SEO Metrics For Profit Not Vanity.

SEO metrics for profit not seo vanity and shows piles of coin increasing and and an arrow pointing up

If you’re obsessed with what keyword you’re ranking #1 for or even worse if your boss has that fixation, that could be damaging your credentials as an SEO or marketer and more importantly, hiding the real truth behind those SEO metrics and your/clients poor online performance.

The reason is simple: chasing keyword positions on their own for organic traffic is just a vanity metric and doesn’t mean too much without hard business-led SEO metrics to justify why you should be ranking for them.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a much bigger discipline than just where your site ranks for specific keywords and should therefore be treated as a separate marketing channel. In business, your SEO metrics from ranking needs to be aligned and framed within those other channels you use, such as social media and paid ads.

It’s all very well finding that amazing keyword during your research or thinking that you should be ranking number one for keyword X as an industry expert only to find that after putting in the graft of ranking for it, the organic traffic volume doesn’t translate into revenue for the business.

As an SEO, is that a conversion you really want to have with your client (or your boss), especially if you have put so much emphasis on chasing those keywords in the first instance.

Instead, I want you to consider an alternative, a way of tracking your SEO that we use for clients and can be presented in the vocabulary of the board room in the language that business owners understand most, which is of course revenue and profit.

We all know to rank high in search results takes a lot of work and skill and even though it may help your site to be more visible at the top of the SERPs and the organic traffic that can come with it often not appreciated by the people who are paying your wage/retainer, especially if all that organic traffic doesn’t relate to increased revenue and the only value being the SEO bragging rights.

The fact remains there is no guarantee that ranking number one for a keyword will increase revenue, get more customers or increase retention. There’s no direct correlation between the two, so you need to think about SEO differently and consider other metrics instead.

Being obsessed with your keyword rankings, and checking them hourly is all well and good, but potentially having to explain why your site is high in google but low in new customer acquisition is a symptom of misdirected focus.

So What are the SEO Metrics you should be measuring instead?

Glad you asked, what you should be doing instead is concentrating on other metrics that have tangible results for a business such as lead generation, conversions and revenue growth as they tend to be understood better in the boardroom than where a keyword ranks. In fact, keyword position and where you rank in Google is probably one of the last things you should be measuring.

So here are 4 things you should be concentrating on and monitoring while carrying out any SEO for your business or for anyone who wants more visitors that turns into customers on their website

Revenue from the SEO traffic:

It seems obvious that we should be trying to measure revenue growth as part of our search engine marketing, after all, isn’t that the point of using SEO for business, the question is, how do we do that?

Google Analytics is an amazing tool, and it’s free, setting it up properly means that you can easily include values related to your products or services so you can track, and even predict revenue trends. Over time this can become a fairly accurate barometer of your online revenue.

As an example, you could track a goal and assign a monetary value to an action, such as filling in a lead magnet opt-in form as the trigger. You can reverse engineer the assigned value for the goal by calculating the average value of a client and how many go on to spend as a percentage of the overall opt-in rate to arrive at a value based on the conversion.

While this is not super accurate to the penny value, it gives you a better idea of tracking your SEO investment and definitely better than not having a value assigned at all. however over time as you get more tuned into these metrics, it becomes easier to track and becomes very accurate indeed.

Obviously, if you run an e-commerce store, it’s easier to track sales and link to the cost of each product, but for businesses who don’t sell directly online, it can be an essential piece of data that can be used to predict online sales growth, cash flow and of course if your investment in SEO is actually providing an ROI

Return of investment spent on SEO

This is a way your company can look at what SEO is costing you whether that is internal, if you have a team or what the monthly retainer of your SEO contractor is. Obviously, if it’s the former, then it’s a little bit more difficult for you to track, but essentially all you do is to take your revenue number minus you’re expenses and work out your ROI.

That’s a really good metric because these are business-level reports and SEO, just like any other marketing channel affects your business-level impact, so you’ve got to look at it through that lens. And let’s not forget the reason you are doing SEO in the first place most likely is to generate more revenue.

SEO Traffic

How much organic traffic am I actually getting through my website and what are those visitors doing when they are on the site and which pages are they visiting. Where are they landing and which pages are exiting from your site?

Once again, this is an important metric as you want to monitor how visitors are navigating through your site and finding the page that you want them to, and if not, how to change it so they do.

A Great tool for understanding your traffic behaviour in Google Search Console, which along side analytics allows you to dig deeper into user behaviour.

Who is linking back to your site?

Which other sites are linking to you from unique linking domains and how many individual websites out there see me as an authority enough to be linking to our site? That’s such good information especially if that number keeps moving up over the years and is a reflection on the content you’re posting which provides value to others.

Other sites linking to your website is possibly one of the most powerful SEO techniques you can get which has a direct consequence of organic traffic and is an on going, real-world assessment of your site’s content and that it’s of sufficiently high quality, and one which is key to your SEO success as well as revenue goals.

Keyword Rankings

Finally, we can measure where you’re ranking for particular keywords. You can actually track individual keyword rankings in many tools, but the important thing here is that you want to convert those ranking positions and traffic you get from being in those top spots into actual conversions.

As mentioned above, traffic is only one part of the marketing equation, because until you get visitors you don’t know if that keyword has the intent they need to become engaged visitors. So it’s important not to focus too much on the rankings and instead focus on how can you make every visitor landing on our site a customer.

As part of your analysis, you need to understand what are barriers stopping people from engaging on your site or bouncing off too quickly and what are the things you need to do to fix those bottlenecks?

One of the quick wins here is to examine the data in Google search console and see which search terms you have impressions for, but have zero on no clicks. This allows you to improve those pages that are appearing in search but nobody is engaging with.

Has That Changed How You Think About SEO?

So just to summarise, if your business’s goal is to generate a profit, it would make sense for you to want metrics that show the effectiveness of your SEO and how well it’s working. And when I say “business objectives”, I don’t just mean traffic or keyword rankings. You’re going to need metrics that show things like revenue generated through SEO, ROI on SEO spending, total conversions from ranking 1 in Google for keywords, linkbacks from other websites and so on. These are all ways you can assess the success of your marketing campaigns – whether they be social media or SEO – and see how effective they are at achieving their goals.

On-Page SEO 5 Simple Steps To Get Started.

on-page seo a mobile phone showing google search bar

Table of Contents

It can feel overwhelming to try and improve your website’s rankings on Google. You may be asking yourself what steps you should take to improve your website’s performance on the search engines. A lot of webmasters might think they should be working to build links, which is part of the equation for sure, but there is one thing you need to get right before you start building links, so in this post, our focus is directed at “on-page” which is essential to improving the rankability of your website;

Here are 5 things that will help guide you in the right direction.

On-page SEO is a way to improve the visibility of your website in search engine results pages. To understand how your site could benefit from ON-page, the first thing you should consider is carrying out an audit that will identify those parts of your website that can be optimised and can be improved upon.

The content of your web pages and what is outputted on the browser is one of the most valuable areas of SEO. This not only includes the content which can be consumed by the visitor but also the code and files served to a webpage upon loading, including text, metadata visuals and multimedia, HTML, CSS and JavaScript. All these things together can be classed as content and regarded as “on page” elements.

No matter what type of content you produce, it’s vital to optimise any site for your visitors. The reason why this is so important is that as your site can be found in the search engines and people are going to start visiting, this is called traffic and is the first part of the SEO equation, the second part, which is just as important, is the conversion and should. As the name suggests, this converts visitors into taking some form of positive action on your site, which will lead to an opportunity and eventually turn into sales and profitable customers.

You can’t be successful online if don’t have both of these parts of the equation working, so If you want your website to rank in Google and keep visitors coming back for more, and become raving fans of your brand in the process, then remember these five on-page SEO factors to help in your pursuit.

One of the principles that you should uphold at all times with On Page SEO is that the search engines rank webpages, not websites, so targeting each and every page as individual digital assets will serve you well as if you target a distinct group of keywords for each page with little cross over, you are more likely to get greater visibility for your site and avoid keyword cannibalisation, especially on eCommerce sites.

Content

Good content, which is both relevant and compelling is essential for getting noticed and attracting the attention of the potential customer and getting them to take the next steps of engagement.

It’s hard to be definitive about what Good content is, but it can be summed up by providing extreme value to your visitors and positioning yourself as the authority in your industry. But within that, it should be optimised through the use of keywords to attract your target customers and which should appeal to their wants and needs and contributes to solving their problems in some way.

Things to consider here are making sure your content is easy to digest by providing quality and accurate information in a clear and concise format.

By putting yourself in the shoes of your potential customer you can think about what keywords they might include in their search and then strategically insert those keywords throughout your content.

Put the needs of your readers first, not just what search engines want. And don’t resort to the spammy tactics used in the past such as keyword stuffing or other spammy techniques, Google is far too clever for that in the 21st century.

First impressions count too, so provide your visitors with what you think they should expect from you. Provide a great user experience and keep the brand and design consistent across all of the pages of your site. As well as always trying to think about how you can differentiate yourself from your competitors.

Title Tags

Title tags are one of the most important parts of on-page SEO, they’re treated differently by search engines than regular body text. Search engine algorithms pull metadata from these tags and use them to display your site in SERPs. ( search engine ranking pages)

Therefore, they should be accurate and precise in how it describes the content on that webpage, but should also include the main target keyword, preferably at the beginning of the title.

As search engine only usually display 60 characters of a title, be sure that your format reflects those limitations as otherwise it could be ignored and any opportunity wasted and won’t be seen by the visitor.

Title tags are incredibly powerful, and worth taking time over to get the best results.

Metadata

The definition of metadata is data that describes other data and is found in a site’s HTML (the markup all websites are rendering in) and help search engines determine what information the page contains.

Metadata (which includes your title tag mentioned above) is recognised by web crawlers and used to inform it of things like your webpages title as well as any descriptive text used across the whole page.

Search engines also use some of this data as the snippet you see when viewing a search engine results page and tells the visitors what the page is about so they can make an informed choice whether to click on the link or not.

It helps both your search engine and human engagement if you can optimise the metadata with relevant information to encourage web users and search engines to interact with the page.

This effects:

  • Click-through rate – More people are enticed to click on your link and visit your site and can be regarded as a soft ranking factor
  • Trust and authority – By using good copy to describe the page, visitors are more likely to trust that you offer quality products and services and want to know more by clicking the link to visit the page in question.
  • Improved conversion: – Building a website that appeals to your visitors will convert them from being viewers into clients.

Keywords

Historically, web crawlers prioritise websites with a high density of keywords but nowadays you’re more likely to be penalised by Google for using these tactics. To avoid negative consequences for a page stuffed with keywords, search engines are programmed to detect this behaviour and rank it lower in results.

To use keywords properly you can start by visiting Google’s own Keyword Planner which is a great way to find relevant keywords and phrases for your niche for free. However, to research keywords correctly and more in-depth, industry professionals like us use other sources too as it has been shown that sometimes Google keyword planner can be restrictive.

When choosing keywords you have to think a little bit deeper about the content you’re planning to create and to consider the nuances which are apparent when making those decisions, things like the intent of the keyword, as well as the overall objectives of your business dependant on the type of messages you are wanting to publish, such as a sales page or informational page for example.

And while it’s ok to use keywords deliberately and strategically, you also need to strike a balance between human consumption and search engines favouring the former. It is important that content on your site is relevant, engaging and of value for human readers, but not over optimised to the point that Google penalises you for being too biased towards the algorithm.

A common oversight is to assume that websites rank as a whole in the search engines, but you need to think more granularly. It’s the individual pages that appear in the search results, so you should be thinking of each page as its own separate entity, which is a subset of the whole site, just like chapters are a subset of a book.

So when choosing keywords think about them on a page by page basis.

Another thing to consider with your choice of keywords is intent. This is the proposed intention of the searcher and so needs to be reflected in the page you are creating.

The main search intents are

Navigational: people looking for a specific website such as Linkedin or Google for example.

Informational: as the name suggests, it’s where people are looking for specific information.

Transactional: If you are building out a sales page or a store, these are typically the type of intent keywords you could optimise for and are quite specific and can use modifiers such as “buy” or “deal” or “coupon” for example.

Commercial: This is typically used by people who are interested in buying a specific product/service but are doing some research prior to purchase, so maybe using modifiers such as “review”, top” or “best” with your keyword is the way to go here.

As you can see, choosing keywords is a little more nuanced if you want to do it correctly and takes a little more time, but as you’re the expert in your business, you’ll have most of those keywords in your head already, it’s just a matter of thinking about it more and strategy.

Optimised Images

A picture says a thousand words as the saying goes, and it’s right, Images are a great way to attract your customers and hold their interest on your website.

However, it’s easy to overlook the fact that placing large images on your site can slow it down to a crawl, especially on mobile and therefore resulting in a poor user experience.

Limiting the size of the image file you upload, as well as using compression tools is an easy fix to help overcome this problem and in the process optimise them for your site.

One further step you should take is to edit them to the appropriate dimensions, which will help optimise those images further.

Touching on metadata for a second in relation to images, always make sure your image file names are keyword-friendly and your alt text for each image is descriptive will help even further.

These enhancements make your site more searchable by Google, more user-friendly and load a lot faster.

This is growing in importance for Google as they see the performance of websites and how fast they load as a major issue as far as user experience is concerned.

They are actively seeking to resolve the problem and doing something about it, much in the same way they did with forcing positive change to SSL certificates and mobile-friendly website.

They have given notice that As of May 2021 they plan to introduce Core Web Vitals as a ranking factor.

This is a metric that Google has used as part of the Search console tool, and focuses primarily on website loading speeds using metrics such as LCP (Largest Contentful Paint), FID (First Input Delay) and CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift).

if you want to know more about on-page SEO and would like to get a professional opinion on your website by requesting a FREE website review get in touch to book in with one of our optimisation experts.

The Best Marketing Channels For Small Business

small business person marketing company on laptop looking for the best channels for the greatest reach online

You may be wondering what marketing channels are best for your small business. Luckily, there are many ways to market your small business and it is important to understand which ones will work the best for you. In this blog post, we’ll discuss a number of digital marketing channels that can help you grow your company!

let’s get into it…

Leverage Google’s Tools for Businesses

Use the tools google provide which are in many cases free to use. Here are a few suggestions.

The first couple in the list below are more to do with carrying out some marketing intelligence, as you probably what to start with finding out what people are interested in?

Google search engine:

Sometimes business owners or agencies think you have to buy expensive tools to be effective or to understand your market and retrieve data, but that is not the case.

By using your brain you can simply use Google’s free search engine to simply research for Keywords you might want to use for your small business marketing or for what your competitors are up to.

But don’t just aimlessly browse around, have an idea of what you’re looking for before you start with any search engine intelligence gathering, such as searching for popular terms In your industry and seeing what Google returns.

Make notes of what you see and identify patterns or competitors who keep on showing up in the results. This is important, as these results are what Google think are relevant enough to position on page one for your query.

Google Analytics:

Track your site’s traffic to find out which pages are most successful on your site, who is visiting it etc. You can also set goals so you know when they’ve been reached

Google Sites:

This is a free tool that allows you to create a basic website, but if you use it strategically you can use it as another layer to your marketing on top of your main website. The great thing about a google site is that it automatically updates itself with any posts you create on your Google my business account, so if you do this regularly it keeps that google site up to date and represents a further layer of content that is getting published regularly on the web.

Google Trends:

This is such a great tool for analysing your market and is an amazing tool to explore what is trending in your industry. It’s especially useful for businesses who are trying to figure out what is popular in their market and the trends over time.

It provides trending data directly from Google search data so you know it’s accurate and based on actual data of what people are searching. You can see trends for any given topic or search term, not only on a global level but also in your country and even down to a regional level.

Google Alerts:

This is another tool we use every day, it’s simple yet can be invaluable.

If you want to monitor a brand or a competitor, google alerts is an easy way to make sure you’re updated on what’s going on in your industry. You can also set alerts for new online content so that when a blog post or article is published or someone mentions your company, you’ll be notified!

It’s really easy to set up in three simple steps…

  1. Go to Google alerts
  2. create an alert by entering the search term and email
  3. Google will send updates to your inbox based on keywords

Google My Business:

Google My Business is an important tool for small businesses, especially if your audience is local and based in close proximity to your business.

It’s like a social network but based around googles own search engine, but with a local bias. It displays local results of a query relevant to the location within which it’s searched, which according to Google’s own research, accounts for over 50% of all searches carried out across the internet as a whole.

Anyone who uses Google will have noticed these locally based search results which normally appear as three business listing along with a local map at top of a relevant search results page. A lot of the time it will be accompanied by a knowledge panel with details of the business google thinks is the most relevant to that query.

This is an incredibly powerful way to marketing your locally based business and is essential to being found in your immediate area by people looking for your product/services

local SEO listing in Google maps that shows up when you type in  a query which has local intent

Use social media effectively

You don’t need me to tell you that you need to market your business through social, buy just pick the ones that make sense for your industry and don’t worry too much about the others.

Depending on where your audience is, consider the most popular ones from the list below.

Facebook:

This is one of the biggest social networks in the world with over a billion monthly active users, so it makes sense for small businesses to consider setting up ads and pages here. That being said, be aware of your audience and if they are going to present on there, which may not be the case if your industry is more b2b than b2c?

Twitter:

A microblogging site that’s been around since 2006 but is not focussed on one type of audience or demographic so it’s considered to be the most impartial social network.

LinkedIn:

The social network for the business world. This is where professionals go to find jobs, meet other people in their industry or field and can be a valuable tool for small businesses looking to build relationships with other companies and as one would imagine is best for b-to-b clients.

YouTube:

The second most visited website after Google, youtube is great for marketing because you can upload videos which will allow people to go back through them later and they’re also searchable meaning you’ll get traffic from those searches too! And as a video has a huge share of traffic on the internet, this is a great way to reach your target audience.

Instagram:

is part of Facebook, and is a photosharing social media platform popular with millennial’s, with over 600 million active monthly users. It is also a good way to get people to share your content and you can build brand awareness by using filters which means that the photos look more attractive.

Tik Tok:

Tik tok is an app. It is really popular with 12-18-year-olds, but it has become popular with people who are older and businesses trying to promote their products through video. It has become one of the fastest-growing apps in recent years and a lot of businesses are starting to adopt the platform for marketing their products.

However, as the demographic is of a particular type, you need to be sure that your audience before jumping headlong into it…

if you own a business that provides Emergency plumbing or roof replacements perhaps think twice before spending a lot of time and effort marketing your services on this platform.

Use your own Business Blog

Spend time blogging on your own website blog is a great way for you to talk about the business, keep people up to date with what’s going on and attract new clients.

Its also been shown that you get more traffic to your website and more engagement if you can provide high-quality content which can provide value to your audience.

Things you can cover on your blog are things like:

tips for running a small business in your industry and for your audience
news within your business
Behind the scenes in your business to give people a sneak peek behind the curtain where most customers never get to see.

Most business owners ignore this because they think it’s hard work coming up with content to write about, which to a certain degree is true, but it is so worth the effort.

But remember if you think it’s hard for yourself to blog regularly, if you have other members of staff, ask them if they would be interested in writing some posts too, you never know, someone may jump at the chance… if all else fails you can always rely on your friendly digital marketing company that will blog for you either as a stand-alone service or as part of a larger digital marketing strategy.

Email Marketing

Marketing your business through your email list is a great marketing channel that a lot of small business owners either don’t do or get so wrong, but doing it the right way is one of the most cost-efficient ways to market your business and to get new customers.

It can be really great for small businesses because they can integrate it with all of their other marketing channels such as social media, blogging and of course add it to their website.

The most important thing about email marketing is that you need a set schedule for when you are going to send out emails, how often the recipients will receive them, and what content they will contain so its not too much or too little information.

One way to make sure that people are kept interested and don’t unsubscribe from your mailing list is to offer them something of value in each one, This could be an article on running your business or simply some useful tips about how your reader can achieve some results either using your product or learning how your product can help them solve their problem!

The thing that most business owners do when applying email marketing is to just send emails about their business… and while that is ok to do occasionally, you really need to think about the customer more and what they want to know more about and why they have subscribed in the first place. If you can do that, there is huge value you can get from your email subscribers

The more value you can provide to your subscriber, the more likely they are to think about you and your brand as being an expert and more likely to consider buying from you when they are looking to purchase the service or product you offer.

Paid Ads

Using paid traffic is a great way to get new or existing customers to your site, and if done right can be very lucrative. The problem is that a lot of site owners think it’s simply a matter of pointing an ad to their site and that’s it.

That couldn’t be further from the truth and those who have done it wrong find that it can be very expensive with little reward. so you have to be clear about your objectives and outcomes and plan out the campaign before spending a cent.

The key to success with paid ads is how to use the traffic to achieve your goals that you should have arrived at in your planning. So if you want to sell a product for example, then the goal of your campaign is to get as many people who are looking for that product and show them your product. If you want to grow awareness, then it’s about getting visitors onto your site so they can learn more about what you offer and then perhaps get them to sign up as an email subscriber.

One other thing – in digital marketing timing matters a lot because each day or week will be different depending on how competitive things are at any given time. So if something works today but not tomorrow, don’t keep throwing money into doing the same old thing when there may be better opportunities out there waiting for you.

The best way to improve ROI from paid ads is by using conversion tracking software: this allows you to see every visitor you’re sending through to your ad campaigns and know exactly which is working until you’re in a position where you have an optimised campaign which is In profit.

SEO

Many of the suggestions made in this post can be regarded as constituents of SEO, but having an SEO strategy allows you to unify all of your efforts to result in a coordinated approach to your small business digital marketing to get the desired results.

Search engine optimisation is one of the most important digital marketing channels because it’s free and you can improve your rankings on Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc. by taking some of the actions described above and by doing some research to discover the best keywords for your industry and using that information to provide value-based content and posting it across the internet.

Many small businesses don’t use SEO because it can be regarded as too complicated and time-consuming, but there are many free tools you can use to simplify the process.

It all starts with a good digital marketing strategy! and it allows your business to reach out to and be seen by potential customers in order to increase sales or leads.

You never know which channels will work best for your particular target audience so trying things out and trying different types of channels should be considered as part of any solid digital marketing plan.

Digital and Traditional PR

This may be a surprise to include, as most small businesses think this is for larger businesses, but that is not the case. PR is becoming more important with the digital age, and traditional PR still works well for some small businesses.

At its simplest it’s just a matter of looking at what publications are out there, either locally or in your industry and then finding out the people who create the content or edit the publication.

This is probably the easiest thing for an individual to do as most can be found online with a little bit of thought and perseverance.

The key to this technique however is understanding what these people want. They are busy and they are typically under pressure to fill a blank page with something of interest for their audience.

This is where you come in by providing that interest on a silver platter. All you have to do is have something ready to offer them and make it as easy as possible for them, so this needs some planning.

All you need to do is to think about all the things they would want to run the story, images, a great tag line and some copy that is well written and a little different. When I say different, I don’t mean it has to be something that hasn’t been done before, most things are after all are recycled, I just mean you have to give your story or event a different angle, something which fires the imagination.

An example of this would be that one of our clients who does this very well have an annual charity walk to raise money for their favourite charity. This is for a great cause, and that is the main reason they do it, but by reaching out to editors and journalists, we know it will be picked up by some and will be featured in their publications.

By referring to our client and their company in the article, we know that this will be published and provide some additional free publicity for the business, as well as also doing some great work for charity.

As you can see, it’s pretty simple to achieve, and if done well, you can even become a go-to source for some journalist, which can become invaluable in differentiating your small business from that of your competition in the eyes of your potential customers.

To Round Off

So as you can see, digital marketing is a powerful tool for small businesses, but it doesn’t have to be hard or expensive.

With a little imagination, you can easily get some amazing traction for your business through using these digital marketing techniques.

Then again, if you would prefer an expert to this for your business, we can help you find the channels that are best suited to your industry and budget and do it all for you.

whether you want to do it yourself or for someone else to do it, you can achieve some amazing professional insights into which direction could yield the best results with our free digital marketing review. Schedule yours FREE today!

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