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Performance Metrics for SEO

2014-09-04

Performance Metrics

 

performance metrics seo

 

ROI means Return on Investment. Small and large companies seeking to advertise online to promote their services or products on the internet and have a large venue of choices to select from for internet marketing. The goal of the companies is to invest their advertising budget and make a return on their investment. For example, if a company pays $10,000 per month to advertise online and get $15,000 worth of sales, then they are making $5000 per month return on their initial investment.   

 

Companies can choose from Pay Per Click PPC advertising known as Search Engine Marketing (SEM) where they utilize a specified budget to get their advertisement in sponsored search results using specific keywords related to their business. When a company bids on a specific keyword related to their product or service, they can pay anywhere from $1.00 -$20.00 per click just if someone clicks on their advertisement. PPC is a popular choice among many businesses, but should be used with caution as it can become very expensive quickly.   

 

Organic search is another avenue a company can invest in for a return better known as SEO (Search Engine Optimization). These are the search results you see when you go to a search engine and type a specific keyword phrase. For example, if you were living in Houston looking for a used car dealer that does in house finance, you may type “in house financing” in Google. The first result that comes up in the organic search results in carnesmotorcompany.com.

 

The higher the search result the more clicks that will be generated toward the website. The advantage of organic SEO is that you can get unlimited clicks without paying for the results. The challenge with SEO is that it is not an overnight solution, and takes a skilled SEO person or firm to get you top placement.

 

Search results can fluctuate, however the time and money you put into SEO can have an enormous impact on a business's long term investment.  For example, Carnes Motor Company may pay a freelance SEO person a flat fee of $5000 per year to keep them at the top for this search result. This investment is strong consider the average down payment for a vehicle is $1800, so over a course of 12 months the  investment pays for itself and reaps generous revenue for Carnes Motor Company.

 

Social Media Marketing is a very good investment to for companies. The most successful companies take advantage of investing their money in local search marketing, connecting with the community. Sites like twitter, facebook, pinterest, and Google+ are excellent avenues for companies to spend money because it generates a buzz while connecting with the community , ultimately leading to conversions of a product or service.

 

The combination of any business investing in PPC, SEO and Social Media is very powerful. Studies have shown an average of 20% increase in revenue when companies invest in all three online marketing venues to promote their service and products to the public.

 

Difficulties in Determining ROI on different marketing activities - ROI can be difficult to track in online marketing. For example, many businesses utilize Google Analytics to see their website performance month over month and year to year. Recently Google has stopped showing keywords, as users of Google are now being redirected to a secure https form of Google, so when trying to determine keywords that people search for the analytics show “Not Provided”. This can make is challenging to justify if certain keywords are being utilized for organic searches to a website. On the flip side if a company uses the PPC they can get the keywords that are being utilized for paid searches only.

 

Additionally, ROI can be challenging in traditional marketing as well. Television and Radio advertising can be difficult to track because the audience that a product or service that is being marketed to is very broad with a large variety of age ranges and cultures. A television or radio commercial can very expensive, and knowing why a consumer is purchasing a service or product because they saw or heard a commercial is difficult to track in regards to ROI.

 

Another challenging way to measure ROI is billboard advertising. For example, if a company invested in advertising on billboard, with a website address, it would be difficult to measure the direct traffic of people coming to the site because they noticed the billboard ad.



Accurately Calculating ROI One of the best methods of accurately calculating ROI is Google Analytics. There are many similar tools available, but the most in depth detailed way to see how a website is performing over time  is the use of Google Analytics. With Google Analytics you can break down the traffic and see direct traffic, referral traffic, organic traffic, and paid traffic.The tool allows you to see the big picture as well as trends over time that can tell you what pages people are landing on, bounce rates, and the demographics of people searching for a businesses’ products or services.

 

Additionally there are vanity call tracking phone numbers available that will allow you to get a good measurement on ROI for a marketing campaign. You could have seperate 800 phone numbers for different campaigns like social media, billboard advertising, radio, and online marketing.

 

In Pay per click campaigns and display advertising you can tell how much you spent per month and compare it to the amount of conversions and overall sales you have made for the month. To get the best picture, it’s good to be able to measure a minimum of 3 months and up to a year for keyword variations and demographics to see what type of PPC ads worked the best with particular type of search phrases online.

 

Lastly, a great way to track online marketing campaigns with email and newsletters is using the Gooogle URL builder. If you happen to utilize Google Analytics, you will be able to track people that clicked on links in your email and newsletters to give you a better idea of what works and what doesn’t work as good. (Google URL builder)

 

The cost and benefits of marketing on multiple channels is usually expensive, but can be a good return on investment as long as the product or service being promoted is worthwhile. I work as an SEO Specialist in the car industry, promoting dealerships Nationwide within their specific cities. On average dealers pay about $500 per month to maintain SEO service and typically a set up cost of $1,000. The company I work for, Dealertrack technologies offers bundled packages as well that include things like by Advanced SEO package get $1000 in free PPC advertising. Since we know there is a benefits in combining services across multiple channels, most of the dealerships gladly sign up and see a significant increase in website leads and the ultimate goal of increase car sales.

 

Additional marketing channels include television advertising for traditional marketing methods. The reach of an audience can be significant, and so can the cost. For example, a 30 second ad for a  Super Bowl commercial in 2013 Fox will cost 4 million dollars if a company wants to advertise on Fox television. Although the cost is high many companies can benefit from the investment as it can lay the foundation and create a marketing buzz for additional less expensive marketing campaigns throughout the year, that can in turn increase sales for a specific product or service. (Variety)

 

Most Cost Effective Marketing Efforts The most cost effective marketing efforts is SEO (search engine optimization) where an average of 80% of all clicks take place compared to PPC of where 20% of clicks take place.   Granted the results are not overnight and it takes a considerable amount of research and unique content writing, results that show up in the organic listings usually in the top 10 on the 1st page of the search engines have a significant increase in overall business. On average it can take up to 6 months to a year before any type of business starts to see significant results in the search engines. The thing with search engines is that the algorithms are always changing and they are looking for relevant content that will be beneficial to someone searching online for a specific product or service. There are best practices that a skilled SEO specialist can do that will make the best possible long term results. The best ways I’ve found are to focus locally, write unique content, and combine social media in conjunction with SEO. Keyword research is important too as a site can be optimized using Google’s Keyword Planner that provides average monthly search volume for various phrases.  The best thing about SEO is that it’s a great long term solution for a return on investment. Whether the site gets 25 visits per month of 25,000 visits per month there is no cost per click CPC charge or Cost per 1000 impressions (CPM) that businesses have to worry about when utilizing PPC pay per click campaigns.


Mark Pocock
214-293-4481

Dallas SEO

http://MarkPocock.net

 

Sources:

 

24 eye popping SEO statistics. Web. 2013 Septmeber 25 http://www.searchenginejournal.com/24-eye-popping-seo-statistics/42665/

 

Google search “In house financing houston” web. Google.com 2013 September 25 http://carnesmotorcompany.com

 

Interactive Solutions. Dealertrack.com. Web 2013 September 25 https://www.dealertrack.com/portal/dealers/interactive-solutions

 

Craver, Thom. Goodbye Keyword Data Google Moves to Entirely to Secures Search. SearchEngineWatch.com Web. 2013 September 23  http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2296351/Goodbye-Keyword-Data-Google-Moves-Entirely-to-Secure-Search

 

Super bowl Ads Fox $m for 30 second slot in tBig Game. Variety.com Web. 2013 August 22 http://variety.com/2013/tv/news/super-bowl-ads-fox-seeks-4m-for-30-second-slot-in-big-game-1200586371/


Google URL Builder Web. 2013 September 26 https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1033867?hl=en

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