So you’ve implemented your search marketing strategy. Now what? A search marketing strategy should not be done in isolation and must always be tied to the overall marketing strategy. Why is search marketing important? As part and parcel of a company’s overall business goal, the search marketing strategy is a crucial component that contributes to the company’s growth in a positive way. A critical step in proving that your search marketing strategy is contributing to the overall marketing goal is by measuring results. But while many people have access to analytics, not everyone can connect the data with the progress of the search marketing strategy with respect to the overall marketing strategy. Here, we give you tips on how to properly measure search marketing results, how to translate search marketing success to business success, and how to further optimise your search marketing strategy to reap the maximum rewards.
A search marketing strategy is composed of search engine optimisation (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM), the latter sometimes referred to as Google Ads, PPC advertising, Adwords or Search Ads. How we evaluate the success of a search marketing strategy will be based on the following metrics. Aside from the obvious number of website landings, the quality of the audience is a major factor that we have to consider when implementing SEO, which will be an indicator of their interest in the content. Meanwhile for SEM, aside from the number of leads, we also have to take into account the cost-effectiveness of the entire ad campaign.
Ranking refers to where the site is positioned on the SERP. This varies globally or locally.
This metric shows search traffic of organic website visitors coming from search engines, and can also be set up so you can see traffic coming from specific countries or new users. Aside from tracking traffic, it is also important to track the flow of traffic to certain pages.
This SEO metrics show the visitors who reach your site via other websites. Backlinks from high-volume websites can lead to referral traffic, whose growth will increase the chances of you acquiring leads from your website. Although not too common, there are cases in which a prospect will check out business directories and click on the company websites listed there. Sometimes they will inquire, and thus be converted into a lead.
Click-through rate or CTR refers to the clicks divided by impressions, multiplied by 100. This helps you determine how many of the impressions were converted into clicks. Having optimised metatags can potentially increase the click-through rate. Therefore, a high CTR can mean that meta title tags are effective in capturing attention from searchers.
Number of leads
The definition of “leads” will be determined by you, whether it means registration, subscription, download, view, and etc. You can, therefore, find your “number of leads” by tracking the number of users that complete each action. You can also check which sources send the most qualified leads to your website.
Used mostly in SEM campaigns (although conversions from SEO can also be measured), this is calculated by total number of visitors divided by a total number of conversions, such as inquiries. This metric allows you to differentiate the number of users who inquire versus who only visit your website.
The next question is, how do you interpret your progress in SEO in the context of the overall business strategy? How can you explain to your stakeholders why theses success metrics matter? We illustrate this through the following scenarios:
For a corporate website developed for brand equity
For a corporate website, measuring organic traffic from sources that use branded keywords can show that your marketing strategy is effective in promoting your brand with your selected keywords. This is telling of the effectiveness of your branding efforts. Another metric, direct traffic, can show that your URL is becoming recognisable to audiences so that they go directly to your website.
For an eCommerce site
When you have the goal of increasing sales, some of the key metrics to look at are conversion rate and a number of leads. On the SEO front, being ranked higher on the first page means you are gaining more clicks from potential buyers with intent. Thus, an effective SEO strategy can increase your chance of converting visitors into customers. For SEM, we can measure the effectiveness by first looking at how we are effectively using the campaign budget which can be measured by low cost per click, and second, by looking at how we are achieving the ROI which can be measured by cost per conversion.
Now what? Your work doesn’t end once you’ve already measured and reported. Once you have the data at hand, in the context of your business goals, it is time to see how you can further improve your strategy. Here are a few tips in further optimising your search marketing campaign.
Measuring results allows you to have a second look at the keywords. You can see which of your keywords are most effective in conversion, and which ones need to be tweaked. At this point, doing another round of keyword research may allow you to find more opportunities.
Create landing pages
Landing pages help visitors see your value proposition with more information on your products and services, and includes a form dedicated to capturing prospects’ data. When done properly, they are an effective medium in acquiring leads from the search engines. Creating a landing page will vary for either SEO or SEM campaigns, where there are different best practices for each — the main difference being that SEO pages are built to rank so they can get inquiries, while SEM pages are built to get inquiries and conversions immediately. SEO landing pages typically are composed of more multimedia content, such as keyword-rich text and images, which help make the page rank first. Meanwhile, an SEM landing page as a destination for paid advertisement is more focused on sales. It has more CTA buttons and trust elements like reviews, testimonials and badges because the priority is immediate conversion. In summary, in order to maximise the potential of your search strategy, it is important to master the measuring of your progress and interpreting them in the context of your business. As the popular business saying goes, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” This is just as important in your search marketing strategy. If you would like more expert advice, our team of highly experienced strategists, creatives, digital marketing specialists and technophiles can help you craft a search marketing strategy. Reach us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in our enquiry form to discuss. You can also take a look at our list of services.