May 6 2011
Posted by Scott Upton | No Comments »
Virtually every search engine optimization expert recommends that you track the results of every campaign that you run. They’ll tell you the benefits of using that data to gain insight for future search engine marketing endeavors, as well as for modifying current website marketing strategies. The problem is, they rarely tell you much about how to best measure your search engine optimization results.
That’s partly because the field of search engine marketing metrics is still developing, but it’s primarily because most website marketing experts don’t want to worry about tracking their performance. Here, we’ll discuss several different ways to measure website marketing results, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of each different method.
Search Engine Marketing Metric #1: Your Bottom Line
The first method is the most simplistic. In this method, the effectiveness of your search engine marketing is measured against your bottom line. If profits improve, then you’ve succeeded. It’s a very simple measurement to obtain. Simply record your profits in the quarter before you begin website marketing, and then record them afterward. Unfortunately, this method often returns the least valuable information about what’s going on with your search engine optimization.
The reason is simple: there are so many other factors beyond web marketing that can impact your revenues. It changes with the season, it’s impacted by overall market trends, and it’s also affected by other marketing endeavors that might be totally unrelated to search engine optimization. Most companies don’t think it’s worth it to measure search engine marketing success by their bottom line – there are too many other things which can influence revenues.
Search Engine Optimization Metric #2: Website Traffic
This method can be less easy to track, but its results really let you narrow in on the success of your website marketing in particular. With this method, you’ll need to use some form of counting add-on for your website. Google Analytics allows you to track a number of different aspects of your website, and is an absolute must have for any kind of search engine optimization — regardless of how closely you intend to track your results.
Increasing your web traffic is almost certainly one of your primary web marketing goals. In addition, increased web traffic is unlikely to be the result of something else — and if it might be, you’ll know (you’ll be running a concurrent conventional media program, or something else that would easily explain it.)
Website Marketing Metric #3: Watch Your Search Engine Ranking
This is another simple metric to observe. It generally isn’t impacted by factors beyond your search engine optimization efforts, and it’s really quite easy to track with benchmarks for as many keywords as you like. The problem is, higher ranking in search engine marketing isn’t necessarily going to accomplish your longer term goals. Rankings do indicate successful search engine optimization, but the same content that put you at the top of the results might not succeed in turning increased traffic into sales.
The Solution: Use All Of The Methods!
Tracking every method mentioned here isn’t actually that tough. Look for overall trends in the data. For example, are you seeing more traffic to your website and higher search engine marketing rankings, but not a lot more sales? Then you might need to look at your website marketing content and see if you can make it more powerful. If you’re seeing that most visitors to your website are ultimately becoming customers, but that you’re still low in the search rankings, you should probably look at what elements of search engine optimization you might be missing.
Upton Technology Group can help you examine your current search engine marketing program or start one up from scratch. We’ll use metrics and analysis to determine the best search engine optimization strategies for you, and then we’ll help you make any adjustments needed in the future to ensure that your website marketing always puts you on top.