Brandon Lewis

Man using laptop at home.Tracking digital marketing campaigns— search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click (PPC), social media, email marketing, etc.—and truly understanding what type of return your web site provides is a subject most painters tend to gloss over, no pun intended.

You might know how much it cost to build your web site, but can you answer the following questions?

• How much money did you invest in digital marketing last year?

• How many leads (phone calls or web contact forms) did your web site generate last year?

•What’s your return on investment from the Internet?

If you can’t answer any of the questions above, then keep reading.


When it comes to advertising on the web, it’s important to understand what’s working and what’s not. If you do, when next year rolls around you won’t need to ask yourself, “Hmm … was working with that SEO company actually worth my money?” Instead, you’ll have hard data that demonstrates if it was worth it. That same data will make it possible for you to make sound financial decisions about your business’ future.


Once you commit to tracking, you need to consider what to track. Here’s where I’d start:

• Track how much you invested in a digital marketing campaign.

• Track how many people visit your web site monthly and annually.

• Track how many contact forms visitors filled out.

Here’s why: Tracking the exact dollar amount you’ve invested in digital marketing is essential to evaluating your ROI. Tracking web site visitors provides insight into how many people are visiting your site on a monthly and yearly basis. If you’re investing in SEO or PPC, you should see year-over-year growth in total visitors. If you’re not, ask your digital marketing company why.

FYI: When it comes to tracking monthly web site visitors, don’t expect to always see month-over-month gains. Painting is seasonal, so a surge in visitors during your busy season—April to September in most areas of the U.S.—and a decrease in visitors during the winter isn’t out of the ordinary.

Tracking contact forms is the easiest and most direct way to determine ROI from your web site. Let’s say your average profit from a painting job is $1,000. If you invest $500 per month in PPC and receive 10 contact forms, that’s great!

Now let’s assume your lead-to-sale close rate is 40%. Of those 10 contact forms, you won four new jobs. Each of those four jobs nets you $1,000 and voila … you profited $4,000 from PPC that month. Subtract your digital marketing investment ($500), and you still earned $3,500. That translates to an impressive 700% ROI.

In that instance, it seems to me your digital marketing company is doing its job, and you’re seeing a healthy return as a result. But keep in mind, if your digital marketing or PPC company isn’t getting you any new jobs, you’ve lost $500. Multiply your loss by 12 and you’re staring at a loss of $6,000 for the year.

Time to rethink your approach and/or your digital marketing partner.


If you want to get granular and really dig into the ROI of your digital marketing campaigns, you’ll need to track more and gather more data. In my opinion, the best way to do that is through phone call tracking.

Phone call tracking is similar to tracking contact form submissions, but with a higher level of detail.

By using separate phone numbers for every marketing campaign you invest in—SEO, PPC, email, leave behinds, etc., you’re able to track how many phone calls each campaign generated and what campaigns generated the most leads and sales over the phone.

Ultimately, phone call tracking adds another layer of detail to your ROI calculations and results in better decision-making for your company.


In the right hands, the web is a very powerful marketing tool. If you want to make sound marketing decisions for your painting company and maximize your ROI from the web, you need to track it all— track your investment, track your results—then adjust your strategies accordingly.


brandon doyle headshotBrandon Doyle is the assistant general manager at Rank First Local, a fast-growing digital marketing company specializing in affordable Internet marketing solutions. Founded in 2011, Rank First Local focuses exclusively on helping small-business owners maximize their marketing budgets on the web.

(866) 330-2917

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