• How Do You Know Your SEO Efforts Are Working?

    March 20, 2014 | Jean Baliko
  • Use These 3 Key SEO Marketing Metrics to Increase Your Website Conversion Rate

    SEOAs an SEO Copywriter, a frequent question of clients is “How do I know these SEO efforts are working?”  Besides the obvious results of seeing your client’s website move up in the search engine results, and or getting more conversions on their website, there is a more scientific way to measure the success of your work.

    The following three metrics focus on your SEO writing efforts and will help you to justify and prove your work is in fact working.  These metrics will be especially helpful if your website isn’t moving to the first page of results or if there are no other visible results they can see.

    3 SEO Metrics Which Prove Your SEO Writing is Working

    When writing copy which has been optimized for the search engines, it is sometimes difficult to prove your work is successful other than noting changes in the website’s search engine results rankings.  The following three Marketing Metrics will prove you work as an SEO copywriter and in the end help clients make more money:

    Repeat Visitor Share %:  this is a measurement of how pertinent your content is to your visitors and what they are searching for online.

    Bounce Rate %:  this metric is the KING of content metrics.  It measures the percentage of visits where the page was the only page viewed.

    % of Search Engine Referrals:  this percentage shows the overall SEO effectiveness via the Search Engines as it calculates the ratio of the referrals from the search engines versus all external referrals.

    Now you know which metrics you should be tracking.  Next let’s briefly talk about how often you should look at the results.  First, it is important to establish a regular schedule of when the results will be gathered and analyzed against the previous period’s results.  Considering Search Engine Optimization isn’t an overnight fix nor an instant success, time will be your friend with these metrics.

    Prior to the content being optimized, calculate these metrics to establish a benchmark or starting point.  Then after the content has been optimized, collect and analyze the results, via Google Analytics, at least once every four weeks.  The important thing to remember is the collection and analysis process needs to be consistent – be it every two weeks, every four weeks or every six weeks.  Then, within two to three reporting periods, the website should see increased performance results as a result of your SEO writing efforts.

    SEO Marketing Metric Calculations Explained

    The following section will provide:

    A definition of the metric

    Explain the calculation for each metric

    An example of the calculation

    What to look for in the results

    Where to find the data needed in Google Analytics

    Marketing Metric:  Repeat Visitor Share %

    Definition:  Repeat Visitor Share % is the comparison of the number of repeat visitors versus the total number of unique visitors.  It measures how pertinent your content is to your visitors and what they are searching for online.

    Calculation:  the percentage of repeat visitors divided by the total number of unique visitors to your website

    Calculation Equation:  [(# of Repeat Visitors) divided by (Total # of Unique Visitors)] multiplied by 100

    Calculation Example:  ([380 Repeat Visitors last week] / [1800 Unique Visitors last week]) * 100

    [380 / 1800] = 0.2111 * 100 = 21.11%

    Explanation:  The Repeat Visitor Share Percentage of 21.11% means approximately 21% of your total unique visitors were repeat visitors.  This means the other 79% of visitors were new or first time visitors.  As the site’s content increases and becomes more valuable to the visitor via your SEO writing efforts, this percentage will increase over time.  If it does not increase then this signifies the visitor is not receiving the information they are seeking.

    Where to Find this Data in Google Analytics:

    Within Google Analytics, go to “Audience”, then click on “Overview”

    Next, select “Advanced Segment” button, then check the box next to “All Visits” and “Returning Visitors”

    The numbers needed will be right beneath the graph in the center of the page – note, use “unique visitors” results and not the “visits” results.

    Marketing Metric:  Bounce Rate %

    Definition:  Of the three metrics mentioned, this metric is the KING of content metrics.  It shows you the percentage of visits where a specific page was the only page viewed.

    Calculation:   No calculation is needed as Google Analytics calculates this percentage automatically for you.  The following is an example of the report found in Google Analytics detailing the bounce rate for each entry page.

    Explanation:  The bounce rate shows you the interest of the visitors to a specific page.  If the bounce rate is high, it is telling you the information found wasn’t what the visitor was seeking.  It will also show you which page needs content improvement.  Realistically, keeping the bounce rate as low as possible would be a goal.

    Where to Find this Data in Google Analytics:

    Within Google Analytics, go to “Traffic Sources”, then click on “All Traffic”

    Select “Other” in the Primary Dimensions navigation bar; then click the arrow next to “Traffic Sources”; next select “Landing Page”

    Google Analytics will then display all of the entry pages for the website (under the heading “Landing Page” in the report) and each of the corresponding bounce rates listed in the far right column.

    Marketing Metric:  % of Search Engine Referrals

    Definition:  This metric is the measurement of your overall SEO effectiveness via the Search Engines.  It calculates the ratio of search engine referrals versus all external referrals (i.e. referrals from Yahoo, Google, Bing, etc. versus referrals from other websites, print marketing campaigns, emails, etc.)

    Calculation:  The Search Engine Page Referrals divided by the Total Page Referrals multiplied by 100

    Calculation Equation:  ([Search Engine Referral Visits] / [Total Site Visits]) * 100

    Calculation Example:  ([100 Total Search Engine Referrals] / [2800 Total Page Referrals]) * 100

    (100 / 2800) = 0.03571 * 100 = 3.57%

    Explanation:  The 3.57% represents the percentage of referrals from the Search Engines (i.e. Yahoo, Google, Bing, etc.) compared to the total number of referrals received.  In this example, only 4% of the website’s traffic is coming from the Search Engines.  With improved SEO content on this website, this percentage will increase within a few months.

    Where to Find this Data in Google Analytics:

    Within Google Analytics, go to “Traffic Sources”, then click on “All Traffic”

    Google Analytics will display all of the “sources” your site’s traffic originated plus insightful information such as number of visits, duration and bounce rate

    When selecting the number of visits, use the number of visits for the items within the “Source” column labeled such as “google / organic” or “yahoo / organic” or “bing / organic”.  Only include those visits from the Search Engines and not any other source.

    Now you have three more tools in your toolbox for quantifying your SEO work. If you begin tracking these three metrics when writing SEO content, you will start seeing how your SEO writing efforts are paying off.  They will have concrete evidence of the success of your work.  They also will see increased conversions which will mean higher revenues, more downloads and most likely a bigger subscriber list of names.

    In addition, if you also keep track of how well you’re doing, via these metrics, you will begin to develop a history of results which you can use in your future marketing efforts to gain more clients.  Either way, these metrics will help you to prove your SEO writing is effective and brings desired results.