If SEO is a Game, Are Rankings the Best Way to Keep Score?Rankings seem to be a common issue that most clients bring up when they find their website has decreased in search for a keyword term they want to be on page one for. What ThoughtShift digital marketers have been noticing for some time now is the way in which people search and how behaviours have changed. People search and browse for longer, they use more generic searches to begin with, what we like to call “research terms” and narrow down their results by adding more specific keywords to their search query “long-tail terms”. Customers like to go back to brands they trust, they look for reviews and voucher codes before filling out forms or making purchases. Products are left in baskets for longer periods of time and some users tend to come back through other channels after a month of their first search to make a purchase.Here are some ways to look at your campaign to determine if your SEO efforts are paying off despite the loss of rankings.
Why Measuring the Goals of a Campaign is ImportantAs digital marketers, our campaign results and successes are often measured by various different KPIs (key performance indicators). KPIs include; revenue, transactions, contact or lead form completions, sign-ups, sessions, time on site, page views and more.Goals help to determine if the work you have been doing has helped other conversion points across the site and if the work carried out has helped the website’s overall authority by comparing figures against a previous, relevant time period.
What to look for:Take a look at the goals on your site. Have you seen an increase in leads, sales or newsletter sign-ups compared against a similar time period? Can you determine what keywords are sending you conversions in Google Analytics or Google Webmaster Tools?Need to get goals set up? Read more in our free onsite guide: Google Analytics Guide To Help Track Goals
Rankings as a KPIWe’re often asked: “Why have my rankings gone down?” and to be honest, it is never the same reason for every website. Investigation and analysis is usually required to discover the true reason for spiralling decreases or even the smallest of fluctuations in rankings.Below are some causes of ranking fluctuations:
- More competitors are optimising for the same keyword terms – Know your competitors and audience
- Your website is not deemed relevant for the target keyword – Learn how search results are not always relevant in search and why you should choose target keywords carefully
- Duplicate content on your site – Learn how the Panda Update can affect rankings
- Unhealthy backlink profile – Learn how to get a natural backlink profile for your website so you don’t get hit by Google Penguin Updates
- Technical issues on the site – Learn how to use Google Webmaster Tools and spot potential issues