How Much To Spend on SEO and Social Marketing?

How much should a small company spend on SEO and Social Media Marketing?

Once a company decides to market online, the tough question always  is, how much to spend.

The folks over at the SEOMOZ conducted a world wide survey of companies like ours (Online marketing and SEO).  We participated in this survey as well and were one of the 47% US based companies. 13% were UK based, 40% were 23 other countries. These companies included in-house marketing firms and agencies, as well as outside contractors and internet marketing consultants.  The bottom line results were: 34% of their clients are spending $1,000 per month or more and about 16% were not on a monthly program. 45% were somewhere in between $100 to $1,000 per month. See the chart below:

How much companies spend on marketing

How much companies spend on SEO, social and internet marketing

So how much should a small company spend on Internet marketing, including website updates, mobile, SEO, PPC, other paid for ads and social media marketing? It depends of course. If you were a big yellow page advertiser, like a home service company (plumber), we think you should move 90% of the sped rate over to Internet marketing. If you’re a Realtor, 75% should probably go to Internet marketing and the rest to print and direct mailing. Restaurants on the other hand should have 100% of their marketing budget into online marketing. It amazes us how many restaurants don’t even have a website, much less market online. If I owned a restaurants and had only a very small marketing budget for some low cost advertising, I would jump right to mobile. I’d get a mobile website and setup 15-20 social web accounts and make damn sure my Google Place page is set up right.

It seems from our experience, that must small companies can afford between $1,000 to $2,500 per month. That’s enough to generate a ROI of between 3X to 30X.

If your new to this game, expect tangible results to take about three months. We’ve seen time and time again where start-ups or new companies don’t start soon enough. It takes 3 to 8 weeks to build and SEO a website and setup social accounts; and then still you have to build a following and online relationships before the social action kicks in. So don’t wait. Get started at least 2 months before you open if you can.

If your company has been around for awhile, but your new to online marketing. Same thing, expect 2-3 months before it starts really working. PPC (Pay Per Click like Google Engage) is always an option if you’re really in a rush. But bring a fat wallet. It’s not cheap to be effective. By the way, we have a stack of $100 FREE ad coupons if you want to try this out.

About the Author: Ken is the owner of KO Websites, a San Francisco, Bay Area web design and marketing company. is a sister brand for their SEO division of their San Francisco Internet Marketing company.