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The Hidden Value of Clicks: Are You Getting Your Money Back?

Posted by Zuri Stanback on April 9, 2014 at 4:00 PM

The Hidden Value of Clicks: Are You Getting Your Money Back?For marketers and small businesses, one of the toughest challenges of the digital domain is convincing consumers to click on a link. It sounds like an easy task because we click constantly when we're online: We follow links from one page to the next, choosing our own adventure as we surf the Web.

The problem is that marketing aspires to influence and control that adventure by guiding consumers' clicks through a carefully cultivated experience that produces tangible results in the form of conversions, purchases, social follows and more.

Companies develop dynamic advertising to entice consumers to click to a landing page. Meanwhile, search engine optimization (SEO) attempts to increase brand awareness and put businesses right in front of consumers searching for answers to their questions and search engine marketing (SEM) works to drive traffic to the site. Though this blueprint for online success has proven itself in the past, many businesses are still hesitant or unclear about the actual value of this work. In reality, the value is determined by what a company is trying to accomplish. Here are some tips to help you determine this value for yourself.

Identifying Your End Goals for Digital Ads

If you don't have an end goal for your digital ad campaigns, you need to reconsider the efforts you're currently making. All digital advertising should be developed with clear priorities. This could be sales, lead generation or developing brand awareness among consumers. No matter what the goal, it must be clear to businesses and evident in the advertising itself. The value — or perceived value — of those ads and their resulting clicks or conversions depends largely on the goals you set.

Determining Value Through KPIs

With your priorities in mind, you can establish key performance indicators (KPIs). These indicators vary between campaigns and businesses because each business decides what constitutes success. A KPI is whatever metric is used to identify success or lack thereof. Businesses can choose their own indicators, although many reliable KPIs are widely used among marketers. Effective KPIs can include click-to-action as well as click-through-rates, conversions or social-sharing metrics. Some of these KPIs produce hard numbers that illustrate the monetary, black-and-white value of clicks. In other cases, the value can be amorphous and hard to accurately quantify.

The Hard Numbers: Assessing Your ROI

Unfortunately, ROI is rarely straightforward, and the metrics used to measure ROI are complicated. A pay-per-click ROI calculator can help you see some of the important numbers related to ROI. However, there are plenty of benefits that are tough to quantify, and some returns that are delayed. Their value may not be obvious in the short term.

In some cases, the best method of determining the value of a click involves a baseline of the revenues your company generated before your digital ad campaign. If you have that information, you simply compare your current revenues to the baseline.

Some values will be underrepresented because certain assets, such as brand visibility, social network growth and customer experience, pay out returns over a long period. If you can see a positive return from the online clicks your strategy is inspiring, you can at least be confident that you're heading in the right direction.

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Topics: Paid Search Engine Marketing, Digital Marketing Strategy

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