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Tracking Search Marketing Conversion Rate ROI

Robert B. Gelman

Here at BGAmedia, we talk a lot about “Return on Investment” for you marketing dollars. From our standpoint, it’s the only way marketing or any aspect of doing business makes sense. But since marketing and sales are a moving target for every business, it is most important that they be tracked and evaluated on an ongoing basis. Change happens too fast these days for there to be gaps in your feedback loop.

One of the key metrics to track is your conversion rate.  And what is a conversion?   It could be many different things, depending upon what and how you sell. For example, if you are using pay-per-click advertising, it could be the number of clicks on your ad after viewing a search page. Or more relevant might be whether they looked at specific additional pages on your website, or actually bought something.

Google Adwords (and now Facebook advertising) allow you to track conversions to keep an eye on whether you are getting enough return on what you are spending.  Determining this is of course different for every business, but here are some factors you might want to consider.

  • Not all conversions are worth the same to you. A visit to a page on your website may not have a value, but a sale there might be worth $100. Identifying the value of conversions lets you track your ROI on specific keywords
  • Example:A keyword may cost $1 per click, but a conversion from that keyword is worth $100. If you’re getting a conversion out of every 10 clicks, that’s an ROI of $90.  A good investment.  If you’re only getting a conversion for every 75 clicks, it’s marginal, and maybe not worth the money.
  • Cost-per-click is critical too and needs to be a part of the equation

We counsel our clients to start their campaigns with a brief, low-budget test period to get a sense for both how much traffic is generated by their keywords, and the bid cost for those words.  You have the option to give a value to any one of your conversions during the set up process.  And, if you’re selling multiple products with different prices, you’ll need a single conversion page that has variable conversion values.

If you are interested in this type of activity to enhance your business (or the less costly Search Engine Optimization process), we encourage you to call us for a no-cost and no-obligation conversation about how a Search Marketing Campaign might work for you.

The logical extension of our conversation about ROI for Search Marketing Campaigns is a discussion of what it takes to create more customers (or conversions) out of the traffic you are already getting.The answer involves testing and modifying your web site or other online tools to become more effective.

We’ll address this in an upcoming post.