Digital marketing budget

The Number One Digital Marketing Budget Mistake Most Companies Make

It’s that time a year – budget season!

If you work at a large organization, you’ve probably have had 6 meetings on this topic. But if you’re a smaller organization or a business owner, you are adjusting your digital marketing budget month after month.

No matter the process (or lack of), when it comes to budgeting for digital marketing programs, I have come to discover that a number of organizations make this same big mistake. 

Investing and Budgeting for Website Updates.

Your company invested in a new website build this year (maybe last year, or five years ago), and that project was a nightmare and you don’t want to think about it again. 

So when you’re looking at your budget plans for next year, having money set aside for website updates is probably the furthest thing from your mind.

That’s the mistake many managers make. They forget to put money aside for proper website maintenance and changes.

Invest In Your Website Like You Would Your Staff

How does your company treat its sales team vs. the company website?

When I was in sales at Softchoice, every week involved 2-3 training sessions. Money was invested into ensuring the sales team was up-to-date on new IT trends and how to properly communicate that information to clients.

Great organizations invest in their staff. And your website is a staff member.


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The difference is, a website is never late for work. A website is always open – expect for that occasional sick day where it crashes.  A website demonstrates the organization value proposition, products and services, and encourages visitors to become clients.

The company website is a member of the sales team. 

But if your website isn’t meeting its forcasting numbers, the question you need to ask yourself is “do you properly invest in your website?”

Why You REALLY Need To Invest In Your Website

When you are planning your digital marketing budget for the year, you may be looking to invest in additional or new programs. Perhaps next year your company wants to invest in a new marketing automation software or AdWords campaigns.

Investing in digital marketing programs is a great way to stay competitive online. At the end of the day, these tactics are just invitations for people to visit your website.

I’ve used this example to explain the importance of website investment with clients in the past.

Think of your website as a party, and tactics like AdWords, Facebook ads, and press releases are the invitations to your party.

You can spend a ton of money investing in beautiful invites to get people excited to come to your party. But if people show up and there is only a half eaten bag of potato chips on the table, well, your guests are going to leave and will never forget that experience.


If your competitors are investing in a much more user friendly website, you’re going to lose out on potential business.

How Much Should I Budget For My Website?

This depends on your marketing goals and the digital marketing team you have in place.

That being said, here are some areas to consider when determining your website budget for the next year:

  1. Will your organization be offering new products or services? If so, you’ll need new pages on the website. What about ecommerce? 
  2. When it comes to search engine optimization, fresh content is very important. At least start with a weekly blogging plan and a monthly content refresh strategy.
  3. Does your AdWords campaigns suffer from poor quality scores? It may be that you need proper funnel pages or landing pages associated to your website.
  4. Are you prepared for emergencies related to your site such as a hack?
  5. Are you introducing new digital marketing tactics? What’s needed on your website to move clients through the desired purchasing funnel?

It’s difficult to determine exactly what to invest into website maintenance. But putting 10-20% of your budget towards your website is a great place to start.

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