Digital Marketing ROI and What to Measure

Exactly What You Should Be Measuring

In today’s digital marketing world, EVERYTHING can be measured.  This fact alone excites my inner-nerd and makes my job fun and rewarding.  Analytics and geeking out Digital Marketing Metricson campaign ROI, CTR, CPA, CPC, and other TLA’s(Three Letter Acronyms) is part of our day to day at Aftershock Enterprises.  It is important that YOU understand the basics and get the power back in your marketing and advertising dollars.   So, what do I mean by that?  I want to give you 4 basic metrics to keep track of so you can see EXACTLY what is being produced from your digital marketing efforts.  After all, when everything can be tracked as I mentioned, there is no hiding on whether you are having success or failure in your efforts.  The analytics software I will be referencing in this email is Google Analytics, this was built for the basic user as well as for the expert and is the most robust analytics Free software available… not to mention it connects well with your other digital marketing platforms.

Metric 1: Email Results

Starting with Email Marketing, which has proven over time to be an ROI machine, let’s look at what can be measured.  When you send an email campaign through a bulk mailing system such as Mailchimp, Aweber, or Constant Contact it automatically will track the following:

  • Open Rates – Percentage of your list that opened your email
  • Click Through Rates – Percentage of your list that clicked on a link in your email

You will want to make sure that whatever action you want the email subscriber to make (sale, class signup, etc.) there is conversion tracking setup on the page your links take them to so that you know the action was taken from someone that came from your email.  You can setup conversion tracking by creating a Goal under the Conversions tab in Google Analytics, and pasting the JavaScript it gives you to your destination page. Once conversion tracking is setup, establish a value per conversion.  For example if your goal is to sell French Gold Daisies for $99, then your value per conversion or if you wanted guests for your Day Spa, and you know 50% of form submissions came into the Spa and your average sale was $100 then each conversion (form submission) is worth $50.  Now that you have your numbers set it’s a very simple formula to measure ROI:

[Number of Conversions Multiplied by Value Per Conversion] – [Email Deployment Cost + (Cost of Product/Service multiplied by Number of Conversions)] = ROI

EXAMPLE: [50 Conversions X $20 Per Conversion] – [$30+ (50 X $3)] = ROI of $820

What is a good Open and Click Rate? Ideally you want to shoot for a 20%+ Open Rate and a 5%+ Click Through Rate.  Any lower than these numbers it usually means you have a subscriber list that isn’t engaged often enough or you’re subject line and content need work.

Metric 2: Adwords Conversions

Next let’s take a look at Search Engine Marketing, specifically Google Adwords.  If you want instant visibility to interested prospects a Google Adwords search campaign is a fantastic way to do it.  If you aren’t sure what I am talking about these are the ads highlighted at the top and on the side of the results page of a Google search.

Just like with email marketing you want to establish conversions are setup and you assess a value to the conversions.  The most common conversions are: phone call from the ad that lasted a certain amount of time, a form submission on your website, and a sale of a product on your website.  Let your Adwords specialist and/or webmaster know what you want tracked so that it can be setup for you.  Specify too the duration of a call that you believe should count as a conversion. Each business will be a bit different on determining the time that should be counted as a conversion.  If you primarily are looking for prospects that call for directions, special/promotions currently being ran, or product pricing then 15-30 Seconds is probably a good conversion time selection.  If you primarily  are looking for prospects that call to schedule an appointment, then 30 Seconds or longer is a good conversion time.  If your point of sale is over the phone, your time should be set over one minute.

Now that conversion tracking is setup, this will be a key report for you to determine ROI from your ad spend.  The formula to determine ROI from Ad Words then can be determined as follows:

[Number of Conversions Multiplied by Value Per Conversion] – [Ad Spend and Management + (Cost of Product/Service multiplied by Number of Conversions)] = ROI

Metric 3: Quality Score

Another key pulse to watch when looking at performance in Google Adwords is Keyword Quality Score.  Simply put Quality Score is a scale from 1-10 that takes 3 things in account:

  • Keyword Relevance
  • Ad Relevance
  • Landing Page User Friendliness and Relevance

The higher your quality score is, the lower your Cost Per Click (CPC) will be.  What you want to watch isn’t whether you have all 10’s on all your keywords, but that you are improving on the average keyword score.  Achieving 10’s is possible, however it can take months and relentless optimization.

Metric 4: SEO Rankings

You want to be on page one for your top 10 keywords, right?  Unfortunately, so do all of your competitors, and if you are in a competitive industry in a large metro area…. chances are it will take some time. That being said, if you are paying and SEO specialist you need to know there is progress month over month while you anxiously await breaking on to page one.  You can’t measure progress right away by looking at the organic section in your Google Analytics, because until you get to the first page you won’t see big traffic spikes.  Depending on who is doing your SEO they SHOULD have a month over month reporting tool that shows you where you rank on the keywords they are optimizing for.  What you want to see is that you are going up in rankings, and you start ranking for more and more of your desired keywords.   This tip is important because you would be surprised how many businesses have nothing to look at as far as progress on their SEO, and just go on their SEO specialists words of encouragement.  Remember in the digital world there is NO HIDING.

These are 4 quick measurements that will give you the power of evaluating ROI in your digital marketing.  Although this may be no crystal ball to predict your future success, if you will keep an eye on these pulses, you can use this insight to make better decisions and improvements to increase your ROI from your digital marketing efforts.

4 thoughts on “Digital Marketing ROI and What to Measure

  • How do I actually find out what keywords people are searching for? I’ve been in my industry so long, I don’t think I can really think like the “average Joe” anymore. Although I tend to rank on the first page and seven pack (maps) for my area with the basic, obvious keywords (like ‘kung fu’) I don’t really think I’ve effectively identified other effective keywords people are searching for, but have no idea where to look for that kind of information…

    • That is a great question, and yes, once you are in an industry for a long period of time you can forget what the average person would search for that may be interested your business. While there are a variety of different tools that work great for keyword research, the Google Keyword tool is great. You can find that here https://adwords.google.com/o/Targeting/Explorer?__c=1000000000&__u=1000000000&ideaRequestType=KEYWORD_IDEAS

      Type in words like: self defense classes, karate studio, kung fu lessons. Then look at the list of results with other possibilities. This will show you how many searches are done for these keywords locally and globally.

      Also, if you have Google Analytics (or other analytics) setup on your website, you can look at search queries that you showed up in, and unique terms that people clicked on to get to your website. You will get great ideas by looking at this info that you probably haven’t thought of.

      I hope that helps!

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