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A new Web Marketing ROI Calculator - Part 1

In the beginning, search engine marketers were only
concerned about top 10 rankings. Do you remember those
days? Then, as things progressed and we began to work
"smarter," we began to take note of how those top 10's were
actually converting to traffic and sales.

After all, in any marketing campaign, the true bottom line
should be your ROI, the return on your investment. That's
how you'll know if your marketing efforts are really
working, or if you need to go back to the drawing board and
try something new.

Recently, I was introduced to a new ROI calculating service
called KeywordTool. It covers both pay-per-click engines
and regular engine results.

To write the article, I interviewed Chris Genge of
KeywordTool (, and he took me on
a tour of the service itself.

Please explain what KeywordTool is and what it really does.

"Deciding which keywords best suit each Web site and
which ones specifically will generate
sales/conversions is perhaps the toughest job in SEO.
Tools like Word Tracker are a great help in narrowing
down keyword selection, but then what?

"In the past, decisions were not based on facts but
mostly speculation. This gave people no alternative
but to promote or bid on larger keyword groups. We
used a shotgun approach in hopes of increasing sales,
with no way of telling which keywords were adding to
our bottom line!

"A common saying in advertising is: `In any good
campaign, 50% of all advertising dollars are wasted,
but which 50%?' KeywordTool can answer this question
for keyword promotion campaigns.

"KeywordTool's tracking service tracks the conversion
or sales performance of keywords on search and pay-
per-click engines, showing which keyword phrases are
actually converting into customers and from which
search engines. It is not a visitor tracker; instead,
it determines keyword performance.

"With this keyword referral/conversion rate
information, one can then fine tune their keyword
choices and streamline promotion and bidding expenses
to increase efficiency, sales, and profits, or in
other words...the bottom line.

"KeywordTool is an online service that gathers
information about your Web site referrals and
sales/conversions. Using your private user name and
password, you can then access the stats so you can
review the information and make informed decisions
about how to continue your online promotion.

"KeywordTool is designed for use with SEO and Pay-Per-
Click (PPC) campaigns. It's well suited for both."

Is there a way that we can see a demo of how the service
really works?

"Go to At the top of the
page, you will see the log in. Use the username of
"keywordtool" and password of "demo" to access the

"The first page is the list of search engines that
have sent referrals to the specific Web site you wish
to have monitored. Only search engines that have sent
a referral will appear on the listed sites. New search
engines will appear as referrals are sent.

"The `Create details' or `Edit details' in the first
column is where you would click to configure your
search engine settings. This is where you tell
KeywordTool what your average cost per click is for
each search engine you want to calculate. This can be
filled out after some data has been gathered.

"The search engine column is the list of only those
search engines that have referred visitors to your Web
site. You will notice that KeywordTool will also
differentiate between regions for those search engines
that are regionalized.

"The Column marked "Clicks" tells you the total number
of referrals sent by each SE.

"PPC is the average price per click you have set for
yourself. For those using this for SEO, this can be
left blank. The PPC can be changed or added at any
time, allowing you to re-calculate your PPC using new

"CONV is the number of conversions you have received
from that particular search engine. The details about
the number of conversions are at the next level.

"You can define what a conversion is:

-A subscription
-Downloading a file
-Filling out a form
-Or anything you consider to be an acquisition

"The CONV% is where KeywordTool calculates the
percentage of conversions based on the number of
referrals received from that search engine. It's
really just a performance guide of the search engine
for the keywords you have listings for.

"PPA is the `price per acquisition.' It tells you how
much each new customer costs you for that particular
search engine. The number indicated is rounded to the
closest dollar.

"ROI is your potential return on investment. It's
based on the information provided and the referrals
and conversion rates recorded.

"Some of the rows don't have information, because we
haven't defined the cost per click or estimated profit
on that particular search engine. This can be added or
updated at any time.

"Start the next section by clicking on the column
marked `Clicks' to sort the SE's from highest
referrals to lowest. Yahoo US has the highest number
of referrals, so it comes to the top of the list.

"Click on `Yahoo.US.' It will then take you to the
next screen where there are 2 sections marked `search
words' and `categories.' Search words are referrals
from SE', and categories are from directories. Yahoo
displays both so KeywordTool separates the results.

"Click on `Search Words.' The next screen will display
the exact results and performance for each keyword
phrase. Click on CONV to sort to the highest
conversion keywords in this section. This is the
section where you can start seeing which keywords are
working well for you and which ones are not.

"The keywords that work well are ones that you can
focus on to ensure they are also listed on the other
search engines. You can quickly see which of your
initial chosen keywords are working well and which you
might want to consider dropping or reviewing. You can
then work to get improved listings on other search
engines for a small select group of keywords that you
are confident will give you the highest ROI. The
numbers provided in KeywordTool's reports could be
used to make better, informed decisions.

"If a keyword phrase is not working well, it might
either be the wrong keyword for the product offered or
the sales presentation is not working well on that
page. Knowing that this keyword is not working well,
you can then start to make changes to improve
performance. For anyone who has tried tweaking your
Google AdWords Select based on your copy and click
performance, this works in much the same way. With
KeywordTool, it's fairly easy to know which keyword
phrases to work on and which ones are working well for
you already.

"The information KeywordTool provides will tell you
how much potential a keyword phrase has, allowing you
to know how much to invest in SEO or PPC.

"All the information in KeywordTool sections can be
exported to Excel easily so you can manipulate the
data and quickly determine what your strategy should
be for getting better returns from your work. If you
notice the Expert to Excel link at the top right of
the page, it's a very handy little tool."

(Continued in Part 2)

About the Author
Robin Nobles, Director of Training, Academy of Web
Specialists, ( has
trained several thousand people in her online search engine
marketing courses (