SEO Strategies: Which Metrics Really Matter?
A lot of companies get started with an SEO strategy with one concept in mind – they want their website to be number one on Google. It seems that ranking high is the priority focus for business owners when discussing search engine optimization, but this isn’t necessarily the right approach. Of course, you want your website to show up early in the search engine results, as this makes your potential customers more likely to visit, but focusing on ranking alone is not the way to achieve online marketing success. There’s something appealing about ranking as #1 for your favorite keyword, but a top spot ranking alone will not contribute to your profits or improve your business overall. Rankings are a valuable metric within SEO, but ultimately, they become worthless unless they connect to other, more important metrics.
Metric 1: Traffic
This is another metric which does not necessarily translate directly to success. Higher traffic doesn’t always mean that your website is performing better, and the concept of traffic typically draws more attention than it deserves. Imagine that you and a competing website both sell the exact same products for the same prices. If your website receives nearly 7,000 visitors a month, but only manages 10 sales, and the competing website receives 700 visitors and gets 50 sales, then they’re obviously performing better. High traffic numbers alone are irrelevant unless you break them down and analyze the data properly. If you have problems with this, Google Analytics could help you to gather crucial data about each visitor that comes to your website, including where they came from, and what they did while they were there.
Metric 2: Bounce Rate
If someone comes to your website and then immediately hits the ‘back’ button, it is referred to as a bounce. Your bounce rate is calculated by the number of visitors that bounce from your website, and the number of people who stay for longer. A lot of people automatically assume that a lower bounce rate equals a better website, but this isn’t always the case. For example, if someone attends your website and quickly finds what they want and purchases it, then they will bounce quicker than someone who struggles to navigate your site for half an hour and doesn’t buy anything. The thing that you don’t want, is people bouncing from your site because they visit under the false impression that they can find something you don’t provide. To fix this, improve your Meta description tags for clarity.
Metric 3: Backlinks
Backlinks sometimes referred to as incoming links, are a very valuable metric when it comes to the ranking website. Basically, a website that obtains more quality links, will rank higher than a website with lower quality links. However, it is important to remember that backlinks are a means to an end, regardless of how important they might be. Gathering great backlinks is fantastic, but it’s not your ultimate end goal. Just remember that one link from a quality website is worth hundreds from lesser known, smaller sites.
Metric 4: Conversions
Conversions refer to the times a visitor comes to your site and does exactly what you want them to do. For example, if you’re running an e-commerce site, your conversions will be the number of people who arrive at your website and purchase your goods. For this reason, conversions are perhaps the most valuable metric, more important than backlinks, rankings, and traffic. To achieve success in online marketing, your website should always be ultimately formatted to encourage conversions.