Allocating Your Search Budget

search budget

Does deciding how to allocate your search budget seem like a daunting task?

Should you use Google PPC or social PPC?

This question comes up often, especially amongst entrepreneurs and small business owners who are trying to manage their online marketing budgets themselves.

There is of course no right answer, and it’s hard to know right off the bat which of these avenues will provide the best return on your investment. Therefore, let’s take a look at a couple of determining factors to help make your decision.

First of all, like every other marketing initiative, you must identify your goals and the metrics you will use to measure the success or failure of your undertaking. What is the purpose of your online campaign? Are you looking for an awareness campaign that will generate clicks to your page? Is your focus on getting leads? Are you looking to advertise at the lowest possible cost per lead? Or maybe you’re simply looking to increase your following on various social media platforms.

Once you’ve identified and clarified your goals, see which platform is the best fit for your target audience. Based on what your product or service offering is, some social media channels make more sense than others. For example, LinkedIn is more of a business/professional network, as opposed to Facebook or Twitter which are more social in nature.

The next thing to do is to define your budget. Paid search has improved greatly over the years, and allows you to drill down to a finite definition of your target audience. And, in some cases, you can even designate what times of day your ad will appear. Remember that some of your keywords may be more competitive than others, and more competitive they are the more expensive they will be. Remember to set your daily spend a limit so that you do not blow your budget.

Once you got this figured out, my best advice is to run a small test campaign. Allocate a small portion of your budget to each of the areas that you have determined are a good fit for your target audience and run the test campaign for three days to a week. Check your metrics on each platform to determine which is working the best for you. Once you have learned what is working, focus your efforts on that area.

Remember that there may be a benefit to advertising on a specific platform even if it’s not the most inexpensive choice. Organic search rankings can be augmented by paid search ads, regardless of whether it is on social media platforms or on search engines. Weigh the pros and cons; only you know if the cost of running a small paid campaign will help you attain your goals.

Until next time…

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