How Much Should I Spend On My Web Site Marketing?

by Brendon on April 11, 2006

I recently had a prospect in my office that had spent $6,000 on the development of her web site. Now she wanted to talk about the marketing of the web site.
Her first question to me was: “How much should I spend on my web site marketing?”
I started talking about her objectives. She wanted, unsurprisingly, to get to the top of the search engines for her very competitive key phrase. She wanted to be there within a month.
She also wanted to employ people full time to manage her site so she could start to ‘retire’ from her business.
(She was a bit like the client I once had who had $2,000 to spend on his web site and said “I don’t want much. I don’t want to run the web site. I just want enough from it for a house by the water and a new Merc.” And, I swear, he was completely serious.)
All this from a $6,000 web site that hadn’t been marketed yet, hadn’t made a sale and had been ‘live’ just two- (2) days. And it was a terrible web site.
And she kept coming back to that question: “How much should I spend on marketing?”
Difficult Question
It’s a difficult question of course.
She needed to be aware of visitor costs, conversion rates, profitability of her products, support required, offer testing, etc. But she wasn’t.
She thought that all web sites are gold mines just waiting to be exploited for full benefit.
Client’s often have an unrealistic expectation of their web site potential. It’s usually an expectation based up reading about how much the founders of Google have made!
But sometimes a reality check is the only thing that can be provided.
I explained to this prospect why her expectations were unrealistic withy the resources she had. That didn’t meet her expectation, so she left.
Disappointed With Me
She was disappointed with me.
Not her web developer who had produced a poor site that was essentially un marketable. But me, the guy who gave her a realistic view of the commercial viability of her web business model.
And as bad as I felt, I was pleased that I’d done the right thing and, hopefully, made her a little more aware of what she truly needed to know.

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