How Should I Allocate My Online Marketing Budget?
Small Business Website Marketing Questions Answered
One of the most common questions we receive from clients and prospective clients is about allocating the Internet Marketing budget for their small business. In this post I’m going to tell you my top three rules of online marketing spend for small businesses.
Golden Opportunity? Not Even Close
Throughout the year, most small business owners like yourself are approached by various media outlets who are recommending some type of online marketing opportunity which is guaranteed to be seen by tens of thousands of people. These opportunities often come from a local news company or a national online directory like yp.com. Their sales representatives are trained to make it sound like you would be crazy not to sign up, this could likely double your customer acquisitions in the first three months! As you may have suspected, this is not among the top three priorities for your Internet marketing budget.
RULE NUMBER 1: Invest In Your Website First
Invest in your website first. Your website may not seem important, especially if it hasn’t delivered many leads to your inbox in the past few months. Your website can and should be an active lead generation tool for your business! Do this exercise: Pull up your website in a browser tab, and then pull up the website of two of your competitors. Pretend you are not affiliated with any of the three businesses whose websites you are looking at. If you were to choose which company to do business with based solely on the website, which would you choose?
The Reality: Your Business Is Often Judged By Your Website
Many of your potential customers use the questions above in their decision-making process. The good news is, these things are directly under your control! Contact a small business website design company and take the first step towards dominating your niche online.
RULE NUMBER 2: Invest In SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and is the driving force behind who you see on the first page of search engine results pages (SERP). When you invest in SEO performed by a top-performing SEO Agency, you are investing in the future of your business’ online visibility for years to come. SEO lays the foundation of your online presence, it is the rock of your visibility. Each two or three years your design will change but the SEO investment remains because you’ve increased the authority of your website, which the search engine algorithms do not forget. The caveat is, you must choose a reputable company who can prove they have helped other clients improve their visibility as well. And you should never have to pay more than $500 or $750 per month. The video below shows a couple of our clients in Google search results.
RULE NUMBER 3: Invest In Pay Per Click Advertising
Though it sounds scary, Pay Per Click advertising (PPC) is the most highly targeted and cost-effective method to grow your business online. A common misconception about PPC is that it’s too expensive for small businesses. The fact is, you choose your monthly budget! Try telling your local newspaper or coupon magazine that you’d like to choose your monthly ad spend, and only pay for people who visit your business or website! That’s exactly what you can do with PPC.
Hire A Local PPC Advertising Company
But when you make the decision to start PPC, don’t let Google run your campaign, don’t try to manage it yourself, and don’t let a friend do it just because they’ve done it before. You wouldn’t let a friend rebuild your transmission if they had done it a couple times in the past, so don’t let them manage your PPC investment either. You need to hire an experienced Pay Per Click advertising company – preferably a local company – so that you can meet them face to face, and let them see your business firsthand. Whatever city you live in, just go to Google and search “Pay Per Click advertising company in CITY” and choose one of the top results. An experienced agency can help you get twice the number of website visitors for a given budget that a novice would.