Calculating the success of your search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts is important in order to assess whether your time, money and efforts are being spent effectively. SEO is a common technique used to drive relevant visitors to your website with the intention of them converting into paying customers.
To measure the return on investment or ‘ROI’ of your SEO campaigns, I’d recommend using the information collected from Google Analytics as it pulls through website data and analyses trends in links, traffic and perhaps most importantly for business owners, increases in revenue.
An increase in traffic to your website is typically a good sign that your company is well-matched for its keyword searches in the search engine results (SERPS). Though it’s important to get searched for branded terms, don’t forget to pay particular attention on driving traffic for non-branded terms.
For example your shoe company may be ‘Super shoes’ and you may be based in Oxford. Instead of someone searching ‘Super Shoes Oxford’ into Google, you should also aim to be found by someone searching ‘Men’s brown leather shoes Oxford’.
Browse through the non-branded keywords that drove traffic to your website by viewing the Acquisition > Keywords > Organic Report section in Google Analytics.
It’s essential to differentiate branded and organic traffic to your website. Non branded searches are typically comprised of new visitors who are unfamiliar with your business but are possibly in need of your products or services. Branded traffic consists of visitors who are familiar with your site and are probably existing customers.
Sending copious amounts of unrelated traffic to your website is useless, but when a professional that practices black hat SEO techniques is involved, this occurs quite a lot. Traffic in high numbers is important for continuing growth of your company, but it’s critical to ensure this traffic is relevant to what your business offers or the visitors will simply bounce off your website shortly after they have arrived.
Quality traffic to your website is much more likely to convert into customers as what you offer, is what they are looking for. To access this reporting in Google Analytics and identify the quality of the traffic on your website, visit the Audience section of the dashboard and head to the Behaviour report.
How is this measured? By analysing the bounce rate, time spent on the website and number of pages landed on per visit, all of which indicate that a visitor is engaged with your product or service offering.
Inbound links are a vital element in SEO. When another website links to yours, Google considers that as a trusting factor to determine what subject a particular company is an expert on and therefore ranks their site accordingly. Increasing the variety of inbound links to your website is an effective way of gaining more visibility in search engines and consequently potential higher revenue through increases in traffic.
How do I measure inbound links? An easy method of measuring the amount of inbound links to your site is using the free backlink tool from Majestic SEO. The report will allow you to examine the amount of backlinks pointing to your website.
Above rankings, links and other metrics that determine ROI, the one figure businesses pay particular close attention to is revenue. The quality of traffic and links pointing to your website will affect revenue, but alone they are (to a degree) meaningless if they don’t convert money for your business.
To ensure a worthwhile ROI from SEO, working on driving conversions from traffic that is highly targeted and interested in your company offerings will provide more conversions and therefore higher revenue. Focus on building links to your website from relevant sources where your target audience is active to encourage these conversions. It’s all about being strategic.
Remember – it’s not about the quantity of traffic or links, but more the approach to attracting the right quality of traffic and links.
How does your company measure ROI? Which metrics do you tend to pay particular attention to? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments!