How To Determine Your Search Engine Marketing Budget

The current economic volatility compels businesses across industries to tighten their purse strings and find more budget friendly ways to maintain their profit margins. When the times are tough, pinching pennies seems like the only viable solution.

If you are looking for a viable way to design a search engine marketing budget that is effective and yet affordable, here are a few things to consider –

• Getting smart

When working on a tight budget, you need to be smart about the battles you choose with regards to your SEM strategy. Companies must realize that they may not be able to pursue everything the right way. Since getting an SEM campaign off the ground can be rather expensive, you may not be able to do it all at once. Sit down with your search engine marketing agency and identify areas that are more important that the others. Do you wish to increase the frequency of your corporate newsletter or do you wish to allocate the extra budget towards the PPC campaign? With a clear list of goals, your agency will be able to help you decide your path forward and assist you in assigning the correct amounts against each effort.

• What is your competition up to?

Understanding the moves your competitors are making and the strategy they are following with regards to their SEM initiatives is an excellent way to gain insights on areas that you require to catch up with and/or overtake them in. If you find that your competition is dominating in search results, you may want get advice from a Search Engine marketing Services provider and find ways to build strategies around your search initiative to be able to compete. If you are not able to identify a clear leader in your market segment, then assigning small amounts of money in the right SEM functions can help make a significant impact. While bigger companies have the resources to lead in the highly competitive keywords through organic search as well as PPC; identify keywords that they seem to have missed and focus on those.

• How much are you willing to spend?

Remember that SEO and SEM are not the same things. The later involves PPC while the first does not really cost a lot. However, with SEO you will require significant time commitment. PPC may cost you more but bring in quicker results. Depending on your company’s budget, you will be able to find the perfect balance between these two online marketing functions and find value in your overall initiative.

• Popularity of engines and portals

Your SEM budgets are relatively more challenging to pin down within specific channels on a large website. Your total search inventory will essentially rely on the popularity of the search engine and the portal in question. Especially in case of auction based search inventories, popularity is a significant decision making factor since portals and engines are often syndication partners.

Finally, other systemic changes such as increase in online traffic due to economic shifts, generational changes; etc too play a modest role in your SEM budgets. Your overall aim should be to deliver good user experiences for successful SEM and subsequent improvement in conversion rates.

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