SEO can be quite technical and it can be difficult to convert search metrics into business metrics. With this article, we’ll look at some common questions that you may have to answer about your SEO campaign, or to help you report your SEO company’s progress to your boss.
How Much Traffic Has Been Generated Through SEO?
One of the most important metrics to track on your website is your traffic. If you rely on your site to generate sales, you’ll want to ensure there’s a steady influx of visitors coming to your site.
The easiest way to track your site traffic is through Google Analytics. By going to ‘acquisition’, then ‘channels’, you can check the organic search traffic, which represents the number of visitors coming to your site as a result of your SEO campaign.
How Many Sales Or Enquiries Have Been Generated Through SEO?
Ensuring your SEO campaign is generating a return of investment is critical. Unfortunately, a lot of small business websites aren’t set up correctly to track this. Usually, this is fairly simple to do using Google Analytics. With the ‘goals’ functionality, you can assign actions that your website visitors will be doing. For example, if you have an ecommerce website, you will want to track sales. This is possible by assigning your checkout and order completion pages as goals in Google Analytics. It is even possible to assign values to each product in Google Analytics, so you can track how much money your site is making at a glance.
Alternatively, you may operate a service based business. This makes it harder to track individual sales, so instead you should set up goals to track your enquiries. This works in a similar way to tracking sales, simply assign your thank you page that users see after sending an enquiry as a goal.
Goals also show you where your sales and leads came from, for example if they were via a PPC ad, or through SEO. This can help you determine where to spend more on your online marketing as well as getting feedback on what works and what doesn’t.
Why Aren’t We Ranking For X Keyword?
It is possible that your website isn’t currently ranking for a keyword your boss thinks it should be. If you run a cleaning company in Bristol then why shouldn’t rank for ‘best cleaning company Bristol’? Or why not simply ‘cleaning company’?
There are lots of reasons why your site isn’t ranking for a keyword which have nothing to do with the quality of the SEO service you are using. These include:
Does the keyword have search volume?
Certain keywords may be in such a small niche that no one’s searching for them. Our example above, ‘best cleaning company Bristol’, is very specific, so much so that no one is searching for it:
This means that optimising for this keyword would not generate much business, perhaps nothing at all!
Does the keyword show commercial intent?
You may be tempted to create a page on your site for a keyword that high search volume. However, you should also check what appears for this keyword. Are the results relevant to your offering? Does the keyword suggest users are at the research stage or at the buying stage? Or even more importantly, does the keyword have a double meaning? Remember, traffic isn’t everything - you could get all the traffic in the world but if it’s not relevant to your products or service, the traffic will be worthless.
Is your website competitive?
You may also want to get your website to rank for a really high volume keyword, but if your site is new or hasn’t had much SEO work done on it, it’s unlikely that you’ll achieve the results you’re looking for in the short term. A great way to test a keyword for its difficulty is by using Moz’s keyword difficulty tool. This will tell you roughly how difficult it would be to rank for your chosen keywords.
Next, run your site through Open Site Explorer. This will give you your site’s domain authority and page authority for the URL you run through the system. Compare this to the information in the keyword difficulty tool. If your domain is stronger than the competition, you have a strong site that has the potential to rank highly. If not, your site isn’t strong enough to rank for that keyword without significant investment. In this instance it would be best to optimise for something else until your domain authority improves over time.