The headline for this article may have some people scratching their heads. Search engine optimisation (SEO) isn’t part of the marketing mix, it’s a technology or web cost, right?
But before I go into why your business should be including search optimisation as part of your marketing budget, let’s go back to the basics of exactly what marketing is.
Marketing is essentially any activity that aims to increase awareness about your brand, its products or services and reach potential customers.
What does search engine optimisation do? It aims to increase your business’ appearance in search engines, and reach more users than before, just like more traditional mediums.
To help with the thought process behind this idea, think of a search engine like you would a newspaper, magazine, or some other traditional marketing medium. The aim of placing your ad (at considerable cost) into a newspaper or magazine is to reach consumers who you wouldn’t have reached otherwise. A search engine is no different.
SEO aims to lift your site’s rankings in the search engines, exposing your business to more potential customers than before.
One major stumbling block for SEO in the past has been the reluctance of managers to spend $$$$ per month on what they considered to be web design costs. However, they are more than happy to spend thousands on print media ads that are fast losing their effectiveness.
The challenge for managers is to realise the need to treat SEO as a marketing item and not as some nuisance or web cost.
But how much should a business spend on SEO?
If you currently, or would like to, achieve 40% of your sales or referrals via the online channel, then you should seriously consider spending around 40% of your marketing budget on SEO and SEM (search engine marketing).
Obviously this depends on your industry and business, but far too many businesses are not maximising their website’s earnings potential because they are not giving it a fair weighting in their marketing budgets.