Search Engine Optimization (SEO) isn't just for marketers anymore. SEO is for anyone and everyone trying to get website pages seen in an organic manner without having to spend the big bucks.
The concept of SEO doesn't always come easy. We’ve had clients tell us they want to be the first position on a search engine results page (SERP) overnight which clearly isn't possible.
SEO takes time, it’s important to understand that before you can truly dive into making the correct optimizations for your pages.
What Are Key Performance Indicators?
Key Performance Indicators or KPI’s are measurable performance values that indicate how close a company is to achieving key business objectives.
Essentially, KPI’s can be used as a roadmap to understand how to reach your target goal or macro goal. At JermeySaid, a macro goal is the endgame goal, the one that measures against the actions you've taken, showing actual success as a company, aka, revenue. At the end of the day, your here to make money.
KPI’s are used on the way to this macro goal. They either show that you're on the right path and what you're doing is working or that it may be a good time to take a step back, reevaluating your next move to get to that macro goal.
It’s crucial that companies truly understand goal setting and how their KPI’s fit into that goal. Once you have an understanding of this you'll be able to start comparing KPI’s with one another to gain real-time insights on where you are with your goal.
Although key performance indicators can be used in all senses of business, we will focus on the KPI’s of your search engine optimization strategy and why they're so important.
I mean let's face it you have to be able to measure if what you're doing is working or not. That said, here are 6 KPI’s to consider when doing SEO:
Getting users to your site is awesome, but you need these users to complete the desired action you intended on them taking while creating the page.
Your website should be a lead generation tool, not just a place for random people to gather information.
For example, if you're an IT company you want someone to fill out a form inquiring about more information on your services.
Being able to track where your on-site conversions are coming from is a huge KPI you need to watch in order to see if your efforts are being allocated to the right area.
When you create an SEO dashboard you definitely want to know where the overall amount of conversions you're getting so you can compare this number to numbers in past months.
After having this initial number you'll want to break it down into a much more specific piece of information. You want to know where the conversions are coming from. Are they organic? Are they all from branded searches? Are they from a blog post? Are they from a services landing page? The list of questions goes on but it's important that they're addressed in order for this KPI to give true insight as to how your business should act moving forward.
Assisted conversions are in fact conversions but a much different way of looking at how an individual user is converted according to your Google Analytics setup.
Let us paint a picture for you, all regarding the same user:
- User enters your site through social media, leaves, and the session ends.
- User enters your site through branded search, leaves, the session ends.
- User enters your site through paid search, fills out a form, leaves, the session ends.
In the last session a conversion occurred, but which session does Google accredit for the conversion?
The default option in Google Analytics is “Last Click,” meaning the last place the user clicked takes 100% credit for the conversion of this lead.
In this example, social media and organic search would be credited with what is called an assisted conversion.
Assisted conversion is defined by Google:
“This is the number (and monetary value) of sales and conversions the channel assisted. If a channel appears anywhere—except as the final interaction—on a conversion path, it is considered an assist for that conversion. The higher these numbers, the more important the assist role of the channel.”
Why do we want to track assisted conversions?
We want to know if this channel is attributing to the buyer's process and the conversion overall. It's important to see how your users are navigating the site and which areas are truly making a difference.
Google Analytics defines a session as a group of user interactions with your website that takes place within a given time frame.
A session isn't limited to the actions taken on one page but the site as a whole and the interactions this specific user takes while in the same session.
When a user exits your site or goes idle for 30 minutes the session is automatically completed and tracked.
Users can also be responsible for multiple sessions. This could indicate a possible lead for the simple fact that the user is returning to your site.
Sessions are easily tracked in whichever analytics platform you're using, we recommend Google Analytics, it's a proven winner when it comes to website data and really deep diving into your KPI’s.
Increased sessions are a direct result of your on-site and off-site optimizations because they can rank your content higher in SERP’s, increasing overall traffic to your site.
At JeremySaid, we love looking at how many organic sessions have been generated but then have to ask, what does this really mean?
You need to take it a step further when setting up your SEO dashboard. These are the questions we like to ask when addressing organic sessions:
- Where are these sessions coming from?
- Which of your pages are seeing the most visits?
- What pages aren't gaining any sessions?
- Are these sessions due to branded searches?
- Is your blog generating traffic?
These are all really important questions to ask when you’re evaluating sessions. Just being given a total number isn't enough and not really a KPI at all. Keep in mind that numbers without context don’t tell you anything, they're just numbers.
It's all about seeing your customer's buyer journey and the paths this journey is taking them when on your site. You're gaining great insight into this with the assisted conversion, ultimately understanding your users better while gaining the ability to serve them better.
Back in the day, there was a rank for every keyword used on your site with a set goal that fluctuate day by day. Since then, Google has moved on to more personalized search results depending on the user. This personalized approach is based on search history, where a user frequently visits and many more factors, two different users can use the same keyword and get completely different results.
Keyword ranking is easily the most recognizable KPI when dealing with search engine optimization but most companies haven't caught up to the changes Google has made when ranking.
Keyword ranking doesn't exist anymore but you can continue to measure this KPI through average position.
Keywords are obvious indicators of what consumers are typing into Google in order to find the answers they need.
Clearly, you want to be at the top of the page or have a high average position considering keywords and how users are searching are a gateway to the rest of the target goals you plan on hitting as you continue to dive into SEO.
In short, when you hold a high average position for your targeted keywords you will gain more traffic driven to your site which will hopefully end in more leads and conversions.
We recommend that you keep track of your keyword ranking on a weekly basis. Don't feel the need to make changes weekly as SEO takes time. Monitor them and take action as needed.
It comes down to making the correct on-site and off-site optimization when creating your content. When doing this correctly your keyword ranking will grow organically, taking you to that next level of lead conversion.