SEO Metrics – Is Your SEO Working?admin
As an SEO consultant I am always looking to prove my worth and the return the client has gained from my services. It is too easy to hide behind rankings and say “well you wanted page 1 for that keyword” – but really was that the best for the client, for the searcher, for yourself?
One of the biggest problems for me is verifying that a new sale or client came from the web through natural search, from Adwords, or from a referral or other marketing activity. The difference between the first two is easy, I can see from analytics if someone comes to the site via an advert or via search. On ecommerce sites it is easy to track the sales and how much each sale cost.
A lot of the sites I work on are not ecommerce rather they have phone calls, emails, or contact forms sent. I suggest that clients ask “how did you find us?” That question in itself poses a problem: if you are doing no other advertising most are just going to say – from the web. It will be impossible to know if they clicked on an ad or the organic results.
There is only One Solution
Switch off the ads. I am not suggesting that you do this long term, and this would be highly dependent on the amount of traffic the website current has. If you are getting almost no organic visitors, please don’t switch off your ads.
On ecommerce sites and membership sites I have worked on we know very quickly averages. Joins per day, sales per day, sales volume etc. This is the type of data that I would expect every company to posses about their own business.
So go ahead and switch off adwords; for a day, for a morning, for an hour, for a week – pick one that suits your business. Pick a week that is normal, no holidays, no elections, no strange weather forecasted – you get the idea.
Working out the Drop in Sales
Now you have to take that time period against your averages and compute the drop in sales during that period. It is more accurate if you can do this more than once, at least three times using different time periods.
On occasion I have seen a company record no drop in sales by following this method. This is great news, as it means that the ad campaign is not setup correctly – therefore the company can look to increasing sales after addressing that issue.
I haven’t ever seen zero sales coming from organic search if the correct market has been targeted – but I would say that wouldn’t I. The biggest advantage of organic search is that, still, most people believe that the companies at the top are better than the lower ones – the trust factor.