Website or Social Media? How A Small Business Should Spend Their Marketing Budget

Hey Steven,

I have a question about the benefits of digital marketing beyond the initial website build. My website had about 116k pageviews last year. Most of my traffic came from Google or direct, while a small amount came from social media. Does that mean I need a stronger social media presence, or that my money should remain on my website presence?

Jeff Goodwin – Jeff Goodwin Fishing

Thanks for a great question Jeff. For a small business 116k pageviews on your website is awesome. The money you’ve invested into your search engine optimization (SEO) thus far should definitely be seeing a positive ROI, and will continue to bring you plenty of business for a long time.

For most fishing guides, and other small businesses, it would be an easy answer that they should continue spending their budget on growing the website. You want to grow both, but the website is always more important. The reason is that the organic traffic possible through Google is tremendous, and social media is also a little less time consuming and easier for most businesses to do well enough themselves to see growth.

In your case you’ve already built a great base of traffic to your website through SEO, so we’ll have to dig in deeper to see how you should spend your marketing budget.

To make a choice between continuing to grow your website, or focus more on growing your social media, we need to consider a few factors. You’ll also need to answer some key questions as It’s going to be different for every business. 

How To Decide Where To Spend Your Small Business Budget

You always want to be increasing the presence of both your website and social media to see the maximum growth of your business. Because of that, here are the choices on how to spend your budget.

  1. Continue to spend your marketing budget on growing the website, while you continue to grow social media yourself.
  2. Split your budget to grow both your website and social media.
  3. Work on growing the website by yourself, and spend your budget on growing social media.

The choice comes down to what your strengths and weaknesses are, and how much time you can devote to the different tasks needed to increase both your website and social media presence.

Now let’s dive into what it takes to grow your website and social media, so you have an idea if you can do it yourself.

Growing Your Small Business Website

SEO is king when growing your small business website, and where you should be spending your time or budget. The goal of SEO is to increase traffic to your website by having it rank on the first page of as many Google searches as possible. 

SEO can seem confusing and convoluted. However, the principal strategy is fairly simple. Write articles for your website answering what people will be searching for in Google such as “Where to fish near Sacromento, CA” or “When is salmon season in California”. The article needs to answer the subject better than what currently is on the first page of the results. 

There’s other factors as well, but nothing is more important than the content. The more articles you write the more chances you have to get on the first page of a Google search, and that’s where most of the traffic to your website will come from.

Growing Your Small Business Social Media Profiles

Social Media growth is mostly about investing time for small businesses. You need to post as much content as possible, as often as possible, and take advantage of features that allow for your content to be seen by as many people as possible..

Right now for organic, non-paid growth, that means putting your time into Instagram. Start by following more accounts that actively engage their followers. Then take advantage of stories, live, and hashtags while posting as consistently as possible. Be sure to be as engaging as possible with your followers, as the more comments and likes your posts receive the better chance they have of being seen by more people.

If you want to target business clientele producing content on Linkedin is also worthwhile. This would be a pretty small niche for a fishing guide, and most likely not worth it. However, if you want to offer trips to corporations for themselves or clients, it may be worth spending some time on.

As A Small Business Where Should I Spend My Marketing Budget?

Now that you know the basics of what it takes to grow your website and social media let’s figure out where you should be spending your budget.

Start by asking yourself these questions:

  • How well can I write articles?
  • How much content can I produce for social media?
  • How much time can I devote to writing articles, and growing my social media following?

From those answers here’s what option you should choose:

Option 1 – Continue spending your marketing budget on your website, and grow social media yourself.

Choose this option if you aren’t a great writer or don’t have time to write articles, but feel that you can be consistent on social media. As a fishing guide taking pictures, or going live during all your trips is easy content. To grow your social media you just need to devote the time to consistently post that content. 

Option 2 – Split your budget between your website and social media.

Choose option 2 if your time is more valuable elsewhere or you don’t feel confident in growing either. As long as you’re getting a positive ROI on where you’re spending your marketing budget it’s worth it to hire out this help.

Option 3 – Grow your website by yourself, and spend your budget on growing social media

Choose the final option if you feel that you can write great content and have the time for it, but won’t have extra time to commit to growing social media. As a fishing guide you’re the expert, and nobody will know the topics as well as you. Writing good articles is time consuming, but worth it in the long run if that’s how you want to spend your time.