Search Engine Marketing, should be a vital part of online marketing strategy. In order to achieve better results, which means more conversions, higher ROI and of course higher revenue, it is essential to constantly track, analyze and improve your efforts. It doesn’t matter if you’re focusing more on PPC, or SEO (or using them simultaneously, to score the best performance). The key goal is to maximize profit from your actions.
Comparing these two kind of promotional activities, PPC is easier to optimize and measure, because in most cases we are provided with all the necessary data. Running a PPC campaign requires from us both marketing and analytical skills.
Search Engine Optimization is a process where not only marketing, but also technical knowledge is needed. Because of this, not everyone knows how and what to measure. Although SEO could be a bit more difficult to analyze, it’s still measurable, like any other promotional online activity.
It’s important to track and measure your results. How can you improve, if you don’t know what’s working and what’s not?
Search Engines - why should you pay attention
Search Engines are a magnificent piece of software. Their main task is to provide the accurate information the users are looking for as quick as possible. What is important, is that the generated results are relevant to the search terms.
Preparing to monitor SEO should start with your web page. A well prepared website will not only be more friendly for the users, but also more accessible for the search engines. You can take a look on our article about starting your SEO journey in 10 simple steps.
In other words, the better your website is prepared, the better the chance is that it will be found by users, the more traffic you will get and a higher chance that your visitors will turn into happy clients.
As you can see, Search Engines are one of the main sources of traffic for any website. The numbers of course could be slightly different for every business, but nevertheless, sites like Google, Bing or Yahoo are driving new visitors your way.
The first step to SEO performance analysis is monitoring your traffic. Keeping an eye on traffic gives you an idea about your traffic’s volume, if it’s increasing or decreasing, the quality of traffic, factors like user engagement and conversions and what is equally important - keywords. Knowing who is visiting your site and where they come from is the second step to success.
Search queries, as well as sponsored links, are triggered by keywords. SEO measurement is strongly linked with them. Choosing the best keywords affects both paid search traffic and non-paid search traffic coming to your site. Let’s go deeper with our analysis.
Gaining traffic from non-paid search results is the Holy Grail of SEO Management. It’s well targeted and as a bonus, we don’t have to pay a penny for the results.
We can divide incoming organic traffic to our site into two groups. Traffic coming from branded keywords and non-branded ones.
Branded keywords are unique for every business and often they perform much better than any other keywords used in a SEM campaign. The reason is that when the user searches your services or products by typing your brand’s name, it means that they are familiar with your product and obviously - they know what they are looking for. Better parameters of such visits are results of extreme relevance between search query and the website’s appearance in the Search Engine Results Page. Branded traffic in many cases is implicated by a paid campaign.
Non-branded keywords are the ones we should focus on. They give us an idea of how well our SEO efforts are being done. Organic traffic generated for such keywords tells you how people who do not know anything about your site, engage with it.
The biggest question is - How do we put this all together? Measuring the effects of your SEO brings the analysis to your most valuable keywords. The key factors that we should look at are:
The Amount of traffic generated by keywords
Keywords’ performance is measured by the traffic generated on your website. Speaking of traffic - there’s never enough of it. The more traffic you’ll get, the more people there are that will be familiar with your site and product.
I assume that you’re putting your best cards on the table and don’t waste your time on keywords that bring nothing more than high bounce rates, appearing in irrelevant search results and are bringing no revenue. Organic traffic without conversions is nothing.
Stick only on improving the keywords which give you the higher amount of traffic and the best conversion rates.
Every user is different, thus not everyone will instantly turn into a customer. People visiting your website are categorized in a specific place in the buying funnel. The ones who decided to make a purchase are equally important as the ones who just started researching. Parameters such as low bounce rates and the time spent on the page, or number of visited pages could also be good markers of keywords’ value for your business.
The cherry on top - position for keywords in search engines
Tracking a websites’ ranking in search engines is the missing piece of the puzzle. Although we can measure things such as the amount of traffic and conversions, a ranking tool provides us with the data. This helps us focus on the bigger picture, rather than trying to optimize our campaign with a limited set of information.
Website ranking for keywords
Looking visually at how your position in search engines grows is a cool thing, but it’s not the most important aspect of monitoring SEO with dedicated tools. It not only gives us this idea, if our efforts are producing the expected results, but also helps measure SEO.
Like it was mentioned before, we receive traffic from our most valuable set of non-branded keywords. The amount of traffic is highly correlated with keyword’s rank on search engine’s results page.
If your website’s position for keywords grows, in most situations, this means that volume of traffic on your website will grow too.
Extract the value from the positions in search engines
Let’s get back to conversions one more time. While more visitors from organic traffic and higher rankings in Google or Bing are a good thing, we must always have conversions in mind.
The equation is simple. When your conversion or lead rates grow for specific keyword positions in search engines, then the direction of improvement is crystal clear. More clients, more revenue, more profit.
If you notice that higher ranks in search engines bring you more traffic but not a higher number of sales, this means that this specific position is “enough” for this keyword and it won’t bring you more profit. When you find yourself in this kind of situation, it just means that it’s time to do research on other keyword variations based on the performing ones or necessity of improving your other keyword sets.
After reading this article, you should know what the most important factors are and what you should focus on while measuring your SEO performance. The major part of your attention should be directed towards monitoring your top keywords’ effectiveness:
- the traffic volume they bring to your site
- their quality, like user engagement factors, bounce rates or time spent on site
- the number of conversions, which means more revenue
- rank in search engines, to monitor your overall progress and to make smarter decisions
Constantly track your data, compare it with previous results and make your efforts turn into earning more money. Minor tweaks in Search Engine Optimization could have a major impact on your results. Measuring and improving your SEO is about focusing on the bigger picture - getting knowledge from the data and making smart decisions about your positioning strategy.
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