For many people who are not in the industry, search engine optimization is pretty straightforward. Get a site or page to the top of Google, and that’s about it!
However, as an SEO consultant or anyone else who is involved in online marketing knows, successful search results are about a lot more than ranking for a few desirable keywords. Understanding the types of key learnings available and why they matter can make you become the MVP of your team.
- The Long Tail
It’s not about getting to the top of page one for a couple popular and high search volume phrases, it is about reaching users who are searching for very specific key phrases and are further along in the conversion process than those seeking out higher volume but more generic keywords.
- Social Signals
These matter more and more in regard to rankings and how people perceive your company or brand. After all, social media sites often show up in the SERPs next to your own site. Remember that it is about not just your own rankings but also how other platforms affect your SEO and overall brand sentiment.
- Referral Traffic
Also defined as traffic not from search engines but from links that you as the person responsible for search engine optimization have built. Link-building is about more than just reaching the top of page one at the end of the day — it can also drive traffic in its own right.
- Conversion Assists
This could be visitors who discovered your site through search but came back and converted through direct access, social media, a phone call, a physical visit or another channel. After all, most people don’t convert on the first visit, especially for big-ticket items. You’re not attributing all your conversions to the “last touch” are you?
- Keyword Variety
The amount of keywords that drive traffic to your site can be just as important as your rankings, if not more. You want a variety, not only to get a wider range of users, but also in the event that you drop off page one for a popular keyword or two, you won’t lose tons of traffic. Furthermore, tracking which keywords actually result in conversions is important — it might not be the high-volume keywords that you think are the most desirable. That’s why we refer to it as a “keyword portfolio”. It should be as diverse as your investment portfolio.
At the end of the day, it is essential to remember that SEO and online marketing in general needs to be holistic, not just about ranking for the keywords that you consider to be the “best” for your company. Reporting on the metrics that really make a difference can help you add value and look like an analytics rock star to your boss and your clients. To learn more, read The Suprisingly Simple Secret to SEO.