I field a lot of questions from potential and current SEM and SEO clients about metrics and stats. Specifically, what stats do you/we track to measure whether a marketing campaign is working. Well, that depends on which side of the aisle you are on.
From our end, the stats we look at are the ones that are under our control. Specifically, that means your keyword rankings for either the paid ads section of Google (SEM) or the organic listings (SEO). Obviously we want to place our clients in a position to be successful, which means we want them ranked on the first page of Google for the keywords that are important to their business. It stands to reason that the more visible a client’s ad is, the more exposure and phone calls they will receive.
We also look at metrics such as clicks, page views, session duration, and bounce rate, but those numbers can be misleading. For example, if you have a million page views on your website in the last month, but 99% of them were from spammy individuals, then you really have nothing. If you have a couple hundred thousand clicks in the last 30 days, but they are all from foreign countries (and you only service customers in the US), then what have you gained? Not much.
Of course the metric that means the most to our clients is ROI. They need to earn more from their SEM or SEO campaign than they are spending on it. Typically that means phone calls from potential clients who are actively seeking their products and services. While that stat is of course important to us, it is unfortunately not under our control. Our job is to place our clients in a position to be successful, but we cannot force people to do business with them, even if they see their ad on the first page of Google. As such, we tend to focus more on the metrics that we can control, although we do realize that in the end what our clients are seeking is increased revenue.
ROI can be a difficult metric to measure, but we’re confident that our innovative, best-practices approach to online marketing is a good fit for most of the people who are seeking our services.