In this post, Vice President of Search Marketing Tim Breen presents a practical new way to assign value to your incoming traffic and measure campaign effectiveness.
Q: What do you recommend to search marketers in this economy?
Tim: When budgets are tight it becomes even more important to evaluate the success of your online marketing campaigns. To ensure that youâ€™re making the most of your resources, you need to measure the quality of visitors being driven to the product or brand website from each online marketing initiative or channel.
One way you can do this accurately is to calculate what we call a â€œQuality of Visitâ€ score by assigning a value to each activity on the site and tracking the number of activities each visitor completes per visit.
Quality of Visit score allows you to evaluate overall campaign effectiveness; to compare effectiveness of different channels and keyphrases; and provides data for campaign modifications required to achieve campaign objectives at the lowest possible cost.
Q: What is â€œQuality of Visitâ€ score?
Tim: Quality of Visit score is a metric that measures the relative value of visitors being driven to your website based on what they do once they arrive. Visitors who do not complete campaign-related activities are considered low quality, while visitors who complete desired actions such as registering or making an online purchase are high quality.
For example, in a paid search campaign Quality of Visit score is used to determine the quality of visitors from each keyphrase in the campaign. Keyphrases that produce a high number of visitors but few conversions can be flagged and evaluated to determine if the ad copy needs to be changed to attract a more targeted visitor or if the keyphrase should be removed from the campaign entirely. The objective is to eliminate keyphrases that produce low quality visits while increasing visits from keyphrases that produce high quality visitors.
Q: How does Quality of Visit score differ from ROI?
Tim: Quality of Visit scores are primarily used when ROI data (for example the actual revenue associated with each registration) is not available.Â When ROI data is available, the campaign should be optimized around the ROI. If multiple goals are involved, Quality of Visit score can also be used to measure objectives such as brand awareness or consumer loyalty.
Q: How do you get started?
Tim: To determine a Quality of Visit Score you need to do five things:
1.Â Â Â Define the campaign-related actions (or conversion events) a visitor may take on your site.
2.Â Â Â Assign a value to each conversion event.
3.Â Â Â Track the activities each visitor completes once they arrive at the website.
4.Â Â Â Calculate the Quality of Visit formula.
5.Â Â Â Compute the cost per Quality of Visit point.
Q: How do you choose which activities to track?
Tim: The activities you select should be consistent with the campaign objectives. If the primary objective is to drive consumers to trial a product, then the activities should focus on coupon printing, coupon requests, registering for coupons, signing up for a newsletter, etc. If the campaign objective is to develop brand awareness then the activities might include the number of visits to a product page or the number of clicks on a brochure PDF for example. An important step in choosing the activities is to first make sure the activities can be tracked with Google Analytics or any other tracking tool you may be using.
Q: How do you decide how much these activities are worth?
Tim: Technically it doesnâ€™t matter what scale you use, whether it is 1 to 10, or 1 to 100. It is best to use a scale that allows activities to be easily weighted against each other. For example, if your most valuable activity, an online purchase, is 100 times more valuable than your least valuable activity, someone viewing a product page, then your scale should be 1 to 100.Â If the most valuable activity, a registration, is 10 times more valuable than your least important activity, a visit to the product tips page, then you can use a scale of 1 to 10.
Start by identifying all the activities you want to track. Then determine the relative value of each of those activities compared to each other. Typically a registration is going to be worth 50 to 100 times more than someone viewing a particular product page on the site. Printing a coupon may be worth 30 to 50 times more someone viewing a product page.
Q: How do you calculate the Quality of Visit score?
Tim: Quality of Visit score is the average number of points generated per site visit. The score is calculated by multiplying the number of actions times the value of each action, divided by the number of visits. Your goal is to identify the keyphrases or marketing channels with the highest quality scores.
Q: How does this help measure campaign effectiveness?
Tim: After you calculate the Quality of Visit score for each visit, you can easily figure out the cost of each point to determine the cost effectiveness of each keyphrase or channel. The cost per point is calculated by dividing the total amount spent on the keyphrase or channel by the total number of points for the keyphrase or channel. Your goal is to identify keyphrases or channels with the lowest cost per point and leverage those to get the most out of your search marketing budget.
About Timothy Breen, Vice President of Search Marketing
Tim leads the account management and paid search engine marketing teams at Catalyst.Â He has developed the business units into an industry leader that produces extraordinary results for our clients.Â Tim brings more than 24 years of business development and marketing experience to Catalyst including twelve years of Internet marketing experience.