The best way to ensure attentive audiences for your reports is to make sure you're consistently addressing the question: How much money did we make?

This is often as simple as: We spent A dollars, and netted B dollars. If B > A, rejoicing and cupcakes for everyone. But there's another question that is sure to get your clients salivating even more: Did we make as much money as possible?

The answer to this question is almost always going to be no. We don't live in a perfect world.

But starting to measure the efficiency of your efforts provides a compelling marketing story to tell when you talk about your efforts - and its especially helpful in proving ROI for organic search, which can be hard to do. Here's one metric that's near and dear to my heart for measure the efficiency of my search/inbound marketing efforts.

Net Revenue per Visit - Your New Favorite Metric

If you increase traffic to your site, good job. If you increase revenue from your site, great job! Most clients really want you to do both of these things.

If (like many sites) you're making money both from selling a product and from selling ad impressions on the site, you'll need to help your ad sales team hit their traffic numbers while making sure you're growing product sales. That's why in addition to metrics like visits, page views, and (of course) revenue, you should measuring your net revenue per visit over time.

Increasing your net revenue per visit says you not only drove traffic, you drove the right traffic. It says the efforts you've put in around conversion rate optimization are paying off as well. Having your net revenue per visit close at hand also means that you can sell new efforts by saying things like "if we increase visits from this channel by even 1%, well make $100,000 more next month" (I made those numbers up).

Net revenue per visit can also be broken down by as many different channels, campaigns, and content types as you can handle tracking. Over time this will tell you where a bump in traffic will provide the most value, and help you track the profitability of your SEO efforts.

PPC people love that nice big fat CPA number and I don't blame them. More conversions + lower CPA = profit! And CPA is a great efficiency metric on its own.

However, if a significant number of your sites traffic is driven by PPC - and especially if you're driving revenue through ad impressions on your site - net revenue per visit should be an optimization target as well. If every visit to your site makes you a teensy bit of money through ad revenue, you can actually pay a teensy beensy bit more per click, and tracking your net revenue per visit over time will help you find out just how beensy that amount is.

Net Revenue Per Visit & Social Media

Social media marketers should also be measuring net revenue per visit, as well as net revenue per engagement.

A social media engagement can have multiple purposes, and not every engagement is necessarily about driving revenue, but it can still be a useful metric to keep an eye on as you build your community.

Ideally, you should be able to show that an engaged user is more likely to be a profitable user. Break down your net revenue/engagement from social media by content types and (if you're able to capture the data) user types to find the best people to engage and the best ways to engage them.

Imagine if you could open every meeting with "Guess what? We made EVEN MORE MONEY!" That's a meeting everyone would leave with a smile - and you wont even have to bring donuts.

Ruth Burr

Ruth Burr has been working in SEO since 2006, both in-house and agency-side. She's currently working as the Lead SEO at SEOMoz. Ruth's passions include data-driven decision making, quality content, and grilled cheese sandwiches.

You May Also Like

3 Responses to “Measure Search Marketing Efficiency Beyond ROI With Net Revenue per Visit”

  1. Ruth-

    Very interesting perspective. If I am correct what you are doing is adding a PPC value to your natural hits. That's a great way to improve value to your SEO campaign. I am going to use this tool.

    Thanks and what kind of cheese do you prefer on your grilled cheese sandwich?


  2. Ruth Burr says:

    Hi Sean,

    Thanks, I'm glad you found the post useful! One thing doing PPC and SEO together has taught me is to think of the cost vs. the value of every visit I drive.

    I love white cheddar or gouda in a grilled cheese sandwich, with dijon mustard and dill! Yum Yum.

    • Ruth-

      Value can sometimes be lost with PPC. You can get some hits but if they are junk and leave your site immediately there is no real value. Thanks again for the great read.

      Wow! That sounds like a really good grilled cheese!

      Have a great day!!


More in Analytics & ROI Analysis
Social Media Metrics: Not as Difficult as You Thought

Social media metrics may not be as difficult as once imagined with use of analytical tools. The tools automatically generate...