Justifying Your Spend – Getting SEO Buy-In, from Search Engine Watch.
Depending on your company, it might be once a year, some companies do it once a quarter, and I sincerely hope there aren’t any companies that force marketers to do it on a monthly basis. But at some point we all have to justify investment in our channel. This is simultaneously a point of dread as well as a moment of the greatest opportunity – the chance to expand your program effectiveness, either by taking on new areas of focus or simply refining those you already have.
Considering how important this process is to a functioning SEO program, I’m surprised how little we tend to talk about it. Sure, a quick Google search will bring up some articles on the subject, but considering the importance of getting a program funding to run, probably not enough of them, and none will give you the magical formula needed to increase investment within your particular company.
The difficulty is likely the fact that companies internally can be so radically different in how they approach investment in marketing, sales, or any form of investment. Each individual you might talk to will have a story about how they secured their budget, but it will be almost undoubtedly political, personal, riddled with caveats, and rendered impotent with special cases and imperfect information.
Even so – it’s important to talk about, even in general terms. Working at an agency I see these budget discussions happening frequently, and after a while they start to follow a similar pattern. Let’s talk about some common elements needed for success.