Calculate the ROI of your SEO Campaign and Get Rid of the Guesswork

As I was talking to my business coach the other day I was telling her how motivated I am for this next coming year.  I was telling her that I finally feel like I am at the place where I know the formula.  I know my analytics.  I know my conversion rate at the keyword level.  I know how much traffic is generated per month and per year for specific keywords and where I am currently ranking for each of those keywords.  I know that if I improve my ranking from number 13 to number 1 for a specific keyword then my sales should increase by x amount of dollars.  I know my profit margin on sales and how much money is left over for marketing after expenses.  With all that information I can take my SEO knowledge and invest the specific budget of marketing dollars for a specific keyword and know that it is going to take x amount of time to achieve top ranking and make a profit.  I know which keywords are more profitable and which ones are a complete waste of time and resources.  The guesswork is gone and success is in the numbers.

So let’s get started!

How to determine the ROI of your SEO Campaign!

1. Build Your Website.  Make sure your website is SEO friendly and follows best practices for your visitors.  Focus on the adding features that will improve the conversion rate of your site as well as make it extremely easy to navigate.

2. Install Google Analytics or other favorite analytics software and track your sales and conversions at the keyword level.  This step is essential.  If you are not tracking your sales and conversions at the keyword level, it will be impossible to determine which keywords to focus your SEO campaign on.

3. If your site is new or does not yet have analytics data, then set up some PPC tests.  This also must be done correctly and at the keyword level so that you can track the impressions, click through rate, and conversions.  Set your ppc budget high enough so that your ads will show but not so high that you lose your shirt (or house) in the process.

4. Determine the average transaction value of an order.  If you can, also determine the lifetime value of a customer.  This is particularly true for sites that have a low front-end, but offer a membership or other products.

5. Narrow your list of keywords to the top 20-100 based on search volume and the conversion rate for your site.

6. Record the following info into an excel spreadsheet:

a. Keyword
b. Global Search Volume Exact Match
c. Monthly Search Volume Exact Match
d. 50% of Monthly Search Volume
e. Actual Page Views
f. Average Transaction Value
g. Current Organic Rank
h. Conversion Rate
i. Profit Margin

7. Determine what percentage of traffic you are currently receiving by dividing the Actual Page Views by the Monthly Search Volume.

8. Determine your annual sales by multiplying your actual page views by your conversion rate and the average transaction value and by 12 (for each of the 12 months).

9. Determine what your annual sales could by if you were ranking number one for the keyword by multiplying the 50% of monthly search volume by your conversion rate and the average transaction value and by 12 (for each of the 12 months.)

10. Subtract the number from the calculation in step 8 from the number in calculation in step 9.  This is how much your sales could increase if you moved from your current organic search rank to be number one in Google for your keyword.

11. Repeat the above for each of your keywords and determine which keyword will give you the most increase in sales.

12. Calculate your Annual profit margin and divide it in half to determine what your marketing budget should be for each keyword.

Although the above 12 steps might seem overwhelming at first, most of the steps can be outsourced to a virtual assistant for a few dollars.  The most difficult part, the analysis, should be done by the business owner or search marketing manager.  Also please note that the 50% click through rate for a number one organic listing is only an estimate.  The actual percentage rates are only known by the search engines themselves.  If you do the analysis however, you can safely determine which keywords will be the most profitable and know where to focus your efforts on for your search engine optimization campaign.

For a personalized ROI report for your business and to determine which keywords are the best to focus on for your site, give us a call!

Failure is Just a Stepping Stone

failureIn today’s economic climate, it’s safe to say that there are businesses that are failing. Because of this, it seems a good time to be reminded of the real purpose of failure – to be a stepping stone and a learning experience.

There are steps that one can take when faced with failure – or even just plain old hard times for that matter. Maybe you’re in the same boat as many online retailers (or any “traditional” business) in terms of profits. Sometimes it’s just a matter of redirecting efforts, and sometimes a business just won’t be able to pull through. Knowing how to deal with failure will help you as an individual to continue your climb to success and keep you from plummeting into a downward spiral of continued disappointment.

So how can you maintain a positive attitude when the very business you have been living and breathing is faltering? Separate yourself. That’s right. You are not the sum of the failures and setbacks you have experienced in your life. If that were the case, you would never have learned the simple task of walking. But because, as a toddler, you lacked the capability to think of falling as failure, you picked yourself back up and set back to the task of accomplishing your goal. How is it that children seem to be braver than we adults at times?

Being able to understand that A failure doesn’t make YOU a failure is huge. Without that understanding, your very belief may become dangerously perilous. So let’s just remember that we can walk, and all will be fine. Just keep taking one step at a time and you will be back on your path of success in no time.

Change your perspective of failure in general. Here’s a new way of looking at things. Failure is actually an integral part of success, for it provides the learning experiences that we so badly need in order to fill the big shoes we are trying to jump into. Everyone loves the idea as being viewed as prominent and successful vs. being seen as a failure. But the truth is, we need to fail. If we are not failing, we are not putting it all on the line and innovating new ways of doing things.

Should you find yourself in the position of having to dip into savings, having to get a regular 9 to 5 job, or even selling some things off in an effort to see your real dreams come to fruition, don’t waste time in despair. Talk to your partners, your friends, your mentors about the feelings you are having. But then stop talking and start doing. It is in the actions we take after a perceived failure that success has the opportunity to grow.

Failure strikes even the most prominent of figures. Here’s a great example:

• Family forced out of their home. He had to work to support them
• Mother died
• Lost his job
• Ran for state legislature and lost
• Wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get it
• Borrowed money to start a business. Ended up bankrupt within 12 months. Spent the next 17 years paying off his debt.
• A WIN! Elected to state legislature
• Fiancé died, leaving him alone and heartbroken
• A total nervous breakdown put him in bed for six months
• Defeated in run for House Speaker
• Defeated in run for nomination for U.S. Congress
• A WIN! Elected to Congress
• Lost re-nomination
• Rejected for officer position
• Defeated in run for U.S. Senate
• Defeated in run for Vice President
• Defeated in run for U.S. Senate
• Elected President of the United States in 1860!

linconNow you probably know the history of Abraham Lincoln quite well. Here is why all of it has been displayed once again. Abraham Lincoln is not known for his failures. He is known for his enormous impact on the world. Had he not bounced back from failure, he would not be known at all. Failure is just a stepping stone. Do not let setbacks stop you when they are meant to make you stronger.

Hubpages, One More Thing To Outsource Now

As you are probably well aware by now, hubpages are one more avenue you can travel down to increase the traffic coming to your website. However, there may be many who have yet to turn down Hubpage Street due to lack of knowledge or just plain lack of time. Let’s be clear, there is no good reason for you NOT to take advantage of every single road that will bring more visitors to your site. Higher traffic equals soaring profits equals the success you set out for. So let’s get to it!

If you have not begun your walk down the Social media path, starting that walk with hubpages may be a great idea. And here’s the way to get started today. Outsource this task to a writer or company who can write effective articles for you. Writing quality articles is one way that many online businesses gain visibility. But the thing with articles is that they are time consuming. You as the business owner are dedicated to those tasks which directly build your business. Therefore, you are to assign writing tasks, not attempt to complete them yourself.

Outsourcing hubpages is a task you can do relatively quickly. Through word of mouth, online directories, or companies which specialize in SEO and marketing, you can find quality writers to create articles directly related submission. So while you want a quality writer, you will also want to make sure you work with a person or company that can handle the behind-the-scenes portion of hubpages as well.

In order to find the right tags to use in your hubpages, some research is necessary. It is not difficult. In fact, it is a simple Google search. But the real issue here is not the level of difficulty of the task; but the amount of time it will take you to research both keywords and tags for your hubpages. This is why it is highly recommended to find a quality writer or company that will invest the necessary time.

While you may pay a little bit more for a professional company to handle these sorts of tasks (I know how tempting it can be to outsource to the lowest bidder), this is just another investment into your business – your future. When you continually look at the big picture, which is to drive as much quality traffic to your site as possible, then you can easily see the necessity in hiring the right person or company to write your articles and hubpages the first time around. Ryan Hupfer Ryan Hupfer

In building a high functioning, profitable website, outsourcing is a must. It is the fastest way to get ahead of the competition that may be lagging in taking a step towards their success. Outsourcing to quality professionals can move you in the right direction quickly and consistently. Your job is to seek out the right people to do the job and then let them run with it. Hubpages and other articles are some of the easiest things that you can outsource, but also some of the most important tasks you will assign. Do it right the first time and you will quickly reap the rewards of outsourcing to your business.

Play the Popularity Game Linking to Build Your Business

It’s no secret that link building is one way to increase the visibility – and credibility – of your ecommerce site. So powerful, in fact, is this practice that it has the ability to catapult your site to higher levels of success. However, on the flip side of that is that improper linking from outside sources can be deemed useless and earn your site negative attention from the search engines. That’s right! Throw basically useless links to your site and you can find yourself in no man’s land of search engine world.

So, while it’s easy to see the validity of using link building as an SEO strategy; it’s equally easy to understand why not every internet business is eager to delve into building links to their sites. Taking the time to learn the ropes of “link popularity” is well worth it when you are serious about seeing your internet business through to ultimate success. With a few tips, you should have plenty of fire power to get started.

Let’s start here: there are two benefits of requesting links from other sites; search engines like links from reputable sites (key word: reputable), and when you receive links from other reputable sites, visitors to that site may click that link and you therefore receive some extra visibility and traffic. Keeping this in mind as you seek to request links from other sites will keep you focused on the real goals of link building.

Relevancy is key when setting out to choose the sites you want to request links from. For instance, if you are selling an e-book about weight loss, it would not be relevant for you to request a link from a site that sells patio furniture. The two are completely unrelated and hence will result in a negative response from search engines. An e-book on weight loss could receive relevant links from health clubs, nutritionists and other health and exercise related sites.

Additionally, building links with other sites is not a business building activity that is done one time. No, this is an ongoing task that requires time and energy. Many companies that are serious about this task assign an employee to handle it diligently. The other option could be to outsource your link building activities to a company that specializes in SEO strategies. Because outsourcing is so popular, there are multiple options for those looking to engage in this practice for linking.

When it comes to building links, there are several tools available to assist with analysis. Some are free and some are not. Finding free tools can be done by searching through areas such as Google’s webmaster tool or Yahoo Site Explorer. Firefox also has a tool, SEO for Firefox. Again, time will be invested into finding the sites that will be deemed most relevant and then requesting and receiving the links you want from them. Keep at it, because from the buzz going around this is a business building activity that is definitely worth the time you will invest.

Master Site Manager Review

Looking for domain management and SEO Tracking Software? Look NO further.  My friend Don Schnure has done it again! If you are like me, you don’t just own 1 or 2 domains. In fact, my husband’s best friend says that I buy domains like some women buy SHOES. (Don’t tell that to zappos!)

Master Site Manager is the SOLUTION. You can easily keep track of where your domains are hosted and where they are registered.  No more manually keeping track of entries in an excel file!

The absolute BEST feature of Master Site Manager is Keyword tracking.  For each of your sites you can input a keyword and Master Site Manager will keep track of your rankings! Find out where you are ranking for each of your keywords at a glance and focus your efforts on the keywords you need to rank for.

Have SEO clients?  Then Master Site Manager is FOR YOU. Easily manage the SEO campaigns of your SEO clients.  Keep track of where they currently rank for keywords as well as where you have helped them improve!

Want to find out if your competition is catching up with you? Use Master Site Manager to see if your competition is targeting and improving in rankings in YOUR keywords.  Don’t delay!  Get your copy NOW!

Don’t Forget Why You Do What you Do!

As a business owner who is striving to grow an online store, a corner store, or a large service oriented company, you have probably felt the minutes slip right through your hands as time wears on. Time; it’s your most valuable asset; and yet it is the one thing that can be the hardest to gain control over.

In all of the hustle and bustle of building a website and then creating quality content that will rank your landing page or pages, it is common to lose sight of the big picture. At the center of the big picture of your business is your why. Without that motivating factor, there will come a time when you can no longer push tworldhrough obstacles like ever changes SEO practices and marketing techniques.

When you started your business, hopefully you chose something you love. At the very least something you can maintain an interest in! Beginning in this way allows you to stay motivated throughout the process of outsourcing work or building your website and then marketing it. This inspiration that you feel when planning for the future of your business is critical in maintaining the energy it will take to build it up.

The main way that business owners stay on track is through goal setting. Writing down your business plan, mission statement and goals is highly important. Mission statements are personal and should include that dream that you wish to achieve and why. I twebbusinesshink of a mission statement as somewhat of a personal dream statement. Next comes the business plan, for without that, you may easily lose direction.

If you have a business plan but it’s stuffed in the back of your desk drawer, I suggest you pull it out and put in somewhere you can see it regularly. The same goes for your mission statement. Frame them and display them on your desk if that’s what it takes to really pay attention to them. In your business plan, you should include what work you can handle on your own, and what work would be better handled through outsourcing.

Outsourcing work to skilled SEO writers and web designers can seem a task that may be costly; but in the long run, there are some tasks that would just take you too long to complete. Therefore, outsourcing will save you money and add the bonus of growing your business faster!

Staying motivated in your business can also be facilitated through time off. You heard right; taking time away from the desk, the office, the phone and the email can rejuvenate you and remind you why you started your own business to begin with. When growing a business, there are many important aspects to tend to; marketing is important, SEO is important, web design is important, this is true. But above all, your dream is important! It was the dream that ignited the spark that got you going, and it is the dream that will see you through. Do what it takes to keep it alive.

Video Ups Your SEO Game


Within the last six months, a high percentage of web retailers have increased efforts to makeover their sites. At the crux of the changes being implemented is good old SEO. Writers are busy coming up with fresh new content that will bring the site up in the rankings; analysis is being feverishly conducted to see what keywords are working and what needs tweaking. In fact, more than 70% of retailers are focusing their efforts on SEO. What they may not know is that putting time into video on their site can actually help those optimization efforts!

At this point, only just over 40% of online retailers are taking steps to add the advanced feature of video to their websites this year. Just behind that is a push to add product reviews and recommendations. This is all very good, because the web is making a change to become more and more interactive. Seeing the amazing success of sites like Facebook and Twitter shows that without a doubt.

Video marketing is in its infancy, with only about 50% of retailers using it on their sites in 2008. With numbers showing that consumers who first viewed a video averaged a higher ticket amount on a sale, you can see the immense benefit of using this type of media for marketing as well as throughout your site. However, it is important to constantly test your video pages to find the best placement. It is a common misconception that any video is a good video. This is simply not the truth.

Placement of a video on your product or service pages should be in a place where it is easily seen (and therefore easily used). It should also be in a position relative to text and images to get more attention. Customers want information, so give it to them through your videos. Tell them everything they need to know that will help them make their purchasing decision. Better yet, let another customer tell them! The emergence of using interactivity on a website has lead to video platforms where consumers can post their own messages or videos to your website. While this may make many etailers uneasy, it must be understood that your satisfied customers can do a much better job of selling your product or service than you can!

If you haven’t put your foot in the video pool just yet, what are you waiting for? Video can contain keywords that are relevant to your site. Video cMovie Icon: RSSan be used on social sites such as YouTube and contain backlinks to your site. Video can explain and showcase your most popular product or service. Most of all, video can give your company a face and build a reputation that just isn’t attainable through other forms of media. Sure, articles are informative and easy to get done (and can also link to videos, by the way!) – but video speaks to the consumer tenfold. 2009 has yet to see the growth of video usage on websites, but it is coming. The numbers at the end of the year are predicted to be astounding. Be a part of the boom!