By Marc Purtell | Director, SEO
Editor’s note: This is the tenth post in a 13-part series on the newest search marketing strategies that will enhance your brand’s search strategy. All 10 search strategies, including 3 bonus search strategies, can be downloaded in our new report, “10 New Ideas for Enhancing Your Brand’s Search Strategy “. Download here.
Here is a basic ROI equation for SEO: number of visits driven by organic search x the dollar value of each visit – the cost of SEO efforts = the dollar return on SEO.
Google Analytics can provide the number of unique visits driven from organic links. Most marketers understand the value of each visit (variable margin attributable to Web visits or number of visits) to their website. Optimally, advertisers should track the specific dollar value attributable to organic search traffic. If this is not easily available, the site average is a reasonable substitute. But advertisers must be able to quantify the average value of a site visit before the value of any online marketing can be established.
The cost of supporting SEO efforts (in-house or outsourced SEO experts, link building, content creation) should be identified. It’s advisable to take a cautious approach with regard to cost. Some activities, like link building, are clearly SEO-oriented. However, site structure and content creation typically have mixed ownership. Many companies aren’t evaluating SEO programs properly because they are not connecting SEO efforts with site architecture and content creation decisions, nor are they appropriately attributing these costs to the organic program. Ideally, costs would be allocated based on the total time site architects and content creators spent adjusting the site elements for SEO advantage. If your organization does not track time explicitly, try allotting 15 percent of major site design efforts, and 5 percent of ongoing content creation work, to the overall SEO program costs. (more…)
By Marc Purtell | Director, SEO
Editor’s note: This is the eight post in a 13-part series on the newest search marketing strategies that will enhance your brand’s search strategy. All 10 search strategies, including 3 bonus search strategies, can be downloaded in our new report, “10 New Ideas for Enhancing Your Brand’s Search Strategy “. Download here.
In the early days of search marketing, many advertisers mistakenly thought of organic search traffic as free. They would build a website, design the user experience, and sometimes make the basic technical tweaks to be properly categorized by the search engines. The strategy for optimizing organic rankings was mainly “set it and forget it.”
This put SEO efforts in stark contrast with paid search marketing, which involved relatively large investments that were actively managed and optimized. As the competition for the search audience increased, savvy online marketers realized it was not only possible but necessary to actively manage and optimize both their SEO and paid search programs. This led to the second phase of SEO marketing: active management of organic rankings.
Best practices for organic search emerged. Practitioners started actively managing on-site technical aspects like site structure and meta tagging. They began ensuring appropriate configuration of existing and new content. For example, they started managing the density of attractive keywords in content and proactively developing inbound links to build authority.
As a result, SEO efforts have evolved from a technical discipline to a marketing discipline. With this evolution came the need for additional resources and expenditures to support the ongoing content optimization and link building efforts required to maintain high levels of organic traffic. According to Econsultancy, more than $1.5 billion was spent in 2010 to maintain “free” organic search traffic and keep the competition below you on the search results pages. (more…)
By Marc Purtell | Director, SEO
Editor’s note: This is the third post in a 13-part series on the newest search marketing strategies that will enhance your brand’s search strategy. All 10 search strategies, including 3 bonus search strategies, can be downloaded in our new report, “10 New Ideas for Enhancing Your Brand’s Search Strategy “. Download here.
Though they are distinctive approaches to search, organic (SEO) and paid (PPC) provide a strong value proposition to users when implemented together into a comprehensive search campaign. Organic and PPC search campaigns drive legitimacy for the user and prospective customer. Click-through rates see increases in these dual search initiatives. For organic and PPC, their significance in establishing an effective search program is their most important similarity.
It is easier to draw distinctions between organic and PPC search. The course your company decides to take depends on your search needs and what you are looking to accomplish in your campaign.
Going organic, via an SEO campaign, enables your search program to generate long-term growth through efficiency. The cost of an organic campaign is far less than PPC. Organic campaigns produce more clicks and give your business, product or service the potential for vast exposure. Organic search engages the user at the “moment-of-relevance”. This is when a user is actively seeking information on a product or service of interest. Going organic maximizes highly relevant traffic while building brand equity and consumer trust.
By Sultan Riaz | Marketing Coordinator
MediaWhiz Senior Vice President of Media Services Peter Klein is a fount of information about performance marketing. Especially affiliate marketing. The guy loves affiliate marketing. The good kind, of course. Not the fraud-based affiliate marketing of the past. That kind of junk pains him. It
It’s with this perspective in mind that I recently sat down with Pete, who oversees MediaWhiz’s affiliate marketing business, to discuss a topic that he is particularly passionate about: launching performance marketing campaigns. damages the industry’s reputation, he says, and makes it harder for reputable affiliate networks, such as MonetizeIt, the MediaWhiz affiliate network, to earn the trust and business of today’s digitally savvy CMO.
Pete’s so passionate and informed about this topic, in fact, that he’s written an eBook on it called “The CMO’s Guide to Performance Marketing.” You can download a free copy here.
By Heather Kraus | Manager, Performance Strategy and Analytics
It has been a few months since Google announced Universal Analytics, which will provide marketers with greater visibility into people’s interactions with a Web site at multiple levels. Universal Analytics will transform how marketers interpret consumer behavior.
Universal Analytics will open doors for more in-depth analysis of brands’ Web sites. It is a complete overhaul of Google Analytics. It requires marketers’ immediate attention in order to stay on top of the data revolution that is reshaping much of our economy and society.
The most exciting change brought about by Universal Analytics is the inclusion of more data. While a vast trove of data can be overwhelming to some, anyone who has worked with Google Analytics is aware of its shortcomings. Its lack of transparency has led some marketers to assume certain things about how consumers interact with their Web sites. Making assumptions with data is a recipe for disaster, whether you’re conducting a simple science experiment or analyzing a multichannel online marketing campaign.
Measuring interactions from different environments changes the very concept of “Web analytics” to “digital analytics.” With Universal Analytics, marketers are finally able to track user activity across multiple devices. This is important as consumers increasingly shift toward a mobile-first, multiple-device shopping experience. The focus is shifting from visits and visitors to sessions and users.
The consumer — not page views — now rules the e-commerce roost. (more…)
By Peter Klein | SVP, Media Services
Editor’s note: The following post was originally published at CMO.com.
Long dismissed as a niche form of online marketing, performance marketing has become a multibillion-dollar force in the digital-media ecosystem. For CMOs, performance marketing, of which affiliate marketing comprises the largest share of revenue growth, is no longer a marketing strategy that can be ignored or delegated to junior-level marketing managers. It is now a driving force behind many brands’ online growth and customer-acquisition efforts. As such, it requires CMOs’ devout attention to properly use and scale in order to realize long-term customer-acquisition value.
The rise of affiliate marketing, and its growing influence with digital marketers, is no accident.
Affiliate marketing has existed for more than a decade. It helps advertisers achieve their ROI goals by using publishers (affiliates) to conduct their marketing efforts via multiple media channels on a pay-for-performance basis.
Affiliate marketing can be used for any vertical, brand, company, language, time frame, or demographic. Importantly, it is a useful testing ground for CMOs who desire online marketing channel options, instant gratification, speed, and a clear measurement of return on advertising spend (ROAS) or return on marketing (ROM) investment. In fact, many affiliate marketers are experts in industry metrics and traffic sources, and can help CMOs develop campaigns based on long-term brand and customer-acquisition. This is critical as the industry evolves into a larger mobile-consumer target.
But affiliate marketing’s benefits extend beyond lead generation. Affiliate marketing professionals and networks are at the forefront of innovative online marketing campaigns. The rise of social networking sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pandora, were largely built on affiliate marketing ad spend revenues.
Every brand in the digital age needs a strong lead-generation component to its online marketing strategy. Affiliate marketing is CMOs’ answer to that need.
Read the rest of the article at CMO.com.
The benefits of affiliate marketing are more thoroughly explained in a new MediaWhiz insight paper from, “The CMO’s Guide to Affiliate Marketing.” It outlines critical steps CMOs should take to begin working with an affiliate; defines core terminology; and information on why it is critical for CMOs to invest some of their marketing spend in the affiliate marketing channel.
By Peter Klein | SVP, Media Services
The national debt continues rising, the stock market undulates up and down by hundreds of points on an almost weekly basis, and yet online advertising spend continues to soar. Clearly advertisers see online as a viable channel to reach consumers and maximize ROI in these difficult times. And clearly CMOs are being pressured to deliver results instead of just pure branding.
Advertisers have seen the value in online marketing for more than a decade.
Over the last five years in particular, significant shifts from traditional media to online have taken place throughout many industries — a trend that is only going to accelerate. In fact a 2011 eMarketer report found that U.S. online ad spending will nearly double from $26 billion in 2010 to $49.5 billion by 2015.
The important thing to note, though, is that whether you are a CMO, vice president or any other decision maker in the marketing division of your company, you need to be thinking seriously about how to clearly demonstrate the ROI on your marketing efforts — and more importantly, the ROI on your job. Whether we are in a recession, depression, or bull market, there can never a bad time to invest your marketing dollars wisely.
I sincerely hope this resonates with the marketing budget controlling masses, as you don’t have to know anything about media channels to be successful. You just have to know basic math — and the online marketing community is here to make you turn that math into better marketing and job performance.
Certainly the status quo has never gotten anyone ahead. In the words of William Wallace: “You know what happens if we don’t try? … Nothing.”
By Keith Trivitt | @KeithTrivitt | Director, Marketing and Communications
We’re big fans of the semi-annual industry confab known as LeadsCon. For this summer’s event, LeadsCon East, we’re hosting a special workshop aimed at helping marketers garner better value and more leads from their digital marketing campaigns.
On Wednesday, July 25, our workshop, titled, “Guaranteeing ROI and Accountability: The Benefits of Online Channel Integration,” will help marketers understand how they can effectively utilize online channel integration to generate results in an accountable and measurable fashion. It’s about more than just placing an ad across various online channels. Our panel of experts will discuss how they utilize multichannel integration to keep the leads coming in while ensuring real ROI for their brands.
We’re excited to host this workshop and invite all who will be attending LeadsCon East to attend. Session details are below.
For more information or to schedule a private meeting with our sales team while at LeadsCon East, please contact Keith Trivitt at email@example.com or 646.264.0144
Be sure to check out the MediaWhiz booth at LeadsCon. Visit booth #111 for cool giveaways and to chat with our friendly sales team.
MediaWhiz LeadsCon Session Details
Session: Guaranteeing ROI and Accountability: The Benefits of Online Channel Integration
Date: Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Time: 9–9:45 a.m.
Room: Rendezvous Trianon, Hilton New York (more…)
By: Steve Goldner, Senior Director of Social Media
So, you are tired of reading about Facebook this past week. From the controversy with GM pulling its $10M Facebook ad program to the Facebook IPO. And then the surprise wedding of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to his longtime girlfriend one day after the IPO. And in all this coverage, no one put the real Facebook issue on the table.
Everyone is asking if Facebook ads provide a winning ROI. Frankly, that is the wrong question.
Facebook should not be your social media program. It should be part of your social media program, but social media is bigger. And for that matter, social media is only a part of marketing (and other important business functions as well like customer support). To look at every slice of a marketing program and see if there is an ROI does not make sense. I’ll explain why shortly.
Before I explain the ROI issue, let me first rewind the tape from last week’s events. I was asked to provide comments and answer some questions for a number of publications. As is always the case, my comments were taken out of context. I was asked about GM publicizing that it was pulling its Facebook ads and my thoughts on that. Here was my complete response …
“WSJ reports that General Motors plans to stop advertising on Facebook as GM marketing chief Joel Ewanick said the auto maker ‘is definitely reassessing our advertising on Facebook, although the content is effective and important.’
“The news could not come at a worse time for Facebook, but states some strong commentary on both Facebook and GM.
“First GM … this is the same company that went before Congress looking for hand-outs to save their fledging company. Was Ford in front of Congress? No. Is it a coincidence that Ford has an extremely productive social media program that is fully integrated into other marketing programs? No. What Ford does, that is absent from GMs social media effort, is that they have a strategy, plan, execution, and metrics that integrate ALL owned, earned, and PAID media endeavors. They do not have an isolated Facebook paid media program. Furthermore, I question if Ewanick understands that, on average, only 16% of brand postings on Facebook reach their ‘like’s’ newsfeed as revealed at the fMC on 2/29/11. He should look at Facebook’s reach generator (paid offering from Facebook) with regards to “content (being) effective and important.” The fact is that GM does not know how to integrate social media into a winning business strategy. The issue is not Facebook ads.
“As for Facebook … this news is very detrimental for Facebook right before their IPO. It paints a picture that a struggling company cannot rely on Facebook to help turn them around, but the same could be said about any pure-play marketing advertisement program. The reality is that Facebook advertisement, by itself, is not a great use of precious marketing dollars. Facebook has done a poor job positioning and describing how their platform drives quantifiable business results. Facebook is not the equivalent of having a social media strategy and it is time for Facebook to communicate how they are PART of a winning solution and stop making ill-advised marketers believe they are THE social media solution.” (more…)
Kirshenbaum Bond has developed a novel way to put some skin in the game with their clients. They have developed a stock portfolio of their publicly traded clients and will link their financial rewards to the portfolio’s success. See the NY Times article:
Advertising: Agency Combines Clients’ Stocks for a Mini-Mutual Fund .
Having an agency link their financial reward to the client’s is a great thing. It aligns incentives and gets the agency focused on the returns the client’s marketing investments are generating. Not something typically seen from large brand oriented agencies, but clearly a winning formula. Hats off to Lori Senecal and the KBS&P team for aligning their rewards with their client’s financial results in this clever way.
But, “hello,” we in performance marketing have been doing just that for nearly a decade! MediaWhiz, and other performance marketing agencies, have been getting paid for results since 2001. We get paid to create the specific customer actions that our clients know, with statistical predictability, will generate profits. In most cases it is not our bonuses that are on the line but our entire fee. It’s not just some “skin in the game” but our financial lives on the line. We live or die by daily market results which determine whether our programs are providing a positive ROI.
As the competition for high quality customers becomes increasingly intense, every dollar a client invests in marketing needs to be productive. Great marketing programs will be continuously optimized to ensure they are creating the customer response that will lead to profits. Aligning the agency’s incentives with the client’s financial results is a strong step toward making this work. It’s great the KBS&P team will get a bonus if their client’s stock goes up. But if an advertiser wants more than a little skin in the game, if they want marketing partners fighting for their client’s profits as if their lives depended upon it, they should add more performance marketing to their overall marketing mix. As a performance marketing agency, we at MediaWhiz understand our financial life, just like our client’s, depends upon driving more profitable marketing. Now that’s alignment!