Search Engine Optimisation remains one of the most important ways those businesses with a digital presence use to increase the number of visitors to their site.
SEO Wordle
So what happens if your site is getting page one rankings and is not getting the new business you targeted? Is it time for a wholesale redesign of your website or engaging in an expensive campaign of paid search advertising? Possibly, but in order to make major strategic decisions about your business, you need to have a grasp of what is going on inside your website. There are some things that are worth bearing in mind when you are trying to measure the success of SEO for your business.

Firstly, the results for your business of a first page ranking for a keyword can vary a lot. First position in the search results can have more than 16 times the number of clicks as 10th place (36.4% against 2.2%). If your competitors are in 2nd place (12.5% of clicks) and you are in 8th position (3.5% of clicks) then they are getting nearly 4 times as many visitors from that keyword as you. It is essential to establish how many visitors you are expecting.

Secondly, not all keywords are created equal. Some are more valuable than others and naturally there is more competition for them. So to succeed it is important that you are ranking for the right keywords. Ranking very highly for keywords that few people are interested in may not give the boost to your business that you are looking for, although certain long-tail keywords can be very valuable.

Thirdly, you may have ranked well for keywords with a high number of clicks but are they the right sort of visitors? You want visitors that are interested in your content and will convert to become customers.

But if you are measuring the success of your acquisition efforts by front-page rankings you may be far from the mark in achieving your business objectives.

To find out if your acquisition activities are working you need to find out what your web data is telling you.

To find out you need a deep dive into the data. This means looking at:

1. Acquisition: where are your visitors coming from and in what numbers? What are sources of your traffic (search, paid search, referrals, email, social media)?
2. Behaviour: What actions are your visitors doing when they arrive? How long are they staying? What pages are they viewing or what items are downloads? Analyse the results of customer surveys.
3. Outcomes: How many visitors convert to the outcomes that will advance your business or organisation? How many start the conversion process but don’t complete it?

Making your digital marketing successful you need to have a holistic approach to understanding what is happening. This is why analysing your web data in detail is essential to long-term success.

Nic Eversett
Web Analytics Consultant