Ignite your digital marketing

Cracking ROI Calculations for SEO and AdWords

Posted on 9th Aug, 2017 by

In the scheme of all your marketing efforts, “digital” offers unparalleled levels of accountability. It’s surprising then, how many marketing managers and business owners don’t accurately measure the real ROI of their efforts.

To assist with this, I’m going to provide a quick and easy breakdown on how to correctly measure the ROI of your campaigns, and more importantly help you assess the real value of your organic (SEO) and paid (AdWords) search strategy to your overall business.

So first up.

What is your SEO or Google AdWords investment?

When considering your investment in any marketing channel, you should factor in all soft and hard costs associated with setting up, optimising, analysing and reporting on your activities.
If you’ve engaged a digital agency, their activities involve a lot more than just updating some meta data, creating content, building links, writing some ads or adjusting bids.

There’s preliminary research, competition reviews, strategy sessions, mapping and planning campaigns, and that’s before they’ve even set anything up or started optimising the campaigns. On top of that, a good agency will be spending time on testing, analysing, interpreting and reporting results back to you. Not to mention the meetings, emails and calls needed to manage your account ongoing.

And if you’re managing the campaigns yourself, then these activities should be tracked and measured even if they’re just soft costs to your business.
Whether you’re working on your agency’s fees, or your internal costs (or mix of both), this represents your marketing total marketing investment.

How many conversions (leads and/or sales) are being delivered?

In the realm of search marketing, our primary focus is on delivering increased leads and sales. While traffic, rankings and ad impressions are the pathway to achieving these goals, they’re not a meaningful measure of digital marketing performance in isolation.

Leads (Web Form Completions, Sign Ups or Phone Calls) and Sales (transactions) are what drive bottom line impact in a business.

When you’re setting up your web analytics it’s important to have your “goals” set up correctly. Setting them up properly is a whole other blog post. If you need help, here’s a quick guide from the clever people at Loves Data.

If you’re running an ecommerce business, it helps to connect your cart system to Google Analytics so you can get actual sales numbers and revenue. It makes the ROI calculations much easier.

With your Goals in place, Google Analytics does all the hard work for you. It tracks how many leads, sales or micro conversions were generated by each of your traffic sources. This information can be found either in the Acquisition > Overview area of Google Analytics, or in the Conversions > Goals > Overview area.

So whats your ROI?

With most of the critical data points at hand, it’s now time to get down to the nitty gritty of your ROI calculations. These will vary depending on whether you’re working with Leads or Sales.

Working with direct Sales ROI – Ecommerce ROI Calculations.
Firstly, you need to know the average margin on your products. There’s no point working out your ROI based purely on revenue, as you need to consider the Costs of your Goods (COGs). You need to work on the profit of your products to get an accurate picture.

Once you have your margin (as a %), then we can do the ROI calculations.

Gross Profit ROI = ([Total Revenue ($) x Margin (%)] – Investment ($)) / Investment ($)

Here’s an example. Let’s assume you’re an ecommerce store that sells homewares.

  • Assuming your SEO costs you $2,500 per month.
  • And it generates $7,000 in sales during the month at a margin of 60%.

Gross Profit ROI = ([$7,000 x 60%]-$2,500) / $2,500 = 68%

This gives us the most fundamental ROI calculation. Where businesses have the data available, a more relevant calculation would be to use lifetime value (LTV) of clients. As we know that many customers go on to make repeat purchases and are more valuable to the business than their initial transaction.

Assuming the $7000 worth of sales equates to a LTV for customers of $11,000. Then the calculation looks like this:

LTV ROI = ([$11,000 x 60%]-$2,500) / $2,500 = 164%

Which would be a pretty impressive result. Anything positive ROI is (questionably) a good result for the business.

Working with Leads based ROI.
When your SEO and AdWords campaigns are focused on lead generation, we need to consider some other variable in the absence of end to end sale tracking.

As leads represent an opportunity for your sales team to close business, we need to understand what their average close rate is, to determine the ROI. And the calculation (which looks a bit more complex) is done like this:

Gross Profit ROI =
([Leads (#) x Close rate (%) x Sale Value ($) x Margin (%)] – Investment ($)) / Investment ($)

We can also use the Lifetime Value concept for leads based campaigns to get a more accurate picture.

LTV ROI =
([Leads (#) x Close rate (%) x LTV of client ($) x Margin (%)] – Investment ($)) / Investment ($)

As you can see, while the calculations look a little cumbersome, they’re quite easy to work out. And more importantly provide a valuable insight into the value that your SEO or paid search activities are delivering to the business.

Before I finish up, I’ll make a caveat that these calculations are not the perfect picture as they’re all based on what we call “last click” attribution. And in the new world of analytics, where we have access to multi-channel attribution, it doesn’t tell the full story.

But I’ll save attribution modelling for another post.

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Facebook Opens Up About Feed Ranking Process

Posted on 3rd Aug, 2017 by

In a somewhat unexpected post, Facebook has announced that it will be using load speed of linked content as a factor in its feed ranking algorithm.

As noted in the announcement post, Facebook engineers Jiayi Wen and Shengbo Guo explain that in the coming months, the social network will introduce an update that will give preference to faster loading content in users’ feeds.

Driven by improving user experience, Google introduced a similar focus to its ranking algorithms a while ago. And more recently has given it even greater weighting as it isolates an index for mobile search. The premise simply being that people on the go haven’t got time to wait for content.

According to research highlighted in the post, 40% of web users abandon a site after a 3 second delay.

So the move will surely be welcomed by Facebook users on mass.

But what does this mean for content creators, business page owners and digital marketing people?

Industry folks have been speculating about Facebook’s feed algorithm for a while, recognising that it would eventually (if not sooner), employ a similar series of ranking factors to that of Google’s search algorithm.

So does this spell the start of a new breed of search engine optimisation, or more correctly, “Social Feed Optimisation”. Quite possibly. Watch this space.

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New AdWords Experience Being Rolled Out

Posted on 21st Jul, 2017 by

Google has been progressively rolling out a new “AdWords Experience” this year, with the promise that everyone will have access by the end of 2017.

Given we’ve been granted access, we’ve had a poke around to see what’s new. Fortunately it’s more than just some UX enhancements.

The new AdWords Experience comes with the tagline, “Meet the simpler, smarter AdWords.” And with it comes the promise of the following benefits:

  • Create and improve campaigns based on your unique business goals.
  • Save time and get more done with faster access to the features you use most.
  • Gain actionable insights with new graphs and powerful reporting tools.
  • Same AdWords performance you’re used to, so your campaigns continue to run the same way you’re already familiar with. And, you can always switch back to the previous AdWords experience if you get stuck.

Exclusive new interface features:

  1. “Overview” page
    Aside from a revised summary view of campaigns, you’ll also get performance insights direct from Google ensuring you’re not missing any important trends.
  2. Bid adjustments for calls
    Now there’s more control over bid adjustments for call extensions which given the mobile focus for many businesses, will help ensure less lost impression share.
  3. Showcase Shopping ads
    Give customers a better insight into your brand by displaying a group of related products in the search results
  4. Audience manager
    Targeting options for both the Google Display network and Remarketing lists for Search ads have been grouped together in the same place. This should help streamline the targeting process.
  5. Promotion extensions
    Display promotions and special offers in your Search Network text ads to generate much higher engagement.

App developers will also now be able to import data from 3rd party app analytics programs to track conversions against their AdWords Campaigns.

Coming soon…

While there’s been some really impressive enhancements already introduced, Google still has plenty up its sleeve. The following items are due to be released soon…

  • Ad extension creation, management, and reporting for price extensions; extension segments; and the automated extensions report
  • Advanced editing, for example: automated rules and bulk uploads
  • AdWords Labs
  • Business data feeds
  • Download functionality in some pages
  • Custom columns
  • Drafts and experiments
  • Geographic reports
  • Compatibility: full compatibility with right-to-left languages; Edge browser support
  • The shopping subtype for video campaigns
  • The Gmail ads subtype for Display Network campaigns
  • Custom remarketing / affinities

There’s plenty of features currently and many more coming which should encourage AdWords advertising to make the shift to the new interface. If you’ve started using it, what are your initial thoughts?

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Effective or Annoying? Facebook Officially Releases New Messenger Ads

Posted on 14th Jul, 2017 by

Users will start seeing ads in Facebook Messenger as a part of a series of changes rolled out by the social media giant last week. Although this gives marketers a new way to reach their audiences, not all are on-board with the idea nor believe this is an effective way of marketing… 

Will users click on these ads?

Prior to now, Facebook Messenger has traditionally been used as a platform for users to connect and communicate with friends through chat, not learn about brands, businesses, products or services. Some have argued that because of this, users will not be interested in Messenger Home Ads.

We investigated this idea and whether users actually clicked on Messenger Home Ads. Interestingly for one client, we found that these ads actually received double the amount of clicks, compared to their respective News Feed Ads. Although this is a singular case, it does show that it’s possible to achieve clicks through Messenger Home Ads.

Are Messenger Home Ads disruptive?

Simply by looking at the images below, we cannot ignore the fact that Messenger Home Ads take up significant screen space, which could potentially interrupt the user experience. We believe one of three outcomes could occur because of this large size:

  • Users will intentionally click the ads
  • Users will accidentally click the ads
  • Users will hide or ignore the ads

Do Messenger Home Ads reach less people?

We found that compared to News Feed Ads, the reach for Messenger Home Ads is significantly less. This could be due to the fact that not all Facebook members use Messenger, or that not all users in Messenger are able to see these ads. Either way, we believe the best way to ensure your ads reach your targeted audience, is by ensuring your campaign displays across various placements.

How can marketers leverage Messenger Home Ads?

For some businesses, Messenger Home Ads may be an effective placement to add to your existing Facebook advertising repertoire. However for others, this could mean wasted advertising budget and negative ROI. The easiest way to see which Facebook advertising placements work best for your brand is by simply launching and testing the results of your campaign. You can read more about this topic here.

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Improve Your Website Performance With Google’s Updated Tool

Posted on 4th Jul, 2017 by

How fast is your mobile site speed? Google have released an updated free tool which not only analyses the load time of your mobile site, but also provides various recommendations for improvement.

It’s no secret that faster websites get more customers. In fact, 50% of people expect a site to load in less than two seconds, and 53% will actually leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load. We all know how frustrating slow websites can be, which is why it’s more important than ever to design and foster fast, efficient and user-friendly site experiences.

Curious about your mobile site speed? Click here to test your site.

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Was There A Google Algorithm Update On June 25?

Posted on 28th Jun, 2017 by

If you’ve heard the buzz around a serious Google algorithm update on June 25, you’re not alone. While there’s nothing ‘officially’ confirmed as of yet, our data suggests otherwise.

Here’s a snippet of our SERP Monitor which shows the various fluctuations to Google’s search results over the past two months.

Search Engine Roundtable have also confirmed the likelihood of an algorithm update, posting various screen shots of tracking charts.

Although there’s been plenty of buzz around the topic, Webmaster Trends Analysis, John Mueller is yet to confirm these effects…

However, this update doesn’t necessarily mean doom and gloom for all. We’re pleased to see that a majority of our clients’ rankings have experienced positive results.

While we wait for an official confirmation from Google, our best advice is to sit tight. We’ve learnt from previous updates that Google algorithms can take days, weeks or even months to fully roll out, so making sudden changes to your campaign right now may not be the best idea.

As always, you can contact us if you’re unsure of anything or if you’ve noticed a change in your rankings. In the meantime, you can read more about this likely update here.

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Google Posts – Publish Local Business Offers Direct to Search Results

Posted on 27th Jun, 2017 by

After select testing to only a small group of celebrities, sports teams, sports leagues, movie studios and museums, Google “Posts” have been released to all local businesses.

In a nutshell, Posts allow local businesses to publish daily events, special offers, top products and other content, direct to Google Search and Maps.

And the best part is that it’s done in real time.

Allowing time sensitive offers to be posted direct to the search results is a significant promotional opportunity for businesses. We’ve already seen some impressive engagement results from the testing we’ve done for clients.

According to the Google release post:

With 82% of people turning to search engines to find local information, your Google listing is the ideal place to showcase what is unique about your business. Even when customers know exactly what they’re looking for, they still want to get to know the business and see what it has to offer. That’s why Google My Business is bringing Posts to local businesses — an easy way to help attract new customers and build relationships with the customers you already have.

No better time to polish up the local SEO component of your organic search strategy and leverage this important new release.

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Bonfire announced finalist for ‘Agency of the Year’

Posted on 20th Apr, 2017 by

The Event

The Bonfire team joined over 800 others from the Western Australian advertising, media and communications industry this month at the new Crown Towers Ballroom for the 2017 Oasis Ball and Campaign Brief Awards.

The Cause

Together, we celebrated our industry and raised funds for The Oasis Project; an initiative that supports the Salvation Army’s Crossroads West programme. This incredible programme is aimed at providing stable environments for young people who have had their home lives disrupted by their parents or guardian’s addiction, abuse or abandonment.

The Nominations

Bonfire finalist for Agency of the Year.

Loud cheers could be heard from our tables when it was announced that Bonfire was nominated for the ‘Agency of the Year’ award, and although we didn’t win the title this year, we were one of the finalists in this category.

Rene LeMerle, Bonfire’s Head of Marketing, finalist for Advertising Person of the Year

We were also extremely proud to see one of our own, Rene LeMerle, as a finalist for ‘Advertising Person of the Year’. Rene has been a valued part of our Bonfire family for over 12 years, and during this time has played a large role in overseeing Bonfire’s transition from ‘one of Perth’s expert digital marketing agencies’ to ‘Perth’s largest and most experienced digital performance agency’. Congratulations Rene, we’re lucky to have you as part of the #BonfireSquad!

Photo: Finalists for Advertising Person of the Year.

Final Word & Congratulations

Congratulations to all the individuals and agencies who walked away from the night as award winners, as well as all of those recognised as finalists. Thank you to Campaign Brief for recognising Bonfire as a leading agency in Perth and to Oasis Ball for allowing us to participate on the night and contribute to a great cause.  We’re already looking forward to attending next year’s event!

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EXPLAINED: HOW GOOGLE’S CROSS-DEVICE REMARKETING UPDATE WILL AFFECT YOU

Posted on 10th Apr, 2017 by

You may have seen this warning in Google Analytics, but what exactly does it mean?

Google have recently announced an important update concerning their Google Analytics Remarketing Audiences which will change the way advertisers and marketers target audiences online. Essentially, Google will now start showing ads to users across multiple devices for advertisers using Remarketing Audiences built with Google Analytics. Cross-device remarketing has existed for some time now for advertisers using remarketing audiences built within AdWords, however this method was a manual and laborious task, requiring considerably more time and technical ‘know-how’ to achieve.

This new method, using the very simple audience-building tool in Google Analytics, gives advertisers the ability to reach more customers across their omni-channel buying journey, a change which has brought this method in line with platforms like Facebook who have been doing this for some time.

But… Why?

Buyer behaviour is constantly changing. According to a recent study:

“Six in 10 internet users will start shopping on one device but will continue or finish on a different one [device].”

This means more than half of buyers are accessible through multiple platforms and why it’s now essential advertisers distribute their ads across all the devices where their consumers may be researching, considering or eventually purchasing.

Previously, if an advertiser built a remarketing audience in Google Analytics – or a subset of website visitors from whom they wish to retarget with specific ads – then they would only be able to reach them via browser cookies on a singular device. Now, by using signed-in user data, ads can be shown to visitors across any device which is linked to their Google account.

What Now?

Advertisers should reconsider the frequency and reach of their ads, now that they’re going to be seen across multiple devices. Ideally, each user should now see the same remarketing ads more times, meaning messages will constantly need to be fresh and appealing.

It’s also recommended advertisers review their website privacy policies to ensure these are compliant with their current privacy legislation in their area. In Australia, significant changes were made to the Privacy Act in 2014 – so, if your websites privacy policy has not been updated since then, you should review it. For all other questions or concerns, feel free to contact or connect with our experts on Twitter.

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AN INSTANT PARTNERSHIP YIELDS LONG-TERM RESULTS

Posted on 30th Mar, 2017 by

Bonfire and the Instant Products Group are no strangers, in fact Bonfire have been leading the digital strategy for two of its divisions since 2013. However, late last year we welcomed Instant Sea Containers, the third and final division of the Instant Products Group on board.

The Divisions

The Beginning

Entering an unknown industry, Scott Rawson – Founder and Managing Director of the Instant Products Group, knew he needed to engage his trusted digital marketing experts.  Confident in our ability to deliver results, Scott approached Bonfire to lead the digital campaign for the company’s newest division – Instant Sea Containers.

The Strategy

The digital strategy designed and implemented for Instant Sea Containers differed from those previously created for the other two divisions. Due to the niche nature of the sea containers market, we knew that a multichannel digital marketing strategy would be required.  Bonfire recommended a combination of SEO, AdWords and Remarketing to drive the strategy.

The Results

After a short 6 months, this campaign has yielded some impressive results:

  • 69% of all goal conversions are driven by digital marketing
  • 50,000 impressions from Google Remarketing
  • AdWords accounts for 49% of all website traffic
  • Keywords have increased by 2,016 positions in Google
  • 90+ interactions with potential customers through Facebook Remarketing

The Bonfire team would like to say a big thank you to Scott Rawson and the team at Instant Products Group for their ongoing support and loyalty. To discover how a sea container can be transformed into fully functional space, visit the Instant Sea Containers website.  To learn about the company’s other product and service offerings, visit Instant Offices and Instant Toilets and Showers.

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