Managing Your Search Budget in 2017

December 28, 2016

Making decisions about search budget can be difficult, especially with the rapid development in both SEO and PPC on an annual basis. There is no one-size fits all approach to budget strategies, however there are some factors up for consideration to help determine where best to allocate money. This blog aims to give some guidance on how best to distribute your budget for search marketing through 2017.

Define Your Goals

As with every single strategy you develop, you must identify your goals so you can measure the success of your effort. Some of the most common goals that businesses select range from website visits through to revenue from sales. It is common to combine several goals together too.

Once you have identified the goals of your business, you can begin to assign budget accordingly, knowing your money is going towards the most effective strategy for your goals.

How to Manage Your Search Budget

SEO takes time to develop and even longer to see results, so when considering your budget for SEO you have to think long-term. SEO agencies cost anywhere between $500 to $6000 per month depending on the nature and complexity of the account. Even though the investment in SEO can sometime be frustrating, the result can be rewarding so long as you invest the right money in the right experts.

As mentioned already, SEO is a long term strategy and needs continuous attention to be successful. Google is constantly updating the algorithm and the way users search online is changing all the time. Due to these two factors, SEO specialist are changing strategy all the time and responding to new 'rules' from Google in their updates. You cannot knock out SEO in a one-time fee, it has to be an ongoing endeavour.

You should budget your SEO on a monthly or annual basis so you can keep up with updates and receive regular SEO optimization.

How to Manage Your PPC Budget

PPC can be treated very differently from your SEO budget. Firstly, PPC is a short term plan - you can turn your PPC budget on and off as you please and swiftly optimize accounts for success. PPC aims to bring customers to your website almost immediately and can be manipulated according to trends in your industry. You can get very sophisticated with your PPC budget - here are a couple of places to start:Ensure you can afford the cost of your keywords and remain competitive in your field. Recognise seasonal trends and allow your budget to fluctuate to match this demandAlign the PPC budget to your business goals throughout the year

The best search marketing budgets are based heavily on goals first, and then the budget is distributed based on those goals. When considering an actual amount, you can use your goals to predict budget. For example, if you wanted to increase the visits to your site by 5,000 per month and you wanted to pay $1.00 per new visitor, you would assign $5,000 towards PPC per month. SEO is much more service based, and can be measured on a year-over-year basis with  recommended variance between 10%-20%.

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Written by
Alexander Rauser
Alexander Rauser


Alexander Rauser is the author of Boardroom Guide to Digital Accountability and Digital Strategy: A Guide to Digital Business Transformation, and creator of the DSX Program, a digital strategy and transformation program for Enterprises.

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