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Jul 08, 2008

New Chart: What Search Marketers Don't Pay Attention to ... But Should

SUMMARY: Measuring conversions based on key performance indicators and return on investment are the two most underused metrics in search marketing. As search prices rise, marketers who want to maximize and balance spending should consider evaluating search by these metrics.
New Chart: Most Underused Metrics According to Search Marketers

View Chart Online
Click here to see larger, printable version of this chart

This chart offers another new finding about search marketing. Consider it a tribute to the launches of our new SherpaSearch Newsletter and the soon-to-be-released 2009 Search Marketing Benchmark Guide.

As part of a June 2008 survey, we asked marketers an open-ended question about the most underused metrics in search. Then, we put the varied answers into the categories above. Measuring conversion and ROI was a huge theme; more than half of the respondents to this question mentioned it in some form.

Methods for measuring conversion vary quite a bit depending on the circumstances of each marketer’s path to sale. Marketers with short, impulse-buy sales cycles were quite adamant that immediate sales should be tied to keywords when figuring out conversion.

On the other hand, marketers with longer sales cycles and less tangible conversion events pushed for more proxy metrics or KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) – such as time spent on the site, offline conversions, branding value, and lifetime value. Regardless of the path to purchase, all marketers are correct that valuing marketing vehicles by ROI is a goal that needs more attention.

Key takeaway:
With prices rising steadily, marketers who evaluate search against tangible KPIs will be the ones who will optimize and balance their spending.

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More Research Data from Sherpa:

MarketingSherpa’s Search Marketing Benchmark Guide 2009:
See Also:

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