A report from Conductor found search marketers for brands lacking ecommerce need to develop custom metrics and dollar values to measure and analyze their web traffic conversions.

A report from Conductor found that a hallmark of a strong SEO strategy for sites without ecommerce is a thoughtful approach to measuring ROI. Gauging the effectiveness of a campaign without direct sales data requires an understanding of traffic sources and conversion paths. Marketers working for brands without classic online purchase models have to analyze SEO reports to determine the value of the traffic.

Conductor spoke with hundreds of search marketers to identify and define the metrics they use to gauge their campaigns’ success. The company found some consistent themes among companies with strong strategies – including metrics that account for diverse conversions.

For B2B companies, this idea is especially important. Since most businesses selling to other companies can’t offer ecommerce capability, form completions, resource downloads and other information requests might serve as on-site conversions. Conductor’s research suggests that organizations unable to make direct sales online should assign dollar values toward each of these conversions.

Defining short- and long-term goals can help businesses develop these metrics and adjust strategies as needed.

“Successful (search marketers) develop creative ways to measure conversions, such as attaching average value to a download or contact form completion, and then report on that dollar amount up the chain,” Nathan Safran, senior research analyst for Conductor, wrote in the report.

Measuring the economic value of search marketing has traditionally proven difficult for brands that close sales offline. Brafton recently highlighted insight from Ryan Jones of Sapient from a panel discussion at SMX East. Jones said standard reporting areas, such as traffic are not goals but rather key-performance indicators that reveal progress toward awareness, leads and conversions. 

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.