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Implementing the right budgeting strategy for search engine marketing

Search Engine Marketing budgeting reality

As one of the most efficient means of marketing, search engine marketing offers amongst the best returns on your marketing spend. With numerous options like search engine optimisation (SEO) and PPC advertising campaigns; search engine marketing does offer tremendous flexibility.

As search traffic and the amount of online competition grows, search tactics are constantly changing it is necessary to have the right budgeting strategy for search engine marketing. Marketers need to take advantage of its various aspects to ensure that the budgeted money is spent responsibly and meets your business goals consistently.

What is SEO? Why is it important?

Search engine representatives are happy to help you with estimates based on live data, if given a list of keywords and a maximum CPC estimates (cost per click). Always use web-traffic-analysis tools available to you to keep your search marketing spending aligned with your allocated budgetary metrics.  Each marketplace usually has its own set of best practices, budgeting rules, and other consumer driven nuances.

Successful marketers are prepared to move money quickly across top search engines based on pre-identified success parameters. To allocate budgets effectively, marketers need to carefully formulate their key performance indicators, (KPI’s)and determine how each web-listing fares against these KPI’s.

These metrics could include return on advertising spend (ROAS), CPA/CPO and profit (immediate / lifetime). If you are under-budget, boosting your average ad position or price to generate more web-traffic, particularly with those listings that are efficiently meeting your business objectives.

If you are constantly hitting your daily budget based on your current spend, you need to lower prices or positions on the different or least-efficient-listings.. In the case of where profit, CPA or CPO levels are poor, you need to remove those keywords or invest in a new landing page to improve ROI.

You also need to factor such cyclical aspects of your business like preferred time of the day/week/month to ensure that your search marketing budget effectively capitalises on these opportunities.

Budgeting Strategies

Search engine marketing budget for new campaigns could be set using estimates of conversion rates and click prices at which your campaigns are projected to meet their objectives.

Inventory counts are available with most search engines, which enable you to create a rough estimate of spending within specific  search engine choices. For example, if you are expecting an average conversion to sale/registration of 3.5 percent on web-traffic and your allowable CPO/CPA is about $40, you could anticipate a working CPC in the range of $1.40 (this may vary after your campaign goes live, but it helps to establish an estimate for budgetary reasons).

At this maximum CPC you will get a general estimate of position & spending (ballpark). Your assumptions should ideally include your competitive marketplace, CTR, sustained inventory levels, and even conversion/quality levels.

Some of these variables could change, invalidating your estimates, however when working within a budget, it is always better to have a baseline than having no measurable metric. If your marketing is based on a position-based strategy, you need to be prepared to spend on significantly-fighting competitors for your preferred positions. Search engine marketing strategies based on return on investment do allow you more flexibility.

The reality is search engine marketing is a dynamic marketplace, so there is always room to improve every aspect of your campaign. You can improve click through rates through split ad testing and boost conversion rates through new promo offers and web bait on your landing pages.

As search marketing begins delivering better results, chances are you would have increased the budget e.g. more listings in auction engines at increased prices as more competitors join the market. However if your search engine marketing budget does get exhausted before the month-end you could be wasting precious money.

Consistently use your real-time web-traffic analytics to choose the best listings and discard the least-effective ones to optimise your budget spends (based on your budget flexibility / ROI goals). It is also usually a good tactic to go broad with your keywords, search media types, and search engines.

To know which keywords / key phrases are working with your specific vendors it is best to test them. And listings do not have to be tested at high CPCs and premium positions. If you are close to your maximum budget spend, shut off some of the least-efficient listings and then spread your budget across some new terms.

Often the high popularity key-terms either prove themselves or fail quickly – particularly at high positions

If you are like most business owners and time poor it pays to outsource the management of your search engine marketing to a team of specialists.
This enables you to focus on your core business and affordably leverage specialist expertise.