Search Engine Watch
SEO News

Go Back   Search Engine Watch Forums > Search Engine Marketing Strategies > Web Analytics & Tracking
FAQ Members List Calendar Forum Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 06-01-2004   #1
Mike Sack
 
Mike Sack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Marlborough, MA
Posts: 14
Mike Sack will become famous soon enoughMike Sack will become famous soon enough
How do you improve ROI?

Think improving ROI is about reducing costs? Or increasing conversion rates? Let's use this thread to discuss ways in which ROI can be improved.

I'll start off with a quick hint: Perhaps focusing more on what you are selling online can result in the greatest lift in ROI. Sometimes the ROI of low margin products really hurts the overall ROI of your marketing efforts. I've personally seen the impact of focusing online efforts based on Gross Margin data and it results in vastly improved ROI.

Anyone else find similar concepts to share?
Mike Sack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2004   #2
AussieWebmaster
Forums Editor, SearchEngineWatch
 
AussieWebmaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 8,154
AussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant future
interesting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Sack
Think improving ROI is about reducing costs? Or increasing conversion rates? Let's use this thread to discuss ways in which ROI can be improved.

I'll start off with a quick hint: Perhaps focusing more on what you are selling online can result in the greatest lift in ROI. Sometimes the ROI of low margin products really hurts the overall ROI of your marketing efforts. I've personally seen the impact of focusing online efforts based on Gross Margin data and it results in vastly improved ROI.

Anyone else find similar concepts to share?
While working on improving CTR and CPC a huge improvement on ROI can occur by working the landing pages themselves. If you can change conversion rates from say 4% to 6% you have improved ROI by 50%... as is repeatedly stated it is easier to improve conversions of existing visitors than get new ones (well mostly that is said about upselling to customers but it works here also).
AussieWebmaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2004   #3
rustybrick
 
rustybrick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 2,810
rustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud ofrustybrick has much to be proud of
Currently I am working on increase the AOV (average order value) for a clients site. We basically are pushing complementary products in a non distracting manner throughout the site. Then once again before the checkout process. Of course we are tracking it to see if it improves revenue and has a positive ROI.

That is just one thing to increase revenue, which makes helps improve overall ROI.

Any other stories?
rustybrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2004   #4
AussieWebmaster
Forums Editor, SearchEngineWatch
 
AussieWebmaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 8,154
AussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant future
more tricks

Using an advanced tracking program helps give you a better insight into user behavior which is an essential element of improving ROI.
AussieWebmaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2004   #5
Mike Sack
 
Mike Sack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Marlborough, MA
Posts: 14
Mike Sack will become famous soon enoughMike Sack will become famous soon enough
Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieWebmaster
Using an advanced tracking program helps give you a better insight into user behavior which is an essential element of improving ROI.
Aussie - what do you mean by "advanced tracking program"? Can you cite some examples on how to use the data you get from such a program to improve ROI. I think that will help the forum members a lot.
Mike Sack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2004   #6
cuzco
Laa Laa
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Teletubbyland
Posts: 31
cuzco is on a distinguished road
One client insisted on being 1st on AdWords. This worked for a long time, but with increased competition the costs grew and profits dipped.

After some brief experimentation we have found an nice equilibrium between costs, visitors and profit. Now they have slightly less visitors through AdWords but make more profit.

Nothing spectacular, but the real difficult bit was persuading the client, who liked to be informed of everything we did, that we knew what were doing and being 1st was not necessarily best.
cuzco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2004   #7
AussieWebmaster
Forums Editor, SearchEngineWatch
 
AussieWebmaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 8,154
AussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant future
okay

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Sack
Aussie - what do you mean by "advanced tracking program"? Can you cite some examples on how to use the data you get from such a program to improve ROI. I think that will help the forum members a lot.
A good tracking program measures the clicks and leads and filters the responses through various methods of comparison. Engines and keywords, overall keywords, broad/phrase/exact matches etc.

An advanced program also monitors the actions of the user... where they go after the landing page... develops routes that lead to the best close ratios (so you can use the info to improve the site)... also what links on a page get actions etc.
It also includes information by country and state where available so you see your online customers as locations too.
The customer becomes more than a converted lead, each adds to your eduaction of the consumer in general and your site as a tool in the ROI process.
I will add more but this is the start of what can be gained from an advanced system.
AussieWebmaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2004   #8
doppelganger
User Advocate
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 82
doppelganger is on a distinguished road
advanced tracking

Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieWebmaster
Using an advanced tracking program helps give you a better insight into user behavior which is an essential element of improving ROI.
An example of what AussieWebmaster is talking about would be a program like Clicktracks. You can isolate users coming from a particular keyword and see where they are falling off in the buying process. Basically, advanced tracking that allows you to see clickstream data based on keyword, or engine, or all types of other factors.
doppelganger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2004   #9
bhartzer
Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing Expert
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 534
bhartzer has a spectacular aura aboutbhartzer has a spectacular aura aboutbhartzer has a spectacular aura about
Clicktracks is great, I've been using it for more than a year now. But Clicktracks is not the entire answer. To improve ROI, you have to change things around (i.e., design, landing pages, etc.) and start testing. Then that's where Clicktracks comes in--you can see which changes are performing the best.

It seems to me that I come across an application a while back that would allow you to test on the fly--the server would actually make present various versions of your site to different visitors each time they visited and then keep track of it all. It then shows you what performs better.

Does anyone know the application I'm talking about?

I
__________________
Bill Hartzer is an internet marketing consultant in Dallas and has been practicing organic SEO since 1996.
bhartzer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2004   #10
AussieWebmaster
Forums Editor, SearchEngineWatch
 
AussieWebmaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 8,154
AussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant future
Quote:
Originally Posted by bhartzer
Clicktracks is great, I've been using it for more than a year now. But Clicktracks is not the entire answer. To improve ROI, you have to change things around (i.e., design, landing pages, etc.) and start testing. Then that's where Clicktracks comes in--you can see which changes are performing the best.

It seems to me that I come across an application a while back that would allow you to test on the fly--the server would actually make present various versions of your site to different visitors each time they visited and then keep track of it all. It then shows you what performs better.

Does anyone know the application I'm talking about?

I
I would like to know that answer too... I use WebSideStory aka HitBox and it has a couple of things that could be used like that... though you are talking about an integrated program that creates dynamic content and tracking.
AussieWebmaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2004   #11
doppelganger
User Advocate
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 82
doppelganger is on a distinguished road
A/B testing

Quote:
Originally Posted by bhartzer
Clicktracks is great, I've been using it for more than a year now. But Clicktracks is not the entire answer. To improve ROI, you have to change things around (i.e., design, landing pages, etc.) and start testing. Then that's where Clicktracks comes in--you can see which changes are performing the best.

It seems to me that I come across an application a while back that would allow you to test on the fly--the server would actually make present various versions of your site to different visitors each time they visited and then keep track of it all. It then shows you what performs better.

Does anyone know the application I'm talking about?

I
I think the application you are talking about is Offermatica... I'm sure there are other places that allow you to do this, but it essentially creates dynamic areas on your site where different content is rotated so you can test the difference in conversion. Basically, it allows you to do A/B testing on the page.

You don't necessarily need a company like Offermatica to do this if you have a good programmer. It's not rocket science, but could definitely be a handy tool.
doppelganger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2004   #12
AussieWebmaster
Forums Editor, SearchEngineWatch
 
AussieWebmaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 8,154
AussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant future
interesting

Quote:
Originally Posted by doppelganger
I think the application you are talking about is Offermatica... I'm sure there are other places that allow you to do this, but it essentially creates dynamic areas on your site where different content is rotated so you can test the difference in conversion. Basically, it allows you to do A/B testing on the page.

You don't necessarily need a company like Offermatica to do this if you have a good programmer. It's not rocket science, but could definitely be a handy tool.
We could do something like that with our content management system and to test a couple of things.... nice... thanks!
AussieWebmaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2004   #13
Rob
Canuck SEM
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Kelowna, BC
Posts: 234
Rob will become famous soon enoughRob will become famous soon enough
There are many ways to improve ROI both on the paid and organic side. It is usually easier to do on the paid side through copywriting ads, improving landing pages, and proper bid management including day parting.

On the organic side it is harder but not impossible. Many of the tactics which have proven themselves on the paid side can be applied to organic, you just need to be a little more patient to see results.

Also, there are also many on the page factors which could be tweaked to improve conversions. But before you go there think about who you are doing these changes for?

Do you know who the site's target customer is? If not you should find out. then when you know, you could profile them to see what they like in a site. Sometimes just asking your friends or co-workers their impressions of a site can help improve conversions. You can take their feedback and make the changes (if required) to help.

As I said, there are many ways that I've used. Sometimes we get too focused on tactics and forget strategy. In this case strategy is very important.
Rob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2004   #14
Anthony Parsons
Rubbing the shine of the knobs who think they're better than everyone else...
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Melbourne Australia
Posts: 478
Anthony Parsons will become famous soon enough
I look at ROI on an individual basis, site by site. Some sites sell products, and as such want to sell more. They invest 10K in SEM from their profits, they may require to sell 1 mil in sales to make $100,000 in profit to substantiate an ROI was made. This has to be taken into account, calculated and factored into whatever method is required to achieve the goal. Analysis and variations as mentioned above are used for this.

A site I did last year was a non-profit support forum. They don't sell anything, nor make a ROI in a monetary sense. There ROI was membership signups. They invested a monetary value for me to deliver relevant traffic to their forum and boost their membership rate. So we put a price on the job, an expected improved traffic rate, and bought it down to an estimated daily membership rate. That goal was achieved, thus the client received their ROI and still achieving it beyond the initial sense.

That is one aspect of looking at ROI I wanted to raise here that isn't really mentioned.
Anthony Parsons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2004   #15
AussieWebmaster
Forums Editor, SearchEngineWatch
 
AussieWebmaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 8,154
AussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant future
things to measure

We have a large number of measureables on our sites. Free newsletters, free demo accounts, trading guides, trading accounts.
Building customers can be done in a number of ways and over time we have developed a value for each of these elements and thus can spread the ROI over a number of factors.
Even people who are selling things on their sites should institute a newsletter of sorts or a buyers guide or notification of sales etc.
These email lists can then become a valueable tool for added sales. You send the required info with ads for items etc. Thus you develop more streams of income and get more from the money spent on traffic be it throuigh SEO or PPC.
AussieWebmaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2004   #16
Clicklab
Web Analytics Your Way
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 19
Clicklab is on a distinguished road
Exclamation

Quote:
Q: How do you improve ROI?
A: Systematically!

Let's look at the big picture for a moment. Remember TQM (Total Quality Management)? ROI and Quality are very similar concepts, because both:

* involve an entire organization,
* are in a state of constant flux, and
* can make or break a business.

TQM is an established management practice of continually improving the quality of products or services by making refinements based on the market feedback. Its four-stage process is: Plan, Do, Check, and Act.

1. Plan -- define what it is you want to improve.
2. Do -- implement changes.
3. Check -- see what happened.
4. Act -- make ongoing adjustments.

Can you apply a similar system of ongoing refinements -- tweaking, if you will -- to the goal of improving your online marketing ROI? You bet.

We at Clicklab have developed a system called ESA/T that does just that.

The end result of the ESA/T process is to:

* decrease advertising and marketing costs,
* increase your company’s revenues, and
* enhance the quality of your customers’ experience so they’ll be more inclined to buy and buy again.

Clicklab’s four-phase ESA/T cycle works like this:

1. Enhance the visitor’s experience of your web site. This will ensure the traffic being driven to the site can be converted into sales, prospects, or sign-ups.
2. Select traffic sources and marketing strategies. Choose a mix that works.
3. Analyze your tracking data and metrics (i.e. categories of traffic statistics). In other words, predict future behavior by examining past behavior.
4. Test and tweak to improve performance. Mission critical: Based on your metrics, find what isn’t working and fix it.



These four steps can be repeated over and over in an ascending spiral towards optimum marketing performance.

Enjoy and prosper.
Attached Images
File Type: gif esat.gif (3.0 KB, 433 views)

Last edited by Clicklab : 06-25-2004 at 05:42 PM.
Clicklab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2004   #17
AussieWebmaster
Forums Editor, SearchEngineWatch
 
AussieWebmaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 8,154
AussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant future
hmmm

Good article Clicklab... thanks for contributing!
AussieWebmaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2004   #18
Clicklab
Web Analytics Your Way
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 19
Clicklab is on a distinguished road
A|B testing

Quote:
Originally Posted by bhatzer
It seems to me that I come across an application a while back that would allow you to test on the fly--the server would actually make present various versions of your site to different visitors each time they visited and then keep track of it all. It then shows you what performs better.
Do you remember if it's a server-based or hosted application? Seems like it would require either some custom programming or a solid publishing component within the application itself.

Last edited by Clicklab : 06-25-2004 at 05:31 PM.
Clicklab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2004   #19
James Colborn
Casual Observer
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Cambridge, MA
Posts: 22
James Colborn is an unknown quantity at this point
Immediate ROI Improvements!

Improving your conversion rate is key to improving ROI... there is no disputing this but what if you can't make site changes in an instant or your site is hosted or designed externally?

One of the things that I've learnt in this space is that waiting for technical departments and or site designers to implement recommended changes can take forever, literally, as getting on the development cycle is a feat in itself!

So what can be done to improve ROI in the short term?

The answer is what you can control yourself in the 'now' timeframe. So what can you control? CPCs and budgetary variables, creatives and landing pages. So let's look at each in turn. I'll not cover keywords choice as that is a topic in it's own right!

CPCs and Budgetary Variables

This is the most tangible variable of the three that can easily be controlled and has a direct impact upon ROI, if you spend less to make the same or more then your ROI is going to improve. Obviously as is spending the same or more to make an increased amount! So what does this mean? If you control your bidding strategies in the PFP engines you can impact ROI, if you aren't using a bidding tool (and quite frankly in most instances this is crucial for ROI) then testing positions may yield results, e.g. pos. 3 instead of 1 may yeild a slightly lower traffic and the same if not more conversions.

You can improve ROI in Google by setting up your account so that you get rewarded for a good CTR. If you assign different budgets to different groups of keywords you could get more clicks for less and by default if this traffic is relevant a higher conversion rate and a higher ROI.

If you are using Paid Inclusion then controlling the amount of variables that go into a feed may allow you to control expenditure, conversion and ROI. How you might ask? We'll here's an example. If you have products in your feed that drive traffic predominantly and no conversions then removing these terms will reduce cost and if your conversions stay the same then ROI improves! As Paid Inclusion feeds (we're talking Inktomi of old now Overture Site Match xChange) have a fixed CPC then take out products that have high traffic but a low price point (if retail is the example) as taking this at the standard conversion rate the cost of the traffic will never justify the sale value even if you make a sale (i.e. 100 clicks at $0.25 is $25, at a 1% conversion rate that's 1 sale at an AOV of $10 the net result is a -$15 return! - Nasty)

Creatives & Landing Pages

These two variables are easy to control but are often done badly! Creative should be compelling and relevant to the subject searched. If the site hasn't got a well know brand name then use more descriptive calls to action or 'hooks' like 'free shipping' or 'next day delivery'. If your site is better know then play on brand value and trust variables.

Regarding landing page make sure you send someone to a relevant page and don't make them search on your site again! Secondly, make sure the page or product you've sent someone to is always maintained... the last thing you want is to get someone all of the way to your site to find your page doesn't load! You've incurred the click cost but conversion potential is zero and thus ROI is decreased!

These are some of the instant controllable measures... keyword selection is paramount and a topic on it's own - selecting keywords that have a higher liklihood to convert is paramount but remember that a trade off between ROI is volume of conversions and the trick is to balance them out.
James Colborn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2004   #20
AussieWebmaster
Forums Editor, SearchEngineWatch
 
AussieWebmaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 8,154
AussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant futureAussieWebmaster has a brilliant future
Those responses by ClickLab and James Colburn offer some great insight into what is required to start solid ROI improvements.

Unfortunately, this thread is indicative of the industry. The low views reflect the similarly low number of people who actually work with tracking and consider the numerous ways of improving ROI. As much as PPC has a long way to go before coming close to saturation, until such time as people very actively work with tracking and creative methods for improving conversions, the industry will still be so underused.

Hopefully this will keep improving and the constant pushing of prices will be replaced by people actively working on better monetizing the traffic they are getting.
AussieWebmaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off