By far the most popular way to manage a PPC campaign is by ROI. That makes no sense to me. Maybe it’s the new math… $100K Spend X 5:1 ROI = $500K Revenue – $100K Spend = $400K Total Revenue $500K Spend X 2:1 ROI = $1Mill Revenue – $500K Spend = $500K Total Revenue Last time I checked $500K was better than $400K right? So ROI and budgets are not super awesome happy fun measures of success. So why all the focus? Has the math changed? ADDED: To be perfectly clear I’m talking about a case where increasing a spend that significantly brings your ROI down. The point of my question is that even at a lower ROI with a greater spend if you get more to the bottom line why would you constrain yourself with ROI? Read more about this on FootwearGeek.
I have a minor medical condition called trigeminal neuralgia and it recently started flaring up a tiny bit. Nothing major but it’s been in remission for months and decided to see if bing had any news on new treatments etc so did this search: trigeminal neuralgia. Below is a screenshot of what I saw: Filed Under: MSN
In the arms race of SEO it seems to me in the past couple years we’ve forgotten some of the basics. We’re all focused on our cool tools are and fancy monthly reports. I see so many people stumbling over the basics of effective client communications.
It comes up every year in some report or another that customer service is more highly valued than the actual results. That said, don’t be mistaken and think that you’ll keep clients just cuz you write a good email, are good the phone or dog-gone-it people like you. If you’re not getting some level of results you should have your ass fired.
Here’s a few things I’ve picked up in past years of SEO communications.
1- Screenshots – If you’re reporting finally cracking the top 10 on Google for a top term for a client send them a screenshot with your email. Rankings fluctuate daily in some verticals and then there’s all the geo crap that Google does so your client may not see it as you see it. Sure screenshots can be faked but if you and your client are actually worried that you’re lying to each other you might as well terminate the relationship right now.
2 – The Bad News Sandwich – We’ve all had to communicate bad news to a client at one point or another. I don’t remember where I learned about the Bad News Sandwich but it’s a very simple concept. Basically you bury your bad news between other items in an email. Ideally the other items are good news. The point is don’t lead with bad news and don’t end with bad news. The good news may be that you’re holding steady on some rankings. No big deal but it’s worth saying.
3 – The Plan – So you’ve had to share some bad news and you buried in the middle of other news. That’s a good start. The next piece of that same communication is that plan you have to combat the bad news. DO NOT EVER share bad news with out a plan. Even if you current plan is to simply figure out what happened so you can create a better plan tell your client you are working on it and you are working on it RIGHT NOW.
4 – Ownership – You are going to mess up. There’s no way around it. Own up to your mistakes and offer the plans to fix them. If you keep blaming the search engines when results aren’t achieved then you really aren’t a search professional and you should be fired anyhow.
There you go. Four quick points to remember when you are communicating with your clients.
Remember: Results aren’t enough if you’re a jackass.
Last week Microsoft launched bing and invited a bunch of people to hang out in Bellevue for a couple days and get indoctrinated provide feedback. I like a lot of what I saw using both my eyes (one is good and one is evil). I also mouthed off to several Microsoft folks that I would use bing for two weeks and blog my adventure.
So…being true to my word I am now using bing for as much as possible short of google specific searches for client work just like i did for the best scroll saw blog.
Keep an eyeball here for my complaints observations.
- Fulfillment, Shipment, Funding, Disbursement, Mailout, Contract, etc etc (final stage)
Calling any of these “conversions” can make things confusing.ï¿½ The web guy might think a conversion is a click to a lead.ï¿½ But the sales guy says a conversion is a lead to a sale.ï¿½ The operations guy thinks conversion is a sale to a fulfillment.ï¿½ And the deacon thinks a conversion is aï¿½heathenï¿½to aï¿½choir boy.ï¿½ So we need to be clear and try to avoid the word conversion unless everybody already agrees on its meaning. Assign Values to Your Multipliers First, you need to know how much revenue you brought in for the time period you are reporting on.ï¿½ Let’s say you have 10 sales in a given reporting period for a PPC campaign.ï¿½ Your revenue is $1,000.ï¿½ You spent $400 on marketing costs so far.ï¿½ This scenario looks good, because your marketing costs are in the black and you have $600 to pay operating expenses and / or pocket.ï¿½ Divide the number of sales by your cost and you have a cost per sale of $40.ï¿½ Now divide your number of sales by your revenue, and you see your revenue per sale is $100.ï¿½ You’re making $60 a sale, which is a pretty good return in most cases. It’s pretty easy to assign a value per sale. The neat thing is, you can use this same simple logic to assign values to any of your multipliers.ï¿½ To get your cost per action for any action in any campaign, divide the over all cost by the number of each action. So if it took 100 clicks to get those 10 sales, you know your landing page is converting at 10% and you know your value per click is $10.ï¿½ You use that number to guide your bidding. And to kick your web designer in the butt for creating a landing page that only converts at 10%. For those not in the trenches of web marketing, I am over simplifying much of this.ï¿½ There are usually so many other factors to consider.ï¿½ Numerous buckets of keywords, multiple PPC channels, different conversion rates for each.ï¿½ And to make the matrix even more messy, different times of day, different cities, different days of the week, and different seasons will usually yield different conversion rates on each.ï¿½ Not to mention market AND marketplace conditions will affect all of these KPIs.ï¿½ Leads generated from the 3rd ad slot will probably have a different conversions than those from the #1 spot.ï¿½ï¿½ But that kind of stuff is why I get paid to manage stuff like this.ï¿½ To be really really good, you need to have a strong handle on all of those nuances. Assign Actual Values to Your SEO Campaigns Too It can be frustrating trying to explain the importance, or even play down the importance of SEO when talking in generalizations. Some people have it in their head that SEO is a magic bullet.ï¿½ This goes for SEOs and business people alike.ï¿½ But sometimes, let’s be honest, SEO is not the answer.ï¿½ If nobody is searching for your new invention, you’ll have to use other channels to generate market awareness before your natural search rankings will have real value.ï¿½ Or if you’re getting into a super saturated market which will take a ton of effort, time, money, or a combination of all three, then sometimes the return is not worth the investment.ï¿½ When making an argument either for or against SEO for certain verticals or keywords, knowing the approximate true value of those rankings will make all the difference. Fortunately SEO is actually similar to PPC in the way you measure success.ï¿½ If you isolate your search engine traffic, especially keyphrase by keyphrase, you can get an accurate measure of conversion rates on your site.ï¿½ This might not be quite as simple as measuring conversion rates on PPC, but it’s pretty close.ï¿½ Close enough so that you can now take your revenue generated from that traffic, and divide it by the cost of gaining those rankings.ï¿½ Sometimes it’s easy; if you bought 10 links, and that’s all you did for SEO, then you have your true cost.ï¿½ But usually it’s more complex.ï¿½ You may have to take into consideration your time, your co-workers’ time, retained SEO services, publishing costs, content generation costs, and all kinds of other indirect costs that are associated with SEO.ï¿½ But once you have your actual cost, the rest is the same.ï¿½ If your revenue is more than your cost, clearly you’re on the right path. Now that you know what your site’s conversion rate is for similar keyphrases, you can use search volume tools like Google’sï¿½keyword suggestion tool, and theirï¿½trend toolï¿½to get click projections.ï¿½ The keyword suggestion tool shows actual search volume per keyword, which is pretty sweet.ï¿½ If you know where you rank for a particular keyword, you can use the data you have now on conversions, then divide the number of searches for that keyword by your actual clicks to get your click through rate.ï¿½ Once you have that, you canï¿½use the AOL search dataï¿½to make some pretty strong guestimates on click volume for each of the top 10 positions.ï¿½ After applying these methods, you should have a pretty good idea of how valuable that keyphrase actually is for your company. When you have a really strong handle on how much SEO will probably cost for new keywords (in both time and money) and you know what it will return, you can make intelligent and calculated decisions on whether or not to attack certain keyphrases.ï¿½ And you can speak in pure numbers, which makes things so much easier.ï¿½ And if your numbers are a wash, just remember if you’re breaking even on SEO costs now, in the future when you peel back, your rankings will still be bringing in business.ï¿½ Sometimes it’s worth the up front investment, especially if your company isn’t cash poor. Again, this is an over simplification of a pretty complex matrix.ï¿½ There are still a lot of unknowns or in-exacts that you’ll have to have a pretty good handle on.ï¿½ For example, the higher you rank for a keyphrase, the higher your conversion rate on your site usually is.ï¿½ Traffic value from each of the search engines will be different.ï¿½ Your competition’s SEO efforts might not be as easy to detect initially, giving you a false sense of how easy cracking open a market might be.ï¿½ But these nuances, again, are the reason people like us get paid to manage this stuff. See more info on quick loans & this website. // bio thingie- This was a guest post byï¿½Chris Hooley, aï¿½Phoenix SEO. He writes pretty good posts, but really crappy bios.
On June 15, 2005 I took the position of Director of SEO at Range Online Media and embarked on a journey that’s lasted for 2 and a half years and has been nothing short of absolutely amazing and rewarding. For some reason, still not totally known to me, Misty Locke and Cheryle Pingle handed over a growing SEO department to me, a guy that had, up until that point, been working in his bath robe in the basement of his house. I’ll never forget how freakin scared I was to step into a management role and carry the responsibility of growing a whole division of a company. For the next 900 and some odd days the team at Range offered me guidance, forgiveness, patience, mentoring and leadership. The end result has been far and away the most rewarding and enjoyable job of my life. It’s with a very heavy heart that I must share with you today that my time at Range has come to an end. I have taken a VP role at company in Seattle called Visible Technologies. I will be overseeing their search department part of the time but mostly I will be working with the product team on two products: TruCast and TruView. I am very excited to embark on this new path and grow my skill set beyond SEO to include more expertise in reputation management and social media measurement. Visible Technologies is a great company that is backed by Ignition Partners. I’ve had the opportunity to meet several folks at both Visible and Ignition and I’ve been impressed by the dedication and enthusiasm of each and everyone of them. I’m confident we’ll all find success together. In order to properly fill the new role at Visible I will be moving to the Seattle area as soon as I can sell my home here and get my family packed up. Look out Seattle – here I come. Yes, I’ll miss my island paradise but the opportunity to work more closely with search community in Seattle is a great benefit that helps offset the extreme sadness of leaving behind a life and friends, here in Victoria, that have been simply wonderful. As I mentioned already, my time at Range has been amazing and I cannot say enough about how great a place Range is to work. The people at Range, long ago, became family. I often have a hard time imagining not being a part of the team at Range anymore. Working at Range has been a privilege. I can’t say enough of Range as a whole or, specifically, the SEO team. The team that reports directly to me is completely badass. Watching them hit homerun after homerun for the likes of Neiman Marcus, Nike, Sharper Image, Macy’s and more has been such a pleasure. There is nothing like managing a world class team. Lastly, Range is working hard to add some new staff to the SEO department. I will still be the Director of SEO until January 31 so please send me resumes directly to todd at rangeonlinemedia dot com or you can submit them to our HR department. I will be helping sort through applications and resumes to ensure that Range continues to have a world class SEO team.
I used to live in Calgary, AB. That’s about 600 miles from where I live now. I still listen a Calgary radio station on a daily basis and of course I listen to it over the net. I like the music and it’s kinda nice to hear Calgary news and stay sorta pluggin to the hometown vibe.
The station streams through a nice little pop up player and when you first launch it you have to sit through an ad before the the actual stream starts. It’s an ad for local Calgary business. It’ s been the same business for as long as I can remember. Something they’ve started doing lately is every 90 min or so they pop up a message that says “Click here to keep listening”. If you click it the stream continues uninterrupted. If you don’t click it in time it changes to “Click here to resume listening”. At that point you are subjected to the ad again before the stream comes back. I’m really fine with all that and it makes some sense to me to get some more ad play but there’s a bigger question…
If I was in Calgary would I be streaming the station? No. So why put local ads in it? So close to being on target but yet so far.
Well they have their own internal spam reporting tools of course. If you work at Google you simply type http://spamreport/ into your G branded FireFox browser and voila. I can’t say I’ve actually seen what’s at that internal URL but I can tell you it’s highly promoted and visible around the ‘plex and around multi monitors. When I was there a couple weeks back with Greg he swiped the scanned document below off a bulletin board and in a round about sort of way I swiped it from him – hehe. Did I say swiped? no. It was on the floor and I’m sure it was near a garbage can. How much you wanna bet that Matt himself did the fancy artwork?
When I’m on the road and generally hangin with my fellow rockstar it’s all about how we roll. We drink top shelf booze, ride around in limos, get invited to cool pre-launch events and private parties, get to wander around the Googleplex stealing the http://spamreport posters and looking for booze and all manner of other rockstarish things. It’s how we roll…until we get home. I’ve been home all weekend and here’s how we roll on the Friesen homestead:
- swimming lessons – I have to go in the pool with the kids
- cleaned the garage – 3 hours
- washed the wife’s minivan – my truck is still filthy
- mowed the lawn
- hung pictures
- mounted smoke detectors in the kids rooms full of inflammable toys
- fixed the broken gate latch
- cleaned the bbq
- watched Bob the Builder, My Little Pony, Caillou, Dora the Explorer and more
- took the kids to the pumpkin patch to pick pumpkins (that will rot on my doorstep)
- changed various burned out light bulbs
- read books while a 2 yr tried poopin on the potty again and again
- organized the recycling bins
And that my friends is how I roll. Now I’m off to watch Veggie Tales…