At the online marketing agency I work for, we primarily focus on ROI driven online marketing campaigns. With this marketing philosophy, search engine advertising (SEA) budgets don’t play a role, and as long as every order delivers profit / ROI, the SEA budget should be endless.

Of course, this ideal situation doesn’t happen at a lot of organizations. They are working with half-year or yearly SEA budgets set at the beginning of each year.

These search advertising budgets are mostly divided by the number of months and maybe a little extra in the busiest months of the year. But is this really the best way to divide a fixed SEA budget in order to get the highest ROI?

## Trend-Sensitive Markets

Most organizations operate in a trend-sensitive market, although some in low trend-sensitive markets (like online supermarkets) and some in high trend-sensitive markets (like online travel). Related to these trends are the search volumes and the number of clicks an organization can get from Google, Bing or any other search engine in a specific month.

If the SEA budget is evenly divided across the months, it could happen that in one month, the budget is depleted on the 15th and in another month, there is still budget left at the end. This clearly isn’t the way to get the highest possible ROI.

In order to use Google Analytics for this example calculation, we need a full year of accurate data. In the figure below, we see the visits data for a trend-sensitive market like travel, with peaks in January and around July.

For the example calculation, we will use a yearly SEA budget of \$600,000, which would normally be \$50,000 a month.

In this case, we will use the export function within Google Analytics to get the monthly figures.

After this, we will calculate the new budget for each month with the following equation:

(number of visits for a specific month / total number of visits in 1 year) * total SEA budget = adjusted SEA budget for a specific month

If we execute this calculation on the monthly visits from Google Analytics we will get the following table:

 Month Visits Normal budget Adjusted budget Difference Jan 199.838 \$50.000,00 \$155.710,21 \$105.710,21 Feb 88.207 \$50.000,00 \$68.728,96 \$18.728,96 Mar 63.853 \$50.000,00 \$49.753,11 -\$246,89 Apr 46.117 \$50.000,00 \$35.933,40 -\$14.066,60 May 47.649 \$50.000,00 \$37.127,34 -\$12.872,66 Jun 59.191 \$50.000,00 \$46.120,89 -\$3.879,11 Jul 93.407 \$50.000,00 \$72.781,16 \$22.781,16 Aug 47.124 \$50.000,00 \$36.718,16 -\$13.281,84 Sep 18.848 \$50.000,00 \$14.686,07 -\$35.313,93 Oct 15.166 \$50.000,00 \$11.817,01 -\$38.182,99 Nov 29.402 \$50.000,00 \$22.909,25 -\$27.090,75 Dec 61.237 \$50.000,00 \$47.714,41 -\$2.285,59 Total 770.039 \$600.000,00 \$600.000,00

As we see, the numbers show a huge difference between a normal distribution of the SEA budget and a distribution based on Google Analytics data. With the calculation based on Google Analytics data, we are better prepared for the trends in the market and don’t run out of budget in the middle of a month.

A small note to this calculation is that we are using “old” data and it is only a prediction of what the trend could be in the future.

You can make the same calculation with Google Insights for Search data. If we look at the graph for the US in 2010 on the keyword “sunglasses” we see the following figure:

The sunglasses industry is obviously also a trend-sensitive market. What we could do is download the data from Google Insights for Search as a CSV. This data on a weekly level shows the index numbers for a specific week.

If we want to calculate the SEA budget for a specific week, we  could use the following equation:

(indexnumber for a specific week / total sum of indexnumbers for all weeks) * Total SEA budget = adjusted SEA budget for a specific week

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Analytics | Search & Analytics

About The Author: is a passionate all-round online marketer and currently works at the internet marketing agency Yonego. Klaas has a specialty in web analytics, conversion optimization and search engine advertising.

Connect with the author via: Email

# Like This Story? Please Share!

Other ways to share:

# Like Our Site? Follow Us!

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.

# Get Our News, Everywhere!

North America

EMEA

APAC

Search Engine Land produces SMX, the Search Marketing Expo conference series. SMX events deliver the most comprehensive educational and networking experiences - whether you're just starting in search marketing or you're a seasoned expert.

## Search Engine Land Webcasts, Whitepapers

Learn more about internet and search marketing with our free webinars, whitepapers and research reports at Digital Marketing Depot.

## Internet Marketing News & Strategies

News From Marketing Land:

See more at Marketing Land