3 Key Metrics to Define Before Starting a Search Engine Marketing CampaignVirTasktic
Hiring an SEO agency can lift that burden and get you on track to take advantage of all the benefits search engine marketing (SEM) has to offer.
SEM can be broken down into two major areas: Pay-per-click (PPC) ads like Google AdWords, which are a great way to boost traffic in the immediate term, and search engine optimization (SEO), which could take 6 to 12 months to see results. A combination of these two efforts is often a solid, balanced strategy for companies.
If you’re starting to explore the options, first define a few key metrics in your business that will help potential partner agencies understand your needs.
1. Identify specific products or services to promote and your goal revenue growth for each
The main goal of search engine marketing is to increase the number of qualified leads coming to your site—ultimately, to increase revenue.
But, it is not enough to say, “I want to increase revenue.” In fact, it’s still too vague to say, “I want to increase revenue by 20%.”
You need to be specific about which products or services you want to promote so that you can focus on driving traffic to those pages on your website.
While you could just send people to your homepage, focusing on a particular product or service page will help you reach users with specific buyer intent.
Defining your goals for growth in precise areas of your site will help agencies understand your priorities for the campaign and which search terms to target. Thinking this through early on will help agencies provide a more accurate price estimate and will put you a step ahead in the campaign planning process.
2. Measure your website’s conversion rate from search engine traffic
To understand how much additional traffic you’ll need from search engines to reach your revenue growth goals, you will need to understand how many of your website’s visitors coming from that channel actually convert into potential customers.
Technically speaking, conversion rate is the percentage of your website’s visitors that complete a specific action on your site.In this case, you’ll want to hone in on the conversions resulting fromincoming search engine traffic.
A conversion could be anything from a phone call to an email list signup to a contact form fill – whatever makes sense for your business to identify visitors that may be interested in making a purchase. You can set up conversions in Google Analytics to track the number of users that arrived from search engines and those that completed the goal actions.
By understanding your conversion rate, you’ll be able to work backwards from the revenue goals you defined above to calculate the amount of extra traffic you’ll need to reach those targets.
Moreover, once you being your campaign, your agency will segment out conversions from organic search and from different pay-per-click ads to figure out what’s working well, so it’s important to have a baseline with which to compare.
If you have the resources, you can also work with your agency on optimizing conversions on your site by improving the design and user experience in tandem with SEM.
3. Determine your cost per lead
In order to set goals for a PPC campaign, you’ll need to know how that channel compares to your other marketing channels from a cost efficiency standpoint. Cost per lead is one way to measure this.Google Analytics makes it very easy to track the cost per lead of PPC ads. An SEO agency can help you dial in on a goal cost per lead from a PPC campaign by testing ad language and optimizing landing pages.
But, understanding your cost per lead in the present from each of the marketing channels you currently use will be very useful to have as a baseline to evaluate the success of your future PPC campaign with an agency.[Tweet “The 3 most important metrics to define BEFORE starting your search engine #marketing campaign.”]
Related tips for beginning an SEM campaign with an agency
Aside from understanding your website’s current performance and creating goals you’d like to reach with your SEM campaign, there are a few other items to keep in mind when approaching an agency for help. [starlist]
- Be flexible on keywords. A good agency will focus on helping you increase the number of qualified leads to your site. This overall goal matters more than ranking #1 for a particular keyword.
- Be able to clearly explain your target audience. You know better than any agency out there who your customers are and what types of things they are searching for on the web.
- Have a substantial budget to invest. SEO takes resources upfront, the benefit of which may not be realized for multiple months. It takes many hours of manual work from real humans to achieve success. You’ll need to devote a significant amount of money to receive quality work.
- Commit to learning about SEM. Finding an agency that will educate you on best practices is critical to evaluating the success of the project and building trust in the relationship. [/starlist]
With these items and metrics in mind, you’ll be a leap ahead of most clients approaching agencies and will be able to make an informed decision on which one can best help you reach your goals.[author image=”https://smarthustle.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/natalie-beach-headshot.png” ]Natalie Beach is the marketing manager at Clutch, a B2B ratings and reviews website that highlights leading software and professional services firms. [/author]