How Much Should You Spend on Internet Marketing?

How much should i spend on internet marketing

Originally published in February 2017. April 2018 UPDATE: See the results of a recent and related study: WordPress Design and Development Pricing, Structure, and Services Survey Results

Many small business owners would like to know:

How much should I spend on internet marketing, as compared to other forms of marketing (print media, etc.)?

Fortunately, surveys have been conducted to gather data on this question. The surveys were a collaborative effort of the Chamber of Commerce and BrightLocal (who provided permission to use the charts in this post – see the references below – thank you!).

Here are some results that may be of interest to small business owners. Note that these data were published in 2015.

The total monthly budget for marketing depends on company size, but ranges from $219 for a 1-person show and upwards:


The average SMB allocates 46% of its total marketing budget towards internet or mobile marketing.

Overall, the highest effective marketing channels for bringing in new customers are rated as

  • word of mouth (28%),
  • search engine optimization (SEO) (20%),
  • online local directories (15%), and
  • email marketing (10%).
  • online marketing channels overall (51%; includes SEO, online directories, email, mobile, and pay-per-click (ppc)).brightlocal-effective-channels

However, for smaller business, online directories (yellow) are of particular importance (37% for sole proprietors):


Most small business handle online marketing in house. (This is my own guess, but I suspect that (1) you can do it by yourself, and (2) you can save money doing it yourself. If you find online marketing a challenge, then consider getting help setting the system up, and then take over the reigns.)


Finally, what do small business owners value when searching for an internet marketing consultant (such as High Peaks Media):

  1. low cost (18%)
  2. Performance guarantees (14%)
  3. good reputation (13%)
  4. relevant industry experience (12%)
  5. prepared to listen and learn (9%)
  6. offer free audit (8%)
  7. etc. (see the graph below)


We hope this helps!


Update (1/16) – A Reference to Maintenance Costs by Various Firms

Image credit: Banner image, by High Peaks Media, via Canva Designs. Charts from Brightlocal (see references above), by permission (see credits).

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Notify of