By Lisa Bishop
What can be more refreshing than New York City in October? Only one possible thing and that would be SMX East in NYC during October! What an informative few days we were fortunate enough to spend with the cream of the SEO crop – including the President of Mannix Marketing, Sara Mannix! Here is Sara speaking at the Google podium! The room was empty, but hey, who’s paying attention to that?
There’s no way I can possibly give you all the tips and lessons learned during the week, so I’ve decided to compile my top 4 takeaways, in a 2 part series.
The first big takeaway was Metrics, Metrics, Metrics!
Reporting and analyzing has always been one of my favorite parts of a search engine optimization campaign. After all, the end result is what we’re after, right? The key here is reporting on the analytics that make sense to the campaign. What are the goals and how have you decided to measure them? Here are the top 10 metrics that you should consider reporting on if it relates to your project:
1. Keyword Ranking. We all love to see a top position and so do our clients. Just make sure that you don’t get hung up on one keyword and one rank because this is no longer the prize possession. It is more important to look at the campaign as a whole and analyze the results from many angles. Regardless, we all know how good it feels to show a client they are number one for one of their chosen keywords.
2. New keywords driving traffic. One tidbit I loved was when one of the speakers said a percentage of keyword phrases haven’t even been searched yet. Keywords evolve over time, trends change. Show your client the new keywords that are driving traffic to their site and dazzle them with your knowledge that it isn’t just the most competitive phrases that will contribute to the campaign.
3. Brand vs Non Branded Keywords. Branded keywords are words that include your brand name and variations of it. Non branded keywords are those phrases that do not incorporate your brand’s name. An example would be Fife and Drum Inn (branded keyword) vs Williamsburg bed and breakfast (non branded). When analyzing statistics, make sure to differentiate between which keywords are driving traffic and for the purposes of SEO, keep the relationship strong between non branded keywords and the content on the site.
4. Not Provided Keywords – Some statistics are confirming that this number can reach as high as 60% now. What constitutes a keyword to be lumped in the “not provided” category? Any search done while logged into a Google account is encrypted and therefore does not register in analytics.
5. Backlinks – This remains a constant among the seo world. Report on how many links are coming in, how much traffic they are providing and if they are paid or not paid. Don’t stop there, you could expand this to include reports on what sites you have contacted, if they have accepted and blogs you’ve commented on.
6. Social Signals – Pay attention to the efforts you are making in social media and show them the pay off of having consistent connections between all your social media accounts and your website. Social is getting increasingly more entwined in organic, so this is important to maintain. Report on how many views a post got, how many comments were received, how many shares or likes a post got or how many re-tweets. All this information is important and can give you an insight as to what is working and what is not working.
7. Indexed Pages – It is common that not all of the pages on a website will be indexed. This is an area that we can report on and increase. Wouldn’t it be impressive to tell a client you increased the number of pages indexed from 10 to 100?
8. Website Traffic Breakdown – Breaking down where website traffic is coming from is one of my favorite analytics to look at. Let the client know who the top referring sites are, decide on whether or not to renew a paid listing and keep an eye on Bing’s growing market share. You can make this as detailed as you want – giving them demographics such as top countries, top states and top cities.
9. Organic Conversions – By setting up a simple goal within Google Analytics you are able to show the client a path the searcher took and if they successfully converted, according to how a successful conversion is defined. What is a conversion? The answer is specific to every campaign. If you consider someone filling out your Contact form an action you want to track, then you add your ‘thank you’ page as a goal and GA will tell you how many conversions you have for a certain time period.
10. Competitors – Keep a close watch on what your competitors are doing, how their social media accounts are increasing and what marketing techniques they are using.
The second takeaway was Yelp Reviews.
I loved this piece of information I learned about Yelp. Perhaps some of you have been frustrated when you have asked a client for a Yelp review, they provide that for you, but it got filtered and doesn’t show up! I know I’ve experienced this and the angst that goes along with it. After all, you’ve successfully gotten a review but it is not benefiting you because it’s lost in cyberspace. Did you know that if the Yelp member who reviewed you is not a faithful or frequent reviewer, that their review will be filtered? I didn’t! Two remedies were given for this dilemma. First, you can help this individual to become viable in Yelp’s eyes by assisting them in completing their account and encouraging them to participate more with reviews – good and bad. Once they participate more, their reviews will start showing up. Second, you can seek out prominent Yelp users from your area. Maybe you know them? Maybe they are a client? Maybe they can become a client and review you. You get the idea. Problem solved.
For my final thoughts on the SMX East 2012 Convention, stay tuned for Part 2!
Digital marketing is an ever-evolving science. It is imperative that you have a trained, hard working SEO on your site to help guide your marketing efforts.