Managing marketing budgets has never been an easy task, anticipating campaigns, planning for different media and ever-changing goalposts from customers. Now as we progress further into the digital age and the industry only develops further, budgets have become even more complex and senior managers want more and more evidence of return for marketing spend.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) will be a big part of your budget (or should be if you are doing digital right) and we have created a quick guide to how to understand SEO budgets in particular.


You get what you pay for

Many senior managers are still getting their heads around SEO and why it is necessary to invest in SEO. The most switched on and adaptive of them are realising that like bedsheets and toilet paper, you get what you pay for when it comes to investing in SEO. Investing time and resources into SEO will reap the rewards when you find your business at the top of search results for your well researched and relevant keywords.



As with anything worth having these days there are fakes and con artists a plenty out there, preying on business owners that are new to the digital world. Jokers that lure unsuspecting newbies in with offers of 1st page Google results for next to nothing per month, that won’t achieve anything and might also ruin a business’ reputation. Over the last decade, Google has revamped their algorithms multiple times to stop these scoundrels from cheating the system with keyword stuffing, cloaking, cheeky redirects etc. If the price an “agency” is offering you sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You want value, not cheap tactics.


What do you get for your money?

There are 3 key areas to think about when it comes to setting a SEO budget:

  •       Content
  •       Links
  •       On-Page SEO

You need to consider these areas, in terms of your own site and of your competitors.

Content – How much content have you already got that could translate well online to reach the right searchers and to rank for certain words on Google. How often could you realistically be creating new content and uploading it? The big question as well is, do you have the skill, knowledge and time to do this in-house? Often this is not the case and either time and money need to be invested into recruiting someone to do it or you need to find an SEO agency that has the required skills, time etc.

Links – I’m not talking about signing up and paying for links or joining an online directory that potential customers will never look at but spending time and effort finding businesses that have good authority to link to your site as well as creating the content that will be naturally linked to by other sites because it is that good.

On-page SEO – optimising your webpage so that it tells Google the right things and helps you rank to start attracting customers to your site. This can be a time-consuming but rewarding activity that can make a real difference to your results.


Getting the help that you need

The cost of digital marketing as opposed to offline marketing is that the expense comes from the person or people who are undertaking the SEO activities rather than the cost that different media channels charge for using their services as well as graphic designers, distributors, etc.

This is why you need to assess the 3 key areas above to see whether you can do this internally or need expert help. Once you know how much work needs to be done you can start to figure out what you can afford and what you can get for your money.

If Sierra Six can help you figure out your budget, please get in touch, we will give you an honest and open idea of costing based on your needs, budget, type of site etc. You will get value. It won’t be cheap, it will be effective. 

Rachel Downes, Publisher, Sierra Six Media.