Reporting to Clients

Joined
Feb 24, 2013
Messages
154
I'm just curious as to how everyone here defines success for their efforts to their clients? Do most simply stick with increased analytic numbers from Insights and Google Analytics?

Or do get into the real meat of it and get into revenue generated from the specific leads you efforts have generated?


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Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
1,558
Pretty much the former. Depends on the client.

It's also worth pointing to reviews you helped cultivate.

Plus, I'm not shy to point out giant holes I helped them patch - where the clients know and I know they were losing money, but only the Big Guy Upstairs knows how much. This is especially easy to point if you help your clients with PPC.
 
Joined
Feb 24, 2013
Messages
154
Thanks Phil, I like the point about pointing out the big holes. Typically most may not factor that into the value of the overall service and in some instances those might be worth more than the cost of the service. (realizing that the "lead form" isn't actually processing and sending email WTF?, or pointing out that the performance of the PPC the company was using has actually been on a steady decline for the entire year, or helping them see the value of actually tracking leads so they can prioritize their spending.....the list goes on and on I guess)

The reviews is also a great one to report on as it may help them improve their overall customer experience.

I guess I want to get away from just reporting stats as they only imply intent. Taking the data from Insights, GA and leads tracking and some associated revenue from the finance department and cross referencing we could actually show the client in real numbers what their investment was worth.
 

Laustin1878

Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2012
Messages
412
I guess I want to get away from just reporting stats as they only imply intent. Taking the data from Insights, GA and leads tracking and some associated revenue from the finance department and cross referencing we could actually show the client in real numbers what their investment was worth.
I have proposed a similar question before and I'm eager to see the responses here. Great question! I always love these types of discussions because they usually include some eye opening thoughts and ideas which are helpful to many.

How do you interpret those stats? How do you translate that into success or failure? How you read that data and what picture you are able to paint from it is where I think an SEO earns their salt. Traffic is great and rankings are too. But are there conversions to back this up? Do you see an increase in traffic but no changes in conversions? May be time to recommend a design change. You could be an all-star just by seeing something in the data, recommending a change that turns things around.

I think it's awesome that you are looking to provide more for your client instead of just running reports. Some people just want an easy way to see the data while others look for more in-depth graphs, interpretations, etc. Being able to see the bigger picture, identifying trends, locating gaps, tracking the conversions and ultimately, ROI is what helps put things together for clients.

I've adding to my reading list more ways to understand and interpret the data, usage of reporting within GA to help with this and just refining my skills more. Making sure I'm looking at the right areas of GA to give me better answers. I've often seen great ideas passed along to a client to help them improve their goals only to see them not apply recommendations and continue to blame the SEO for their lack of success. I do think it's a client to client basis based on their understanding of the data and ability to implement recommendations by you among other things.

My .02 cents
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
73
Chris, we tend to do a few things. Of all of them we find video updates and reports of the calls we have helped to generate are the the most effective. We tend to deliver once a month with billing.

Also, we use a whisper announcement that tells them when the referral calls are from our company.

Although we get weekly reports, clients don't always understand all the movement and we, quite frankly, don't want to spend additional time in support when questions arise.

I'm a bottom line kinda gal. "Here is what is working for you and what we do has resulted in these changes..."

Simplifies for the client, simplifies for us and they hear my voice or see me and that also serves to touch them in a way that reports don't.
 
Joined
Feb 24, 2013
Messages
154
Thanks for the great responses so far.

I guess it really depends on the client and what they find valuable. I know that for some smaller businesses just saying you generated 25 leads for them in one month would be great. But when you tell them that you generated 25 leads that earned them $XXXX they instantly see the value of your service and are willing to continue with the service.

Bad example: I know a big name provider that basically just reports ad impressions and call logs. When I looked into the data further, the calls generated were for the wrong area of business that the client didn't even serve and they had no idea.

It's like pulling teeth with some clients but I like to get them to define the goals of their site (leads, downloads, etc) and then the associated values of those actions. Once you have this data (to start, the values will be refined as you move forward) you can then look at increased organic traffic and how it contributed to those goals and give them the economic value associated with your efforts. You still however need to dig further and determine how many of those leads that you generate actually converted to sales/revenue. This usually requires them to actually track the leads on their end and most smaller businesses I'v dealt with don't do this at all :(
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
73
Although I get what you are saying Chris, we don't close leads for them since that is their job. Ultimately the management of their business and conversions of a prospect to a customer is their job--not ours. I did partner with a PPC consultant and that is a different ball of wax altogether.

I'm not familiar with your business model but I suspect that it boils down to managing the goals and expectations of the clients.

That was a lesson I had to learn--and 2013 was a big learning curve for me but one that I hope helps moving forward.

Perhaps it is another topic to get into managing client satisfaction or expectations but I'm all for simplifying these days.

And I get what you are saying with the example, we took over a client who was totally screwed by a company that ranked them for keywords in areas that had nothing to do with their services and were not areas they attracted clientele from--plus they totally dropped them off the search results.
 
Joined
Feb 24, 2013
Messages
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How would you go about improving the types of leads you're generating for clients if you don't have the data on which ones were the most qualified and generated revenue? Or is this again up to the business to determine and provide feedback to you?


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Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
73
Not sure I understand your question.

ALL calls are for services and products provided by the client or directions to come and utilize their products or services. And we optimize only for traffic related to those items at their business.

They primarily care that we increased their annual revenue by 33% and since we charge a monthly rate, there isn't any issue or desire for more details on either side at this point.

The call volume increase from our work is identified on the call announcement they hear on each answer which was 50% of all calls in a three month period--we doubled their call volume.

If you have a different business model then it may or may not work the same for you and your clients. That is something you have to identify.

We looked at the KW rankings on a weekly basis but don't overload them with data. And yes, we record all the calls in the event they want to get into details but that is their job.

Bottom line, they are happy with the results and don't care about the details as long as they see the results.

If your question concerns validating the costs, our work was creating results for them within 2 months. I showed them via video what was happening and our work was the only new addition to their advertising strategy that they added last year.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2015
Messages
6
ARKlady,

You mentioned that you tracked their calls. Can you provide some insight as to who you are using for this call tracking and how has it been working out for you?

I know there are mixed feeling about call tracking so I wanted to know what your approach was with it.

Thank you so much!
 

Eric Rohrback

Moderator
Joined
Oct 3, 2012
Messages
993
Use the real local number on the website and all citations, so you don't screw up anything in the ecosystem. Use services like CallRail or Twillio (if you're good with APIs) to use dynamic swapping on the site. Those services will let you put javascript on the site which will swap the real number with a tracking number depending on the referrer. That will help you get a better picture where the calls are coming from (organic search, ppc, forum, email, direct mail, billboard, etc). There are tons of call tracking solutions out there, but just be careful how you're using it.

You could accidentally inject a rented tracking number into the ecosystem if you hard code it in... so make sure you're either using an image for a tracking number (if you're only tracking "web visits" vs all other), or dynamic swapping via javascript if you're tracking multiple mediums/sources.

Those services also have call recording which I've found to be so valuable for both you and the client. You're able to listen to calls to see if there is a customer service issue or identify other issues once the lead takes that next step. Gives an opportunity to help point out training issues or other ways to help the client close leads that you can attribute to your efforts. Super useful.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2015
Messages
6
Use the real local number on the website and all citations, so you don't screw up anything in the ecosystem. Use services like CallRail or Twillio (if you're good with APIs) to use dynamic swapping on the site. Those services will let you put javascript on the site which will swap the real number with a tracking number depending on the referrer. That will help you get a better picture where the calls are coming from (organic search, ppc, forum, email, direct mail, billboard, etc). There are tons of call tracking solutions out there, but just be careful how you're using it.

You could accidentally inject a rented tracking number into the ecosystem if you hard code it in... so make sure you're either using an image for a tracking number (if you're only tracking "web visits" vs all other), or dynamic swapping via javascript if you're tracking multiple mediums/sources.

Those services also have call recording which I've found to be so valuable for both you and the client. You're able to listen to calls to see if there is a customer service issue or identify other issues once the lead takes that next step. Gives an opportunity to help point out training issues or other ways to help the client close leads that you can attribute to your efforts. Super useful.
Eric thanks for help.

But I guess I am not too clear on the process. And please forgive me for asking so many questions as I have never used call tracking before.

After reading Mike Blumenthal's guide on call tracking (the updated version), I thought that the best way to do it was to actually set up a local number and forward all calls. And for javascript, I thought that can only be used when using PPC? You're saying it can swap out number depending on where the traffic is coming from, even organic? I plan on using CallRail. How has your experience been with them?

I am setting up local SEO for a client who has no on line presence at all. And no citations. All he uses is his cell phone. Since I am taking over his entire web presence, would it be better for me to simply get a local number from Call Rail and use that number for all his citations, and then forward it to his cell phone? That way I can show him results from my efforts as I am the only one in charge of everything online?
 

Eric Rohrback

Moderator
Joined
Oct 3, 2012
Messages
993
The risk you're going to see when you start using tracking numbers for local is that you will have to spend hours on maintenance. His cell number is already out on the web, so you'll be fighting to suppress that in favor of the new number. That will take time. Another thing to consider is what happens if the client decides to change the number or if they want to go in another direct at some point in the future? That's more work to suppress the tracking number for the new number, which will also result in lost sales as people call the old number.

Tracking numbers don't live forever, and you don't own them; you rent them.

As for Javascript methods, they typically look for a referrer value passed by the browser when a customer visits your site. You configure rules to guide the script to show certain numbers, eg:

referrer = google/organic
referrer = bing/organic
referrer = google/cpc
referrer = bing/cpc
referrer = localsearchforum.com

etc...etc...


There's a lot of ways to customize it so when someone hits your site you can track how they find you. It's pretty effective to show your value.

I've been in the camp of only use the real number on citaitons, and use javascript/dynamic swapping on the website. It's ultimately up to you which way you decide to take the campaign, but I advise you to do your research before you choose. Once you start with tracking numbers on citations, it's hard to go back. I've handled enough cases where a yellow page company has completely botched a client's online presence because they wanted to use a tracking number to show their "value" which was picked up by tons of other sites. That's a nightmare cleanup situation because once again your client doesn't own the number, they just rented it from the yellow page company.

Just a few things to think about while you're working through this situation :)
 

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