Digital Profits Podcast – Episode 2: How to Craft a Winning Marketing Budget in 2023

As a digital marketer, you need to be smart with your money. That’s why it’s important to have a winning marketing budget. With a few simple tips, you can make sure that your marketing dollars are well-spent and help your business succeed. Here’s what you need to know about creating a winning marketing budget.

Determine your marketing goals and what you want to achieve with your budget 

SEO and PPC are two important digital channels that you should think about and put money into because they can help people find your brand and help you reach your business goals. SEO involves optimizing webpages and content and increasing website traffic organically by leveraging search engine algorithms. PPC involves establishing a presence in sponsored search engine results for specific keywords or phrases. With the help of SEO and PPC, you can reach potential customers with relevant messages, increase conversions through effective targeting, measure success over time through detailed analysis of performance metrics, and make sure that every dollar you spend on marketing gives you the best possible return on your investment.

Research your target audience and figure out where they spend their time online 

Every business, no matter what size or type, needs to take the time to learn about their target audience. Start by looking at competitor data to get an idea of who’s already engaging with their content. Knowing this information allows you to develop a better plan for targeting relevant users. After that, focus on where these people are spending their time online. Platforms like social media and forums can be great sources of information because they’ll provide insights into what your target audience likes, what they’re talking about, and the language they prefer using. With the right research, you can be strategic in your approach when it comes to bringing in new customers and building long-term relationships with existing ones – both offline and online.

Find creative ways to reach your target market without breaking the bank 

It’s helpful to start by understanding exactly who your target market is. Look at factors like age, gender, lifestyle, and buying power. Once you have this information, you can start researching how best to reach these people. There are plenty of affordable options out there. Consider social media, email campaigns, or even working with micro-influencers in the community if it applies. You could also look into attending events or setting up a stall in high foot-traffic areas, as people are often open to hearing from a variety of businesses when they’re out and about. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and come up with unique methods that your competitors might not be doing yet! Brainstorm some ideas with colleagues and see what works best for your budget.

Test different marketing strategies and analyze the results to see what’s working 

You can try out multiple tactics, assess whether or not they work, and make adjustments as necessary. You’ll want to track metrics like open rates, click-through rates, conversions, and other indicators of success so you can accurately measure results. It’s also important to remember that paid campaigns serve different purposes and should be used strategically. Depending on what you want to achieve, it might be better to use paid ads alongside organic content rather than relying solely on paid efforts. Doing some trial-and-error experimentation will teach you which types of paid campaigns bring the best returns on your investment.

Adjust your budget as needed based on your findings and keep track of your progress 

Adjusting your budget isn’t something to be afraid of. It’s actually a great way to get an idea of what you need and don’t need in your financial life. Start by creating a budget that works for you and keeping track of it. Then, based on the kind of progress you make, you can start adjusting certain categories or amounts. For example, if money is left over in one category and a deficit in another, redistribute those funds so you can use them to improve other areas of your finances. There are also plenty of resources out there to help you if needed. Making sure your budget is up-to-date means that no matter the situation or purpose, you are ready to take action and make the most out of your finances!

Overall, having a refined marketing strategy is key to getting the best return on your investment. Remember to identify what you want to achieve and ensure your budget allows you to do so. Researching both your audience and potential options for digital marketing should be an ongoing process, as the market changes quickly. During this journey, have fun experimenting with different strategies, but also be sure to track their progress so you can adjust accordingly. At the end of it all, if done correctly, this digital marketing strategy should serve as a springboard for further success. Now that you’re prepared to create a successful digital marketing strategy with a realistic budget, take things one step further and listen in on Episode 2 of the Digital Profits Podcast where we share insights on how to leverage content marketing for maximum impact!

Ben Page  00:04
Welcome to the digital profits podcast, where you’ll learn how to grow your business faster using paid traffic and SEO. Each episode will feature a breakdown of digital marketing trends and answers to your burning questions that will provide actionable takeaways to make your marketing better. So join us Ben Page Ray Sawvell and Blake John, as we guide you on your journey to higher profits. Remember to join the profit squad at and get ready to profit in three to one. Hey, everyone, Ben here, I’m joined by Ray. Hello, and Blake. Hey, squad. And we are super pumped about this topic because it’s super relevant to this time of the year. Ray, what is our breakdown for today?
Ray Sawvell  
Ben, that’s such a great question. Today we are talking about how to budget for PPC and SEO in 2023. And in general,
Ben Page  
yeah, that’s a great point, we wanted to kick off the breakdown by talking about some of the big picture principles that we would use, and that we do use to guide clients on how to think about setting a budget in these areas or in their marketing in general, guys, maybe you’ll agree with me, I think that the goal of any marketing budget is to provide the best return on investment using at least this is how I think of it using any combination of factors we can influence. Usually that would be tools, different media, different channels, humans, etc. Whether they’re in house or agency side, just thinking about what’s the best sort of combination of people and resources to provide the maximum output for that investment. But big picture, right, we’re in this interesting sort of economic climate, I think on the table for a lot of brands, lot of advertisers right now is how do we make our marketing dollar work harder for us. And in some cases, people may be faced with budget cuts. So I don’t know if you are responsible for setting the budget yourself. Or if you have perhaps inherited a budget or a directive for the year. That was awesome, right? You got some maybe tough decisions in front of you. We hope that this episode will give you some principles to kind of cut through the complexity and make this process much simpler and smoother. So one of the first things that we do in our process, when we begin working on SEO or paid traffic accounts is we try to minimize and eliminate waste, or from I draw from that like lean manufacturing philosophy. And that idea of Muda, right, that idea of waste. So where is their little hidden areas of waste all over the marketing budget? And how can we get rid of it as quickly as possible. Ultimately, the way that you eliminate waste, is you focus on your best possible customer. And sometimes you have to take that further and focus on your best possible product as well. So sort of a, an 8020 analysis. Ray and Blake, do you guys have any thoughts on kind of this philosophy or big picture?
Ray Sawvell  03:18
Yep, I mean, the way that I tend to think about it is if we can eliminate waste in the first 60 to 90 days of an engagement that’s really going to pay for like the partnership if you partner with us. But just in general, when you think of your marketing partner, if you’re able to eliminate waste right away, it’s going to lead to trimming the fat and then leading to growth on the line. That’s the way I tend to think about it when it comes to eliminating waste.  
Ben Page  03:40
Yeah, and so we’re at this stage like doing some kind of analysis on input and output. And knowing that not all resources are created equal, and not all outputs are equal. Oftentimes, there can be situations where some marketing channel or tactic, or partnership provides an outsize return. And wherever possible, you want to double down on those opportunities. And you want to get rid of investments that are not serving you. But again, kind of zooming out to that big picture. When you’re thinking about framing a marketing budget, it needs to be in the context of the business model. And the economics. And I would argue, the cost to acquire a customer is one of the most important things to know and understand even if you knew that, like let’s say, we know that we can pay $500 to acquire a new customer. Usually you want to frame that with a lifetime value metric as well. And you’re usually shooting for some kind of healthy ratio of lifetime value to cost to acquire a customer. So that baked into the model of acquisition is a sense of sustainability. So that’s one interesting aspect of these budgeting discussions. A second one is cashflow. And this is especially important when you are using or relying on paid acquisition is that you could have a very sustainable or CAC, to LTV ratio, maybe you’re getting a five to one, for instance, like $5,000 lifetime value $500 cost to acquire customer, that’s a 10 to one ratio. However, let’s say your business model is a recurring revenue model, and it takes you 24 months to recoup that cost to acquire that customer, you’re going to have to wait for an extended period to have cash on hand to reinvest in a paid acquisition unless you have another source of funding. So I think the last big picture thing I’ll say to kind of frame this discussion is that in general, channels are enabled or disabled by your CAC. In other words, if it’s, you know, that $500 example, again, something like perhaps paid search might be a good fit, or Facebook ads, or SEO, or any of these channels that you might evaluate, could be a good fit, but it might rule out broad television advertising, depending on your model. Right. So Blake, I think you drug up this interesting stat about from bright edge. Do you want to list that stat? Explain what it is?
Blake John  06:08
Yeah. So the staff from bright edge, it’s, it’s compelling, right? 68% of all online experiences begin with a search engine. So that means anytime anybody goes out of their phone goes out of their computer, whatever right might be. They’re usually starting with Google. You can also start obviously, with Bing and Yahoo, but most of the time they’re starting with Google. And they’re searching for obviously products and services and answers to their questions. It’s over two thirds of all, just digital experiences begin with Google or Yahoo, or Bing, or some other search engine.
Ben Page  06:38
That’s wild. Now, Blake, I’ve got a little bit of a hot take here, I’m gonna throw into the mix. I wrote a blog about a year ago that said, is paid search the most durable digital marketing channel in existence? And based on this stat, I think there is a strong argument for that being the case. Do you agree or disagree?
Ray Sawvell  06:58
There’s no way Blake is gonna say yes to that.
Blake John  07:00
I was gonna say you’re asking the wrong guy, I think I can definitely see the angle there. And why paid search would be one of the most durable, but I think organically, right? Like you can turn off organic dollars, you can stop budgeting for SEO, and everything that you’ve done in the past can still bring value and like it’s resilient in that way. Whereas paid ads, if you stop, if you just cut your allocation, budget allocation for paid ads, well, then there’s they’re not serving you anymore, right? Because there’s no more dollars there to to earn that top ad spot. But that’s the only other hand it’s kind of the opposite. So I would say, my my personal opinion, is that SEO is probably one of the most durable marketing channels disgusting.
Ben Page  07:41
But here’s the counter argument for why you need to do both, I think, in most cases, right? If if you’ve kind of passed those initial checks that we talked about, for cost of acquire and so on, not only do we have the length of time that paid organic search have persisted. I think the one of the principal challenges though, is the amount of organic real estate is shrinking over time, right, on average, and depending on the SERP, right, and the the nature of the query, but for many transactional or commercial intent queries over time, the search engines even because of their business models are incentivized to commercialize more of that syrup. And so you turn off paid, you know, you make an investment in organic. And oftentimes, if done well, that’s a fruitful, long term investment with again, potential in some scenarios. However, as a kind of hedge to the risk of diminishing organic search visibility, you almost need to do both.
Ray Sawvell  08:41
That’s the beautiful, like harmonious answer that needs to happen. You just have to do both together and doing well.
Blake John  08:47
Yeah, absolutely. And you’re absolutely right, like the organic landscape, the real estate that you can actually earn organically is shrinking. Like, it seems almost every single day, there’s less and less real estate and it it really it pains me to say it makes my heart ache. But yeah, they’re both high value channels, obviously. And, again, over two thirds of people, that’s where all the eyeballs are. That’s why there’s so much value in these channels. Yep.
Ben Page  09:11
And the key in either case is to have beachfront condos in the SERP not swamp land, eight right page to really ag wastelands or, you know, the wrong queries. But circling back to this, this topic for today, right? Blake I’m gonna I’m gonna ask you thinking about budgeting for SEO, you know, this year or generally? Should I do SEO myself? Should I hire in in house resources to do this or should I partner up with an agency?
Blake John  09:41
Yeah, it’s a great question. And it’s it’s one that we get all the time. I see it often honestly in like SEO forums, and I’ve heard it from like potential clients as well. And I think there’s pros and cons to away from each whether you want to DIY it, whether you want to do it in house or whether you want to do it in an agency and I want to mention right off the top that DIY is not free. Thank you, they’re saying that there is a sort of opportunity cost involved. And then there’s a real monetary costs involved as well. So, to do SEO on your own, you have to dedicate man hours and time to to learn it really like if you want to have an ROI, you’re probably looking out to six to 12 months of just learning it and getting the base knowledge. So that’s a lot of time you have to invest, whether you’re going to do it really quite literally yourself, or what are you just going to turn one of your marketing employees into the SEO guy or gal, you’re probably looking at about six to 12 months just for them or yourself to learn it. The other thing, too, is, like I mentioned, the opportunity cost, if you’re doing it on your own, you’re probably not focusing on what you really are good at. And that can pull you away from other aspects of the business, whether it’s, you know, customer service, or sales, or just whatever your wheelhouse is, well, you’re spending some of that time now on SEO and learning it. So the do it yourself method, you know, if you want to take that route, I commend you, I know that I know the pains of learning SEO, it takes a lot of time and energy, and you really have to hone in. But truthfully, it’s not one that I recommend, just because there is so much time involved in doing that. If you want to hire in house, this is interesting. It’s true. It’s actually one of the more expensive options, right? Because you’re taking out an employee now. And most often, you’re probably taking on more than one employee to really do this, right? Because you have to if you’re going to hire internally, if you’re going to say, create an SEO branch on your team, you kind of need like a support network, you really need like a team to make that happen. The big pro of hiring in houses that now you have somebody or a group of people who are completely dedicated to you, and your craft, and they know your business. And that’s the best benefit possibly of hiring a house. So that’s a lot of times why people go that direction and why businesses make that choice. Finding an agency. On the other hand, you get a team of experts. So you’re obviously not hiring that. And it is truthfully the middle of the road option in terms of just how much it costs, right. And we’re talking about obviously, we’re talking about budgets. So if you compare finding an agency versus hiring, it’s could be a third of the price or even less, it could be a 10 10% of the price of hiring internally.
Ben Page  12:08
And Blake, can we talk really quick about why that might be the case? In my in my mind, I’m thinking about if you’re building and budgeting for your SEO dream team this year? What are the functional kind of roles that need to live on that team to make it a hit? You know, and then that can kind of inform to part of this decision on that in house hiring versus, you know, agency side?
Blake John  12:30
That’s a great question, I think. So there’s really two aspects, two types of two roles that you need to fill, you need a technical expert who can make sure that your site is technically sound, that it makes sure that we’re not running into errors. And if you run into like a technical fire, and you have someone who can put that out, essentially, because it happens often. The other part is like an editorial team, or person who can do the research, do the, like put together the strategy, and then write the content and build content that’s going to rank for search engines. So you really need probably two people unless you find a little bit of a unicorn who’s out there trying to find that in house role. And they do exist. There are some people out there, but truthfully, most of them are at agencies. And so there’s really at least two people and then you probably need a manager, right, a third person to manage those people who understand what they’re being held accountable for and can keep them rowing in the right direction and kind of make sure everyone is aligned.
Ben Page  13:28
Yeah, that is interesting. And I agree, I think one of the risks right to the in house route is, if you don’t have a lot of existing institutional knowledge around SEO run paid traffic, it could be more challenging maybe to hold that group accountable, and to really align on a strategy and have clarity and a strategy based on the resources at hand that will actually produce results when the mid to long term. Yeah, that’s super interesting. And so you’ve got this idea of editorial team, kind of a technical role, I would argue like that analysis strategy component. Yeah, all needs to be accounted for. Interesting. So Blake, what about some of the cons of these different models as well?
Blake John  14:11
Yeah. So one of the bigger cons specifically for finding an agency and I’ve heard this from clients is that it can feel like you’re one of many clients. In some cases, it’s true. One analyst that you might be working with, maybe they have seven or eight clients, you know that they’re managing five to six clients, whatever it might be. The other thing too, is, and this is true in the world of just digital marketing, but there’s a lot of really shady agencies out there who make false promises and try to over promise and under deliver. And so a lot of times people have been burned and it kind of pushes them to the path of hiring internally, which can be tough, and it puts a bad name out there for some of us, but it is a reality. And then lastly, they might not be experts in your niche, which is again, why you might want to hire an in house because you can really find somebody who knows your craft, or at least coach them up to make sure that they know your business and Your business model. On the other side of that, though, when you’re working with an agency, there’s a lot more flexibility. And really the biggest con or excuse me, the biggest pro is that when we’re going to agency, if you get a team of experts, you it’s not just one talking head, it’s usually three, four people who have five to 10 years of experience are more right, who are really are dedicated to your organic initiative. Yeah.
Ben Page  15:24
And so one principle that comes to mind for me is, as budget increases, you may think about going from more general, to more specialization in terms of roles and team or even agency, right? Maybe, at first, it’s looking at a general digital marketing agency. But then as your, your needs dictate or your budget allows, you’re looking at a more deeply specialized team or partner, and then kind of drilling down and saying, Alright, now who’s the specialized partner that has experience in my niche? And that can be a great option for folks? Blake, how do you budget for an impactful SEO program?
Blake John  16:07
Yeah, this is an interesting question. And there’s a lot to consider, right? Because you have to take into account your business size, the competition, what kind of projects you’re trying to do, what kind of goals you have. And then current performance is also big, like I, you know, sometimes clients come to us and they’re spiraling, right? Like we’ve lost 60% of traffic in the last quarter, like what’s going on, like, that’s going to change things drastically. So you might need to pour more resources into it, or you just might need to find a more quality agency or team to help you manage that. So there’s really a lot to consider. And the one thing that I wanted to mention, and this is another stat, this one’s actually from H refs. But approximately 28% of all North American SEO agencies charge between $2,500 to $5,000, for a monthly retainer. And I think that kind of puts the into perspective, like what you really need to budget to make sure you’re getting a quality agency like that 2.5 to 5k number is really like sort of the wheelhouse and in my experience, that’s where a lot of agencies land as well. So the other thing that I wanted to mention, the cost of cheap SEO can be drastic, if you’re working with an agency who maybe they don’t really know what they’re doing. Or maybe they’re working in Blackhat practices, you can really dig yourself a hole. At worst, you could get hit with a Google penalty that could truthfully be like a death sentence for a digital business. Yeah. So you want to make sure that you’re finding a quality and see, and you want to sort of like thinking about it longer term, think about that annual budget and cutting it down to a monthly retainer. 2.5k to 5k is a good range to sort of budget for an SEO engagement.
Ben Page  17:47
Yeah, yeah. In the thought, the mindset behind that, I think is this is a long term investment in our growth and development. Right. So that’s a good thing. I’m curious about what the other 72% of North American SEO agencies charge, maybe we could dig up some more stats and throw it on the profit squad.  You know, Blake, I mean, what are some of the most high leverage SEO activities that you can possibly do what like, regardless of who’s doing these things, you know, what’s actually going to move the needle for you, if you’re just sort of thinking about this for the first time?
Blake John  18:20
Yeah, if you’re thinking about it, for the first time, really, the most important thing that you can do is just make sure that your site is crawlable and accessible to search engines. And it’s an extremely basic tip. But I’ve seen examples where the sites are quite literally no index. And they, you’re telling essentially Google to not show your site on in search. So you want to make sure that it’s accessible indexable by Google, that’s the absolute most basic tip. And if again, if you think about for the first time, it really does apply to you, but you also want to make sure you have good measurement, I think that’s it’s under served it truthfully, within SEO is like making sure you have good measurement KPIs. Specifically, you want to set up Google Analytics, Google Search Console, so you can track performance, and make sure you have goals and events configured. The last thing and kind of this kind of gets to more of the editorial thing, editorial aspect of things. But you want to perform keyword research and understanding specifically what search terms your audience is worrying in Google and how you can reach them and target them through content of your own. So you want to understand specifically the intent of the user search, if they’re trying to purchase a product, or maybe they’re trying to learn more about a specific topic, whatever it is, you want to be able to meet their intent through high quality content and that you target keywords through.
Ben Page  19:37
Yeah, I love that. And it it speaks to the need to develop a sort of roadmap or a plan. And usually with SEO, these are longer term plans, three 612 month plans on average. And that’s sort of a hedge to some of the cons that we were talking about before. If you go that agency route, and potentially even in house right, I think what You don’t want to do when you begin an SEO initiative or think about budgeting for this year is sort of just winging it. And kind of month to month, you know, you’re kind of taking potshots at the dartboard and hoping that something sticks. Because when you’re building this roadmap, it should ladder up to a business case. Right? And that kind of commercial intense user needs in general, so that it can actually move the needle for the business and produce results in terms of qualified traffic revenue, sales, etc. Ray, I’d love to kind of talk about this. Budgeting principles for paid traffic. Yeah, for PPC, I’ll just say that, if you’re beginning this for the first time, do your research first. obsess over the pillars of paid traffic, that we preach data targeting creative structure, put some risk mitigation in place things like automated rules to prevent runaway keywords, or ads or campaigns from spending a ton of budget with no results to show for it.
Ray Sawvell  21:03
Yeah, just to zoom in on that one really quick. Yeah, don’t have rules in place, you’re gonna have a bad time, like you’re going to waste your budget. Yep. So that’s just extremely important to have. Because if you don’t have that, if you don’t have those guardrails in place, you’re going to be burning cash.
Ben Page  21:17
Absolutely. And when you’re budgeting for this, think about both the team, the humans that will manage the campaigns, as well as the actual media spend costs, costs that are paid to platforms like Google and others, and ultimately, work backwards from your CAC. I think that’s key. So again, if you have that $500 cost to acquire customer, do your research to determine what channels and tactics can fit your CAC number, and we’ll have some tools in the profit squad to help you do that. Working backwards from CAC exercise. Yep.
Ray Sawvell  21:55
And to add on to that if you’re optimizing for a CPA or a role as that’s really just scratching the surface as to like what you can ultimately be unlocking. So having CAC or even profitability, other metrics like that is extremely important when optimizing your paid ad campaigns.
Ben Page  22:09
Yeah, so adding going beyond the cost per conversion, or the return on adspend number, laboring in gross margins, in the case of E commerce or layering in your sort of sales, pipeline stages, marketing, qualified sales, qualified, close deals, metrics, in the case of lead generation advertisers, that can give you a deeper level of intelligence that can unlock profitability, sometimes for the first time. We see you know, Ray, let’s suppose that folks already are running on some level. They’re running Google ads, currently Facebook, etc. What are some signs of opportunity in ad platforms? We talked earlier about first eliminate waste, but how do you double down on the areas that are working? Well,
Ray Sawvell  22:57
the first thing to understand is that Google tries to do this for you by giving you something called optimization score or recommendations. Take that with a big grain of salt, because you’re going to see within the ad accounts, or Google says, change your bid strategy or increase your budget by 300%. And you’re going to get 500% more conversions. Take all of that with a grain of salt before you start, because that’s going to look like an obvious place where you can expand upon your campaigns. But it’s, it’s not really true in a lot of cases. So I think it’s really important to not look to that area, just by increasing your budget to to scale things. But Blake kind of hit on this too. And conversion tracking needs to be set up properly within your accounts. Because if it is, if the measurement side is not accurate, you’re going to be optimizing for goals that just aren’t aren’t real. So assuming that things are accurate, the way that I tend to look at things is what campaigns are limited by budget today that are hitting my goal. So if I have a campaign that is hitting a key KPI, 5x, Ro s, whatever if it’s dominating, right, so if it’s doing so well, and it’s limited by budget, sorry, Blake, but I can pour as much fuel on that fire as I would like to and I can just like, you know, scale that as much as I can. So that’s like one area where if something is working really well, you can scale it.
Ben Page  24:13
That’s cool. Yeah, I think about that, too. And there’s a metric and Google ads, absolute top impression share loss due to rank and due to budget. So if you have like race at a campaign that’s currently converting at your target your goal, if there’s any last impression share due to budget, usually you want to ad budget first. And if you hit that point, like if you max out your budget on that campaign, and you’re still hitting your goal for row as for cost per lead, etc. Then you might want to get more aggressive in your bidding, though we’ll have some more thoughts on this and the profit squad as well for people. So you know, Ray, I think if you’re let’s say you’re knocking out of the park, you’re kind of mopping up on all that low, bottom of the funnel, high intent traffic and Let’s say Google ads, one of the things you can do is you can add platforms. That’s one. The other is you can kind of go up funnel. So you can go from that high intense search to a mid or an upper funnel search. But then eventually progressing to a p max or performance max that is or display or YouTube.
Ray Sawvell  25:19
Yeah, you definitely cannot ignore those discovery platforms. So if you are dominating bottom of funnel, don’t ignore middle and upper funnel because there are ways where you can have other channels perform based on the interest that you’re generating from these other strategies.
Ben Page  25:34
That’s so interesting. So on that, if we invert this line of inquiry, about how do we double down on winners, how do we spot losers are usually almost without fail? I’ve audited a few 100 accounts, I would say, at this point, within an hour, you can usually find 10 to 50% of budget in the last 3060 90 days, that is waste, what are the things that you look out for if you’re doing this sort of audit?
Ray Sawvell  26:03
Yep. So the first thing you should do like right now, if you have an ads account is go into your Google Ads account, sort by cost descending at the campaign, ad group and keyword level and find the top spenders that are not generating a conversion. Based on what you find, you can drill down to the search term level, you can look at keyword match type, you can find the exact keywords that are not performing for you and adjust from there. So that’s like the first thing you can do. And all this will be available for the squad on the profit squad. So make sure you sign up and check it from there. But on the other side of it if you do have campaigns, keywords and ad groups that are performing for you, but the KPI is not performing. So if your CPA is really high, or your RO s is really low, you can filter by those campaigns and almost do like an intent analysis to find out why isn’t this search term performing as well as it could. So there’s a bunch of different things that you can look at whether it’s audience campaign settings, there’s gonna be some major bombs inside campaign settings that can just blow up your account, like, seriously. So look into that, because things like location settings, Google makes it really easy for you to burn through a lot of cash if you don’t know what you’re doing. So there could be a couple of really quick fixes from a campaign setting standpoint, but then some more technical fixes. As you get into Keyword Analysis, or ad copy analysis. There’s a lot of different things you can do from that standpoint, which kind of goes back to our pillars like you were talking about Ben.
Ben Page  27:24
That’s awesome. All right, guys, let’s jump into some q&a. We’ve got two questions that we want to answer for today. Blake, the first one, I’m going to kind of field to you first. So it’s which is cheaper? SEO, or PPC?
Blake John  27:38
I don’t think there’s a specific answer truthfully, I think this kind of it’s an It depends really like, it depends on the market that’s out there really, honestly, and how much you’re willing to spend on paid because like you said, you can just throw fight, you can throw gasoline on the fire for paid and just keep going and going going. But realistically, you could have a 10 row as where you’re, you’re making $10 for every dollar spent. So at from that perspective, maybe it’s way cheaper. I think it goes back to the discussion we had earlier about how SEO can pay dividends a year, two years down the road. So maybe think about you optimized a page or a blog post or something last year, and just as an example, maybe it cost $2,000. To do that just as an example. Well, that upfront cost could lead to quite literally 10,000 20,000 $100,000 In business revenue that pays off two years down the road. It is a real life scenario that happens all the time. So it’s difficult to say, I think upfront, SEO is probably cheaper. I think it’s also a little more of a black box that people are afraid of. But you could make the argument for either side.
Ben Page  28:43
Yeah, as stated. It’s a little bit of a troll question. But you’re right. I mean, the example that comes to mind is the clients were over summer that we created a comparison content article, right. And now it’s already up to what five figures of new revenue generated? Yeah, in kind of an untouched keyword space previously, which is super cool. I think if we, yeah, if we invert this question to like, what’s a better ROI? It’s like, okay, it’s like just a silly question. But I think about usually you’re gonna trade volume and efficiency as a principle, right? So, in SEO, like longtail keywords, super high scalding hot intent, lower volume, on average, same unpaid search. You can go broader, you can do content marketing, you can re do some contextual targeting on GDN or run p max, you’re gonna get a lot more volume, but in general, you’re going to trade conversion rate, you know, for that. Interesting, but I think the Yeah, the principle is focused on intent and maximize investments in areas that are going to have the best ROI and conversion rates for you, regardless of channel.
Blake John  29:51
Yeah, I’ll just add to that SEO can kind of can have a compounding effect on other channels. You can improve your website you can improve the user experience through better content that might help paid search, or it might help referral traffic converter, direct traffic or whatever email, you know what I mean, whatever it is, SEO can kind of be a jack of all trades and kind of help out in multiple areas.
Ben Page  30:12
That’s a brilliant insight, because it helps us to serve users better, which is really the mission. Yeah, that’s what marketing is where we’re helping people, at the end of the day discover solutions to their problems. Ray, big picture, kind of quick takeaway here. How would you estimate a paid search budget from net new you’re going from keyword research stage? How do you kind of provide an estimate to a new advertiser?
Ray Sawvell  30:39
I think you hit it on the head earlier, Ben, if you think of the end in mind, so if you think of CAC, or if you don’t have that information available, thinking of what are your goals from a revenue or conversion standpoint, and then backing that into the information that the search providers give you. So Google has tools like Keyword Planner, where you can get search volume, estimated CPCs, you can throw in things like conversion rates, and we’ll make sure to have again, all this on the on the profit squad, but this information, you can kind of do some back of the napkin math to say, here’s roughly the search volume that’s going to come in, here’s how much you’re going to pay for every click. And then at this conversion rate, here’s what you can anticipate from a conversion volume standpoint, math it out. And then you kind of get to this magic number to say, here’s what budget can potentially look like if you get this volume. So you can kind of map that out to see if it makes sense from a conversion rate standpoint, right?
Ben Page  31:28
So if you, you do the keyword research, you determine the high intent keywords, you get some estimates on how many searches per month, average cost per clicks. And then you can sort of guesstimate, maybe look at some averages, there’s some articles out there on click through rate. If you have data on your website’s current conversion rate, fantastic, you’ve got to benchmark us that that will be eye opening, I think if you run through that exercise as to whether you can reasonably expect to hit your CAC, with paid search or not,
Ray Sawvell  32:00
and scaling that it’s a whole other issue. So if you’re low on budget right now, from a paid advertising standpoint, and you want two to three TEDx your budget, you’re likely not going to hit the same KPIs that you are today, most likely, you might, but
Ben Page 32:14
it’s going to take some work.
Blake John  32:16
So I actually have a question I want to pose to you, Ray. For someone who’s trying to estimate a paid search budget, could you potentially use a tool like SimilarWeb, or SEM rush to see what a competitor is doing? Just see how much they’re currently spending? Again, that’s usually an estimate, right? But does that give you kind of a ballpark number?
Ray Sawvell  32:34
I’ve used it in the past to get an idea of kind of like, where are they playing from, like a SERP standpoint, but when it comes to like, exactly how much are they spending in their ad accounts? It is all estimates. But contextually, it doesn’t give you some information as to where are they playing? Like, what terms? Are they bidding on things like that, so you can get a sense. But the real key thing is, once you start running ads, you get all this data to things called auction Insights, where you get more information. But that’s a different topic for another episode. Probably,
Ben Page  33:00
maybe that’s week two after you launch. Yes, exactly. So, guys, I want to pivot to takeaways in zoom back out and kind of bring this home for the listeners, you know, big picture. So how do you budget for SEO and PPC, this year? Any year? You know, one, I think it’s a question of focus. So maybe you’re handed a budget, maybe you have to figure out a budget for yourself, focus on the best customers, the best products, the best channels, you have to kind of run this through the filter of what your organizational goal is, you know, do you have an Efficiency Directive, a cutting budget directive? Are you in growth mode, and you’re willing to accept a smaller lifetime value to CAC ratio in the name of building your list of customers and building those relationships? Okay, great. You need to take those into consideration. Once you’ve done that, you want to think about what can I sustain for the year? You want to think about? What are the areas where I may be wasting my current investment that I could clean up and have some kind of initiative, some kind of audit, or deep dive into these in both channels? To do that.
Ben Page 34:59
Guys In closing, would you agree or more say like, think about like testing budget slush fund or kind of performance triggers, that would indicate it’s time to pour more resources into a channel.
Ray Sawvell  35:15
If you’re limited by budget, on paid search, pour more into and you’re hitting your KPIs. So I like the example that I gave before. If you’re hitting your KPIs in platform, and it’s all real life, if all that measurement is accurate, pour more budget into paid search if it’s working for you today. Awesome. Yeah. And Blake, I think the same would be true in SEO, right? If you’re mopping up high intent user needs, then you’re sort of in exploration mode, you want to find more user needs that you can fulfill. And in resource those two,
Blake John  35:42
yeah, I think there’s, it’s kind of about like the available market out there and what you can actually achieve and who you can actually reach if you see competitors are out there in areas that you think you should be in, but you’re not. Yeah, maybe you should pour more money into it and try to get there, right. And ultimately, you need to find those user needs and those audiences that you can serve, you can answer their questions and then you can build stronger relationships and drive more business. Awesome.
Ben Page  36:09
Thank you so much for listening. Your support means the world to us and allows us to help more people and grow the community. Please take a minute right now to subscribe and share this wherever you listen to podcasts, and sign up for the profit squad at join profit This will get you insider access additional tools and swipe files and help you elevate your marketing game to the next level.34:59
Guys In closing, would you agree or more say like, think about like testing budget slush fund or kind of performance triggers, that would indicate it’s time to pour more resources into a channel.
Ray Sawvell  35:15
If you’re limited by budget, on paid search, pour more into and you’re hitting your KPIs. So I like the example that I gave before. If you’re hitting your KPIs in platform, and it’s all real life, if all that measurement is accurate, pour more budget into paid search if it’s working for you today. Awesome. Yeah. And Blake, I think the same would be true in SEO, right? If you’re mopping up high intent user needs, then you’re sort of in exploration mode, you want to find more user needs that you can fulfill. And in resource those two,
Blake John  35:42
yeah, I think there’s, it’s kind of about like the available market out there and what you can actually achieve and who you can actually reach if you see competitors are out there in areas that you think you should be in, but you’re not. Yeah, maybe you should pour more money into it and try to get there, right. And ultimately, you need to find those user needs and those audiences that you can serve, you can answer their questions and then you can build stronger relationships and drive more business. Awesome.
Ben Page  36:09
Thank you so much for listening. Your support means the world to us and allows us to help more people and grow the community. Please take a minute right now to subscribe and share this wherever you listen to podcasts, and sign up for the profit squad at join profit This will get you insider access additional tools and swipe files and help you elevate your marketing game to the next level.