Analytic SEO

I was surprised when one of my clients told me about his previous SEO company, where he had not received a single report or proof of ROI for a whole year. The only thing that he was shown was proof of ranking in Google. You can just imagine it; “Look there you are, #1 on Google”, when you search for “London based used Saab car dealer that sells car parts” lol ok maybe not that bad. My point being that there are SEOs that simply does SEO based on improving ranking; they don’t care whether the keyword the client is ranking for will actually result in a conversion. Now this is not very clever SEO but it happens, and I’ve even heard “well known” SEOs say that ranking high in the search engines equates to high traffic thus conversions. Now does it? Is it that simple? Really?

In my opinion doing proper Search Engine Optimisation is doing Analytic SEO, where you optimise to get conversions, not necessarily traffic. Now, obviously this depends of what kind of site you are optimising, and whether they have a definable conversion goal. But more often than not you have definable goal to work towards, an ultimate goal if you wish. A goal, which brings them on step closer to a sale, a subscription or even user interaction. So it makes sense to me that SEO should be done with this in mind. I personally would NEVER do SEO for anyone without doing Web Analytics, you wouldn’t do PPC without carefully following the progress in your PPC account would you?

Picture this; your Web Analytics can be for organic results what the PPC Account is for paid for results. You can test your heading and ad performance (title & meta description tag), the CTR, conversion rate etc.. Doing SEO goes so much further than slamming in some keywords that gets you traffic, and a hundred links that helps you achieve the rankings for those keywords. It needs to be taken further to qualify as successful SEO. It’s just naive, and dare I say a little stupid, to think that SEO stops with ranking #1. So get of your chair and start planning, make a proper SEO strategy where you carefully target keywords on each page, avoid keyword cannibalization, and please make sure you do optimise those title and meta description tags not only for ranking, but for improving CTR to your sit and ultimately the user experience.

Analytic SEO, is clever SEO.

Ok hit me with it, you know you want to…

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6 Responses to “Analytic SEO”

  1. pratt says:

    I completely agree with you, Lisa. I don’t see how any SEO can run a successful campaign without studying their analytics. What good is all of the traffic to your website if no one takes action?

    I think we can also argue that every site has a conversion goal: place an order, call a phone number (that hopefully is unique to their website so they can tell it came from there), fill out a form, sign up for a newsletter, or maybe even just page views.

    This new blog is off to a great start! I’m lovin’ it.

  2. thanks pratt =) Great to have your support! And thanks for leaving a comment. If this was SEOmoz I would give you double moz points =)

  3. bill says:

    Congratulations on a new blog. Looking forward to some attitude with my SEO reading. :)

    I second completely the use of analytics with SEO. Funny, I used the phrase “successful SEO” in a response to a blog comment about half an hour ago, talking about understanding the tasks that a visitor sets out to accomplish on a Web site, and how SEO fits into that process.

    “Keyword cannibalization” isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if you understand what you are doing. See:

    http://www.searchengineblog.com/columns/three_page_optimisation.htm

    Is it a dated approach? Maybe, but maybe not. Imagine having three different pages for the same product – one page that is wordy and descriptive, one that is less wordy, and uses different and perhaps more technical jargon – perhaps a “product specifications” page, and then a third that focuses upon showing images of the product from a few different angles, perhaps even with video, and text descriptions of what one is seeing in the images.

    I’d have no problem with attempting to optimize each of those pages for the same term – likely the product name in many instances. I’m actually not even too concerned with which page of the three that a search engine would show a searcher – all of the pages have value, and there should be ready links to each from the other.

    (And I’d happily use analytics to measure which of them was indeed the most successful at conversions, and try to improve upon the less successful ones.)

  4. Hey Bill =)
    Thanks for leaving a comment, it’s really great to get comments on the first proper blogpost. It really gives us encouragment that we are heading the right way…sweet!

    Good point about the keyword cannabalization, and yes if it is a “brand” it’s necessary to repeat through title tags etc But I do think it makes sense to target different keywords for different pages, unless it’s necessary for the content to repeat keywords (as in for example the product name). And the example you gave is a great example where it’s difficult to avoid keyword cannibalization.

    Cheers Bill!

  5. seoz87 says:

    well Its pretty basic. If you define SEO than it comes to…

    “A Process to rank your site high in search engine to get more visitors and sales.”

    And Without Analytics, SEO is not possible. Its other thing that SEO Companies are not giving that data to their client.

  6. Kimber Cook says:

    i really enjoyed this post, lisa. i thought all seo involved analytics. but i like the that there’s a term for it now. hopefully it’ll catch on. that’ll confuse the friends and family even more. like explaining seo wasn’t hard enough. ;)

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