I have been in the search marketing world for almost 10 years now, with all my experience I’d say it’s safe to say that in the search world things change quickly! Right when you think you have a grip on things, a Panda comes along and messes everything up! You know, not to many professions allow you to say things like that!
After all the change that I have seen one thing remains the same. Clients want results. Better yet, they want proven results. Fortunately we (search marketers) can back up campaigns with Google Analytics goal data and call tracking to show results. Heck, the Mongoose Metrics call tracking system will show you what keywords lead to phone calls. For an extra $.25 Mongoose will show you the address and the name of the person that called! This is nothing less than amazing!
Imagine the return on investment that you can show your clients. Saying something like, “Our search marketing campaign will make your phone ring and we have the reporting to back it up. Additionally, I can tell you the names of the people that are calling. All you need to do is run these names against your new customer list and you have a complete (in terms of phone calls) ROI measurement, dollars invested to dollars earned!” WOW! That’s power!
My goal for this post is not to promote the benefit of dynamic call tracking services, but to find a way to close the gap in ROI tracking for web form submissions. I’d like to find a solution that will achieve this in the open source widget world, not the proprietary software platform world that is dominated by the big companies. This solution may already be out there. If it is and you know about it please share!
If the solution is not out there, then this post is a cry for help to all widget developers on WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and other open source platforms. I challenge you to rise up and provide this tool for our industry.
If I had one Holiday Wish
When a web form is submitted I’d like to have the referring source show up in the submission as a hidden field. If it’s not too much trouble, if the referring source is a search engine I’d like to know the keyword, if the source is a referring site then I’d like to know the URL. That’s it! That’s all I want for the holidays!
If a web form submission is a sales lead, and I could attach the prospects name to the keyword or traffic source, then I could deliver enough data for a complete ROI report to my clients. If my client is using a CRM like sales force that’s integrated with QuickBooks, then I could justify the entire marketing campaign with a few clients with a mouse.
Let’s take this one step further and talk about the lifetime value of a client. Here is a case example. Bob Google’s “Seattle Carpet Cleaning” and clicks on my client’s website, fills out a web from, and becomes a customer. Over the course of 5 years Bob gets his carpets cleaned 10 times paying $250 each time. That’s a lifetime value of $2,500. When reporting to my carpet cleaning client I can use this data to justify search marketing spend over time.
What if Bob doesn’t convert on the first contact with my client? Let’s say Bob converts four months down the line. Using the data provided in this widget, backed by the proper consulting, the credit for revenue will go to the original traffic source, our SEO campaign.
Imagine, the year is 2012 and we all have the ability to not only deliver a higher level of service to our clients, but an advanced education to our clients that better justifies the value of search marketing!
Happy holidays, and may our search marketing wishes come true!