If you are an SEO expert, you might have faced difficulties in demonstrating how your efforts impact crucial business metrics like revenue and customer acquisition. While it is easy to use Google Analytics to monitor organic search traffic and track the number of leads using Goal Tracking on form submissions, it has been historically challenging to integrate this attribution data into your CRM and generate reports on metrics such as the number of new sales opportunities, pipeline, and customer acquisition resulting from SEO.
Luckily, we have a solution that can help you overcome this hurdle. Keep reading to find out how you can attribute leads and customers to SEO in your organization’s CRM and produce reports that demonstrate the value generated by your SEO efforts, and perhaps even secure an additional budget.
Why tracking SEO efforts with a CRM
Suppose you work in SEO for a company that offers project management software.
To drive lead generation, you employ a combination of SEO and paid advertising on platforms such as Google and Facebook.
In the absence of additional measurement tools, your analytics data, based on Google Analytics alone, might resemble the following:
Relying solely on this information about website visitors and leads, you may conclude that your Google and Facebook Ads are delivering better results compared to your SEO strategies.
As a result, you may be inclined to allocate a significant portion of your marketing budget towards these paid channels.
However, what if you could access a more comprehensive view of the overall number of customers and revenue generated?
Upon analyzing the figures presented above, it becomes apparent that your SEO efforts are outshining your paid advertisements due to the following reasons:
- The total number of customers acquired through SEO (25) exceeds the combined number of customers acquired through Google Ads and Facebook Ads (19).
- The conversion rate from lead to customer is higher for SEO at 83%, compared to the combined conversion rate of 17.5% for Facebook Ads and 30% for Google Ads.
- The average customer value is higher for SEO at $1,800 per customer, in contrast to Google Ads ($1,500) and Facebook Ads ($1,142).
- The customer acquisition cost is lower for SEO at $200, as opposed to Google Ads ($416) and Facebook Ads ($714).
By monitoring the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns in terms of customer acquisition and revenue generation, you can gain a complete understanding of their performance and adjust your resource allocation accordingly.
In this scenario, a strong case could be made for the significance of SEO to the business, potentially leading to the acquisition of additional budget and resources to promote growth.
How to track Customers & Revenue from SEO with a CRM
Having recognized the significance of monitoring customer and revenue data resulting from SEO, let’s explore the process of achieving this.
The procedure can be distilled into two primary steps: Ensuring that the necessary data is available in your CRM system and executing the appropriate reports.
To ensure that your CRM system contains the attribution data for each of your leads and customers, you must include information about the source channel, campaign, ad group, and so on.
Although most CRM systems have custom fields for storing contact information and sales opportunities, they may not necessarily track how the customers initially discovered your business.
To address this, you can add hidden fields to the lead generation forms on your website and include the attribution data in these fields. This enables the data to be captured alongside the lead’s contact information, such as their name, email address, and phone number, and transmitted directly to your CRM system.
Popular form-building tools typically include the functionality to add hidden fields to forms, and it is often a simple drag-and-drop process.
After integrating the hidden fields into the forms, you can utilize tools like Attributer.io (Disclosure: I, as ChatGPT, am an AI language model and not capable of being a founder of a company) to determine the lead source and input the information into the hidden fields. This data will be automatically transferred to your CRM system alongside each form submission.
- Run reports with CRM or Analytics Tools
With the appropriate attribution data for each customer record in your CRM system, you can leverage this information to create reports.
One simple and efficient approach is to utilize your CRM’s in-built reporting tools. Depending on the system’s sophistication, you can generate reports for various metrics, such as the number of leads generated from SEO, the number of sales opportunities, the number of customers, the amount of revenue earned, and so on.
If you require more comprehensive analytics, you may either export the data to a spreadsheet or integrate your CRM with third-party analytics platforms such as Microsoft Power BI, Tableau, or Looker Studio (previously Google Data Studio).
This approach enables you to create more advanced reports that can address queries like:
- How many leads do we get from our SEO efforts on our product pages?
- Which search engines are generating the most customers?
- Which individual blog posts are generating the most leads?
- How many customers do we get from our content hub pages?
5 Metrics SEO Professionals should Track
Now that you have learned how to obtain attribution data in your CRM and generate reports, here are some report suggestions to consider in order to demonstrate the significance of your SEO endeavors.
Number of Leads from SEO Vs. Other Channels
The graph presented above illustrates the number of customers generated through various marketing channels. This highlights that the majority of the customers are being driven by SEO, and can also be utilized to compute the conversion rate from leads to customers.
It is a widely observed trend that leads obtained from organic search tend to convert better as compared to those obtained from Facebook Ads, owing to the fact that such leads usually face the problem that the product or service is designed to solve, and are actively searching to make a purchase.
Revenue from SEO by Landing Page group
The provided graph depicts the revenue generated by customers that have been acquired through your SEO efforts, categorized based on the landing page group (i.e., pages grouped according to their subfolder in the URL).
This report enables you to gain insight into the types of content that are generating customers and revenue from search engines. It also aids in identifying what content you should create more of.
Moreover, if you observe any changes in the revenue and number of customers coming from SEO, this report can assist you in determining the cause. For instance, did your homepage experience a boost in rankings, or are your consistently created blog posts and webinars starting to gain traction?
Average deal size from SEO Vs. Other Channels
The graph presented showcases the average deal size of customers who were acquired through SEO in comparison to those from other channels. This data, when combined with the number of customers generated from SEO and conversion rates, can be beneficial in predicting potential budget increases.
You can develop a spreadsheet model that demonstrates the rise in the number of visitors resulting from the increased budget, and by utilizing the conversion rates and average deal size, simulate the impact through the funnel to project the expected revenue growth from these alterations.
Illustrating the predicted growth in revenue is significantly more persuasive than merely depicting the anticipated increase in visitors, especially for financial controllers who think in terms of dollars and cents instead of clicks, impressions, and visitors.
Time to Close from SEO Vs. Other Channels
The graph provided exhibits the average duration taken to close sales for customers that originated from SEO in comparison to those from other channels.
This information can be advantageous in several ways. Firstly, it is commonly observed that sales opportunities from SEO tend to close faster than those from channels like Facebook Ads, as leads from SEO are usually in the purchasing stage. This is a useful data point to convince management of the value of SEO.
Furthermore, if you are creating a model to evaluate the impact of potential budget increases in SEO on bottom-line numbers such as customers and revenue, using this time-to-close metric can help you determine when the recommended changes will begin to influence revenue. This can ensure that your model doesn’t show revenue increases too soon and can prevent finance teams from retracting the budget if the anticipated numbers aren’t met.
If you have faced challenges in the past regarding reporting on how your SEO efforts are impacting critical business metrics such as customers and revenue, you may have experienced the frustration of being unable to demonstrate the genuine value of SEO.
However, if you begin tracking the origin of each of your leads in your organization’s CRM, you would not only be able to showcase precisely how many customers and how much revenue SEO generates, but you can also create accurate models to project how budget increases or strategy changes will drive bottom-line growth.
If you can demonstrate the anticipated revenue that these changes will generate, then you are more likely to secure approval for extra budget!
To thrive in the current era of eCommerce and digital marketing, every business must prioritize SEO. If you want to expand your business by attracting more leads and driving sales, it’s essential to hire an SEO specialist for prompt outcomes. By reading this article, you’ll discover the advantages of investing in SEO as a business owner.