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How Much Money Should a Small Business Invest in Marketing and SEO?

Updated: Jun 4, 2023

As a small business owner, it can be challenging to determine how much money to invest in marketing and SEO. However, it's important to remember that these efforts are crucial for driving new customers to your business and growing revenue.

When it comes to determining your marketing budget, there are a few factors to consider. First, it's important to take a look at your overall revenue and projected growth. A general rule of thumb is to allocate around 7-8% of your revenue towards marketing efforts. For example, if your business brings in $100,000 in annual revenue, you should aim to spend around $7,000 to $8,000 on marketing.

It's also important to consider your target market and the best ways to reach them. For example, if your target market is primarily active on social media, investing in social media advertising may be more effective than Google AdWords or traditional print ads. Similarly, if your target market is likely to search for products or services like yours online, investing in SEO may be more beneficial.

When choosing between social media advertising and Google AdWords, there are a few key factors to consider.

First, consider the type of campaign you want to run. Social media advertising is often better for building brand awareness and engagement, while Google AdWords is better for driving website traffic and generating leads or sales.

Second, consider your budget and the cost of advertising on each platform. Google AdWords can be more expensive than social media advertising, but it can also be more targeted and generate a higher return on investment.

Ultimately, it's a good idea to test both platforms and see which one performs better for your business.

When it comes to SEO specifically, it's important to remember that it's a long-term strategy. It can take up to one year to see a return on your investment, so it's important to budget for it over a longer period of time. A good starting point for a small business is to budget around $1,500 to $3,000 per month for SEO.

Ultimately, the amount a small business should invest in marketing and SEO will vary depending on the business's industry, target market, and revenue. It's important to work with a marketing professional to create a customized plan and budget that will work best for your business.

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Monthly SEO blog posts are important in any SEO campaign, their purpose is twofold: we want to solicit organic interest among potential consumers by introducing new and exciting content on a regular basis (1); and to present Google and other search engines with more data which it can index (2). This continued submission of content to Google’s Search Console helps the platforms' algorithms understand what your website has to offer so your content has a better chance of ranking in organic search results.

In summary, a small business should budget around 7-8% of their revenue for marketing efforts, and around $1,500 to $3,000 per month for SEO. It's also important to consider your target market and the best ways to reach them, and remember that SEO is an ongoing effort that requires consistent investment.


Steve Crayne

Founder, Starting Gate Marketing

P: 770-853-0318

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