Budgeting for Search Marketing

Posted by Netmatters
10th August 2015

Budgeting in general, what’s it all about?

Budgeting for marketing overall can difficult, but then when you delve into marketing and see all of the aspects to digital marketing it can get even harder. There are so many different parts to digital marketing so how do you decide which gets the biggest slice of that oh so tasty budget pie? Well it’s easier if you have been running campaigns for a while, as you will have more of an idea on what works and what doesn’t, but if you have just started your marketing campaigns then you could be in for a bumpy ride.

This is the thing, budgeting is different for every company out there. Based on what your company does and what your company focuses on there will naturally be different aspects that work better than others, and this is because of the changes in your target audience. Overall for you to see exponential results in your marketing campaign you absolutely must budget for every aspect of marketing, however some aspects take higher priority than others.

Search marketing takes up the biggest chunk of digital marketing budgets for most companies out there, with SEO and PPC taking up to 60% of all entire digital budgets in some companies. SEO and PPC are usually very highly paid in terms of budget simply because of the fact that traffic normally converts to sales, and if you appear at the top of a search engine through either organic results or paid results then you’re going to get much more traffic to your site.

So search marketing should get a nice portion of your budget for marketing, but how do you budget within search marketing itself? Which portion goes to SEO, and which portion goes to PPC? Well this is dependent on how long your campaign is going to be. If you are running a short campaign then you don’t need to worry so much about SEO, as SEO is a long term investment not a get traffic now scheme. Any campaign with a length shorter than 3 months should not ideally be focusing a lot on SEO, as if you undergo 3 months of SEO and never touch it again you are not going see much in terms of long term benefit.

PPC holds instant value and you can appear on the front page of Google for a handful of keyword terms within a day with AdSense. This is why it is valued so highly in the short term campaigns; no type of marketing will yield better results in the short term than PPC, which rises brand visibility, brand authority, traffic and sales.

How do I determine what is working for me?

The answer here is simple; statistics, analytics and data. So you’ve allocated your budget, you’re on a 6 month campaign so you allocated some to both PPC and SEO, how do you see what’s working? Google Analytics. If you go onto Google analytics, you will see an area where your traffic comes from, you can see whether your traffic is from organic searches, directly to your website, referral traffic or paid search traffic. Bear in mind that SEO will not show results instantly, and it will take time for results to be affected by your SEO.

Whatever you think works, SEO is more valuable than PPC. If you do SEO right, and you beat out all of your competitors for the keyword terms most used in your market then this is incredibly valuable, and you will find traffic and conversion rate rising. Being on the top page on Google creates trust for consumers, whereas paid searches do not. SEO is the key strategy for the long term.

PPC is also not viable for some companies, and search terms in highly competitive markets can be very expensive. If you are a company that sells inexpensive items through an online store and you want to be driving a PPC campaign you may well find that the click in the first place actually costs more than the product you sell, and that’s only when you sell a product never mind when traffic bounces.

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