SMX: Measurements You Missed

    June 4, 2008

Spend a day at a retail store, and you’ll see all sorts of people forgetting parts of mental three- or four-item shopping lists.  Since SEO is a little more complicated than picking up milk, an SMX session looked at things that can slip by.

(Coverage of the SMX Advanced conference continues at WebProNews Videos.  Keep an eye on WebProNews for more notes and videos from the event this week.)

Chris Sherman
 Chris Sherman

Christine Churchill, the president of KeyRelevance, kicked off the session with a famous quote attributed to John Wanamaker: "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half."  She suggested tracking offline conversions to get a better idea.

A study conducted by Google and comScore showed that 63 percent of consumers who conduct product searches online buy the same items offline, according to Churchill.  In-store surveys are a simple way of finding out when this happens.  You can also offer coupons and special offer codes, or even try tagging customers with phone numbers or credit card data.

Ryan Gibson, the Rimm-Kaufman Group‘s director of marketing, then suggested introducing "actions of value" on a site – allowing people to order a catalog or sign up for emails.  As for specific measurements, A/S (ad spend), ROAS (return on ad spend), ROI (return on investment), and CPO/CPA (cost per order/acquisition) are all things you should track.

Rich Devine, ZAAZ‘s director of search, stepped in to recommend assigning dollar values to things other than the main conversion.  Some of these things will often lead to conversions, and so in a monetization model, can be considered microconversions.

Finally, to wrap up the main presentations, Akin Arikan, the Unica Corporation‘s senior manager of Internet marketing, pointed out that "search is not alone."  Banner ads and other strategies have been proven to help out a campaign, so their effects need to be measured.

Arikan also stated it’s "time to take off the blinders – talk to the guys on online, offline sites, brand marketing sites.  We have a lot to learn from each other."