In yesterday’s webinar, I presented the 7 steps to rank #1 in Google’s local results.  Since I was limited to 1-hour I wasn’t able to go into too much detail about the most important step, Step #7, which is how to track your return on investment (ROI) from SEO.

So this article will serve as a follow up to my presentation to ensure you have proper tracking in place to measure your SEO performance.  There are 4 key tracking elements and depending on your business you may or may not need all of them.   But most businesses need at least 3 of the 4.

Local SEO Tracking


#1: Webform Tracking

Every business needs webform tracking to track forms like the one on a Contact Us page, a Free Demo page, a Schedule Appointment page, etc.  For example, you need to know where your prospects and customers came from before they completed that form on your website.  Did they come from SEO? Or was it an ad campaign? Or was it from your social media marketing? Or email?

The only way to know is to set up webform tracking, which is pretty easy using Google Analytics Goals.  Simply set up a Goal in Analytics for every webform and then you’ll be able to run reports to see all the form submissions per marketing channel, including SEO.

This allows you to see how many leads your SEO campaign generates during any given time frame.  But what about sales? How do you track sales from SEO?


#2: E-Commerce Tracking

If you have an e-commerce business, then tracking sales from SEO is a breeze.  Again, you can use Google Analytics, but in this case we’re not going to set up a Goal.  Sure, you can use Goals, but Analytics has a much more powerful tool for tracking e-commerce sales…

It’s called e-commerce tracking.  Setting this up can require some custom coding, but it’s really not that hard for any developer that understands javascript.  Plus, many of the popular shopping cart solutions already have this built in so you just need to ask their support how to turn it on.

Once enabled, you’ll start to see all of the transactions and revenue data right in your Google Analytics reports.  This is pretty amazing if you’ve never seen it before.  We recently set this up for a new client and last month we reported on over $12,000 in sales directly from SEO! That was a nice surprise for our client.

OK, but what if you don’t have an e-commerce business.  Can you still track sales?

Yes, but you’ll need a couple more elements first…


#3: Phone Call Tracking

If you generate leads and sales via phone calls, then it’s absolutely critical to set up phone call tracking.  By phone call tracking, I mean dynamic number insertion, or DNI.  DNI allows you to automatically display a different phone number on your website depending on where the visitor came from.

For example, if a visitor came to your website by clicking an AdWords ad, then she would see phone number A.  If another visitor came to your website by clicking on your website in the organic search results (aka SEO), then she would see phone number B.  Now you know all the calls from number A are from AdWords and calls from number B are from SEO.

Alright, now we’re getting close.  We can track all the leads from webforms and phone calls, but we’re still missing a final tracking element to close the sales loop…


#4: CRM Tracking

The final tracking element is CRM tracking.  CRM, or customer relationship management, is a tool to keep track of your contacts.  A popular CRM is Salesforce which is primarily used by sales teams to track their pipeline from prospect to closed deal. (Here at Main Street ROI, we use Infusionsoft.)

As long as you know the source of a prospect (see #1 and #3 above), then it’s not hard to see how we can close the loop using CRM tracking.  If we know which prospects came from AdWords and which prospects came from SEO, then we can easily run reports to see how many closed sales were generated from each of those marketing campaigns.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a CRM tool.  A Google spreadsheet works just fine as long as your team uses it. :)

That’s it! Once you setup and use the 4 tracking elements above you will be able to run reports to calculate your return on investment from SEO.