Here’s what an ROI-worthy search advertising budget looks like in 2022

Here’s what an ROI-worthy search advertising budget looks like in 2022

30-second summary:

  • Digital marketers experience a potential ROI tunnel vision when it comes to search advertising
  • Seriously, do you need to burn dollars over those high-competition keywords? Does it trickle down into actual business?
  • How do you not lose vision and outweigh the paid search cost with your revenue?
  • We’re bringing you the finer details of designing a paid media budget straight from an SEO expert and serial entrepreneur

It’s a bit of an understatement to say that success in digital marketing depends on a whole lot of things. There’s your skill-set, your team that helps you, and your understanding of the market where you’re trying to make a dent, either for yourself or your clients.

But how often do you think about your budget? Specifically, we’re talking about your search advertising budget here.

On its face, running paid media ads on Google Ads, the Google Display Network, Facebook, Microsoft, and other platforms is pretty simple: you bid on your keywords, define your target audiences, and run your ads for the length of the campaign.

You might not think that your budget factors into things beyond showing you the funds you have to work with, but I argue that there’s more to it than that, especially when every dollar counts and you have a potential tunnel vision on ROI.

The thing is, only you will be able to say ultimately what your ROI-worthy search advertising budget will look like this year, but in this article, I’ll explain how to design your paid media budget to strike gold in 2022.

The basics: What do you want?

So, you want to know what your search advertising budget should look like in 2022.

Let me ask you this first: who are you, how big is your business, how much do you have to devote to search advertising, and, most importantly of all, what do you want to accomplish?

There are so many factors here that only you will know, but the questions I’d ask myself if I were looking at designing a search advertising budget for 2022 would include:

  • What do I want out of my campaigns?
  • How many conversions can I reasonably expect to get from my campaigns?
  • Is search advertising my only growth channel right now, or are there others?
  • How much will I also be putting into SEO or email?
  • How can I track my search advertising to make sure my performance is what I expect?
  • What will success look like?

Your budget is going to reflect what you want out of your campaigns, and what you want should reflect what growth looks like to your business.

For instance, are you an affiliate-marketing blogger who just needs more eyeballs on your pages? Are you a law firm looking for real, honest form-fills? Are you an ecommerce brand that’s retargeting your audiences for products they’ve viewed?

All of it matters, because your approach to your search advertising, and consequently your budgeting, will be determined by your goals.

Closing in: What do you need?

After figuring out what you want, it’s time to think of what you need to get there. Here’s where we’ll talk about hard figures: budgeting.

Only you will know what your search advertising campaigns should be producing (the results ideally will be based on the goals you’ve laid out).

So, if you want to grow by, let’s say, $2,000 a month, then you need to do some math to get there.

How many leads does your current search advertising campaign bring in? Of those leads, how many convert? Knowing your conversion rate will be key, as will knowing what each lead is worth to you and what your cost per lead is.

When you figure these things out, you’ll have a better idea of how to budget.

If a conversion will bring you $500, and your cost per lead is $10, and your conversion rate is five percent, then you need to bring in 80 leads a month through search advertising.

Here’s how it works.

You need four conversions a month to hit your $2,000 goal. You convert five percent of the leads you get. Four is 5% of 80. You, therefore, need 80 leads per month to reach your goal.

And if you pay $10 per lead, then your budget should be $800 a month for search advertising.

Now, that’s an ideal situation. That’s assuming you can make it all happen consistently like that, month after month.

In the perfect world, that budget will indeed be ROI-worthy.

But campaigns may fail, certain methods may not follow through for you.

How can you ensure your budgeting and efforts are worthwhile?

Pulling it together: Get smart about bidding

You want to design an ROI-worthy search advertising budget for 2022. That means you want to be in the big leagues like your competitors. What do you think they’re doing that you aren’t? Do they have some insight into Google Ads that you don’t?

No, it really comes down to your keyword strategy for your ads.

In case you didn’t know, it works like this in SEO, too: the more mainstream, general, and competitive keywords – such as “SEO company” – are going to be pretty expensive to bid on. Depending on your budget, you may not be able to sustain that kind of campaign for long, and it’s going to end up as a lot of wasted dollars.

But again, look at your similarly sized competitors. They probably have roughly the same budget as you do. If they’re outperforming you, they may have a smarter keyword bidding strategy than you do.

Taking the example from above, maybe you don’t want or need to rank your ads for “SEO company.”

A longer-tail keyword such as “SEO agency for link building” will cost you less and have fewer monthly searches. But as in any sales funnel, when searchers get more specific, they tend to be more ready to convert.

Just remember that when you get more specific, you’re going to want to hone in on the quality and relevance of your ads’ corresponding landing pages.

A long-tail keyword search requires a long-tail ad, and a long-tail ad requires a long-tail landing page (so to speak). Be sure to deliver on what your ad promises. Surely, you can develop content related to hiring an SEO agency for link building.

Think of those funnels here. People want to see content related to where they are in the buyer’s journey. When they see it, they will be more ready to convert. It works the same in SEO.

If you want to talk about really honing in on ROI with your search advertising, that’s the way to do it.

What will you do next?

Many businesses spend between seven and 12 percent of their annual budget on marketing. It’s a necessary expenditure for growth.

If you want to make sure that whatever you spend on your search advertising this year is actually worthy of a satisfactory ROI, study the tips I have laid out. Know your strengths, what you can do, and your bidding limitations, as well.

If you’re smart, you can really build something great.


Kris Jones is the founder and former CEO of digital marketing and affiliate network Pepperjam, which he sold to eBay Enterprises in 2009. Most recently Kris founded SEO services and software company LSEO.com and has previously invested in numerous successful technology companies. Kris is an experienced public speaker and is the author of one of the best-selling SEO books of all time called, ‘Search-Engine Optimization – Your Visual Blueprint to Effective Internet Marketing’, which has sold nearly 100,000 copies.

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