As Jonathan Long of Market Domination Media recently explained in the Huffington Post, whilst it’s often the number one SEO aim of business owners to rank number one, this is a mistake because ranking number one doesn’t denote “record breaking profits and ROI” and there are many other SEO metrics that should be used alongside rankings to create a well-rounded, profitable SEO campaign.
1. Keyword Rankings
Don’t think for a second they’re not important, though also recognize that there’s more involved in the creation of a well-rounded, profitable SEO strategy than keyword rankings alone. Keyword rankings are, however, significant because they increase your website’s visibility and that’s obviously important.
2. Organic Traffic
A mistake many businesses have made is making quantity of links a high priority, which often results in penalizations by Google for having too many poor quality, spammy links. Driving and tracking organic traffic is far worthier of your time and attention; however, you need to not only track how much organic traffic your website is receiving but also which webpages are receiving that organic traffic. When you know which pages are receiving the bulk of your organic traffic you’re in a better position to analyse it and gain an understanding of why it’s there and make changes to other webpages accordingly.
3. Bounce Rates
If you’re experiencing high bounce rates it’s a tell-tale sign that your search engine optimization efforts aren’t up to scratch because if they were, your bounce rates would be much lower. When your bounce rates are low it indicates that you’re correctly and effectively optimizing webpages for keywords and subjects.
4. Conversion Rate
Conversion rates are similar in many regards to bounce rates because they serve as an indication of how well you’ve optimized your website and webpages for keywords and content. If your rankings and visitor rates are looking good but your conversion rate is lower than what you’d expect, it’s a fair indication that you need to alter your keywords and content. Basically, when you optimize your website and webpages correctly you’ll reach the people you’re trying to reach and your conversion rates should rise in accordance with those figures.
Your conversion rates can be measured using two different measurements:
- One-per-click. This involves measuring a single action, for instance a visitor signing up for a subscription.
- Many-per-click. This measurement is more complicated and could be used to measure, for instance, the path a visitor took to purchase a product.
5. Online Revenue
Revenue and conversion rates are also linked and your revenue is a tell-tale sign of how well, or how poorly, your SEO efforts are doing.
Unfortunately there’s no set-in-stone formula for businesses to use because every business is very different in this regard – different businesses have different profit margin to conversion ratios – though revenue is, according to Jonathan Long, “the ultimate metric of a search engine optimization campaign,” and, “… if it isn’t returning a profit then changes need to be made, and quickly.
6. New Visitor Growth
It’s naturally important to track visitor rates though you should also be tracking new visitor rates so as to keep track of your most recent SEO efforts. If you keep track of all your visitor rates and don’t distinguish them from new visitors to your site there’s a very real chance of you failing to understand how well your latest SEO tactics are working.
7. Specific Search Engine Visits
In the US search engine traffic from the big players – Google, Yahoo and Bing – comprises 95 percent of all traffic; elsewhere however, with the exception of China and Russia, 80 percent of all traffic comes from Google alone.
So why bother measuring each search engine’s traffic contribution?
- You can compare performance to market share ratios
- You’ll better understand which tactics are working on which search engines
- You’ll better understand where search traffic drops are coming from
Failing to take all these search engine optimization metrics into consideration when planning an SEO campaign is something you’ll likely come to regret at a later point in time, so don’t solely focus on rankings alone, understand that there’s a bigger picture and make the effort to see it in its entirety.
About the Author: Sonia Allen is writing on a freelance basis for WickedWeb SEO agency in the UK. Apart from search engine optimization, they also have a range of services in web design and development.