This session at the SMX East New York 2011 focuses on new ways to mine and combine data to create effective and useful SEO reports. The panelists included-
- Matt McGee, Executive News Editor, Search Engine Land
- Annie Cushing, Director of Analytics, BlueGlass
- Vanessa Fox, Contributing Editor, Search Engine Land
- Max Thomas, President, Thunder SEO
- Marty Weintraub, CEO, aimClear
The first speaker to take the stage was Vanessa Fox. She said that the main issue with ranking reports is that they pave the way of so many further questions. Like- If you’re not ranking well, why aren’t you ranking well? If this is the case then, people think that they have been penalized by the search engines and focus on the ranking-specific issues. But ranking may be down due to other reasons like a crawling problem.
Ranking is not the only factor affecting traffic. She recommended using the Google Webmaster Tools data for analyzing what to do to understand the low rank.
Crawling and Indexing Investments:
Vanessa emphasized that the task doesn't end with just presenting the report. You need to tell your client or boss how things will be better when you fix these issues. You must show how your changes have affected results after they were been implemented. Some good metrics to use include:
- Percent indexed by page type
- Traffic by page type
- Include clicks per page
- Top URL reports on Webmaster Tools
- Errors over time
- Crawl errors
- Page not found errors
She assures that with these metrics in your report you can prove easily what changes are needed. And how those changes have made a difference in site performance.
Your report must throw light on what the people are trying to find and who are these people. Your report must have their search queries and cluster the words people are trying to find into related categories. With these keyword cluster reports you can make an estimation about how well you are performing. She recommends the webmaster tools query report for knowing the words, and types of words, are driving actions on your site.
She said that you must include impression, click throughs, and average position reports in your data from your Analytics account. This will help you identify trends and also explain the reason behind these trends.
The second speaker is Marty Weintraub. He started by saying that SEO must be thought of in terms of organic impressions and with these parameters it is to be judged:
- CTR- (on the site- or keyword-level by exporting the CSV or scraping Webmaster Central)
- Use conversion metric to see if it came up in SERP and the number of times it came up- was converted.
- Cost and CPA
So what affects SERPs- title tags. And for better click through rates, write an advertisement that is optimized for your keywords. The metrics to note:
- Organic CTR
- Keyword diversity
With the above mentioned steps, you have the technical and semantic SEO in control. Time for on-site conversion.
To measure your SEO, you should also be looking at:
- CPA Distribution Factor
- Engagement/Traffic Attribution
- Outbound to Social
- Site Links
- Universal SERPs Prominence
- After these noted, compare them by geography, day parting, loyalty, keyword diversity, and referral diversity.
The further you can break down data the better. Your dashboard must have all the data and must be easy to understand.
The third speaker took the stage then- Max Thomas. He spoke on the challenges of reporting for a multi-level client who has to report further up the corporate ladder! So how do you go about it?
- Ask how you empower the director
- Be proactive. Ask questions and invite them to convey what's happening to you.
- Avoid SEO/SEM technical terms.
- Have easily comprehensible reports to make them understand what’s working and what’s not
- Do not make them uncomfortable with their lack of digital knowledge.
He then showed a comparison of the Goals and the Metrics-
- Online conversions, sign ups
- Phone calls
You must take things the right way and start by setting up one goal
- Set at least one goal
- Use a prospect metric -Non-branded search traffic -Non-branded page traffic
One report does not suit everyone. But have a 1 to 2 page executive summary. And you must add a section of the metrics:
- What are your goals
- How are we achieving them
- Did we reach our goals
- Key Takeaways
- Recommendations going forward
- Use straightforward charts and graphs
The session ended here and went on to Q and A.Beyond Rankings- Actionable SEO Reports Your Boss Will Love: SMX East New York 2011, Day 3!,