SES London 2010 | Meaningful Search Metrics

Moderated by Jon Myers, this panel of experts will be looking at what constitutes ‘meaningful’ SEO metrics. We’re going beyond volume and position.

Panellists: Jeff Ferguson, SES Advisory Board & Miles Bennett, Targetstone Limited and Brian Clifton, Author: Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics.

Jon starts by reminding us that search and SEO can be difficult to quantify and contains a lot of a times “obfuscating” (my paraphrase) terminology for outsiders. SEO is now at the forefront of every business marketing plan; so how do we take meaningful metrics to the board?

Up first we have Jeff, who is looking primarily at how to make search metrics meaningful for board level execs. It’s important for us to get a sense of perspective, as what we are measuring may not mean that much to VP and CEO level. Not only may it not mean too much but these people have very little time.

What are we looking to justify? ROI

ROI must be quantified, therefore activities, time spent on activities and $$$ by activity are what really counts.

Tangible performance drivers, rather than all metrics matter here: so think UU rather than PV, conversion rather than engagement.

Next up is Brian Clifton, former Google Analytics and Author: Advanced Web Metrics

Brian starts by looking at where web analytics fits into marketing strategies and how to approach value; which is split into a 5 phase approach.

1.Aquire data (including off-site)

2. Engage

3. Measure (including on-site)

4. Test

5. Learn

To go into more detail we look at five more specific ways to attribute meaning to web data.

1. Brand engagement. A way to quantify brand engagement is to look at

brand engagement = #visits from brand search + direct visits/total search visits + direct visits (expressed as percentage)

E.g. 2544 “brand search” visits + 5777 direct/9362 total search visits + 5777 direct, equates to 55% brand engagement.

Big organisations tend to be impressed by this and seek to drive greater brand engagement, however smaller brands will need to drive this percentage down, as tail terms and product specific terms drive conversions. I’m reminded of Avinash’s example of HMV from this morning’s keynote).

2. Percentage of pages yielding traffic.

To get here look in GA at your keyword report/landing pages/total landing pages. Divide this by total number of indexed pages on the site. Goal in all cases here is t drive up the percentage of pages appearing in search.

3. Bounce Rate

Headline: 50%+ Red, 25 – 50% Amber,

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