So, there’s the question. It’s one client rarely asks us out loud, but are often thinking about. “Am I paying too much for this online SEO stuff and how can I find out?” To best answer that question, I want to explain my background a bit and why I am so fascinated by and love studying, learning and becoming an expert in this field.
My background in sales has given me a strong appreciation for performance and accountability. I started out in commission sales at 19 years old in the furniture and design industry. The commissions helped pay for college and provided a fantastic lifestyle for a 19-year-old student. I loved the concept that my paycheck was directly related to my performance. There was no one else to blame if I didn’t close a sale and it was certainly a great feeling to be rewarded for providing a good solution for a client. At the same token, I was often suspicious of the marketing/advertising side of the equation in our industry. It seemed harder to measure the value of their performance.
When the ‘internet” age of digital marketing came into being my interest was peaked. Between pay per click advertising (PPC) and website ranking (SEO), I started to see a clearer path to measure performance and success for marketing efforts. It’s one of the reasons that I love digital marketing today. It’s performance based with incredible data provided for our clients and is easy to measure, adjust and improve month over month. For example, with A/B testing, we can measure the copy and style of our ads, website pages, and even graphic design. What language best appeals to a specific audience? For small businesses, where every dollar counts- this type of data and accountability is enormously important and helpful in growing their business.
In fact, for some of our top clients now, we are even using AI (artificial intelligence) to analyze the data results from their Google and social campaigns to provide an in-depth analysis. (You can imagine for a hardcore Star Trek geek in high school, how cool that is for me! )
Let me give you an example of what this means for our clients and how we can answer the question concerning what they are paying for digital marketing. Today provided a perfect real-life example of how we can measure this.
At 10 a.m this morning I had a pre-scheduled client meeting to go over their current digital marketing plan, PPC, social media, SEO, reputation management etc. We’ve been offering these services over the past year and have developed a good rapport and trust with our client. We regularly go over the monthly reporting on web traffic, sources of clicks through and conversion rates from the generated traffic.
Today, we talked about an opportunity they were presented with to renew a contract outside of our services. They presented the numbers the vendor provided for the past year so that we could measure the effectiveness. The annual numbers showed 26,500 impressions for the advertising category, and 153 click-throughs to their website. We verified the 153 referrals from that source through Google Analytics. From the 153 referrals there was only 1 conversion ( click through to lead) The cost of the advertising placement was $900 per month/$10,800 annually. To determine to direct value of this particular digital advertising- we divided $10,800 by 153- That was an astonishing $70.82 per click through to their website, and with one conversion, $10,800 per lead.
In comparison to their other digital efforts: Facebook, Pinterest, PPC, and blogging are producing clicks through to their website at an average of $1.61 per click with conversions at $40-$82. Being able to measure and understand the numbers allowed them to track their success, compare results from different sources and make good marketing decisions. In this case, they decided the $10,800 was far too much to pay for that digital advertising plan. The monies would be better spent in an area that is getting over a 1000% better return.
This real-life example provides a solid foundation for answering the question “Are you paying too much for your digital marketing” The great thing about numbers is they don’t lie. If you know what you are looking for: cost per impression, cost per click and cost per conversion, then you can evaluate the effectiveness of this type of digital marketing for your business. For every business it’s different, a lead could be worth $200, $2,000 or $20,000. Now you have a way to measure the effectiveness of the money you spend to get the lead.
One note of caution, measuring clicks through to your website and conversions is just one part of your digital marketing plan. There is a strong value of creating a community on Facebook, generating a strong referral source, and reputation management where you ask clients to review your services on Google. I used the example that I did today because it is one very clear metric that you can use as a solid foundation for measuring your effectiveness in digital marketing campaigns.
Our goal, at Beacon Media + Marketing, is that all of our clients would understand the metrics and feel confident that they can make good decisions in spending their hard earned marketing dollars. If you want an independent analysis of your current digital marketing efforts- contact us for a free evaluation and an 8-12 page report provided by a Google Certifed team member. www.www.beaconmm.com or call 907-563-6008 and ask for Jennifer.