Optimising, but for what??

Web optimisation sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it? You’ve invested time and money to have an online presence, so surely you want to make sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck?

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THE KEY POINT

Choose business-based metrics. That means forgetting clicks as an end in themselves and focusing instead on whether your campaign delivers a clearly stated business result.

Yes you do. Web optimisation is definitely a good thing.

But before you go signing any web optimisation contract, a word of advice. Be sure you’re clear on what it is that your content is being optimised for.

Here’s a case in point: most digital advertising campaigns focus on getting a lower cost-per-click. If successful, you’ll get more clicks (equals more leads) for each dollar you spend.

Great as that sounds, it may not be the thing you should be optimising for. For many advertisers, getting more leads is less productive than generating fewer, but better quality leads – leads that deliver more actual sales opportunities.

Nielsen data shows no significant correlation between click through rates and brand recall, awareness, or purchase intent. Nor are clicks correlated to conversion lift.

In fact, if your business sells online, actual sales is the most important metric – ahead of clicks and leads.

Many clients come to us frustrated that their online marketing isn’t resulting in more business, and puzzled about why that is. Often it’s because they’ve been sold a lemon – a web optimisation programme that’s delivering on the wrong thing.

To make matters worse, those clients are sometimes in the hands of an agency that’s taking a non-disclosed margin on their media spend, including web advertising and SEO work. It’s not a widespread practice, but it happens often enough to be on the watch for.

Leaving aside the ethics of such a practice – which are abysmal, to say the least – non-disclosed margins leave clients with no way of accurately measuring their ROI on media spend. At its worst, this can result in clients cancelling what’s actually a reasonable campaign, believing it’s a total waste of money.

The good news, we can show you how to find when an agency is indulging in this practice (unsurprisingly, such agencies won’t tell you themselves), and we’ll happily share it with anyone who’d like to check – at no obligation to you.