The world of SEO (search engine optimization) is tough. The rules are ever changing and it seems like getting to the top of the search engine results is not worth the time invested. Well the reality is it is worth the time as SEO is still one of the best ways to get traffic back to your website. Plus it is one of the best ways to ensure you are able to keep revenue coming in if you did not have any money to pay for advertising.
The reason why so many internet marketers get frustrated with SEO is because they do not take the time to actually track their results. They have a hard time knowing what is working and what is not. Does ROI (return on investment) even exist?
Well in order to know a certain SEO method is working for you, you need to track things. You also need to test things. You also need a way to know if your time is being well invested. Here are some ways you can do that.
Determining Your ROI for SEO
The first thing you have to do with any SEO method is take a careful look at the amount of time you are putting in and what type of results it is bringing you. Just like you would when calculating Social Media ROI. Now sometimes this does not always have to be money directly. Return on investment could be you getting leads. Maybe it might be getting people to share your webpage on their social networking accounts.
You might even just want to get people to link to you. No matter what you are going for you must track it. The end goal though is going to be about making money.
Take a careful look at how much time you spend with a given SEO strategy. Write it down on paper or log it on your computer. Then look at the amount of revenue you are able to generate in a certain time span. This will help you have a good idea if the SEO optimization method is worth continuing.
Adding Up the Leads and Sales – Track SEO results
If your website sells products or services, then you should be measuring this. What you need to know is what your exact number of sales are because of your SEO efforts. You also need to know what traffic sources might be driving the traffic that is causing the sales. Sometimes it will not come from search engines, but from other places that have linked to you. You need to find out this information so you can get in touch with the site owners and ask about ways to be mutually beneficial to each other.
A really powerful tool you can be using to help you track various data like this would be Google Analytics. With this tool you will have the ability to segment your traffic in order to look at certain types of traffic online. You will be able to see which keywords phrases are responsible for driving the most traffic to your website. You can take this a step further and set up e-commerce tracking functionality within Google Analytics in order to track revenue and organic traffic.
Track The Cost of Leads and Sales
One of the main benefits of tracking your SEO efforts by knowing what is working and how much time you invest is that it gives you a chance to create a real data infrastructure. You will be able to ask questions of the data and get answers you can rely on. You would be able to use this information to make some pretty good decisions moving forward.
One thing you will be able to see when you do this is how much time it is taking you to acquire each lead or sale. If you are spending actually cash on SEO efforts then you would not have to track the time. You would only need to use the amount you spent in order to know what your cost per lead is.
Understand that time is money. If you are dedicating several hours per week into an SEO method, then this is going to add up to a lot of hours really quickly. Knowing how much you made and how much each customer cost you in terms of time is important. It will help you know if you are wasting your time despite getting sales and leads. You might even decide it is better for you to pay someone else to do certain work for you or that your time is better spent focusing on other tasks.
Knowing Your CR and Increasing it
Your CR (conversion rate) is the total number of visitors that do what you want them to do. This could mean you getting a sale or getting them to give you their contact information. Keeping track of your conversion rate for the SEO efforts you put forth is important. It will often times give you a good idea about the quality of traffic you are getting. But sometimes it might be your website that is causing problems.
If you are not getting the sales you feel you should be getting. So you will need to test out different SEO strategies in order to get an idea of which one might really lead to the highest level of conversions. For instance you might find getting organic traffic works best to get you sales or you might see that having backlinks on the right websites leads to you getting more sales. You would need to track all of this though using the right tools.
You cannot just throw something to the wall and hope that it sticks when it comes to SEO methods. You also cannot assume that any one method is going to work because someone told you it would. You have known what is going to work for you and if the results you get are worth your time and effort. You also need to know what you need to be tracking.
How to Setup Goals in Google Analytics
It is not easy to explain how to setup goals in Google analytics so I have found two of the best resources for you.