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When tracking ROI - What info do you give a client?

 12:11 pm on Jul 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

Here's a very practical question:

We use FlashStats on our server for our site statistics, which really gives us some pretty good information. (If anyone knows of something that is "the must have" let me know).

Those of you who have monthly contracts with your clients to monitor, resubmit and track their ROI, what do you actually GIVE the client every month? I've been chewing on this for a while.

Of course we run their "ranking report" to show them the number of Top 10 listings (which doesn't mean much if it's driving qualified leads/sales). So, I'm thinking of also providing information 'like' the Top 10 Search Keywords by Server to show them how many visits from major search egines along w/ total number of unique visitors, page views, top documents, etc.

We also use cookies and session ID's to track the HTTP_REFERER and see how many times a visitor has been to the site to tract where their sales/leads come from and which keywords, etc.


So I can tell a clients something like this:

89 - Top 10 Rankings
4356 - Unique Visits to your site in July
9564 - Page Views
126 - Leads/Sales tracked thru email form/shopping cart
63% - Leads/Sales search for "KEYWORD" from Yahoo/Google/MSN
20% - Leads/Sales came from AOL searching for "KEYWORD"

Can someone with much more experience than me tell me what their experience is when dealing with clients on a monthly basis? Is too much information dangerous? What do they 'really need to know'? How/In what format do you provide this information?

Thanks so much!



 12:26 pm on Jul 17, 2002 (gmt 0)


I think it is good that you are trying to show your clients the ROI, and give them the stats to prove it. Most SEO companies do not do the same.

>>>>s too much information dangerous? What do they 'really need to know'?

This is a total judgement call and is dependant on the client's needs, knowledge, and requests. With certain clients, too much information could be a bad thing as they wouldn't know how to process or use it, or flat out don't care. On the other hand, some clients need thrive on this information, and their job depends on it as they need to prove the ROI to their superiors.

Things that you *could* add to the current list of information given to the client:

- Click through rates
- Conversion rates

I think it is important to show the client where they were a month ago, two months ago, three months ago, etc., in relation to how well the site is doing now. This will really give them an idea of what their money is producing.


 12:34 pm on Jul 17, 2002 (gmt 0)



I guess it's just an "education process" for the client if you provide actual conversion rates. One client I'm thinking of was checking his site stats every day just a week after submitting to Inktomi and calling a few times a day (like he was watching the stock market in the paper) to ask questions about his traffic. :)

Do you have any exereince w/ Google's AdWords? I'm 'bout to sign the same client up this week, opting to do this instead of Overture.

Maybe it's on Google's site, but do they have a tool to track click thru's, etc and show the Referrer? From my site stats, I'm not sure how to tell the difference between just a "Google search" and traffic from AdWords. Or can you tag a ?G=AW on to the link and capture those? HMMMM...there's an idea. :)


 1:13 pm on Jul 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

I'm 'bout to sign the same client up this week, opting to do this instead of Overture.

Why? Overture is the premier PPC vehicle available (US, at least).

1)Google traffic will be a fraction of Overture
2)Google CPC will, in most cases, be higher (by a considerable multiple,in my case)
3) Overture bid process is far more straightfoward
4)Overture reports run rings around Adwords Select

If you are just doing one PPC, then it really should be Overture. But don't take my word for it - why not use both? You won't know the strengths of one unless you've used the other.

Or can you tag a ?G=AW on to the link and capture those?

You got it.


 5:06 pm on Jul 17, 2002 (gmt 0)


Here's my thinking and thanks for your feedback.

Right now for the keywords my client's site is optimized for he's doing pretty good in the SE's that Inktomi feeds. There is some pretty stiff competition now in Overture for his primary 2 keyword phrases (1 = $.29, 2 = $.28, 3 = $.16).

This is a brand new site and every lead he's gotten off his site has come thru MSN or Yahoo!. He has not yet been listed in Google and there is much less competition on those phrases using AdWord than Overture. I also thought it would be good to get him in Google instead of repeating (although better positioning) the SE's he's already in.

Because I'm new at the whole PPC side of things, however, your thoughts are greatly appreciated.

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