When I first start working with a company, many of them classify their website as a cost. It’s something that they have to have, like an 800 number, a phone system with voicemail capability, or an annual equipment service and calibration. A website should not be classified as an expense, but an asset, just in the same way as if you built your own office building, or purchased a new piece of machinery. These items are considered assets because they have some monetary value if resold and help build the business. Your website is exactly the same.
In the same way that adding more tools and machines to a workshop enhances its value through productivity, investing in search engine optimization adds value to your website through better rankings, more qualified traffic and leads or sales.
So eventhough the funds may be taken from an overall marketing department’s annual budget to pay for SEO services, it must not be grouped together with the other advertising costs. Typically most advertising is short lived – once the ad campaign is over, sales decline. This is totally opposite with professional SEO services.
With good optimization, your website’s rankings will actually improve over time. Sure, there may be a few bumps in the road as search engines revise their algorithms, but overall you will see more traffic as a result of increased visibility.
I’ve worked with a few websites which have had very few changes after the optimization process has been completed and yet they continue to gain rankings and see increased traffic as time goes by.