Simple Formula For Calculating ROI in Search Marketing, SEO

In the hay days of easy Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and generally whenever you talk to an internet marketing salesman, the general notion you are meant to walk away with is that SEO is good for everyone, and it’s the best silver bullet since e-mail newsletters. Sadly however, it’s just like every other form of marketing. Target marketing to a specific audience and measuring Return on Investment against other marketing methods are just as necessary as with any traditional means. It just so happens, however – that measurement and data collection is a known entity, and provides much more specific and directly measurable data than with most traditional means. The point of this article is to help you identify the three major data points which will help you estimate your ROI on an organic search campaign before you really dig into it.

Supply and demand

Measuring ROI beforehand begins with keyword research on the demand side. Specifically, you have to answer the question,

“How many people are regularly searching for what I have to offer?”

Moreover, addressing what searchers call your products/services can be a crux issue, as it won’t always be what you call them. To you, it might be an “air flow control nozzle,” but the purchasing agent for the retail giant you’re trying to woo might call it “paint sprayer nozzle.” In a nutshell, know the vernacular of your customer base before you begin, or at least be prepared to make educated guesses. Keyword research is its own animal, but erring on the side of conservatism with the differing numbers provided you is usually a good rule of thumb.

If you’re unfamiliar with keyword research tools, the Google Keyword Tool is a good place to start, or if you want better keyword data and analytics, you might consider a software suite such as Web CEO or Market Samurai. Either way, you would be wise not to spend more than $200 on a piece of software. When you have some idea of how many people are searching for your keyword list, your next step is to start gauging competition. The amount of people that will reach your site, and thus engage with your company will have a direct correlation to how highly you rank in organic search engine placement. If there are more competitors for a particular keyword or key phrase, it makes sense that success will be harder to obtain. Finding a modicum of search users without strong competition would be the initial goal of any short term search campaign.

Judging the competition is actually a simple operation at first glance. First, take a look at how many results exist in the Google / Bing / Yahoo indexes for your particular keyword. Put this up against the amount of searchers, and you’ll quickly have a measurable ratio to get a handle on things. Obviously, your ratio of searchers to results is better if it is a higher number.

Take a look at each of the 10 results which currently occupy the front page of your major keyword choices. An excel spreadsheet is a good option at this point, and several keyword research software programs will have competitor tracking modules. Specifically, concern yourself with page authority, overall domain authority, and link profiles of each site. The number of specific domains and overall indexed links pointing to a site has a direct impact on how that site will rank, and how much topical authority it has. For more info here, a subscription to seomoz.org ($79 / month) is a worthwhile investment. Other back link analysis tools exist, but this is a good standard to base from. Put these back link numbers up against your own site, and take stock. Assuming an equal base of content and internal optimization (something of a big assumption), back links will likely make the difference in who ranks and who doesn’t.

Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) Ranking

So you’ve picked a keyword, enacted a campaign, and now you’re ranking somewhere in the first few pages of the engine. Sadly, a good portion of search users (generally 9 out of 10) won’t make it past the first engine, and your third page rankings on some major keywords are only producing minimal traffic / sales increases.

Knowing this little statistic before a SEO campaign can dramatically increase chances of success, solely because you know what is necessary for success. A few studies (one specifically surfacing from the Searchlight Digital Blog) have concluded the percentage of search users who elect specific results, based on their order of appearance on the SERP page:

1 42.3% 2 11.92% 3 8.44% 4 6.03% 5 4.86% 6 3.99% 7 3.37% 8 2.98% 9 2.83% 10 2.97% 11.66% 12.56% 13.52% 14.48% 15.47%

Obviously, first place rankings have a significant increase on potential for search traffic, and listings that occur above the figurative fold of a users screen also have a higher chance of receiving traffic. Even by the time a user gets to the bottom of the first page, click through percentages dwindle exponentially from those of a first page ranking. Simply put, if you know how many searches are done on a specific keyword, multiply that number by the SERP click through rate above that you expect, and compare with your site analytics. If the numbers come close to matching up, great! If not, you might glance twice at your numbers, as well as your site’s meta titles and descriptions, which will sell search users on the idea of clicking through to your site above others.

Conversion

Conversion is a topic of little attention among some SEOs, who are sometimes concerned more with getting people to the figurative front door than inviting them inside for a cup of tea. At this point, one simply needs measure the activity on a web site which most readily leads to a dollar bill. Ask yourself what key performance indicators (KPIs) indicate success with your objectives. If its sales, then track goals using analytics to measure sales directly. If it’s lead generation, set your funnels to measure the stages at which potential customers or donors can enter their information to be contacted by you.

Learn How Direct Marketing Plans Can Expand Your Business

Direct marketing plans are the plans, ideas, and strategies that a company uses to get the information concerning their goods and services to the customer base they are trying to reach. There are many different methods of doing this action.

Direct marketing plans include brochures that promote something the company has for sale, emails, telemarketing strategies, sales and merchandise catalogs, trade shows, a direct sales force, and every other means of communicating what is available to the potential customer.

A big consideration that has to be made in direct marketing plans is the need to know what audience you are attempting to reach. You have to know the age range of the people you are trying to reach with the advertising campaign you are using. When you know the age range of the target audience you also want to determine whether the people will be considered to be in the average portion of the economic classes or if they will be more apt to be from the upper portion of the economic classes. You need to have a profile of what the typical person that will be interested in your product or service will be. Then you can begin to employ your direct marketing plans to their fullest potential.

Since the internet has grown so much in the past few years it has been reported that some of the ways that companies use to do their direct marketing plans have become less productive. Direct mailings where you send out mass flyers to all of the residents in a community or town were at one time a very effective means of reaching the potential customers. Since the internet has become so popular emails are more likely to reach the audience you are trying to reach than a mass mailing will.

At one time all stores printed catalogs that showed the items they had for sale and the prices of these items. More and more companies have stopped printing these catalogs and have begun to place them on the internet web sites they have instead. This action is cheaper and fewer people want to have the paper catalogs around since more people now shop online.

Once you have decided what the profile of the average person is that will be interested in what you have to offer you may also want to decide if the geographic location of the person will affect their interest in the item you have for sale. People in the southern portion of the United States would not be as likely to want to see advertisements about things like snow tires, snow mobiles, and winter gear. People in the northern portions of the United States do not need the amount of mosquito repellant that people in the southern states need, and in some states fire ants have never been heard of while in other states these pests are a real nuisance. So the demographics concerning the locations of the people you are sending the direct marketing plans to may matter a great deal in the long run.

The Power of the Business Card in Direct Sales

It can be said best by saying direct sales is a “numbers” game. Anyone in direct sales, especially commission sales, knows the more sales you make, the more money you make. This discussion will evolve around the real estate profession. However, the technique using the power of the business card may be applied to any direct sales industry.

In order to sell a product or service, the customer must be aware that you have a product or service to sell. There is an old adage, “You cannot sell a secret”, and it holds true in almost any industry.

New sales people may find selling a product or service even more challenging. They have not built a reputation and usually do not have the marketing dollars to spend on marketing and advertising. It also becomes very costly to market or advertise in publications, magazines, or newspaper ads.

The following story will amaze you. Twenty years ago when I first began my real estate career, I received tickets to the Super Bowl game. When I arrived at the game I sold my $75 ticket for $1000. I could not resist! I did not want to return home so I went out to the trunk of my car and pulled out a box of 1000 business cards. I returned to the long lines and started passing my cards out. In a few hours I passed the entire box of cards out to fans. Over the next 10 months, I quadrupled my sales and made over 6 figures, just from those 1000 cards.

It then dawned on me; the more people that know what you do for a living, the better your chances are of people requesting your services. I added this to my goal setting list, whereby I decided to pass out 1000 business cards every quarter.

Now let’s analyze the numbers for a minute. 1000 business cards will cost you around $100. If your goal was to pass out 1000 cards every 3 months, that is only 10 cards per day. It is said your ROI (Return on Investment) should be 7%. Let’s be a little more conservative and say our ROI is 1%. This would turn 10 new customers into clients every 3 months or 3 new clients per month. You could go as far to say this would generate 40 new clients a year. Wow!

Pass your business cards out to everyone, and I mean everyone. Your waiter when you go out for dinner, the Dry Cleaners, the shoe repair person, the teenage working behind the Taco Bell counter (Hint: His parents might be in need of your services), and the cashier at the grocery store.

The cost of business cards is lower than any other marketing or advertising cost and should be taken advantage of. This is the fastest and most cost effective way to generate leads and referral business. Add this to your written goals and watch your sales skyrocket.