Figuring out how much money your business should spend on SEO is an inexact science. It doesn’t help that, with marketing, there is never a guaranteed return on your spending; you are essentially making a gamble, however well-calculated it might be.
The trick is to strike a careful balance with your SEO budget — as it needs to be big enough to garner results but still small enough to be financially sustainable for your organisation. Here are just a few steps you could take towards allocating this budget sensibly.
Take account of your company’s overall budget
Budgeting for SEO can feel rather like cutting a cake. Initially, you will have a complete cake — which, to form a useful analogy, we will here treat as your company’s overall financial takings.
Naturally, some slices of that cake will have to be lost to overheads faced by your business on a day-to-day basis. As you work to keep your company’s products or services high in both quality and availability, this cake could be depleted even further.
However, depending on what products or services your company provides and to what kind of audience, the size of the cake slice you must spare for your marketing could be larger than you had originally anticipated.
Set aside more money for SEO if your business is based mainly online
Whether your business makes its revenue primarily online or through a brick-and-mortar presence, you can still benefit immensely from investing in digital marketing.
Nonetheless, it would remain wise for your business model to inform exactly how you divide up your marketing budget between SEO and other promotional measures.
Consider your overall marketing objectives
Whatever these happen to be, you should think about how SEO could help you to work towards them.
For example, if you are looking to achieve a certain number of leads or sales, you could try to formulate an SEO strategy that would attract the level of organic traffic necessary for you to meet this particular milestone.
However, if you instead want to use SEO to strengthen brand awareness, you might have a fuzzier picture of exactly how much of your marketing spend ought to go towards SEO. This scenario helps to illustrate why, when and where possible, you should…
Establish what metrics of success you will use
This means, when setting your SEO goals, deciding how you will assess what progress you make towards meeting them.
You should arguably pay most attention to those metrics directly impacting your bottom line, like conversions and revenues. With the goal itself, it would pay for you to be specific, such as by going for something along the lines of “increase revenues by 2% each month”.
However, you also need to keep in mind that SEO will not work its magic overnight. Google has explained in a YouTube video that, “in most cases, SEOs need four months to a year to help your business first implement improvements and then see potential benefit.”
Keep a close eye on your competition
If you are reading this article in the first place, your competitors may have been in the SEO game for longer than you have.
If this is indeed the case, those rival companies are probably also ranking well on Google for many of the keywords your own target customers would be inclined to type into a search field.
It would thus be worthwhile for you to look up how your search engine rankings actually compare to those of other businesses. Remember that what you would have to spend to catch up with them in the SEO stakes could be much lower than the cost of you losing customers to these companies.
Consider transferring more of your spending from PPC to SEO
It’s understandable to want to pay more on PPC advertising than on SEO, at least to begin with. After all, with PPC, there isn’t so much the same ‘fear of the unknown’ concerning when and where your website will appear on SERPs (search engine results pages).
However, in a study highlighted by Search Engine Land, organic search was found to bring in 53% of all website traffic, while the percentage for paid search trailed at about 15%.
If your own data suggests that SEO is outclassing PPC at attracting high-quality visitors to your website, you might want to reallocate your marketing expenditure accordingly.
Our SEO consultants in London can help you to use SEO in especially potent combination with PPC advertising; please call us on 020 34114 789 for further insight on this subject.