Search Engine Marketing 101: Budget vs. Strategy

- April 22, 2011

Can you live on the beach for a $1 day? Can you buy a brand new Rolls Royce for $10?
Probably not, but when it comes to search engine marketing, many businesses have the impression that they can spend a little money and take over the entire internet marketplace. It is important in any area of businesses to set a realistic marketing strategy based on your budget.

Let’s start with your search engine marketing budget. How much money will your business allocate to your search engine marketing strategy? What type of return is your business expecting to get from these advertisements? Many times businesses do this backwards and come up with a search engine marketing strategy that will cost $25,000 a month to execute, but their budget can only support a $5000 monthly budget.  Once your business determines a budget, then it is appropriate to think about the strategy.

The search engine marketing strategy ought to include the overall goal and then steps on how to reach your goals. Make sure to set realistic goals. Sometimes, companies look at competitors 10 times their size and say, “I want to do everything they are doing.” That won’t work because their budget is probably 10 times greater than yours. However, if your business will set reasonable goals and pace itself, then results can come quickly; which will allow your business to expand its reach and increase the marketing budget.

Part of setting realistic goals is realizing that your business shouldn’t bid on every keyword that is related to your business. Focus your keywords on your top products and/or services.  It is not practical to run 6 campaigns with each one containing 25 keywords, and each campaign set at a $5 daily budget.  Even if each keyword has an average cpc of $0.20, based on your daily campaign budget each keyword could only get one click and then your campaigns would be shut off for the day.  However, if your business runs 2 campaigns, with each one containing 15 keywords and each campaign set at a $15 daily budget, using the same avg cpc of $0.20; each keyword could get at least 5 clicks each. This would give your keywords more frequency and the opportunity for even greater reach which would benefit your business.

Every business should determine their budget before they start thinking about a grandiose strategy. By putting a budget in place, and working your strategy around your budget, a business may reach their goals quicker than expected. It’s always good to think practically when setting a search engine marketing strategy. It’s better to be pleasantly surprised than sadly disappointed.

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