Today’s post isn’t here to melt your brain with some brand new technology advancement, or to tell of some incredibly important algorithm change. The point of today’s post is to send a simple message and reminder.
I’ve found that in this industry (where on-line marketers get left in the dust if they aren’t constantly reading up on articles) it’s easy for us to get too impulsive or excited and throw the latest technological development, new widget or updated plug in at a client and pretend as if they’ll be able to realize the ramifications.
While being up to date on industry happenings is an important and mandatory thing to do, it’s too easy for us to forget what’s truly important: focusing on measurable wins that affect a client’s ROI.
“So..What Did This Actually Do?”
I’ve had the opportunity and privilege to work with clients of all types since my hiring at Top Draw: Prospective clients testing the waters to see what our agency can do for them, seasonal clients , and even clients who have worked with us for over a decade! I was in a meeting with a long term client of ours, and was absolutely beaming as I threw all kinds of amazing statistics that any SEO worth their salt would wear proudly:
- Increased traffic!
- Higher CTR & ROAS!
- Graphs that trend upwards with costs trending down!
The client was happy that we were doing well and shared in my enthusiasm – but said one simple question that popped my bubble and pulled me out of statistics land: “So what did this actually do for me? I know it’s good, but I don’t really know these numbers, and my boss won’t either.”
It was a humble, and sobering thought. “How can they not understand? Look at all these awesome numbers!” I thought to myself.
During a critical & lengthy introspective department session one day, our SEO department noticed that we were getting too wrapped up in our own SEO world lingo and completely forgetting about the bottom line of our clients. Increased sessions, higher CTR, higher ROAS, increased user interaction, positive trends, fluctuating impression share – we were literally drowning our clients in so much information, and so preoccupied with throwing pages of data that we found ourselves forgetting to answer the most simplest questions of all.
- We have more traffic! – did that necessarily translate to more sales?
- We funnelled a bunch of people to a sales inquiry form page! But how many filled these forms?
- Oh sweet! Blog traffic tripled – What did these visitors do after? Did they sign up to the newsletter for more updates?
- Okay, so you increased PPC spend and got me more clicks and better CTR – Did they call my business? Which of those calls filled in quote requests?
Defining KPIs & Expectations
We have a set, concrete process of establishing KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) backed by clear measurables & expectations in every client meeting. Yes, we still talk about clicks, CTR, bouncerate and all the usual suspects, but now our talks and measurements center around more tangible statistics and KPIs:
- Tracked phone calls
- External specific link clicks
- Contact form / job application / quote request submissions, and much more
It is from these KPIs that it becomes so much easier for clients to see the value that Top Draw brings to the table with regards to ROI. A huge win/win for both us and the client as it allows us to be even more transparent, building the much needed trust and collaboration necessary to identify strengths and weaknesses to move forward with online marketing initiatives.
Rather than having the KPIs as a supporting role in our monthly reports and data, they’re now the main star – like they always should have been.
Why We Succeed
This level of transparency and humility is one of the main factors as to why I think Top Draw has earned the trust & happiness of our clients. In everything we do, our entire department is always living and breathing the main question: “What does this action do for the client, and how can we show them the impact on their ROI?” It’s easy to forget the basics as we become more expert and knowledgeable in our field – but we can’t expect our clients to have the same level of knowledge or experience that we have. To all online marketing agencies, SEO’s and freelancers: always remember to put the client first, and never forget the most important rule:
Focus on the measurable wins!
For the first post in the “Maximizing Online ROI” series, click here