Searching for the right KPIs
We've all heard horror stories of search marketing professionals who, well, weren't actually professional at all. Search marketing, speaking as one myself, isn't about "tricking" Google and other search engines into ranking your content high. Search marketing is about writing compelling content that engages your audience and encourages them to visit your site. Recent changes like Panda and Penguin only serve to confirm this.
These so called "black-hat" techniques have left many people with a bad taste in their mouth when they think about SEO. While understandable, this perception of SEO is unwarranted. If you want proof of that, check out a recent study published by SEOMOZ that seeks to answer the question "How many SEO consultants actually know what they're talking about?" The answer is that the vast majority of search marketers adhere to industry best practices, even if their methods differ. This is encouraging, especially if you are considering hiring an SEO consultant.
This brings us to the latest instalment in the KPI examples series, the SEO KPIs and metrics. The truth is that many organizations either rely on a consultant or an in-house marketer. There's nothing wrong with either choice - but the truth is that you should know what you are getting into.
As I see it, effective search marketing blends the art of compelling writing with the science of objective measurement and analysis. With tools like Google Analytics and page ranking/backlinking SEO tools, it is pretty straightforward to get objective answers about your SEO campaign like "how well am I ranking?", "how much of my website traffic is SEO traffic?", and "how many people are clicking on my page in SERPs?" Learn more: link building metrics.
The hard part, and where effective search marketers separate themselves from the pack, is delivering compelling content that has a high SEO keyword ranking and and optimal SEO visibility. Sure, we know that a rank one keyword gets a huge proportion of click-throughs by virtue of being rank one, but that doesn't mean people are going to do what you want on your rank one page.
Our objective with this list of SEO KPIs is to offer you some perspective on how to measure the effectiveness of your SEO campaign, whether it is being run by a consultant or in-house on a SEO performance dashboard. Furthermore, we've tried to offer some guidance as to where you should be looking when your campaign isn't performing well, or could be performing better.