SEO Marketing Metrics tools are a godsend for businesses that want to track their online marketing campaign’s performance on the Internet. You can purchase your own tool or rely on an SEO consultant’s reports. Either option gives you access to tons of information via raw numbers, graphs, and charts. In fact, there is so much information that it is sometimes hard to get what you actually want to see. What if you only want to measure the success of an advertising campaign, or a news blitz?
Below, I’ve listed seven of the most relevant web metrics for a marketer to track:
1. Overall Visitor Growth
Any marketing campaign, be it online, offline, or SEO, has the objective of raising brand awareness and driving interest in your company with going for overzealous marketing. Tracking your website’s overall visitor growth is an effective measuring stick on how well your campaigns are going. Many web tracking tools provide handy graphs that show your site’s overall visitor growth over time, and can scale down to day-to-day level, or scale up to track a whole year’s worth of traffic (sometimes even more).
When reporting these metrics, make sure you place them in context of whatever marketing initiatives you had going at the time. This way, you will be able to reason out why you suddenly had a big spike in traffic, or show that your new company blog is steadily gaining loyal readers. Don’t forget to take other factors into account, too. That sharp drop in traffic might’ve been your website going down, or a competitor making his own marketing push.
2. Unique Visitors
Tracking visitor numbers can be somewhat misleading. While return traffic is a good thing, they do tend to inflate the “visitors” metric and give the wrong impression if you’re tracking a marketing campaign’s reach. Instead, Web owners should track “unique visitors” to get more accurate picture.
When tracking “unique visitors” make sure you take normal traffic into account. A “before and after” comparison of web traffic would be a good way of measuring the campaigns success, but also set up an “after after” report to see if unique traffic peters back to normal levels a month or so after the campaign finishes. This will tell you if your campaign has any long-term benefits or is just a short-term boost.
3. Search Traffic
“Search traffic” simply means the number of people who find your website via search engines. This is good information to know at any time, of course, but this metric is particularly relevant if you’ve just hired an SEO agency or applied some changes to your website. Most SEO metrics tools already track this information, and also give a breakdown on which search engine the visitor used and which keywords led them to your website.
This metric is also critical for tracking offline marketing efforts such as traditional advertising, events, and news media coverage, where interested people would log on to the Internet and actively search for your company in order to learn more. Jumps in regular search traffic are a good indicator of how effective the offline campaigns are. Try to keep these events some distance apart from each other so that the associated traffic is distinct from one another.
4. Referral Traffic
Referral traffic indicates how many users find your website through other, non-affiliated websites. Most SEO metrics sites can tell you the source of the referral, how many they referred, and other supplementary information such as average bounce rates and average visit duration. This lets you gauge the referring website’s quality as well. For example, if you have an article or a guest post on an Internet news outlet, you’ll be able to see how much traffic that site generates for you and whether or not it’s worth pursuing again. The same goes for online directories and business listings.
Do note that the objective here is actual click-through traffic to your website, and not just increasing your search engine ranking. So when you do post your link in online forums, comment threads, and in places like Yahoo! Answers and Quora, make sure that your link is relevant to the conversation. Your responses have to be informative and compelling enough that people won’t mind clicking through.
A lot of SEO metrics tools now have the ability to track a link’s spread across social media and the number of click-throughs it gets. This is great if you want to analyze the popularity of a news article, blog post, or featured product page after you release it across the social media channels.
This information is invaluable to the marketer that is trying to find the right style or wording for social media posts. With this, you’ll be able to see which posts have gone “viral” and pick it apart to find what makes it appeal to people.
6. Network Referrals
Network referrals is also a social media metric, but segregates traffic based on the referring social network. Again, you can usually get a range of supporting metrics like number of visits (spread across a period), bounce rates, and more depending on the SEO metric tool in use.
A savvy marketer can leverage this information in a number of ways. By checking responses per social network where you promote your business website, you’ll be able to tell which social network your most responsive customers are on. And since each social network is a completely different environment requiring specialized approaches, you’ll see which ones you have down pat and which need a bit more tweaking.
Many website metric tools allow you to define a list of actions that, when done by a visitor, gets categorized as a successful “conversion” – also called turning hits into sales. This could be filling out a registration form, opening a shopping cart, or downloading a brochure. It is a great way to track both the effectiveness of your marketing campaign, but also your website’s performance and ability to convince the customer to being the sales process.
Keep in mind that while conversions are a great way of defining a website’s success and effectiveness, it doesn’t capture everything. For example, many customers pop in and out of your website, and then call in their request or visit your store in person. The metrics would not define this as a conversion, but it is still a sale regardless.
Got questions about your own website SEO marketing and how to track your metrics? Contact Us today and talk to one our expert marketers.