What does a recent report show about SEO effectiveness?
When it comes to measuring whether your SEO campaign is a success or not, it is often not black and white or as clear cut as it may seem. Whether your campaign is a success is often down to a variety of features, each having different weighting elements which contribute to the overall total efficiency. Our latest blog post will focus on a recent study which looks at precisely these questions and how both individuals, webmasters and organisations can better measure how they are competing.
Firstly, it is important to note that some of the below may be obvious or be something you have heard before. It is however only when you drill down deeper into the reasons that you can fully appreciate why these parameters are so important.
Traffic is obviously an important measurement of how your site is performing. The more people that visit the better. That is a general and sweeping statement however, and the reality is more complicated. The study found that within traffic, there are many factors at play which can skew results. Seasonality is one such factor for example, along with algorithm changes which impact visitors. Therefore, people who measure traffic on a week by week, month by month, or year by year basis, are more likely to find better overall trends, than a one off or occasional spike in pattern or behaviour could show.
Similar to a generic view of traffic, a generic view of conversions only tell half the story. There exists different types of conversion events, and the report found that analysing these individually gives a much better view at how your campaign and overall SEO strategy is performing. For example conversions attributable to those who first visit your website can really give you an idea of how your website appeals to ‘floating users’ and someone who is not repeatedly loyal or aware of your brand or offering.
The study found that the problem with rankings is that many people only view rankings at a given time. This is often not very useful because it does not take account of any natural rise and fall that happens and thus gives a very targeted (but extremely limited) show of results. Instead (and similar to traffic,) those who monitor rankings over a period of time stand the best chance at measuring their effectiveness. This is not least because there is data to compare to, making any changes and patterns much easier to spot.
As we always tell our clients, it is not about the amount of links, but the quality of them. Links are important but they are a means to an end. As far as links are concerned and how this relates to SEO effectiveness, the report found that it was the impact of these links which was important and whether they drive the type of traffic and conversions that you ultimately want and need. Notice there is no reference here to the amount! Those that think that more links equal a better site are wrong.
Traffic, conversions, rankings and links are not new concepts in measuring SEO effectiveness. What is new is the deeper data and information that some of these can uncover, and we would invite anyone who wants to take a closer look at how their website is performing to bear some of this closely in mind.
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