Keep in mind, however, that what works for one business won’t automatically work for another, so the SEO budget of one company should not necessarily influence or dictate that of another. It all depends on the specific needs of your business.
Setting a budget for your business’ SEO campaign is a pretty difficult decision. Fortunately, there is a straightforward process that you can use to set an SEO budget that suits you.
Here’re the 5 steps for setting your own SEO budget
- Know your limits. For startups and small businesses with a limited cash flow, only a specific amount of the limited cash can be allocated to a new marketing initiative. Figure out how much money you can put into SEO without hurting other aspects of your business and build from there. If there are other non-performing marketing strategies that you can cut back on to free up some money, do it to add to your SEO budget.If your business is doing well, on the other hand, and you have some extra money to spend, the decision on how much money to allocate your SEO becomes even harder. A good idea to go about it would be to start small if you are skeptical or uncomfortable with the strategy and then adjust the budget as you move along.
- Set Goals. Figure out what you want your SEO to accomplish for you. Do you want more locals to find your website? Are you looking for more sales without much concern for traffic? Are you trying to edge out a specific competitor? Do you just want to see more indiscriminate traffic?By setting your goals, you will be able to determine the areas of SEO you need to invest in. For example, if you are only interested in local traffic, your strategy can be weighted more towards local SEO. If generating income is your goal, then you will need relevant keyword targeting for your business, which takes time; as well as to invest in a peripheral conversion optimisation strategy.
- Consider the resource options. Once you’ve figured out how much money you have to spend and where to spend it, you need to consider your resource options. You can either outsource the SEO job or hire someone in-house. Hiring someone to do it in-house gives you more control but is more expensive, while outsourcing the job is cheaper but riskier as finding an SEO professional you can trust can be a bit of a challenge.
- Analyse your current SEO position. Find out how visible you currently are in organic search. Do you already have a website? Is it optimised for mobile? Do you have an active content strategy? Do your pages have optimised descriptions and tags? Do you have a good strategy for maximising the visibility of the content you put up? The fewer of these foundation elements you have, the more you will have to pay.If you can do some of these things on your own, do them before you hire or contract an SEO. You can seek the help of your interns or employees with some spare time to get it done as it will help reduce the burden on your SEO budget.
- Establish options. At this stage you’ll have established where you stand, the amount of money you can spend and the specific areas of your SEO you’d like to spend it on. Your best bet would be choosing a middle-of-the-road allocation – somewhere between the low and high end of your allocation. Keep in mind that some SEO companies might require multi-month commitments as SEO takes time before results can be seen.
Fortunately, there is always room for adjustments when it comes to SEO. So if you don’t quite get it right on your first budget, you can always revisit your plans, reconfigure the budget or even change tactics to improve your campaign.