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ROI: The Truth
Building the Digital Foundation
Return on investment is a pretty universal term. Investors however, add their own spin to the meaning of the term for their business and niche. This article will focus on the final product being new customers/clients and the profits they bring. Everyday all companies spend money to improve their business. Generally we all try to keep that cost at a minumum. Even during the pandemic when workers were working from home we still had the expense of rent, heat/air conditioning, and other normal expenses. We invest in our business even when we don’t think about it by washing windows, hiring cleaners, landscaping, fixing plumbing and buying electricity to turn on the lights. Those things are necessary expenses, without them our business would be too shabby to retain clients. Without them we would have no business, because who comes to a business that looks run down. Basic necessities are expenses however they don’t bring in new customers or clients. To really attract new clients, to continue to grow we must invest in other things. While investing in these things we ask ourselves “What will bring in the next customer, and is the cost worth it?” The answer is almost always an astounding “Yes”. We must remember that if we want to grow the goal is to get new clients and keep old.
Part 1 – Building the Digital Foundation
First, let’s look at the basics. Within the next 5 years no business can survive without a website. A website is more important than a sign in front of your store, or at least equally as important. Like a sign, websites point potential customers/clients to your business. They are informative, directional, service or product oriented (usually both) and in a sense your portfolio. They show you are established and can be trusted. It gives your employees a base for facts, knowledge and specific details about your company. Clients can read what you stand for, what you pledge and contact you for services or even buy products. A website is the cornerstone of a business. ROI almost doesn’t matter in this case because it is required. The part that is not required is maintainng it and impletmeting SEO with it. Maintaining the site is like landscaping, without it your site will eventually look out dated and give false information. It includes putting in new content, keeping up with a blog, optimizing for conversions and making sure every price is correct. You need to watch the data and adjust continually. You want to make sure that the money you spend on your website goes to the things that bring in the most ROI for your company.
SEO on the other hand is not a necessity. It is the reason your website is even seen. Without it you can still direct people there and after doing so your clients will be informed. SEO is short for search engine optimization. It helps websites to get closer to the front page and eventually on the front page of google, bing, yahoo or whatever you are striving for. It takes a long time and costs money continually. Without it your website is a place you direct to, not a place people find on general searches. The cost is usually monthly and is a long term investment. During the first 3 months you will see almost no difference in your client aqusitions, but after that it pays for itself by generating new leads. Generally for every dollar you spend on SEO you will reap $7.00 or more if you optimize for conversions. (This is an estimate, however we have seen this ratio with our various clients.) Not a bad investment for a small cost, because it also helps with other areas like social media, lead generation, and paid advertising.
You can calculate the ROI using data from your site with the following formula. This formula measures the increase in traffic to show you your ROI. We recommend to put tracking in place (we integrate this in our Dashports) so that this calculation is instantaneous.
Ecommerce websites have it easy when it comes to calculating ROI, this ROI is shown by an increase in sales and can easily be tracked, all the way from which web page a customer first viewed to what product they finally buy. This tracking allows you to optimize for conversions and create AUTOMATED stunning funnels. Non-ecommerce websites must first decide on a goal (or KPI) to track what type of action is considered a conversion. We can track email opt-ins, general traffic, social media followers, and appointment sign-ups. There are many ways that SEO can be targeted to get the action you desire.
We then must make sure we have calculated the conversion rate. This rate is something that goes hand in hand with SEO. It drives the value of SEO higher up and increases the amount of targeted actions of your visitors. This number called the conversion rate is given a percentage. Afterwhich we must decide on the value of each targeted action, the RPC (revenue per conversion), is how much you gain from each targeted action. Let’s say you get an appointment from every person who signs up for a phone call. This appointment is worth 50 dollars to you. That means that if your conversion rate is 5% and your RPC is $50 we can say that for every 10,000 more visitors you gain from SEO your ROI is as follows: 5% x $50 x 10,000 = $25,000. This is called the revenue generated. Having this number allows you to calculate your SEO ROI.
Remember that SEO’s goal is to give you more visibility and thus more incremental visits over time.
SEO’s investment compounds as your company continuously invest in SEO, content, conversion optimization, sales processes, link development and social media. By investing in SEO your Zany SEO specialist will find the best keywords in your niche and target them. These are also measured in your Zany Dashport. Afterwhich your specialist will help you strategize how you want to move forward. Our 5 step process we usually suggest includes:
1. Blog content optimized for SEO and social media.
2. Conversion Optimized Landing pages specific to your targeted action
3. Increase in social media outreach
4. Engagement campaigns which focus on turning warm leads into hot sales (emails, social media, contests, podcasts, interviews etc)
5. Creating new dual income streams such as courses, products, services and subscriptions etc
(Please remember that although we are focusing on how to make SEO ROI increase, paid advertising should happen at the same time along with SEO)
We never want to forget paid advertising. It is one of the quickest ways to have an immediate ROI.
While SEO takes time to see a return on investment paid advertising gets immediate results.
The first and most important aspect of paid advertising is to understand your target customer, your targeted action of the customers and finally the analytics which shows that you are doing it correctly.
Paid advertising is when you pay a search engine or platform to place your ads infront of customers. These search engines (such as google who has 2 million visits daily with over 35% of those visits click on ads) increase the amount of people who see your landing page in direct porportion to your ad budget. This budget needs to be reviewed and understood through valuation of analytics. The analytics as discussed before with SEO are basically the same.
The main difference however, is the primary way to increases ROI with paid advertising is customer segmentation. This customer segmentation outlines the ideal customer for the business and their customer journey. As an example a salon’s ideal customer might be a professional female who is 30-40 years old, has a salary above 50k per year and purchases beauty and self care products. All of these attributes paint a picture of the ideal customer. Using this picture we create a customer journey that starts by giving the information to the search engine or platform like Facebook. Then directing the customer to a landing page with a direct call to action. These steps must be tracked using UTM links, google analytics, facebook pixels and more to optimize and improve the weakest parts. Finally after the landing page a new customer relationship starts with either a direct sale or a newsletter. These actions happen almost immediately after creating an ad campaign. (We have heard some tell us that ads are not as effective as people say they are, that is because people often track the wrong things, and optimize for those instead of optimizing aspects of their sites and landing pages based off of a customer journey and click through rates.) Remember your improvement is only as good as your analytics, critizicism and feedback.
These paid advertisments serve two purposes, to increase your ROI through hard metric sales and to increase your brand awareness. This brand awareness is seen through an increase in followers, direct traffic and mentions. Social media platforms are a wonderful way to engage customers and capitalize on SEO and Paid advertising. The platforms are a bank for every business’s warm leads. They are the place where potential customers wait until they are ready.
Every business must continue to nuture their social media community by keeping active and engaging with their audience. By continually putting out content on social media the business stays at the forefront of the minds of their customers. It is said that after 7 times of repeating something you are more likely to remember that item. This is true with social media engagement and brand awareness.
By putting together everything frmo SEO, landing pages, Paid Advertising, Social Media and other marketing channels you get Lead Generation. Lead Generation is a term which includes portions and parts of everything else. At Zany we like to think of it as a master piece, just like Thanksgiving dinner is made up of many dishes as a whole.
Lead generation is something special. It is the thing that you have achieved when you no longer have to worry about where the next customer comes from, when you know that with assurance you will have enough customers for growth. Once again the big picture is hard to see and even more hard to accurately measure, but the truth is ROI in advertising is always a game changer and winner when it comes to your business. Spend the money and reap the benefits.
Look for Part 2: ROI The Truth
Part 2 – Increasing the Customer ValueCourses
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