from Georgia, US

  1. remax-oceansurf-cr.com
  2. intertica.com
  3. propertiesincostarica.com
  4. propertiesincostarica/beach.html
  5. vivium.com/real_estate/costa_rica

Top 5 Results Montreal, Canada

  1. costaricarealestateservices.com
  2. propertiesincostarica.com
  3. remax-oceansurf-cr.com
  4. homes.point2.com
  5. costarica1realestate.com

As you can see, If you are on the first page, most of the time the results will not be too drastic where half of the time you are not kicked out of the first page but as we all know, there is a huge difference in traffic when we are talking about going from the first position to the second position.

After looking at these results, it is easy to conclude that if you owned a real estate Costa Rica company and wanted to get maximum quality traffic you would have to make certain choices based on your SEO budget as well as which country you want to receive the traffic from.

Price of SEO Marketing

Price of SEO MarketingBasing the results on the SEO prices of BlindMonkeyMedia which offers prices that are considered medium-low in the SEO industry and that it would theoretically take 9 months to get listed on the first page for the keyword, “Costa Rica real estate” we come up with these results in terms of SEO cost.

Keep in mind that the prices we mentioned are simplified so the actual SEO cost could be more or less depending on the company.

1.  With a high SEO budget, you could work on getting your SEO done focusing on 4 specific countries (US, Costa Rica, Canada and the UK) where you expect to get the most traffic from.

Number of search from these countries for that keyword:

  • Costa Rica – 8,100
  • United States – 40,500
  • Canada – 8,100
  • UK – 720
  • Global – 60,000

Cost would be around $9,000

2. With a limited SEO budget, you could choose one country that gives you the most quality traffic to target for your SEO.

  • Cost would be around $2,250 if you chose Costa Rica and about $5,000 if you chose to target the United States.

3.  With an unlimited SEO budget you can just get in the number one position with so many back links that it will not matter where the user is located as Google will not be able to ignore the importance of your website.

  • Cost would be around $12,000 for the first years and half and afterwards about $6,000 per year to stay in that position.

The Challenges for the SEO Clients

We now know that hiring someone or a company for your SEO needs can be quite expensive and if you are willing to spend that much money you need to hire an honest SEO company that will give you actual results.

The biggest problems an SEO client can experience are:

  • Not being informed about the difference between local SEO targeting and Global one which can lead to disappointing website results.
  • Being able to check on the results first hand if they are targeting a country that is not the one they reside in.
  • Getting ripped off by a dishonest SEO company

In closing, just remember that you get what you paid for and if you decide to save a some money by hiring an SEO company that offers incredibly cheap rates, make sure that they have a long list of references you can check before hiring them.


Fred St. John is an internet marketing consultant with over 10 years of marketing and website design services experience and has worked for some of the top Fortune 500 companies in the world. You can contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.