SEO is often measured by two metrics. Rank or traffic. Either ways, there are fancy charts. Let’s see how to make sense of them.
Designing an SEO strategy, the first question one should ask is – “Why does your website exist?”.
If you have a blurred answer, you probably shouldn’t go for SEO. Rather try to get solid, clear answers on what the purpose of your website is.
SEO is not magic. It is only a connecting metric between to important points. One, your website objective and two, your target audience.
And oh! Before we go ahead, I strongly suggest you download the FREE version of the SEO software I use (worth $125). It fetches all kinds of SEO data that other tools do not. Much recommended!
What do Goals mean in SEO
Designing an SEO strategy is as important as designing the product. You are building something to offer someone. Whom are you reaching out to? What problem are you fixing for them? What value are you offering? How interesting is your product? These are probably some of the important questions to ask.
An SEO strategy should be able to help, not fix a website.
What’s important is clarity on defining your objectives and goals. There might be more than one way of reaching it, but defining what you want is half the job done. The rest is about figuring out how to draw the line connecting your goals and your starting point – the target audience.
Google Analytics does a good job of helping you define your goals. I haven’t seen any other analytics program that helps you do it so well. A goal, literally could be anything, an action, an event, a phase, a click, a behavior. Your product might need a different type of approach defining the goal, make it unique and trackable – this is the key.
Next up, follow the path back to your audience. Simple as that.
Actually not that simple. For your audience can be disperse. The key is to segment them based on their behavior and interest. If you would imagine it, your audience can come from different sides, and then follow different tracks to the goals. The crucial part is to lead them from point A to point B, and helping them make choices in between.
So, the magic metric in SEO is – goal tracking. A goal could be a conversion, a download or a purchase, but unless they are tracked well, it doesn’t make any sense.
Goal tracking could mean several things. It can give you insights about your audience behavior like no other metric.
Advance segments – the secret sauce.
Creating advanced segments is the magic sauce to figure out what works best with whom on a site. Provided that your goals are being met, segment the audience as much as possible with unique differentiating factors. Separate them as organic, organic with XYZ keywords, referrals, referrals via xyz.com, paid search, paid search via xyz campaign, paid search via xyz channel – just to name a few.
Typically, on a simple SEO goal tracking set up, “everything” goes to a goal point. And all you have are the default settings to figure out what worked. Paid or organic, what keywords and what campaigns or ad texts. Going beyond the default settings with as much segmented information as possible will give you insights on what is actually working with your website.
How does Reverse tracking help SEO?
Imagine you had an ice-cream store. Assume that all you know is – footfall is highest on weekends. What would you do if you knew that footfall is highest on weekends, the popular age group is 15-24, rush hour is 4-6 pm, the popular flavour is vanilla, the guy who spend the most came from a friend referral and the biggest spenders are women?
Would you not create tailor made campaigns to cater to each of them or at least the biggest spenders if you preferred? Absolutely you will.
So SEO is not just about throwing the spaghetti at the wall. Efficient SEO is about segmenting your audience, knowing what works and what doesn’t from your tracking, reaching out to the most interesting group and setting separate lead generation routes and goal paths for target audiences.
And the only way to do that is to track goals, reverse engineer it. Find out everything about your “client”. No body does it better than Google Analytics.
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