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Good PR Tip for Tech Companies: G-AVE: An Excellent Alternative Measurement

For a long time, most PR professionals relied on two measurements: Total Impressions and Advertising Value Equivalent. For a while, it kept clients happy, but neither were ever a credible way to prove PR value. It’s just that there was really nothing else.

In 2010, the PR world congregated in Barcelona where the powers that be finally concluded that AVE was no longer an accurate or ethical way to put a monetary value on press coverage. Not to mention, it’s pretty obscure.

Now there is a much simpler, easier-to-understand alternative—Google Advertising Equivalent Value or G-AVE. It involves a simple equation that any 3rd-grader can understand.

Cost Per Click x Search Volume = G-AVE

Cost Per Click (CPC) = the market price of a Google ad

Search volume=the average number of keyword searches in a month.

Both of these statistics are readily available from Google and many other sources like KW Finder and SEMRush.

We start by plugging in the key term we are using for our client into Authority Labs (SEMRush works too) and seeing if our client ranks in the first page of search results for that term. You can also do it the old-fashioned way by just typing the term into the Google search bar and seeing if your client comes up.

We only count terms where our client appears in the first page of search results. Then we go back, check the CPC and search volume, do the math using the above equation and VOILA—we have a G-AVE stat for that term.

If you’re handy with Excel, you can create your own spreadsheet with the following columns:

Date

Key Term

Cost Per Click

Search Volume

G-AVE (be sure to total the G-Ave column)

You don’t need to multiply Cost Per Click by Search Volume for every term: if you plug the G-AVE formula into the G-AVE column Excel will do it for you. SEMRush will do it for you too—for a price (they do offer a free trial).

There are a few issues here including:

1. We tend to use a lot of long-tail terms for our clients, which usually aren’t tracked by Google at all.

2. Search volume is just an average. This means if there is a sudden and brief demand for a key term, i.e. a major company is rolling out a new product and your client is offering a free trial. Google won’t take that spike in volume into account.

This means—G-AVE is just a tool—but it’s a great tool.

The best part about G-AVE measurement, is that it monetizes organic key terms. Clients want to see everything in dollars. The method is straightforward and easy for clients to understand. So you just update each client’s G-AVE report at the end of every month and send it along with any other results reports. This puts a dollar value on all of the key terms that you’ve worked so hard to get in organic results.

One final thing: in the monthly report template, I would suggest adding a footnote saying that these are stats for PPC, which traditionally carries much less weight than organic. So these terms are more valuable than the report indicates.

I didn’t invent this, the idea came from Laura Joint’s excellent blog post: It may be available at: https://blog.coveragebook.com/ave-alternatives-part-1-measuring-the-value-of-coverage-with-g-ave-3c7dbe4eae45.

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