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What Percentage of Marketing should be Search Marketing?

Currently the portion of the advertising budget being spent on search marketing has been increasing much faster than other advertising forms, and for many businesses it is difficult to gauge what percentage of their media spend should be allocated to search. From 2006 to 2007 ad spend on Search advertising increaded by almost 19% according to Neilsen’s. In December of last year ComScore reported the top five search engines had increased their share by 15%, totaling almost 100% of search queries. So the traffic is becoming limited to a few lanes, and reaching it has become even easier for advertisers.
But what percentage of media budget is usually spent on search? Sources vary greatly, but it breaks down that in the US search budget for an average company is about 11% of their marketing budget. Dies this mean that 11% needs to be your budget, no. What it is is a starting point, from which to begin the discussion of who you are targeting and how to best target them.

With over 99% of search moving through five search engines it is then good to start by looking to gain exposure across all five of these engines.

According to ComScore the US search share for July 2008 breaks down like this:
#1 Google @ 61.9% (up .4%)
#2 Yahoo  @ 20.5% (down .4%)
#3 MSN     @  8.9% (down .3%)
#4 AOL     @  4.5%  (up .2%)
#5 Ask      @  4.2%  (up .1%)

By breaking down the total search budget by these same ratios a business can make the most informed choice as to where they will get the best ROI, and a positive first impression of search marketing.

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