In the previous article, we discussed the myths and misconceptions about search engines. In this article, we are going to discuss how to measure and track your success.
RECOMMENDED METRICS TO TRACK
1. Search Engine Share of Referring Visits
Every month, keep track of the impact of each traffic source for your site, including:
- Direct Navigation: Typed in traffic, bookmarks, and email links without tracking codes, etc.
- Referral Traffic: Links through the web or in trackable email, promotional, and branding campaign links
- Search Traffic: Queries that sent traffic from any major or minor web search engine
Knowing both the percentage and exact numbers will help you recognize weaknesses and give you a basis for comparison over time. Use this data to track your marketing efforts and plan your traffic acquisition efforts.
Related: Growing Popularity & Links
2. Search Engine Referrals
Three major engines make up 95 percent of all search traffic in the US: Google and the Yahoo!-Bing union. Measuring the impact of your search traffic from each engine is useful for many reasons:
Compare Performance vs. Market Share
Compare the volume contribution of each engine with its projected market share.
Get Visibility into Potential Drop
If your search traffic drops considerably at any point, knowing the relative and exact contributions from each engine will be vital to diagnosing the issue. If all the engines drop off equally, the problem is almost definitely one of accessibility. If Google drops while the others stay at previous levels, it’s more likely to be a penalty or devaluation of your SEO efforts by that singular engine.
Uncover Strategic Value
It’s very likely that some of your SEO efforts will have greater positive results on certain engines compared to others. Gaining specific anchor text links from a large number of domains has a more positive effect on Google than the others. If you can recognize the tactics that are having success with one engine, you’ll have a better understanding of how to focus your efforts.
3. Visits Denoted by Specific Search Engine Terms and Phrases
The keywords that send traffic are another essential piece of your analytics pie. You’ll want to keep track of these on a regular basis to help classify new trends in keyword demand, measure your performance on key terms, and find terms that are bringing major traffic that you’re potentially under-optimized for.
You may also find value in tracking search referral counts for terms outside the top terms and phrases—those that are most valuable to your business.
Related: How to Do Keyword Research?
4. Conversion Rate by Search Query Term/Phrase
When it comes to the bottom line for your organization, few metrics matter as much as conversion.
This analytics will tell you what page visitors landed on, by using that you can focus on enhancing the visitor experience on that page.
5. Number of pages receiving at least one visit from search engines
Knowing the number of pages that receive search engine traffic is a crucial metric for monitoring overall SEO performance. From this number, we can get a preview into indexation—the number of pages from our site the engines are keeping in their indexes. For most large websites (50,000+ pages), mere addition is an important aspect of earning traffic, and this metric delivers a trackable number that’s suggestive of success or failure. Pages receiving search traffic is the best long tail metric around.