Corporate investment in marketing, especially digital marketing, has skyrocketed in recent years.

In fact, from February 2021 to February 2022, marketing growth exceeded 10% for the first time in a decade. According to his latest CMO research report, marketing spending increased by 11.8% compared to the last 12 months. It is projected to grow even faster next year, at 13.6%.

Digital marketing channels, in particular, account for the majority of that marketing spend at 57.1%. According to that same report, digital marketing spending is expected to grow by a staggering 16.2% next year.

CMO Survey - Expected Digital Marketing Spend Growth - February 2022

But how much of your digital marketing spend is spent on search engine optimization?

According to a previous Borrell Associates report, US businesses spent $73.38 billion on SEO in 2019, out of a total of $776.3 billion in all digital marketing. This is approximately 9.5%.

Reported by someone doing SEO in-house (at least in a local business) high cost and low Reports show lower costs and higher returns compared to hiring a consultant or agency.

According to the report:

“People who use third parties value third party effectiveness above internal skills. SEO and web design/development are particularly inclined towards third parties becoming more effective.”

In short, SEO is an investment in the future earnings of your business. please think about it:

  • Sales drive your business.
  • It is leads that drive sales.
  • Digital leads come from your website.
  • People find your website through impressions in search results.

SEO allows businesses to own the top of the sales funnel: the impressions of their website in search results. We also know that in some sectors, organic searches bring in twice as much revenue as he does on other channels.

So what determines your SEO budget? More on that next.

Factors that determine your SEO budget

What percentage of your budget should you devote to SEO?

It’s not black and white, but the following factors determine how much to invest:

  • Earnings
  • your competitor

1. Earnings

We recommend spending $8,000/month or 5% to 10% of your business revenue for SEO, whichever is greater. In a highly competitive field, you should lean towards the high end. This is what we see in companies that take their competition seriously.

Spending at least $8,000 a month is usually a good starting point with adequate expert resources. At the high end, we have six times as many clients as him each month.

Also, consider how much money you’re putting into paid advertising. For example, a national brand running his PPC campaigns to acquire new customers should spend around 25% extra on organic SEO. The two channels complement each other and drive website traffic.

I think it’s useful to say that 25% of PPC spending, or at least $8,000 per month, is a reasonable estimate for SEO spending for companies that use advertising.

2. Your Competition

Consider that most search engine queries will yield at least 1 million search results. And you have to be on page 1 to be a problem.

Businesses competing on organic search need jobs. But if you’re in a difficult niche, or competing against big budget brands, you may need to work a little harder and faster.

This often requires increasing your SEO budget. And you must be willing to do this, or risk being irrelevant in search results.

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How to determine your SEO budget

It turns out that the two fundamental factors that affect SEO budgets are revenue and competition. Let’s put this into perspective.

We know there’s a lot of competition in search results. So the question isn’t just “how much do you want to spend on SEO?” Also, “How fast do you want to beat the competition?”

this It is what actually determines the budget. At a minimum, you should spend 5% to 10% of your revenue on SEO. But if you want to move forward faster, you usually spend more.

That doesn’t mean blindly investing in SEO with the promise that more money will yield better results.

But we need resources. You need to know who you’re hiring and they need to have a great reputation and deep expertise.

If you are using a third party SEO agency, only hire professionals. Unfortunately, many companies have settled for cheap SEO services. Cheap SEO is a near-death experience, and it takes more time and money to crawl out of the grave than if you invested in a healthy SEO strategy up front.

With enough budget for a true professional, you can learn how to use the resources you have to do the most impactful SEO tactics. And the more agile you can be in making these changes than your competitors, the more likely you are to gain an advantage.

Take advantage of the recession if you can. Those who don’t have the reflexive response of increasing their digital marketing budgets when the outlook is volatile have a chance to build momentum and beat the competition.

Consider diverting budget to SEO

If your marketing budget is already depleted in other channels, consider diverting some of your budget to SEO.

For example, let’s say you spend a lot of money on PPC advertising. It doesn’t matter if he carves out 5% to 10% of it for his SEO.

You’ll thank us later, especially considering that SEO outperforms PPC in terms of average conversion rate. SEO also has the power to maintain your brand’s online presence. The same cannot be said for advertising. If you stop advertising tomorrow, your search results have no remaining value.

SEO is cost effective in the long run as an optimized web page can continue to drive more traffic for years to come.

Yes, you need to keep the leads coming in today (via PPC or other methods). But if your current lead influx is going well, invest some of your budget into the future. Then SEO can get you there.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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About the author

Bruce Clay founded Bruce Clay Inc., a global digital marketing optimization company providing search engine optimization, PPC management, paid social media marketing, SEO friendly site architecture, content development, SEO tools and education. person and president. Cray authored the books “Search Engine Optimization All-in-One for Dummies” and “Content His Marketing Strategies for Professionals”, now in their 4th edition. He is credited with creating the first of his web page analysis tools, creating the Search Engine Relationship Chart®, and being the first to use the term search engine optimization. Bruce Clay’s Famous SEO Training His courses are available online at

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