Article

Nate Vickery
Nate Vickery 9 November 2017
Categories Search Marketing

3 Key Metrics for Determining the Effectiveness of Your SEO Campaigns

If you run a business, any type of business, it’s imperative that you acknowledge the Internet’s role in your journey to success. It’s advisable to do your best and ensure that your brand is known online. You need to make sure that your ideal customer can locate you through a simple search, using the terms and phrases that best describe what you do or sell.

Believe it or not, statistics claim that more than 3.7 billion people use the Internet today. These impressive numbers say that basically half of the world’s population is constantly searching the Web for every type of information, product, or service that could be of interest to them.

If you run a business, any type of business, it’s imperative that you acknowledge the Internet’s role in your journey to success. It’s advisable to do your best and ensure that your brand is known online. You need to make sure that your ideal customer can locate you through a simple search, using the terms and phrases that best describe what you do or sell.

This is where search marketing enters the stage. Even though it has been around since the early days of the Internet, SEO’s popularity is still on the rise. It is still considered the best channel for encouraging the right type of people to visit your digital office and start looking around. Numerous studies still claim that search is still way better than social media when it comes to generating traffic for your business. Especially now when Facebook is thinking about moving all company pages to its Explore Feed.

Thanks to that decision, the number of businesses that favor SEO over social media is growing even more.

According to HubSpot’s latest research, around 60 percent of currently active digital marketers believe that search engine optimization is becoming more and more effective. Their plan for the near future is to start allocating even bigger chunks of their budgets to this form of marketing.

Even though most people understand the importance of ranking high for your desired keywords in search, and more and more of them are considering SEO as their road to riches online - the truth is, search engine optimization is still something that confuses various business owners. Especially when it comes to calculating the return on their investments. For most, the overall ROI of SEO is still a quite abstract topic. Most businessmen don’t really know if they’re losing or making money via their SEO-related activities.

For this particular reason, a lot of people easily abandon SEO and go back to working on things that make their return far more transparent, like for example, PPC. Naturally, this is a mistake. Investing in PPC and SEO is not the same thing. A good SEO strategy has the power to continuously drive value for your business and influence literally every stage of your buyer's cycle. That’s why you shouldn’t give up on it at the first sign of trouble. Contrary to popular opinion, the progress of your SEO efforts can easily be determined and calculated. All you really need to know is what to track, and how to interpret the numbers:

1. Analyze Your Organic Traffic

This is the top metric to track, if you’re interested in knowing how well your SEO-related efforts are paying off. A spike in organic traffic is basically undeniable proof that you're doing something right online.

Tracking and interpreting organic traffic is quite easy. All you need to do is to link your site with your Google Analytics account, click on the left column of the navigation menu on your dashboard, and then open the Acquisition > Overview > All Traffic > Channels section.

From there, you can easily monitor and analyze your organic traffic. Of course, the organic traffic numbers include results for branded and non-branded keywords, so in order to fully understand what is going on here, the best way to track your organic traffic performance is to track it through the landing pages.

Through this option, you can track where your keywords point to. Home pages and login pages usually generate traffic from branded phrases, while blog posts and other links are usually found through non-branded keywords.

2. Track Keyword Rankings

Tracking and reporting on how your website is performing for the keywords you’re pursuing in your SEO-related efforts, what changes have occurred, and how they are affecting your positions in search is basically the second best way of calculating and understanding how well your SEO campaign is performing. If you improve the number of keywords your site ranks for well in search, this will automatically get you more traffic, which often translates into getting more business.

Naturally, you shouldn’t obsess over grabbing the very top positions for every keyword you rank for. The general idea is to aim towards something. As you monitor keywords and rankings, remember to look at the bigger picture and resist the temptation to obsess over every single ranking change. Segment your results and separate high-value from low-value keywords. Pay more attention to the ones that could actually drive more conversions.

3. Monitor Your Conversion Rates

The main reason why people invest in any type of marketing is to generate more sales. SEO is no exception. Both of the above-mentioned metrics would mean nothing if they weren't a way to find out how close you are to getting discovered by your target audience.

Conversions are not necessarily sales, but they are the closest thing you can have to an actual purchase. Anything can be a conversion, basically. Any type of action that’s of value to you. Conversion points vary, depending on the industry and business model of a particular brand, and their average success rate is a thing that’s dependent on all sorts of external and internal factors.

But they are still relevant metrics, and tracking the number of visitors that complete one of these actions on your site is definitely a factor that will tell you how well your SEO-related efforts are working for your business.

For most people who invest in SEO, conversions look like this:

  • 4 or more percent success rate - Excellent! This is a solid conversion success rate, worth a celebration.

  • Somewhere between 1 and 4 percent - Solid, but it could be better.

  • Below 1 percent - not good, the overall marketing strategy needs rethinking.

Of course, like I said above - it all depends on the industry and the client.

Just like with organic traffic, you can easily track your conversion rates via Google Analytics. GA is an extremely powerful tool that can be used for anything. Even though it has numerous great features, sadly, this piece of software is only as good as its user. If you want to use it for tracking conversions and optimizing your conversion rates, you need to learn more than just how to define your conversions and set them up as goals in your GA account. Luckily for you, there are a lot of intelligent articles online that can guide you through the process.

Monitoring goal completions can basically provide everything you need in order to link your SEO efforts with your revenue stream. When you start generating traffic for specific landing pages where users will be stimulated to conduct some of your desired actions, you will easily see how your views and time on page numbers are increasing, which will, of course, provide all the data you need in order to calculate the overall effectiveness of your SEO efforts.  

Over to You

Thank you for taking the time to read this article from top to bottom. I hope it has provided enough concrete answers on the topic of calculating the value of your SEO-related activities. Even though SEO has the power of influencing every stage of your buyer’ cycle for the better, it is important to know that not all metrics offer an accurate view on your SEO campaign’s direct value.

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