How much should you budget for paid search? You have a lot of options, but you obviously want the one that will get you the most bang for your buck. Bill Hunt, columnist for Search Engine Land, offers three options for how to think about your budget.
How Much Could We Spend?
This budget is your “pie in the sky” option. It gives you an idea how much it would cost to have the absolute best search performance possible, and you likely can’t afford it, unless you have a magical unlimited amount of money. While most don’t want to think about the high cost options they can’t afford, this option helps understand the importance of aligning keywords to buy cycles, as well as the value of organic traffic.
How Much Would We Spend?
This budget is the amount you are already hoping to spend when you decide to invest in SEO. When you first begin improving your search performance, you come in with a preset idea of what would be optimal for your budget. Of course, this is likely not optimal for your search engine performance. This is helpful for establishing what you could get for your budget, and letting you see what you would be missing out on.
How Much Should We Spend?
This is the amount you should spend to maximize keywords and provide maximum yield of business goals. This amount is what is best for your business, though it is likely not the best for your wallet immediately. It will return the investment quickly, however. It takes into account organic performance for important and expensive keywords, making you rank highly and reducing the cost overall.
The importance of seeing these three options laid out in front of you is to see the full range of possibilities. Most companies don’t know what they have available to them in the search marketing arena, and you can see how you would perform in each scenario.