This is the second in my series of notes from the talks I attended at the eCommerce Expo in Manchester. I have also posted my notes from the Evolution of SEO talk and the Competitive Advantage in Email Marketing talk.
Searching for Return on Investment (ROI) – How to expect the unexpected
Mark Lantham–Chadwick, Click Consultant
For online marketing we need realistic expectations. There are no formulas for calculating ROI. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) delivers sustainable, but medium term results. It offers consistent increases in traffic and sales. For SEO we are paying into a technical budget rather than paying for specific ROI. Pay Per Click (PPC) offers short term results and can support ROI for the first 6-9 months.
For credible ROI we need to
- Set specific objectives, for example increase leads generated by 22%.
- Include everything, even offline data –for example product launches and offline marketing.
- Be accurate – don’t round numbers
Getting to position 1 on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is a distracting and misleading objective. Lots of companies aim for position 3 instead. Use Google Adwords for checking which keyword searches are popular. Social listening – monitoring social media – can also be used to find popular keywords.
Conversion Rate Optimisation
Think about conversions rather than traffic volumes because traffic for irrelevant keywords won’t convert. Goal conversions are the only source of reliable data for measuring ROI. General averages for conversion rates are 2.5 – 4%, lead generation rates are 5 – 7.5%. Try to generate traffic from related sites as these visitors are more likely to convert.
For a brochure site work out how many contacts result in meetings, and how many meetings result in a sale to measure the value of each contact.
Working with an agency
- Tell them your business plans.
- Create a communication plan .
- Strategies are a starting plan and need to be reviewed constantly. Google updates and competitors reactions can require changes to the strategy.
- Keep up to date.
- Report the truth – results can go downwards as well as upwards.
Getting it wrong
Getting things wrong can result in Google penalties, your website being de-indexed, and keyword value being removed. It can affect the brand because users will give your website one chance and won’t return if they are not happy. The cost for starting again will be much higher.