- One of the biggest challenges that you might find is in figuring out whether your SEO campaigns are succeeding or not. SEO measurement not only involves the analysis of basic metrics like traffic resulting from organic search engines, but it also requires a holistic approach to measuring business outcomes and making adjustments based on data. If you've never paid attention to measuring SEO before, there are some basic things you'll need to have checked off your list. Before you can do anything, you have to make sure that you have an analytic solution installed.
Something like Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, or a handful of other options will do the job. You'll want to invest some time and resources into making sure that your web analytics tracking is implemented and configured properly, and recording data accurately. And this means that you'll probably need to go beyond just slapping some base Java script on your pages. At a minimum, you'll need to configure your analytic solution to track goals and business outcomes, but the sky is the limit on what you can track these days.
Ensuring a robust and complete implementation will make your data trustworthy enough that you can use it to make confident data-driven decisions. Once you're collecting the data, you'll need to define your business objectives and the key performance indicators, or KPIs, that you'll use to measure them. For example, you might want people to submit a contact form on your website. In that case, you can configure your analytic solution to track that as a conversion action. And you might look at KPIs like the number of conversions that occur over a particular time period or the conversion rate for specific marketing channels.
This is just an example, but remember, you'll have lots of goals for your website and that means you'll have lots of KPIs to continually monitor and improve upon. You'll also want to establish some SEO-specific KPIs that can help you understand how your SEO efforts are paying off. Things like organic search traffic, meaning, visits to your website from search engines that are not generated by page search but instead by organic listings. Your total organic search traffic compared to a previous timeframe, like month over month or year over year.
Branded and non-branded keywords searches, or searches where your brand or business name was and was not part of the search term. And target keyword rankings, or how well you rank for each of your target keywords. While this last one might not be available in your standard analytics reports, there are plenty of tools out there that can automate the monitoring of your keyword rankings over time, including the Moz solution that we've used in this course. Anyone working in SEO that's worth their paycheck should be keeping an eye on these metrics at a minimum, but this is really just scratching the surface.
While attracting traffic to your website through your SEO program is certainly important, you also need to see what that traffic is actually doing once they get to your site. When you analyze traffic that comes from search engines and your organic search engine optimization efforts, ultimately, you should be focused on how that traffic converts on your business goals and provides value to your bottom line. If you're in an eCommerce situation, then you should obviously be looking at things like revenue, average order values, and other transactional data.
But even if you don't sell your products online, you've still got lots of things to track. You can look at leads that come in the form of newsletter subscribers or social followers, event or demonstration signups, driving directions to your brick and mortar store, contact forms, or anything else you can dream up. And these days, there are lots of analytic solutions that allow you to track phone calls back to the source of traffic as well. Make sure that you're measuring all of these important business goals so that you can look at conversions and conversion rates from the traffic that your SEO is generating.
For more advanced enterprises, attribution solutions can be used to understand the impact of SEO across the vast array of touchpoints in today's always on, cross-device, omnichannel path to purchase. Ensuring that you're collecting the right data, defining and reporting on your KPIs in a meaningful way, and analyzing the data to really understand what's happening with your SEO strategy is a foundation for success. But just looking at data doesn't change anything. Measuring and improving your SEO over time is a continuous cycle of measurement, learning, and taking action.
You have to use the data to learn what changes you can make to your strategy, and once you've made those changes, you start the cycle all over again by measuring whether or not those changes produced an improvement. Until you reach perfection, there is always something that you can be doing better, and a data-driven measurement plan for your SEO strategy will have you on that path to continuous improvement.
- Define search engine optimization.
- Explore the fundamentals of reading search engine results pages.
- Examine the essentials of understanding keyword attributes.
- Break down the steps for optimizing the non-text components of a webpage.
- Recognize how search engines index context.
- Explore an overview of long-term content planning strategies and how they can help keep content on your site fresh.
- Define your website’s audience, topics, angle, and style when mapping out your long-term content.
- Identify the steps to take when building internal links within your website.
- Recognize how to analyze links in order to measure SEO effectiveness.
- Break down the necessary components for understanding local SEO.