Jan 5, 2023

How to track revenue from organic search

Is your content driving revenue? Not just traffic, or conversions (though those are also very important). But revenue.

A lot of companies don’t know! Even kinda big ones with lots of writers and millions of dollars being spent on content. You’d be surprised.

So if you feel like you don’t have an answer to the revenue question, be assured that that’s pretty normal. And you can get way ahead of the game by starting to tackle it in your customer relationship management (CRM) system.

Here’s one way to get started.

👨‍💻 The CRM has the data you need

The CRM has all the data about your prospects and customers, and it also has all the data about how much money they’re giving you – or will potentially give you.

For example: within Salesforce, revenue info is stored as “Opportunities”. And within each Opportunity, there’s a field called “Lead Source”.

(Note: This isn’t exclusive to Salesforce – every CRM has some version of “Opportunities” and “Lead Source”.)

Lead Source is the field we can use to track organic search revenue.

🔮 Understanding the Lead Source field

In a very, very basic sense, the Lead Source field is saying: ”For this deal, here’s how the person signing the check found us.”

  • Did that person find us through an ad? Then maybe the value of that field is “Paid Search”.
  • Did they talk to us at an event? Then maybe the value of that field is “Event”.
  • Do we not know how they found us? Quelle horreur! Then maybe the value of that field is “Unknown”.

At the very least, your CRM should account for a standard set of Lead Sources – including “Organic Search”.

That’s an easy way to show that search – and therefore content – is working. And once you’ve started tracking this in the CRM, you can build out a more granular approach.

🏄 What you can do

Talk to whoever runs your CRM. Ask them:

  • How do we know if an Opportunity came from organic search?
  • What other information do we have in Salesforce about where Opportunities are coming from?
  • Do we have a field that tells us the first page someone landed on, on our site?

If your CRM administrator says you don’t have Organic Search as an option in that field, you’ll need to work with them (and maybe your web developer) to get things tagged appropriately. Here’s a quick video giving you an outline of how that can work.

It takes time! But it’s really important, so that you get the credit you deserve.

There are other fields you can look at, too, which will help you understand how much content is driving revenue. (For example, Hubspot has a very helpful field called “First Page Seen.”)

There’s one catch, though…

Sometimes, you’ll see that content isn’t driving revenue, at least not directly. But if the results aren’t what you wanted, you can start working on the problem.

We’re *actually* here to help

We’re marketers who love spreadsheets, algorithms, code, and data. And we love helping other marketers with interesting challenges. Tackling the hard stuff together is what we like to do.

We don’t just show you the way—we’re in this with you too.

Background image of a red ball in a hole.