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Jul 8, 201312:57 PMIt's All About Content

with Thomas Marks

How to put the ROI in your URL

(page 1 of 2)

One of my favorite advertising quotes came from the Englishman William Lever, who said, “I know half my advertising isn’t working, I just don’t know which half.” And like a lot of advertising, the quote was probably stolen, since John Wanamaker had said something similar a few years earlier. But who cares? In our digital kingdom, it’s just not that true anymore.

Gone are the days when you fretted over the questions from your superiors about website ROI. Good riddance to the inquest regarding the business case. Say goodbye to tiptoeing around the interrogation with the standard default response, I assume you’re speaking of return on interaction? Now you’ll be chomping at the byte waiting for the question to be lobbed your way because you’re going to slam it back for a winner, just like Rafa Nadal. But in order to put the ROI in your URL, you need to start at the end. Here’s how we do it at TMA+Peritus.

Because every website that’s developed always begins with understanding audience segments, I’m going to assume the voice-of-customer research and the persona creation have already been completed. Here are the first two steps in making your website a lead-generating, transaction-converting machine:

  1. Ask yourself this question: What actions do I want my site visitors to take? Make a list of those critical activities because you can’t develop a strategy without them, and you won’t pitch an effective business case unless you tell the honchos how a lead is going to be acquired and nurtured.
  1. Next, address the analytics from the beginning. Nearly all digital projects address measurement and tracking at the end, and that’s misplaced. Google Analytics is the price of admission, but you’ll need more. Your key performance indicators (KPIs) are also a strategic roadmap. How many leads do you want to capture each month, how many downloads, how many impressions, and what is the value of each impression? (You can set the value of each impression by analyzing paid search trends for your products and services.) What is the target click-through rate, how many emails will you acquire each month, and what is their value? And how many media pickups will you receive from your articles and blogs, and what is their value? (Advertising value equivalency formulas allow you to calculate the value of every pickup.) And the list of KPIs goes on.

Why, for instance, is email acquisition an important KPI? Anyone who understands the relationship between content and digital platforms knows that as a business, you’re only renting space on sites like LinkedIn or online trade sites. Ultimately, you want to own your content and the platform you’re going to distribute it on. An e-newsletter, with your own subscribers, is one answer to being an owner/publisher.


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Jul 11, 2013 12:26 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Excellent, excellent post. Your own content about content is right on the money. Thanks for putting his so effectively yet so succintly.

Jul 11, 2013 12:41 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Great article would love to see more like this and less dittohead political stuff

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About This Blog

Thomas Marks brings years of marketing experience to his blog "It's All About Content" as the President and Managing Partner of TMA+Peritus.  Prior to starting the agency in 1983, Tom was the VP of Marketing and Advertising for Bally Corporation in Chicago. He was also President of Bally's multi-million dollar in-house ad agency FFC Advertising.

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