Tony Wright Shares His Tips for “Understanding How to Evaluate Your Return on Search”

Tony Wright from Wright IMC speaking at Confluence Conference

Tony Wright, CEO of WrightIMC, graced the Confluence stage as our third speaker of the day. He has over twenty years of hands-on strategic experience in interactive marketing; plus, a background in public relations and journalism. His extensive knowledge left us all reeling with new information and a desire to run back to the office, evaluate our ROI, and improve our businesses.

To begin the talk, Wright tells us, “Search has always been my passion. I left [my previous gig] because I believed search was the future.”

Are you under-estimating the value of search?

He stresses the importance of utilizing attribution analysis, looking at the entire path of the visitor all the way down to the conversion. “We will know where our customers are coming from, where we are wasting our advertising dollars and where we are not,” he said.

He goes on to discuss hard and soft goals.

Hard goals being: leads, sales, ROI, ROAS, ROE, and increased traffic. He describes ROE, return on evaluation (a.k.a. return on ego), as asking, “Are we getting something cool for this?” Next, he tells us, “Increased traffic is easy. That’s not going to help you.”

Soft goals include: branding, awareness, improved perception, top-of-funnel engagement, ego keyword placement, SERP sculpting, and competitive warfare.

Are you killing those last-click efforts by focusing on the wrong thing?

He reminds us that last-click only tells part of the story. Attribution is essential to get the most out of search.

Ask yourself: what’s driving results? Are you micro-focusing on one part of the funnel? Are you killing your last-click efforts by focusing on the wrong thing?

It is important to create the brand awareness that drives the search which, in turn, drives the last click.

How do I know what’s working?

Attribution weighting is arbitrary, but necessary. Do it. He pushes us to get Google Analytics Certified and tells us “you have to be able to trust your data.”

Data is your friend. Follow the customer path all the way through the tunnel. It will tell a story.

If a channel (or keyword) isn’t delivering, figure out why.

Don’t’ just think about the bottom of the funnel. Think about the top! You want to focus on discoverability – the top of the funnel.

What should I do?

Become an expert on Google Analytics – or hire an expert.

Look for conversion paths. Don’t just look at the last mile. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. (Yes, he meant to use that cliché, but apologized.)

Multi-channel, multi-touch helps search. Cannibalization is rare. Use multiple channels when possible. What does this mean? He tells us to do SEO and PPC. He is a huge fan of spreading yourself out there but warns us against sharecropping. Use everything you can afford to drive traffic to your site and then analyze what is working.

Stop looking at rankings and traffic as anything other than indicators. Judge success on what really matters. He tells us he won’t take a client that only focuses on rankings.

Now, that’s a lot of information – but doesn’t it make you excited to improve your digital marketing to enhance your ROI? Go make it happen!