Search Engine Marketing ROI: Real-World Examples

imgres-1If you haven’t put a critical eye to your search efforts, a little attention will go a long way. Unoptimized search traffic is often a marketer’s lowest hanging fruit. Here’s an example of the ROI from a recent in-market paid search campaign:

    • Keyword and benefits-driven ad copy was introduced and CTR increased 73%
    • CPC was increased to achieve better ad positioning and drive more qualified traffic
    • Keyword groups were expanded and campaigns more tightly consolidated and overall spend was reduced by 14.9%
    • Unique, keyword-driven landing pages and a tighter, more controlled registration flow were introduced and conversion rose by 54.5%
    • During the 3 month period, paid search cost per conversion decreased by 15.82%


Same thing goes for optimizing your website with a value-driven messaging framework that corresponds to your search campaign. Impressive results from a recent on-site ad campaign:

    • Dwell time increased by 40%
    • Registrations increased by 108.3%
    • Profile edits increased by 215%
    • Viral activity (invite a friend) increased by 318%

The Valuation Math Scares Me, Too


Social sites are the darling of the VC world at the moment, but a lot of people in the business are wondering about the scary valuation math. Again. Techcrunch’s coverage of Yelp’s latest and fourth – yes fourth – round of financing lured a tone of skepticism from nearly all who commented on the post. After two years and $31mm invested, the still unprofitable Yelp! is valued at $200mm. Come again? A figure twenty times the undisclosed-but-rumored-to-be sub $10mm annual revenue mark.

One of the best things that came out of the bust to my mind was that the industry learned to stop confusing eyeballs with valuation. Or has it?

Remember the documentary Internet entrepreneur is introduced by his press agent to a Rockerfeller at an event. The intro line includes, “and he’s raised over $60mm in seed capital for his venture.” To which the Rockerfeller responds, “Yeah, but does he know how to make money?”

A great idea is a great idea. The ability to develop a large audience is an impressive thing. Running a profitable business is an altogether different beast. I was hoping the near-death experience many of us went through back when would have shaken some sense into people in charge of the valuation math. We’ll see …