Presenting ROI Data

Businesspeople understand dollars much better than they will ever understand inbound links, HTML tags, duplicate content issues, or any number of other issues you may feel are important. If you are lucky, you will be supported by people who trust you. Often, you will need to make a business case. When presenting your ROI data, you must make clear whether you are using direct or estimated values. Setting expectations clearly builds trust. Further, once you have an ROI value, you can begin to do some really neat stuff with this data.

The best search strategists focus on conversion. Having identified your key revenue points, you have also discovered what your top-line KPIs should be. These are the points you will want to optimize and improve upon with the traffic your search programs bring in.

When we talk about actionable analytics, optimizing against data points is a big one. Successful search marketers will think like salespeople and try to move people through to success events (e.g., sales). If you identify three or four different conversion points, and you know the different values of each of them, you can look at each point, start to build up ideas on how to improve them, and begin to make informed decisions based on revenue impacts.

By estimating the extent to which you can improve each point, you can begin to figure out where to attack first to improve the bottom line. For example, if today’s revenue sits at $1,000/month, based on 10 users converting each month, you can project that doubling the number of conversion will also double the revenue each month, thus effectively doubling your investment. You can now present a current ROI and a projected ROI that will result from improving a conversion point or increasing traffic (that is, assuming that traffic converts at the same rate as before). By projecting estimates as to what you can do with your search program, you can create a better story about the opportunity that exists with the right investment. Most of this book will be dedicated to how to more accurately estimate the ROI and make decisions based on the impact it will have to your bottom line.

These improvements will come from improving your external search rankings, keywords, and targets, as well as what happens when users get to your site. While you do not have to be a user experience expert, you do need to understand how people move through your site, and what the goals of your site are.



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