Using Web Analytics to Measure SEO ROI for the Local Business
Most times reports generated for client consumption are based on keyword ranking. But is that what the client should really concern themselves with? Does having high position for a set of keywords necessarily have real meaning for ROI.
I will ponder some of the questions around topic this in this post.
As a small business owner; ”has my phone been ringing?” is really the bottom line, yes? But it hard to be sure what marketing effort, or combination of efforts, generated the calls. So what metrics should the small business owner use to measure SEO ROI?
What Information Should Your SEO Provider be Sending You
But to answer that we need to answer the question of where the SEO company’s responsibilities begin and end first. The SEO may be getting rankings for the right keywords but the website may not be designed to convert. Or maybe they are not writing compelling Titles to improve click through. Good ranking and poor business results can be due to a combination of many factors.
To achieve good SEO ROI all the links in the chain must be in place; The right keywords, compelling titles for high click through and landing pages designed to convert. So what metrics should the SEO use when reporting to the client if they are going to be truly honest about results?
A high percent of conversions for local businesses are in the form of phone calls. We could ask our clients to diligently track by asking every lead how they found them. And many businesses do. But that can still be misleading becuase callers many times are confused as to what web source they actually looked at to reach the business.
Three Analytics Stats to Consider
Along with Keyword ranking reports NetLocal SEO clients also get reports on these three additional metrics.
1. Look at the keywords you are being found for: Are they they kinds of search phrases people looking to buy would us? Are there head keywords? Are there a lot of long tail keywords? Is the list growing over time?
2. Bounce rate: The bounce rate is the % of people who come to your website but leave quickly, within 10 seconds. There is no hard standard that I’m aware of but I would say that (I’ll probably catch heat for this. I’m basing this on our client’s who I know have good landing pages and are getting clicks for productive keywords) 45% is good. Anything less is great. Anything over 60% or 70% is problematic. A high bounce rate can mean that you are getting clicks from wrong keywords or that your landing pages aren’t effective.
3. Click through rate: Once you have achieved good positions you need the searchers to first at least pick your link to click on. More clicks (for productive keyword searchs) the higher your odds are for getting a call. And it is also an SEO signal. The higher click through rates benefit your rankings.
If your SEO campaign is doing well in all three of the factors above the result should be increased leads. Your in house sales will have to take it from there. Don’t just look at the keyword rankings. That will not necessarily indicate a successful SEO campaign.