SEO Metrics to Measure
Natural search marketers have been in a precarious position for the last few years. Much of the data they’re using is supplied by search engines, and some of that data is fuzzy at best.
Adam Audette, in a Search Engine Land post today, goes as far as calling some of the data unreliable and “downright misleading.” However, Audette astutely notes that marketers need the data even if they don’t completely trust it.
What’s a marketer to do? Here are Audette’s suggestions for the SEO metrics you should track:
o Percentage of overall site traffic from search
o Percentage share of each engine
o Free search traffic at the keyword level, clustering related terms
o Difference between branded and non-branded search traffic
Metrics that he implies are far less reliable:
o Ranking reports
o Indexed page counts
o Backlink counts
o Toolbar PageRank
For marketers, I would add conversion data to Audette’s list of primary metrics to measure — especially conversion data for non-branded keywords. If you’re a natural search marketer, any conversions you can prove came through non-branded keyword searches point directly to money you are bringing the company.
Branded search conversions are great, but they show that the searcher already knew your brand. The searcher has likely been reached by another marketing channel. A non-branded conversion implies that someone chose you over the competitors also listed in the results.
Which metrics do you consider vital? And how reliable are they?