Do you know how to track SEO, and how to tell if your online marketing is truly effective?
In our industry, we have a saying. If you can’t track it, you can’t measure it. This is certainly true for the art-meet-science that is search engine optimization.
Once upon a time, businesses knew their advertising and marketing were working (or not) by how much the phone rang. Naturally, this wasn’t a very scientific way of marketing and it often resulted in wasted time and money.
Fortunately, times have changed.
Today, we have dozens – probably hundreds – of ways to measure the effectiveness of online marketing and advertising. So much so that business owners can become overwhelmed by data.
To address this challenge, we have prepared a list of the top three reports that you need to determine how well your SEO services are working.
But first, let’s start with looking at how we measure these facts and statistics.
Which Metrics Truly Matter for Measuring SEO
To measure SEO results most effectively, we must apply the KISS (Keep it Simple, Stanley!) principle.
You’ve probably heard of the all-important KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, which is really just a fancy term for statistics that tell you how well things are actually going.
For example, if you’re dieting, your KPIs might include your weight, body-mass index and your pants size. But they could also include your waist measurement, your caloric consumption or how long it takes you to run a mile.
Ultimately, it all comes down to what’s most important to you, doesn’t it?
If your primary goal is fitting into a new outfit in time for your class reunion, does it matter how much you weigh or how long it takes to run a mile? No! So why would you spend time looking at those stats?
SEO works much the same way.
Depending on your company’s business model and objectives, success can be measured with variety of statistics. Maybe you care more about many pairs of ladies’ shoes you sell this week, or how many people schedule a free consultation.
In measuring SEO, do we care how many people viewed your website or how long they stayed? Do we care how they got there or where they went when they left? Should we consider how many people left before checking out?
Let’s look at which stats actually tell us how effective your SEO and online marketing efforts are, shall we?
Report 1: Keyword Rankings
We’ll start with the big one first: where your website ranks for the most important keywords and key phrases.
Keywords are the basis of SEO, and the drivers of all online marketing efforts. Identifying these highly targeted words and phrases requires extensive research and analysis. Once we determine what they are, however, we can evaluate how your site ranks for each based on site optimization and other SEO techniques.
Although we look at both organic and local rankings – and AdWords paid results if applicable – the importance of each type has recently changed.
Today, local is the reigning head of the SEO castle.
Effective local optimization will help get your website into the coveted “snack pack” position in a Google search.
The snack pack (sometimes called the 3-pack) is the top three local ranking results that appear prominently for most Google searches. The results display your company name and user review ranking, as well as a link to your website and directions to your location.
Although organic ranking remains important (in fact, effective organic SEO can help propel you into the snack pack), we care most about putting you into this elite group of three.
Yes, Google is the important metric, but we also need to know how your site ranks in Bing and Yahoo. Those results should also be a part of your reports.
Report 2: Website Traffic
It used to be enough to know how many people visited your site this month, as compared to the previous month (or year). Today, this report can tell you oh so much more!
We still care, of course, how the overall number of site visitors is trending. But we also need to identify where the traffic comes from and which pages they visit.
This provides the data we need to determine where to place the strongest emphasis, and how to court your most lucrative prospects.
Finally, remember the importance of differentiating mobile traffic from other types of searches. Because the majority of searches originate today from a mobile device, we must evaluate those metrics separately from the rest.
Report 3: Social Activity and Traffic
Social media and networking efforts are an important part of optimizing your site for SEO purposes, so it’s critical that we monitor those results.
For each social platform you’re active on, we want to measure the level of engagement, including likes and shares.
But let’s not stop there. We also need to see how well your site does as compared to your competitors.
By looking at which types of posts and interactions draw the most response, we can target our future efforts to capitalize on that knowledge.
Why You Should Care about SEO Tracking Reports
At Be Locally, we know that comprehensive reporting helps your company in a variety of measurable ways.
First, it offers you an easy-to-read graphic snapshot of how and where your online marketing is working most effectively. More important, it alerts us if something isn’t working. Armed with this information, we can act quickly to reevaluate our strategies.
It also affords us the opportunity to demonstrate our value to you.
Together, we can evaluate the results of our efforts and track the progress over time. Then, we can make those changes that will most effectively propel your company to the top of the charts!
At Be Locally, our goal is to take the mystery out of SEO and online marketing results. Depending on your company’s brand and objectives, we will customize a search engine optimization and digital marketing strategy designed to achieve your goals. Contact us today to learn more about our exclusive reports and customer metrics.
You can trust Be Locally to show you everything you need to know about how to track SEO most effectively.