Search engine marketing is becoming one of the most popular methods of marketing for businesses. It is broken down into two main areas; search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay-per-click advertising (usually Google Ads).
This raises the question, when is the right time to start a search marketing campaign for your business? In this article we are going to outline several factors to help you decide whether you’re ready to invest in a search engine marketing campaign.
The financial position of your business
If you’re considering starting a SEO campaign or a PPC campaign, the first thing you must consider is the financial position of your business. Typically, you’ll need to spend a minimum of $550 a month for your campaign to have any effect. The cost of a basic SEO campaign typically starts at around $550/month for a small business. On the other hand, a PPC campaign managed by an agency will set you back around $275/month in management fess and a minimum of $500/month in ad spend. Please be aware, prices are based on the amount of work required to manage the campaign and levels of competition.
Both SEO and PPC campaigns typically have a lock in contract period ranging between 6 -12 months. Therefore, your business should have the ability to invest a minimum of $550 – $775/month into search engine marketing for a minimum of 12 months.
Your business goals
It is common knowledge that digital is the future of marketing. If you wish to grow your business, the best place to start is with a comprehensive digital marketing campaign. Both SEO and PPC are great choices to increase sales and revenue.
In many cases, business owners fail to invest the necessary money into marketing to reach their goals. A common misconception is to only invest profits into marketing. This is a good idea when your business is profitable; however, if your business is breaking even, it can leave little money to invest in a marketing campaign. This results in minimal profits and limited growth year after year.
If you’re aiming to grow your business, it is a good idea to leverage debt to invest in a search engine marketing strategy. Realistically, a $10,000 loan invested into a SEO or PPC campaign, could quiet easily turn into an additional $100,000 is sales revenue in 12 months.
Therefore, if you’re seeking to grow your business, you should seriously consider implementing a search engine marketing campaign as soon as possible. If your business doesn’t have the money available, you should discuss lending options with your bank, accountant or financial adviser.
The ROI of your current marketing
If you’ve been in business a while you might be investing various forms of marketing such as newspaper ads, flyers, radio ads, & billboards. If you don’t believe you’re getting the best return on investment from your current marketing efforts, you should consider search engine marketing as an alternative.
One of the major benefits of search engine marketing is you’re promoting your business directly to people who are actively searching for the products and services you sell. The advantage of SEO and PPC advertising is it targets people that are ready to buy. Think of it this way, when a user searches ‘Lawyers in Newcastle’ they are usually looking for a Lawyer in the Newcastle region.
Take this hypothetical example; if the keyword ‘Lawyers Newcastle’ is searched on average 400 times a month in Google. A Law Firm that is running an SEO and PPC campaign might convert 3% of these searches into clients. That is an additional 12 sales a month for the law firm. If the average client is $3,000, then it equates to an extra $36,000 a month in sales revenue. Over the year, this equals an additional $432,000 in sales a year. This would provide the law firm with an exceptional return on investment; more than likely better than the one from other forms of marketing.
If you’re investing your marketing elsewhere, we would recommend tracking your sales to determine the return the campaigns are generating. From there, you can contact us, and we can calculate an estimated return on investment for a search campaign for your business so you can assess you options.
Levels of online competition
Online competition plays a big part in the viability of a search engine campaign. High levels of online competition mean you’ll have to spend more on SEO and PPC. In most cases though, search engine marketing is still very profitable in highly competitive industries. There is however the rare situation, where search engine marketing is so over saturated that it’s just not a viable option for some businesses.
On the contrary, there are situations where there is very little competition in search engines and business can benefit profoundly from search engine marketing. These opportunities don’t last forever so it is important to capitalise on them as soon as possible. Read our article on Google Ad Opportunities for more information.
The industry you operate in
People search for products and services differently. Although most industries can benefit from a strong search engine presence, some industries customers don’t rely on Google to find the products and services. For example, companies that supply parts to large mining companies and manufacturing companies generally rely on business development personal to build relationships. In highly niche markets, people rarely jump on Google to find what they are looking for.
Furthermore, if you sell an innovative product or service that people don’t know exists, social media would be a more appropriate platform for marketing. This is because social media will generate more exposure to potential customers.