Is Your SEO Campaign Working?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is one of the most widely used methods of attracting relevant visitors to your website. If implemented properly, it can be extremely effective in converting prospects into paying customers since most of the people who visit your website would be interested in the products or services on offer. However, if your SEO campaign is not effectively targeted, it could end up being nothing more than a waste of time and money.
It is important to measure the success of your SEO campaign in order to figure out whether your resources are appropriately allocated. Using services such as Google Analytics, you can sift through various data to analyse traffic patterns, revenue deviations, etc. to understand the efficiency of your online marketing methods.
1. Increase in Organic, Non-Branded Traffic
If you are experiencing an increase in the number of visitors to your site, it is obviously a good indication that your firm is well-matched when it comes to keyword optimisation in search engines. However, it is important to make sure that that the higher traffic you are experiencing is not because of people searching specifically for your company or brand name.
- In Google Analytics, you will be able to browse through all the non-branded keywords which have attracted visitors to your site. In the Acquisition section, select Keywords, and then choose Organic Report.
- To separate branded traffic from non-branded traffic in the Organic Report, select Advanced and in the first drop down menu, choose exclude. Enter your brand name in the text box. You can add multiple variants of your brand name by choosing “Add a new dimension”.
It is a very important to distinguish between both these types of traffic in order to properly gauge the effectiveness of your SEO campaign. Branded traffic consists of visitors who are already familiar with your website and may even be paying customers. The higher the number of new and unfamiliar visitors, the more effective your SEO implementation is.
2. Quality Backlinks
It is important to note that not all backlinks are a welcome addition to your website. If you are only receiving backlinks from websites Google has marked as spam, your ranking will not increase.
This is because Google measures your worth by the worth of the websites that consider you a reputable source.
Think of it as the friends you keep. There are numerous free tools you can use to monitor backlinks to your site. You will be able to find out how many links point to your website, and the sites they are present in with the help of several tools (paid and free). Variety in referring domains is important, in order to get a higher PageRank.
Monitor changes to the number of incoming links over a six or twelve month period to find out which content in your website drew the most visitors. This will help you understand what works and you will be able to concentrate your content management efforts in areas which are successful.
3. Quality Traffic
High internet traffic is extremely important for the growth of your website. However, if the quality of traffic is not good enough, then it is of little value. To gauge whether your traffic behaviour is in line with your expectations: be it conversions or engagement.
Pointers that tell about the quality of your traffic include:
- Time spent by a visitor on the page
- Geographical location of the visitor
- Source where the visitor came from (direct links or search engines).
Let’s take a step back and look at “blackhat techniques.” These methods were created when article and website marketing were first introduced to the internet. Essentially, these methods cover almost anything, but the main focus is keyword stuffing and spamming multiple sites with the same content. These methods result in websites receiving poor traffic, which even though is an increase but is bad for the business and is a strong sign of poor SEO strategy.
The Behaviour Report (in the Audience section) of Google Analytics will help you understand the nature of traffic. Analyse the pages per visit, bounce rate and time on site stats to see how engaged visitors are.
If there’s an increase in bounce rate, along with a decrease in the other two, you should evaluate your SEO campaign. The ROI is best deduced by analysing the rate at which prospects are converted to customers.
In addition to profit you make through sales, websites earn revenue via other methods as well, including advertisement. This revenue depends on different things including CTR and number of visitors. An increase in this revenue is a direct indicator of quality traffic… While backlinks and the quality of traffic do help judge whether the SEO techniques you have implemented are effective, they are meaningless if there is no increase in revenue.
5. Better SERP rank
To check this, you will have to search your business’s name and see the results. For ex: If your website is ‘gauravpandey.com.au’ you should see the results that the search engine shows. Merely having your website on top is not enough, as the following links (2nd, 3rd…) should also forward to your website. These can be links to specific pages (Forums, PRs etc.) If other websites show up when you search for your business then it means your SEO strategy is not working properly and needs some changes. This also helps you distinguish between what pages are well optimized and what pages need your attention.
6. Search Engine Referrals
This is one of the strongest ways of checking your SEO strategy. Traffic comes from multiple sources with search engines being one of the main sources and the strongest indicator of your SEO strategy. This is called ‘search traffic’ and this will help you know exactly what percentage of visitors is coming through search engines.
An increase in search engine traffic is a good sign and a decrease means you need to change your SEO strategy. However, you should remember that there are three major search engines – Google, Yahoo and Bing. These are the pointers you should keep in mind:
- Where does most of your traffic come from.
- Remember that the number of people using a specific search engine depends on certain demographics including age and geographical location.
- Search engines act differently to different SEO strategies.
- Drop in one search engine traffic does not necessarily mean you have poor SEO strategy; it might be due to other factors including blacklisting.
Knowing this will help you implement better strategies. You can concentrate on one search engine (not always recommended) if most of your traffic comes from it. For example: if your website is related to technical education, Google could be the first search engine you should concentrate on as most people looking for technical stuff use Google. This is important because you need a different strategy to rank high on Google (anchor links work best) while for Yahoo and Bing, keywords work best.
7. Keyword Result
As per reports, keyword searches have dramatically increased over the years, which is why it is important to keep an eye on them.
Some important pointers include:
- If your keywords traffic has a fall-rise pattern then it is a sign that you are not using ‘evergreen’ keywords.
- If you are only ranking high on phrases/keywords that are not on top, it is a sign that your SEO strategy is not working properly.
- Stuffing keyword may cause search engines to blacklist your site which is why it is important to be careful.
8. Conversion Rate
This tells you the number/percentage of visitors that result in success.
For example, if you are offering email service, then conversion rate tells you exactly how many of the visitors actually signed up. Google Analytics uses various tools to track a conversion. If a visitor signs up for a newsletter, it is considered a completed goal since it could lead to a purchase at some point in the future.
The Multi-Channel Funnels report will help you understand the marketing channels a convert used, and this could help you drive up conversion rate in the future. For your SEO campaign to be truly effective, it is important to not place too much importance on the quantity of traffic your website attracts.
More focus should be given to drawing the right kind of people – visitors who are willing to make a purchase or are interested in the content you provide. This also tells which page is generating most of the visitors, keeping which in mind you can improve that page’s look and SEO to rank better. Knowing conversion rate also tells how much you can afford to spend on SEO.
ROI, short for return on investment, tells you ‘dollar returns’. Since online marketing has heavily commercialized in the last few years, online entrepreneurs are willing to invest into SEO for better results. However, to know exactly how much to invest into it, ROI has to be measured.
To help you do this, given above are some of the most important metrics and the right one depends on the type of business you have. For ex: If you are offering some kind of a service or product, then the conversion rate is the best option to measure ROI.
- First see how many visitors are coming through search engines (for ex: 50,000 visitors per month)
- Now see the conversation rate (for ex: 2%, i.e: 2 percent of the visitors (1000) actually buy your product)
- Let’s say you sell a total of 2000 products per month, and 50% of this is due to your SEO strategy.
- Keeping this in mind in addition to the revenue/profit, you can see the return on investment and decide exactly how much you should spend on SEO.
- Let’s say you make $10 profit on each item sold, which means SEO is helping you make a profit of $10,000 per month. This is your raw profit and in order to improve your SEO you may be willing to spend a bit more out of this amount.
About Us: We run one of the most efficient and affordable SEO services Melbourne. We have excellent understanding of both SME and SEO, and proven experience in setting up successful organic and PPC campaigns. Our methodology is based on ethical SEO principles which helps improve the end user experience for your visitors. Remember: making sure you get found is important, but making sure your visitors stay is vital.