One of the biggest criticism in SEO marketing in that ROI is too difficult to discern, because analyzing Google analytic is too difficult compared to sales. This is a common opinion but not really valid. The fact is, there is an entire industry of SEO analytics set apart from SEO content production.
Many companies don’t know how to make heads or tails of their Internet site usage statistics. However, for companies that do know how to read this data and recommend changes to management in web marketing strategy, it is a lucrative business indeed. They can charge thousands of dollars a month to organize SEO campaigns and deliver results.
This is why it’s advisable for you, as your own project manager in web marketing, to understand how analytic’s works, and what exactly you’re looking for in “results” when you plan such a campaign.
First, determine what you want to accomplish with this campaign. What is your business model? Do you want to boost sales, boost leads, or generate enough traffic to make your website profitable? Start tracking the trends and growth of your traffic now.
Before you decide what ROI is, you must first determine how much a lead is worth, or how much a click or a sale is worth to you. What is 100,000 viewers worth to you if not a single one makes a sale? How much are you willing to pay for one paying customer and how does this translate into SEO content generation?
Start by calculating the total revenue you make and then subtract how much it costs to pay for an SEO campaign. If you are losing money fast, then obviously you have to scale back your advertising budget. If your SEO efforts are not affecting cash flow, then proceed ahead.
Study what sells, what converts, and record this information for analysis and discussion. Determine with other managers or co-owners how you can focus on what works and exploit these issues so that you make more money doing what works, and reduce time spent in unprofitable work.
Depending on what type of application you use, or if you use the standard web usage interface your host provides, you will get different information as relates to your web traffic. As you look at this raw data, try to take note of and record monthly these factors.
Social networking sites like Facebook and even Pinterest allow you to see the popularity of your social posts, including engagement tracking, total views, and total response.
Once you record all of this raw data, take the time to consider what aspects are positive and what are negative. Focus on the reasons why and try to get another opinion on all this data, if possible. This helps you to brainstorm about the future, and come up with ideas on how to recreate the most attention-grabbing headlines and articles (or videos, or viral content) and then post them in a manner that is proven to be profitable.
Some companies are downright superstition. If they had a viral hit before, they try to post their newest viral hit at the same hour of the same day of the same month!
You also have the option of investing in other products beyond the capacity of free metrics software. This might include email tracking software, or even mouse tracking software, that shows you where users click on your site the most often. Google’s newest updates are technologically advanced, that’s for sure. They are even tracking eye movement in Google Glass users!
Once you identify the trend, whether that’s increased traffic, increased click-throughs or sales, it’s time to reconcile it to the rest of your website.
Websites often fail to deliver because of hidden problems that are only brought to light upon metrics evaluation. For instance, beware these common pitfalls, which are directly related to sales and traffic.
Remember that tracking sales is not enough in web marketing. You have to put a price (literally, establish a price) on leads and traffic, since these are of tangible benefit to your business; then again, they must be priced properly, otherwise your company will lose money. If you sense you’re spending too much money on a campaign that is not producing the conversions you were counting on, you have to pull back and redirect the campaign.
You can also calculate the cost of SEO by counting your writing time, or by counting the financial value of a lifetime customer. What about referrals? How much are they worth to you? Also consider landing page value, #1 search ranking values (and how important this is to brand promotion), and how your competitors are faring.
Ultimately, this is a project about recording data and making an educated guess on how to proceed forward. The goal is Return On Investment, but you must figure out what financial return you have to see.
Google recently added SSL encryption for its users, meaning that you can expect less analytical information on the keywords that are driving traffic. This enraged quite a few marketers who were counting on getting back those keywords. Obviously, they want to see what worked and incorporate successful keywords into their strategy.
Google stated that these were merely privacy-related issues, though not everyone believes that reassurance. They speculated it would only affect less than 10 percent of all searches but recent statistics coming out of sources like HubSpot stated it was well over that estimated guess.
Marketers are advised to keep the following in mind when preparing a Plan B for this recent keyword metrics massacre:
Yes, so much of the industry is in guessing, in taking chances, and in making the most logical decision based on limited evidence. You’re not going to always get it right. What matters though is how you record the information and then make a tactical approach to capitalize on financial trends. Study your success and “grow it” aggressively trying what works and avoiding unproductive techniques.
However, SEO, as complicated as it seems, is almost the same thing as working with commercials or print ads, but with even less demographical targeting. Whereas in traditional media, you have to choose a broad demographic, in SEO you can customize it to to the very words, the very thoughts, your target customer is thinking.
Of course, big business corporations can do the same thing, right? They have access to more money, so why shouldn’t they get all the best traffic and PR rankings? Actually, you are not at a complete disadvantage. There are other ways to compete, even if you’re working all by your lonesome. Let’s talk about this in the next chapter.