One of the great things about search engine marketing is that there are multiple ways to measure and understand your results so that you can quantify your efforts. Effective web site measurement can show what areas are succeeding as well as areas that need to be worked on. Here we will discuss some of the ways you can measure and understand your progress, some of which will show up in your new monthly report.
Traffic and Bounce Rate
Each and every visitor is tracked and measured in Google Analytics. Two high-level indicators of your performance are your monthly traffic and your bounce rate. While the amount of traffic you have is somewhat self-explanatory, the bounce rate is a strong indicator of the quality of your traffic.
A bounce rate is a measurement of the percentage of traffic that hits your pages and then immediately leaves. Viewers are essentially “bouncing” briefly on your page and then going somewhere else, meaning they aren’t engaging with your website. It is important to understand that the amount of traffic you have is not nearly as important as the amount of engaged traffic. So even though a high bounce rate means you’re getting a lot of views, it means the viewers are not sticking around.
A normal bounce rate is about 50% but a good target for most companies is 35%. This will require work but it’s attainable. In many cases, by focusing in on your efforts on content that is relevant to your target customers you will decrease your bounce rate and increase the number of potential customers. While doing this may decrease your traffic it should increase your number of qualified customers generated by your web site.
Traffic sources are an important thing to review so that your team understands what drives traffic to your site. Traffic can come from search inquiries, social media, directory listings, reviews or direct visits. Reviewing this can help your team identify what specific activities on the web are providing effective results, and which aren’t.
Keyword rankings are often misunderstood. The general concept of keyword ranking is that the higher the ranking, the higher you will show up on Google and other search engines. The reality is that there are numerous search ranking factors that come into play on each and every search. So your keyword ranking is an overall indicator of performance, not an exact match to where you are going to show up on the search engines.
The reason why keyword rankings are important is that this is an overall indicator of your search visibility and related traffic on the web. Generally the higher you rank on a keyword, the more traffic you get from searches in that area. The more keywords that you have ranking on searches, the more traffic your web site will receive. By consistently adding relevant content and ranking on associated keywords, we have been able to consistently improve the performance and lead generation for our customers who have worked on this.
Call measurement is used to measure what led customers to call your business. One of the frustrating facts about calls generated from the web is that in the past there has been no reliable way to figure out if these phone calls came from the web. Fortunately this has changed.
There are now services available that can help you monitor and measure the call you are receiving from the web. Our preferred provider is Call Rail (www.callrail.com). This service allows us to set up phone numbers that are tied directly to Google Analytics so that we can document and measure each and every call that comes in from the web. This will be able to determine what led customers to call, such as what keywords they used, what page they were looking at, if they were viewing an advertisement, etc.
These services have really been a boon to web marketers as we can now measure most of the ways leads are coming in off of our web marketing efforts.
In web marketing lingo a conversion event can be any measurable event up to, and including, your potential customer contacting you. These events are measured in Google Analytics and a value can be assigned to each event based on the value to your organization. These measured events need to be quantifiable and could include:
1) Newsletter and social media sign ups
2) Calls if a call tracking application is being used
3) Contact forms filled out
4) Sales if you have a shopping cart on your web site
Closely monitoring these events can help your team better understand where your marketing efforts are having success and ultimately lead to more sales.
We hope this quick overview is helpful as you review your progress on the web. Be sure to contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the implementation of some of these measurements.