Metrics and reporting has always been important in SEO; but as clients become more educated buyers we’ve noticed an increased demand for in-depth analytics & reporting.
And being that I’m a fan of a good KPI or metric I thought I’d share six of my favourites, focusing particularly on those which might not get enough love.
Number of Keywords Sending Traffic – In the simplest of terms the more successful your campaign the more keywords which will be sending you traffic. Sometimes each keyword will only send you a small number of visits. These type of terms are known as ‘longtail’ this is a term named after the book by Chris Anderson, who wrote about the potential cumulatively for these small numbers to total a significant number. And if you hadn’t realised already it’s almost every SEO’s favourite jargon word.
Number of Search Engine Entry Pages – This metric represents the number of pages on your site which are deemed valuable enough by search engines to receive a listing in their results. In most cases if your site is adding new pages or remaining static you would aim for this number to increase. However if you are removing pages or attempting to solve a duplication problem then a decreasing number may be desirable. So a downward line on a graph might not be all bad.
Proportion of Branded Traffic – As many search queries are navigational, i.e. one of the biggest search terms on Google is Yahoo and vica versa, therefore a proportion of your search traffic will contain your brand name. In almost all circumstances as a search engine marketing company we can’t take credit for this traffic (unless you were struggling to rank on your brand name or if other social work is building the company profile) by performing better on generic terms this proportion should decrease. However it may increase if you are carrying out offline marketing and the proportion may remain the same if you have a seasonal increase in traffic.
Average number Of Visits Per Keywords – A simple sum dividing the number of visits by the number of keywords that sent traffic. Both upward or downward movement may be beneficial on this graph. An increase in the average indicates a greater proportion of traffic coming from higher volume phrases, a decrease a greater performance in the long tail. We monitor this largely to determine changes in the type of traffic our clients receive and identify opportunities for them.
Number of Indexed Pages –Another metric where both upward and downward movement can be both positive and negative. i.e. if you are suffering from a duplication problem a decrease can show you are moving away from being penalised. Also if you are regularly introducing new pages you would hope this number would increase at the same rate. We monitor this to look for symptoms of duplication or poor indexing of new content.
Yield Rate – Entry Pages v.s. Total Pages – My personal favourite and the one I have to explain most often, it’s another metric created by combining figures from a couple of different places. In this case the number of pages receiving search engine traffic is divided by the total number in the index. Here an increase in the percentage is positive, the value of this metric is a page in the index is of little value if it receives no traffic. Poor yield can be rectified by better on site optimisation, better internal linking and also better external linking.
So SEO stat geeks which are your favourites?