This is an extremely common question that we get asked here at lifeBLUE Media, as well as one that just about every webmaster or blogger or company with a web-based business has to consider early on in their online campaigns. Of course every situation is different - different competition, different costs associated with PPC and SEO, different barriers to entry, etc. So what does it really come down to? Here are the 3 biggest factors in determining what marketing online would mean for your site/company with regards to cost:
1. Your Goals - Do you want to dominate the Google Sponsored results and rank top 3 organically for highly searched keywords? Or are you more looking to test the waters and attack a few niche spots? In short, it's important to realize that you can spend just about as much money as you want to spend to go after online success.
2. Your URL and Current Link Profile - Do you have an authoritative domain? Are you already getting some good search engine traffic from a decent (top 100) organic ranking? It's a lot easier (with respect to time and $) to take an older website, with a keyword-rich domain and some established incoming links to the top than it is a brand new site or a site that has no current 'rapport' with Google.
3. The Competitive Landscape - In conjunction with #2, how crowded is the SERP for what you're chasing? If you're going to go after selling shoes online a quick Google search will show that there's a lot of big name brands littering the sponsored results and the organic results. That's not going to be easy. That means time and money. Looking to target dermatology in the Atlanta area? Not as tough, and therefore not as much time or money.
Those 3 questions are the most important to consider hands down. I know that doesn't help place a monetary figure on any particular campaign, but those are the initial questions that you should consider when starting your plan to market online. Performing well with respect to conversions and marching your website up the SERPs takes patience, execution, and money, but rest assured that no matter what type of website or business you're running, there is untapped potential waiting for you on the internet.