For many, SEO (search engine optimization) is a type of magic – they wave their keyword wands over their content and hope to pull out a successful rabbit. This view of search engine optimization leads to clients that are skeptical of the true value of a SEO campaign; after all, who believes in magic?
A good SEO firm understands that good search engine optimization and marketing is primarily data-driven. Returns on investment, traffic patterns, and conversions can (and should) all be tracked to ensure that your SEO efforts are being spent in the right areas. If an SEO firm doesn’t want to talk about how they use data to track the success of their campaigns, then it’s time to find a new provider!
One of the primary reasons for tracking SEO data is to prevent marketing to yourself – the natural tendency to sell, create, offer, and market to someone just like you. I know the types of searches I perform, the keywords I use, and the patterns I follow – but what matters is the searches, keywords, and patterns of your target audience. The only way to escape the self-marketing bubble is to study the data and trends, track the results, and adjust accordingly.
The first metric to track when launching a new SEO campaign is traffic: how much of it are you getting and where is it coming from? The first (how much) will tell you a lot about the results of your SEO work – increased traffic generally means increased sales and that is always a good thing. But it is also import to find out where the traffic is coming from: is it direct? In which case, you’re probably seeing repeat customers and the surge in visitors might be more related to your service than your SEO. Is it referral traffic? Again, this is a great thing but might be caused by word of mouth, advertising buys, or your social media presence. Or is it search engine traffic? An increase in traffic coming directly from search engine results pages is the surest sign that your SEO efforts are not being wasted. All three sources of traffic are good, but if your spending resources on SEO, tracking traffic from search engines is a key to understanding your return on investment.
Second, a smart SEO firm tracks which search engines are generating traffic. While Bing, Yahoo, and Google all use similar techniques to rank websites, there are subtle variations in the different algorithms. Understanding how you rank in each search engine will provide valuable clues to your SEO strengths and weaknesses. Per the SEO experts at Moz, Google places a higher value on quality inbound links from reputable sites while Yahoo and Bing prioritize keyword utilization. Knowing that you rank higher on Bing than Google lets you know where you are succeeding and where you need to improve – crucial knowledge when it comes to running a SEO campaign.
Third, track the phrases and keywords that are bringing people to your site via the search engines. Every SEO campaign begins with targeting keywords, but they are only a best guess based on customer personas and target audiences. Tracking the actual keywords that are driving traffic allows you to refine your targeting strategy. If your ranking high for unexpected keywords, maybe it is time to shift your focus to capitalize on that success – or to change your strategy to rank on those targeted keywords. A good SEO firm is agile – not only adapting to changes in the way search engines work, but also able to shift strategies to capitalize on what’s working and minimize what isn’t working.
Fourth, just tracking traffic and keywords is only telling half the story – it is also important to see which keywords are leading to conversions. Traffic is a good indication of success – but we’re looking to convert customers. Knowing and understanding which keywords are offering the highest conversion rates allows the SEO firm to focus on those high-profit strategies. High traffic with low conversions is a good way to build brand identity and trust, but eventually you will need traffic with a high conversion rate – even if the traffic is a little less. A good SEO firm will know how to balance those two demands to drive both brand identity and customer conversions.
Fusion Group USA provides web design and search engine optimization that is data-driven. There’s no wand waving or pulling rabbits out our hat – we focus on providing a service that is trackable, trustworthy, and successful. Contact us today to see how Fusion Group USA can build your online reputation and convert clicks to customers.