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TIP: 3 Ways to Make the Most of Your Search Budget

3 Ways to Make the Most of Your Search Budget

By Lori Murray, Manta Contributor – March 11, 2016

3 Ways to Make the Most of Your Search Budget

Small business owners understand that it’s difficult to prosper without an online presence. You might try to get ahead with organic search engine optimization (SEO), but this is a slow and time-consuming process that offers no guarantees. If you want to be sure that customers can find your business online, you may need to pay for placement on search engines. The question is, how much will it cost?

Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer, especially when you’re talking about paid advertising, which is one component of an overall search engine marketing (SEM) campaign. “How much you spend depends on the business, the industry and the type of keywords,” said Tara Reprogle, owner of Crankshaft SEO. “Competition drives the price up, and the cost of the click is always related to the potential to profit from the customer.”

If you’re a personal injury lawyer, for instance, you’ll pay more per click, but the potential payoff is bigger. On the other hand, a local salon owner is playing a long game to gain loyal customers, so the price of a click is much lower.

“The real sweet spot is when you have a business in a niche market with a national reach, like a company that makes wooden baseball bats,” Reprogle said. “They can focus their keywords so people who care about their product will get to their website.”

If this all seems a bit complicated, that’s because it is. Many businesses hire professionals to navigate the process for them, but this also comes with a price. Whether you do it yourself or you get help, keep these things in mind:

  1. Do your research and understand your business and your audience.
  2. Establish a budget up front and then work within that budget.
  3. Determine a feasible goal and then follow up to see if it’s working.

Regardless of the approach, you’ll be spending some time and money, so stay focused on what you want to accomplish. It’s the best way to ensure that your resources are well spent.

To learn more about Digital Marketing, visit the free educational resources at Manta’s Academy.