Measuring & Considering Your ROI

It’s one of the most common questions, and simultaneously one of the hardest to answer: What’s my marketing ROI? There isn’t always a direct formula to measure your return from AdWords, Search Engine Optimization and Social Media services. However, there are a wealth of factors to take into consideration to begin putting value on your marketing services and how much business they’re bringing to your shop. Here are just a few:

Google AdWords

Often the biggest question, in regards to AdWords, is whether you’re making money off of the dollars you put into your campaign. While it seems like a hard question to answer, you’d be surprised to find that there are a few easy metrics to look at to find some guidance.

Web Leads By Source

This metric reports on the percentages of sessions that came from each source over a period of time. That means it will show the traffic to your website in terms of where they came from on the web, whether that was a direct website visit or a paid ad. Here are each of the sources you’ll see:

  • Direct – Your visitor typed your URL or website directly into a browser window or saved your website as a bookmark.
  • Organic – Your visitor followed a link from a non-paid search engine listing
  • Referral – Your visitor followed a link to your site from a non-search engine website (e.g. a directory listing such as YP.com, a radio or television station website)
  • Social – Your visitor followed a link from Facebook, Yelp, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Google Plus or Twitter
  • Google Paid Search – Your visitor clicked on a Google AdWords paid ad
  • Bing Paid Search – Your visitor followed a Bing paid ad link
  • Cost Per Click (CPC)

    This metric reports the average cost per click on your AdWords keywords. For example, if you see that the “oil change” keyword is an average cost of $4.69 per click, you can determine whether that is going to be a profitable service to keep in AdWords. If you find that a significant portion of your oil change clientele turn into returning or long term customers, then it may be worth the $4.69 to pay for their clicks. If you have a lot of one-time clients that come in for an oil change, then it may not be worth the investment. While we don’t provide your exhaustive list of keywords (since it is considered proprietary), you can think of your common services and discuss them with your Account Manager to get an idea of the average CPC for those specific services.

    Conversion Phone Tracking

    This call tracking upgrade shows you where your AdWords advertising dollars are translating into phone calls. It directly connects your marketing campaign to a pool of call tracking numbers, so that you can see the source for each phone call in the Autobahn. For example, you’ll see whether your call came from Google organic search, Google AdWords or a direct website visit.

    If you combine your conversion tracking with our free Shop Management System integration, you can take ROI tracking to the next level by seeing your repair order data directly in the Autobahn. If your customer calls with the same phone number as they provide you in the shop, the Autobahn will connect the information and show you more of that customer’s path to purchase!

    SEO

    Because search engine optimization (SEO) is a long-term effort meant to strengthen your organic search presence without being labeled as an ad, it can be more ambiguous by nature.

    That makes it challenging to figure out what sort of ROI you are seeing. We report on your keyword rankings over time, so that you can view your original ranking compared to your current ranking. If your average ranking for “auto repair + your city name” was in the 12th spot to begin with, and now you are ranking in 3rd place, there a few things to consider in how that equates to dollars:

    – Consider your own search habits, and ask those around you how they search the web. How many search results do you look at before clicking on one? Do you look at the top half of the page and choose a result, or do you scroll further? Do you click onto the second page, or third or fourth? You might be surprised to find that 91.5% of searchers don’t scroll past page 1. That’s 91.5% of potential customers who are unlikely to find your business at all without a first page search ranking. When you are running an AdWords campaign, you’re still able to pay to show up on the first page, but it’s a very short-term budget-based result.
    —-If you estimate that there are 100 searches for “auto repair + your city name” in your area per week, let’s say that you have the opportunity to capture 100% of those searches. If you aren’t ranking on the first page, 91 of those customers aren’t going to find your organic listing.
    – With that being said – SEO is a long term effort. When you first begin an SEO campaign, you won’t immediately see your rankings move, as it takes months of hard work to build your content, optimize it, update your directory listings, and more. This is why it’s difficult to view SEO value in a short-term perspective. However, if you were to imagine that in 12-16 months your website could be viewed by up to 91.5% more people when searching for “auto repair + your city name” – how much would you be willing to spend? Would you be willing to spend more, knowing that you get to keep that status for a while?
    —-SEO is a long-term effort that breeds long-term results. If you stop an SEO program, your results will still be seen for a period of time afterwards. You may not immediately drop off in rankings, but it is important to note that without an active SEO campaign, you can’t stay up-to-date with current Google algorithms and changes. You also have no chance of fighting against a competitor who begins to rank above you.

    Social Media

    Social media is another challenging avenue to measure your ROI, even more so than SEO. The reason is that this service does not typically result in direct website traffic. Instead, it is meant to engage with your existing customers, gather new followers, keep your shop top-of-mind, and maintain an active presence across the web. When trying to measure your ROI in social media, there will be a few things to consider that all roll into your overall return:
    – When it comes to creating social posts, coming up with photos, and writing content, the biggest thing we hear from shop owners is how much their saved time is worth. When you have a team creating an active social media page on your behalf, you can focus on the rest of the things that go into managing and running your shop.
    – One of the few things you can measurably track on social media are your number of followers, the reach, and the engagement of your posts. The ultimate goal is to increase these statistics organically – meaning that your actual customers and community members are following you and interacting with you online. Whether it’s through your standard social media service or a paid Facebook campaign, it’s important for people to interact with you on their own accords. The easiest way to measure the success of the campaign is to compare some of these numbers over a period of time.
    – If you’re running a Facebook ad campaign, there are several easily trackable results that can provide an idea of your ROI. Like AdWords, you’ll be able to see how much website traffic you’re receiving from the ad campaign and be able to put a value on your cost per click. Your advertising dollars typically go further with Facebook ads than Google ads, allowing you to take advantage of a lower budget and possibly end up with a higher return. Facebook can also be highly targeted using demographics and customer lists so your potential leads will be a higher quality lead. With seasonal specials, you can easily track how many customers are bringing you the coupon that is featured in your ad. At the peak of their performance (which we’re good at achieving), Facebook ads are going to deliver a good return on your investment.
    – One other major factor in your social media’s ROI is that it will help your search engine rankings. It may seem like the two should have no effect on one another, but in reality your active social media pages show Google and other search engines that you are active across the web. This helps to build your authority and reputation, because Google is seeing that you have the same shop hours, website URL, phone number and auto repair content in multiple valid sources online. They also pay close attention to your reviews in Google, Facebook and Yelp. Good reviews help build a positive reputation that Google translates into higher rankings. In turn, that feeds back to your website and builds SEO.

    To wrap it all up…

    Your marketing efforts, although it can be difficult to calculate, have value. The best results and highest ROI are achieved when your marketing efforts are diversified and done consistently and well. It can seem overwhelming, but that’s why we’re here to help! If you have questions about any of your numbers, contact your Account Manager for an account review! If you aren’t on one of these services (or one of the many others we offer in order to improve your shop’s bottom line), contact us today!

    Written by Joel Fogleman

    Growing up my favorite superhero was always Superman, as he represents all things good and moral. That's who I am, just without the actual superpowers (though I do have glasses, button down shirts, and a crazy cowlick). Aside from pretending to be a bird or a plane, I enjoy dabbling in creative hobbies like watercolor, crafting, and playing guitar. I'm also a huge fan of hanging out with my phenomenal wife and our moody black cat.

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