3 Tips for Measuring Your Online Success with SEO and Beyond

October 18th, 2013 by Gabrielle Benedetto

Lately I’m finding more and more clients focused on increasing site traffic. Some are setting goals to double, triple, or even quadruple their current site traffic in as little as 3 months with an SEO campaign. I’m all for a challenge, but there are other metrics to measure the success of an SEO campaign than just site traffic. Here are 3 helpful tips to running a successful and fulfilling online campaign!

Focus on conversion traffic

Having 2 million site visits a month is phenomenal! But when these 2 million visitors come to a site, how are they engaging or interacting? Do they click on one of your display ads or make a purchase? Are they filling out a form or calling for more information? A site can generate 2 million visits a month, but if your phone isn’t ringing or if products aren’t being sold, those visits aren’t very valuable. I’ll take less site traffic and a higher conversion rate any day.

I worked in a retail boutique for 7 years, and as anyone who has ever worked in retail knows, there is nothing worse than a busy day with no sales. You are constantly catering to a customer’s every need with the hope that they might buy something, only to have them say, “I’ll think about it and come back later,” and walk out the door. It gets tiring after a while. Now, try doing that 2 million times a month.

Traffic coming to your site and not converting is the same as having a full retail store with no sales. You not only want to drive traffic to your site; you want to drive the traffic that is most likely to convert into sales, leads, or better yet, repeat customers.

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Market your business through other online marketing avenues

In addition to SEO, a great way to increase your site traffic is to make sure you have a presence on other social platforms and engage potential customers through other online marketing campaigns. Launching a paid search campaign is a great way to increase your site traffic immediately if you just can’t wait the 6 – 12 months it will take to organically grow your visibility with SEO.

A strong social presence can potentially impact your organic search rankings as well. Having optimized and branded social networks throughout the web not only helps your SEO but also allows for another branding opportunity.  Different market segments interact and connect differently.  Having a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ and running a paid search campaign gives you the opportunity to expand your reach and potentially increase conversion traffic.

Look at other metrics to track success

 When analyzing the success of any online marketing campaign, a great way to see how your audience is interacting when they come to your site is to look at bounce rate, pageviews, and the average time spent on site.  Having a low bounce rate indicates that visitors are coming to your site and finding the information or products they are looking for. A high bounce rate suggests that a visitor came to your site and wasn’t pleased with your content, couldn’t find a form or contact number, or had difficulty finding your products or services and left your site feeling frustrated.

Another metric to look at is pageviews. A high number of average pageviews shows visitors are staying on your site and engaging with your content. The more pageviews, the more engaged your visitors are on your site. Paying attention to the average time spent on site is another indicator to show that visitors are spending time reading content, looking at products, learning about services, or viewing before and after photos. Keeping  visitors engaged on your site is key. The longer they are on your site, the lesser chances are that they will leave and go to another competitor.

Lastly, consider calculating and tracking your total site conversion rate. Of all the visits to your site in a given time period, how many of them “converted,” or performed the desired action? If you’re interested in monitoring this metric, the ultimate tracking would include organic and paid call tracking, form inquiry tracking that captures the source and medium of the visitor and strategic event tracking in Google Analytics.

There’s more to online success than a high number of website visitors. Even with a slight decrease in traffic, if metrics such as bounce rate, pageviews and conversion rate are up you will know that you are targeting (and capturing) the right audience!