There is saying that states, ‘If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.’ Measurement is critical to your success in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Sure, keyword ranking is a great SEO measurement tool. But, reporting solely on keywords does not paint the whole picture as to why SEO is so important to an organization.
Whether you hire an SEO agency to manage or develop your campaign or you handle your search engine marketing on your own, it is of utmost importance to measure your SEO efforts. Your ability to evaluate your progress accurately will allow you to focus more on your campaign and improve lead, revenue, and traffic generation or review tactics that are not working as planned.
How do you quantify your SEO success?
There are a great number of things you can look at while measuring the success rate of your SEO campaign. You must know your website data to make a quick and informed decision. One way to gather this data is by connecting your website to an analytics software, like Google Analytics, which is one of the most powerful, free, and popular software for websites.
Every business is unique and different websites use different ways to measure the data metrics. Below, the focus is primarily on organic statistics since, in the digital marketing world, organic search results are listed due to a user’s query. In the terms of digital marketing, the word ‘organic’ indicates ‘free’ search engine traffic from search engines like Bing, Yahoo!, and Google.
Organic Search Traffic
The number of people visiting your website is one of the most important metrics of your website. You need to track your organic search traffic periodically (in most cases, once every month), and make sure it is increasing. You might notice some drops at some point in time over and over again due to variables like seasonality, but generally, you need to see a trend moving upwards in organic search traffic to your website. You can view this data in many different ways, like graphically.
For looking at organic search traffic of your website, you need to open channel grouping (Acquisition>All Traffic>Channels). Here, you will be able to see the traffic sources subdivided by channels. On the same page, click on Organic Search; this will give you a detailed, comprehensive report, which includes only organic search traffic data.
From this report, you will be able to determine things like top exit pages, which search engines are sending more traffic, which keywords drive the most traffic, top landing pages for search traffic, etc. This tool is your Swiss Army Knife to your SEO reporting. If you are in Melbourne and are looking for an awesome SEO, say hello to Melbourne SEO specialists here.
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When you have properly implemented e-commerce track while dealing with SEO, you will have access to your organic revenue data, i.e., the revenue your site is earning from only organic visits to your site. Obviously, you will have to track and make sure the revenue is increasing monthly or yearly, but you can also face an occasional dip from time to time. When you notice a dip, it is an indication to look deeper into your data and find out why.
A custom report is here.
The bounce rate of a website is the percentage of organic users leaving your site after viewing only one page. Such users often return back to the previous search results to find a more relevant website for their query.
A soaring bounce rate is not exactly a negative thing as it could simply mean the person found information on another page they landed on and left your website. But, you need to remember that a high bounce rate indicates that visitors do not see what they are searching for when clicking on your result. Some reasons why this happens are because the right keyword has not been targeted, the website does not look ‘legitimate’, or some other factors are preventing users from visiting your website.
Understanding your bounce rate can help you understand your website’s usability. But, in order to make the statistics look more meaningful, it is recommended you analyze the bounce rate from a visitor-type category to understand exactly why organic visitors bounce back to search engine results page often.
A good custom report is here.
E-commerce conversion rate
The e-commerce conversion rate indicates a percentage of visitors on your website that ends up with a transaction. You can check in Google Analytics to check your organic e-commerce conversion rate which will help you understand if your organic traffic is being converted into a sale. A good conversion rate depends from organization to organization, some even touting 1% as a good deal.
Even if the numbers do not rise much, you have to make sure your e-commerce conversion rate does not fall below the minimum target. Checking for drop-offs and analyzing your checkout funnels will point out the reasons as to why your organic visitors are being prevented to make purchases. Sometimes, the simplest solutions may include adding trust badges to your store to make the users feel more secure about their transaction.
Conversion rate optimization is a process of making optimum changes in your website with a hypothesis that they will convert a large percentage of visitors to improve the conversion rate. Any ideas that you think will improve the number of sales on your website will be tested against a series of conversion rate optimization software, thereby handing over to you the data needed to make a wise decision.
Time spent on a page of your website
Another important SEO performance measurement metric is the amount of time a visitor spends on your website’s pages. You can easily view this on Google Analytics. This statistic is valuable for understanding the search intent of your visitors and how can you improve those numbers.
If your organic visitors are visiting your page and navigating to another section of your webpage, you might want to make it easier for them to find what they are looking for. The ultimate goal is to make your webpage as user-friendly as it can be.
Google analytics allows you to set goals and achievements and keeps a track of their completion. Any action an organic visitor may take like making a purchase, submitting a contact form, or simply clicking any element on your website can be listed as a ‘goal’. You can also set up abstract goals like a visitor spending a predetermined amount of time on a particular page.
Compare your organic goal completion to your total goal completion to get an idea where your goal completion is standing each month. You will notice that the more you complete your organic goals, your site’s search visibility will improve drastically, leading to increased revenue and leads.
Pages per visitor
The more pages an organic user visits, the more engaging your site is. Google, at its core, aims to serve people with the most useful and relevant websites that offer value that cannot be found easily. Taking a good look at the statistics will give you a good idea whether you are targeting the correct visitors and the number of users who, upon arrival, don’t have any interest in your website.
On the other hand, visitors may be interested in your website’s content but don’t find the user interface friendly enough. You should always remember that while the data is objective, your interpretation should be subjective.
Returning and new users
The number of organic visitors that have returned to your website can help you understand how engaging your site is and/or how users are identifying your webpage as a brand. Even if you are able to convert all new visitors, if none of them returns to convert again, you will lose a big chunk of your revenue. Returning visitors will not only make purchases but will also share your links on social media and post links on Reddit and other similar online forums.
Improving keyword positions will automatically increase organic traffic to your site because the results will be listed more prominently on the top where most searchers are likely to click. But, ranking on the first page for many terms that nobody searches for is completely useless.
For example, your site sells lizards, monkeys, dogs, cats, and tigers as pets. Out of these, most people in the world would associate the word ‘pet’ with cats and dogs. Hence, ‘cats’ and ‘dogs’ will be your main keywords since it would get the most amount of search volume on search engines.
Each month, make a note of all the keywords that are ranking #1 overall. Each of these keywords on your website will automatically increase your organic traffic. Hence, as long as the keyword makes sense and is relevant to your website, the more the merrier!
Each and every SEO campaign is going to include some ideas and strategies that may be more effective than others. The answer to measuring the successfulness and efficacy of your campaign is to identify which aspects have proven beneficial, not just if your SEO campaign and strategy has been victorious overall. This will help you channel more resources to ideas that work.