According to the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Counselors to America’s Small Business (SCORE) agree that one of the biggest mistakes small businesses can make—especially those just starting out—is to skimp on the marketing budget. It can be tricky and scary for small businesses to decide how much of their hard-earned cash they should allocate toward an Internet marketing budget. Internet marketing prices can be a little overwhelming at first glance; so many small business owners are tempted to forgo this expense with DIY internet marketing.
Unfortunately, the Internet is no longer the wild-wild west where anything goes; so this strategy often ends in poor sales, zero brand recognition and shuttered doors. The old business mantra is true: you have to spend money to make money. The trick is figuring out the smartest, most productive way to invest your Internet marketing budget.
Why Does My Business Need an Internet Marketing Budget?
Potential customers need to know you exist. They need to know that your product or service can make their lives better. They need to know how much better you are than the competition. Therefore, you need to go where the potential customers are hanging out. These days, they are hanging out on their mobile devices. They are probably spending oodles of time on social media. You need to be in front of their eyeballs, your business will be invisible. Posting flyers on lamp posts, buying ads in the newspaper or on the radio just won’t cut it anymore. These tactics may bring you a few sales here and there, but the web, specifically the mobile web, is where you need to be highly visible—now. This is why you need to set an internet marketing budget, and specifically, an SEO budget. It is more than just an expense; SEO is a critical investment in your business’ future—even its very existence!
How Much Should We Allocate toward an SEO Budget?
The factors that will determine your SEO budget and your overall marketing budget are highly variable. It depends on your industry and your customers’ behaviors. It depends on the prevailing Internet marketing prices. It depends on whether or not you are a start-up or an established company that wants to nab a greater share of the market from your competitors. It depends on your goals and, obviously, the rest of your budget and your revenue. That said, the SBA recommends allocating 2-10 percent of sales, generally speaking, for your Internet and SEO budget. This can vary depending on whether or not you are in B2B, B2C, C2C—particularly during the initial years when you are trying to build your brand recognition amongst potential customers.
For example, if your small business brings in about $1 million of annual revenue, you should allocate about 8% (about $80,000) to your annual overall marketing budget, a large part of which should be devoted to your Internet marketing strategy. Because there is so much variability in these numbers, we recommend trying out the budgeting tools available at sba.gov to get a more customized idea of what you need to budget for.
You CAN Afford an Internet Marketing Budget!
Internet marketing prices can also vary and change over time, depending on what your particular business strategy and needs are. Here at Affordable Web Design, we have grown from a small business start-up 18 years ago, into a successful certified SEO marketing company with happy customers across the entire business spectrum. So we get it. We get how tricky it is to budget these things. So we have developed our affordable Internet marketing prices and services to help small businesses get the most bang for their marketing buck—particularly when it comes to SEO marketing, which is still one of the most crucial aspects of web marketing (even in the age of social media addiction).
We offer many options suited for all sizes of businesses in all stages of the business lifecycle. And keep in mind, we are always happy to answer any questions you have with a free consultation. Just contact Affordable Web Design today and we will personally discuss your needs, answer your questions, and help you get noticed within your Internet marketing budget needs. We look forward to talking with you!
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